Author Interview: Melinda Brasher

Author Interview: Melinda Brasher

Author Interview: Melinda Brasher

Far Knowing by Melinda Brasher

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication Date: December 30th 2013
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Synopsis:

After the Chaos Mage traps their mentor within a deadly spell, two apprentice mages set off to find and defeat this menace to the kingdom. But how can these inexperienced young women possibly track down and battle the sort of man who destroys villages with summoned wind or fire just for fun? They've learned no aggressive magic and never tested themselves against a real enemy. Kallinesha, still an apprentice after seven years, struggles against her lack of raw magical power, compensating instead with discipline and study. Daughter of the High Commander, driven relentlessly by the duty in her blood, she knows they can defeat the Chaos Mage and safeguard the kingdom. Ista, a commoner and daughter of a city baker, harbors no such delusions. But after only three years of study, her power burns much brighter than Kallinesha's. The task before them terrifies her, but she loves her mentor too much to let her waste away under the Chaos Mage's spell. Not if there's the slimmest chance of saving her. The two have never been able to get along while studying magic. Will they be able to work together now when so much is at stake?

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Interview

1. Why did you choose to write in the Fantasy genre?

I’ve always enjoyed reading YA fantasy, especially the more realistic, character-driven variety, and I follow the writing rule, “Don’t write what you know.  Write what you love.”

 

2. Are you interested in writing in any other genres or will you stick to magic and fantasy?

I write a lot of genres.  My science fiction and contemporary short stories are published in various magazines.  Leaving Home, my collection of short work, contains flash fiction thrillers, travel narratives, re-told fairy tales, and even poetry.  For kicks, I just wrote a mini romance.

 

3. What type of magic system can we expect to read about in Far-Knowing?

Nearly a quarter of the population possesses a faint glimmer of magic, enough to enchant a fussy baby to sleep, or sense strong emotions in their loved ones.  Only naturally gifted and well-trained mages can do serious magic, however.  In one scene, Kalli needs the guards to see what they want to see on her fake identity papers.  To cast the enchantment, she uses gold dust, a hair from a beautiful maiden, and a bit of dried beef—all containing the essence of things that the guards might want to see.   Much magic is based on perception, so it’s a tricky art.  And of course, not everything goes right, especially for our characters.

 

4. Although I am sure you love all of your characters equally, is their one character from Far-Knowing that you like a little bit more than the others?

I like Kalli.  She’s a little prickly, but she’s really dedicated to what she believes to be right, and never stops fighting for it.

 

5. Have you always known you wanted to be an author?

Yes.  Even before I really started writing stories, I invented them in my head and acted them out with friends.  I still have folders full of cringe-worthy material I wrote in pencil, in a kid’s careful handwriting, when I was in fifth or sixth grade.

 

6. Is there a romance in Far-Knowing, and if so, what kind of relationship is it?

There’s just the beginning of some romance, but it’s not the main plot.  For a bit more romance, wait for AGRILON’S ARROW, my next fantasy.

 

7. What is the most challenging aspect of the writing/publishing process?

Promotion.  I’m not very good at selling myself.

 

8. What is the most rewarding aspect of the writing/publishing process?

The sheer creativity of the process is rewarding, but I admit I also like the product.  When I re-read something I’ve written, and get so caught up I forget I’m supposed to be editing, it’s a real sense of accomplishment.  I also love it when the characters do things without my permission.

 

9. Without giving spoilers, of course, what can you share with us about Far-Knowing that the synopsis does not cover?

I think readers will really like the differences between Kalli and Ista, the two mage apprentices from completely different backgrounds, who don’t like each other much, but who have to work together.  I’ve always been fascinated by how people can see the same situation in completely different ways, and I’ve brought that out in the book.

 

10. I like to play a small game at the end of an interview. I will start the sentence, and you finish it however you like!

(A) I am happiest when…I’m surrounded by trees or water…or both.

(B) I wish there were 8 days in the week instead of just 7 so I could spend more time…writing.

(C) People might be surprised if they knew I…speak a little Czech..

(D) I’m not trying to brag, but I’m pretty good at…board games and card games.

(E) The world would be a better place if… everyone lived by the motto, “First, do no harm.”

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Author Biography

About Melinda Brasher

Melinda Brasher spends her time writing, traveling, and teaching English abroad. She loves the sound of glaciers calving and the smell of old books. Her short fiction appears in Ellipsis Literature and Art, Spark Anthology, Intergalactic Medicine Show, and others. Check out Far-Knowing, her YA fantasy novel, or visit her online at melindabrasher.com

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