Wednesday, January 17, 2018

KC Cowan & Sara Cole ~ 2nd guest post and their novel The Hunt for Winter

TITLE: The Hunt for Winter:
A stolen child, a wizard thought long-dead, and a plot to resurrect an evil menace.
AUTHOR: KC Cowan & Sara Cole
CATEGORIES: Epic Fantasy/Adventure
ISBN: 978-0692931776
IMPRINT: Chimera

KEYWORDS: Fantasy, Girl Power, Epic Adventure, Female Friendship, Wizards, Fairies, Action

Five years after Irene, Nan, and Kay helped defeat an evil wizard, they reunite to track down a mysterious wizard who has kidnapped Irene’s son.

Queen Irene's son, Winter, is missing. His wizard teacher, Seever, has tried to find the boy using his “far-away vision,” but it is blocked when he looks to the north. Since only a powerful enchantment can block his sight, Seever concludes an unknown wizard must have taken the young prince.

But aside from Winter, Seever and Kaza, there are no other wizards left alive.

Or are there?

Book two in the Irene, Nan and Kay series, The Hunt for Winter, continues the story of Irene and her best friends as they travel north in search of the Crown Prince.

There’s Always a Next Chapter
By KC Cowan
  The publication of Journey to Wizards’ Keep (JTWK) was a tremendous thrill for me and my co-authors, Sara and Nancy. We had started the fantasy novel in college just for fun, but set it aside for three decades before digging it out again and finishing it. Then I spent three years polishing and pitching the book before it got picked up by Ravenswood Publishing in 2016.

That’s the short version about the book that we generally tell people and the media. However, there is a more personal story behind that which I’d like to share.

Prior to us resurrecting JTWK, I had a successful career as a news reporter and television story producer. For a decade, I had hosted a show on Oregon Public Broadcasting called Oregon Art Beat. I traveled the state interviewing artists and crafting stories for the show, as well as hosting on camera. It truly was my dream job.

In 2012, however, due to some ugly office politics, I was fired. It was utterly devastating because I loved my job, and I was damn good at it (if I do say so myself). Plus, I was now in my mid-50’s—an age at which it is pretty hard to get a job in local television.

I have always been a person who believed that God, or the Universe—whatever you want to call that force—always puts me where I was meant to be. I had lost favorite positions in television before, but somehow it always led to something better or more appropriate. And depressed though I was, I was confident the right thing would come along. But I expected it to be a job offer, and when month after month passed without any new opportunities, I became seriously depressed.

After seven months of unemployment, my friend Sara, asked me completely out of the blue if I still had my copy of “The Log.” (That was what we named our college fantasy novel.) I told her yes, I still had both three-ring binders of our handwritten pages. She had lost or tossed out her copy, as had Nancy. Sara begged me to write it up and email it to her and Nancy, so we could see what we had written. It had been so long since we looked at it that none of us even recalled what the story was about!

I agreed and began to transcribe the pages. It took a couple of weeks and we all took great delight in reliving our story. The last chapter, written in 1982, left the story hanging, so we decided to map out a conclusion to the adventure. That was in 2012—thirty years after we initially stopped writing. I had so much fun revisiting the project and writing my portion of the conclusion, I began to wonder if this was my next job. I rediscovered my love of fiction writing. I asked Nancy and Sara if I could try and whip this story into shape to get it published. They gave me their blessings.

My head was popping with ideas for the sequel and as I polished and corrected mistakes, my depression lifted. When Ravenswood accepted our book for publication in 2016, we were all thrilled.

I recently asked Sara why, after thirty years, she suddenly felt compelled to ask me if I still had our book? We honestly had not even talked about it for all that time. She didn’t have an answer for me, but I think I do: This is what I am meant to be doing now. And the Powers that Be worked through my best friend to get it started. Book two, The Hunt for Winter, is ready, and book three is being polished as I write this.

When I lost my TV job, I thought it was the end of my career—I feared I would “retire” at 55. Now, I know that the dead end was just a detour, and that there’s always another chapter for me.

KC Cowan has spent her life working in the media, as a reporter for KGW-TV, KPAM-AM and KXL-FM radio, and as original host and story producer for an arts program on Oregon Public Television. In addition to Journey to Wizards’ Keep: Book One in the Irene, Nan and Kay saga, KC is also the author of “The Riches of a City,” the history of Portland. She and her husband, Glenn, split their time between Portland, Oregon and Tucson, Arizona.

Sara Cole is an officer with Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, where she is the Crime Prevention Coordinator. Sara provides public outreach to citizens on topics such as Neighborhood Watch, ID Theft and Personal Safety. She also serves on many community coalitions, and is a board member of the Crime Prevention Association of Oregon. Sara is married and spends much of her free time in her garden and enjoying her two grandchildren.


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