Beautiful Books Link-Up; God of Wind and Fire

I decided to jump into the tail-end of a link up that I found over at Paper Fury, and celebrate my resolution of plot problems by talking a little bit about God of Wind and Fire.


What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
It was 2013 or '14 when I fist saw the picture of the woman who would one day become Altan. It was titled, simply, 'Israeli woman with dreads' and try though I have, I haven't found any more information about her. She isn't really what most people would consider beautiful, but she's intense and definitely compelling, and after my first look at her, I knew I wanted to write a story about her. So I started playing around with a couple of settings I thought that I could place her in, and assembled a cast of characters to accompany her. Then one day, as I was listening to one of my favorite Mongolian bands and looking at the images I'd assembled, the two ideas merged, and God of Wind and Fire was born.

Describe what your novel is about!
Fundamentally, it's about each individual character's quest to obtain honor, and how that affects their families, their culture, and their politics. It's also about what happens when differing world views and religious beliefs encounter and collide...and sometimes erupt in a rather volcanic manner.

What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!
It's kind of Louis L'Amour meets ancient mythology in my fantasy equivalent of Mongolia. You can construe from that what you like.

Introduce us to each of your characters!
But, you see, I already have! If you go take a stroll through the posts of my God of Wind and Fire tag over there on the sidebar, you'll find all sorts of information about everyone who's important. 
Yep. I'm making you work for it.

How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)
Truth be told, I am still figuring this out. My M.O. so far has been to assemble a cast of characters and a setting that intrigues me, and then slap together some form of a plot as an excuse to get to know the characters better. I then proceed to develop my characters with gleeful abandon, until I'm about half-way through the book, at which point, I realize that the first plot won't do at all, and I have to take a painful hiatus while I figure out where I went wrong and how to fix it. To say that I'm a character-driven writer is putting it lightly. If I could just sit around and write dialogue all day without anything else happening, I would be pretty happy. 

What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
At this point? Getting over the half-way mark. I'm currently teetering on the brink, and it's awkward.

List 3 things about your novel’s setting.
Harsh. Beautiful. Populated by hot-tempered people running about with horses and a variety of pointy objects. 

What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?
Altan would disagree with this, of course, but she's really the one hindering the realization of her own well as the goals of a few other people I could mention. 

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
I'll make this brief, so as not to spoil anything:
Altan is the sort of character you might admire because of the cool stuff she can do, or feel sorry for because she just doesn't get it. But you can't really admire her, as a person. That's all going to change.
Bataar is going to have to grow a lot and make a lot of tough choices.
And together, they might get up to some pretty amazing things. 

What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?
The two biggest overarching themes are Salvation and Transformation. Those are two very big words...I'll leave your imagination to ponder on how they play out.
I'd love to leave my reader with that quiet feeling you get when you finish a book that satisfies you, and you want to spend the next few days pondering how and why. I want God of Wind and Fire to be one of those books that pulls you back for a re-read every year or so, and gives you something new to ponder each time.
Yes, yes, I know that's a tall order for me, the writer, to fulfill. Fortunately, I love a challenge.


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