The Jericho Prophecy by Fiona Tarr

I talked with Fiona Tarr, author of historical fantasy novels with strong mystical, spiritual and theological themes. Her newest release is The Jericho Prophecy, Book 1 of The Eternal Realm.
Synposis of The Jericho Prophecy:

The battle for divine power rages within the Eternal Realm.

As the conflict escalates a prophecy is born that will set god against god amidst the mortal world below.

When the young priestess Rahab saves two foreigners from execution, she sets in motion a sequence of events that could see the death of everyone she knows and loves.

The future of humanity hangs in the balance as two bloodlines converge to battle over the city of Jericho. Now the Goddess Asherah must protect the prophecy and ensure both ancestral lines survive.

If either bloodline dies, the Host of Heaven will continue to battle for eternity….

Fiona, your book looks exciting!  Tell us 3 fun facts about your writing history

I am the great-granddaughter of a fairly well known Australian literary author – George Johnston, whose book My Brother Jack was made into a mini-series more than once for television here in Australia.

I rushed my first book onto Amazon without a professional editor. It took me six years to get that first novel finished and I was both excited and impatient. It was my mum who told me how terrible it was (her grammar is way better than mine) and she re-edited for me, but eventually I had a professional editor go over it before releasing it back onto the market.

When I write, I see the scenes play out in my mind like a movie. The world around me literally disappears even with external noise.

Describe your writing style in 3 words

  • Fast paced (that’s really two words but I can hyphenate it if you like J)
  • Honest
  • Deep

Name 3 of your literary influences

  • David Gemmell. His writing style continues to influence my work. I love the way he saw people, warts and all, and found in them (through his characters) the good and idealistic part.
  • Raymond E Feist
  • George RR Martin

If I picked an author from another genre it would be Kathy Reichs – love her forensic murder mysteries and the thriller aspect. Mystery/Thrillers are my fall back genre.

How long do you spend researching a novel?

I spend at least six months drafting an outline & researching key points in my books, but I also back up all my writing as I go with continued research. You can’t write bible based fantasy without some sort of sensitivity to the theology behind what is still one of the world’s most sold books.

Do you view writing as a spiritual practice?

Absolutely! I leave reality when I write and when I read back my work and I often feel like I don’t even recall writing it. It is as though I was struck with some sort of revelation (I use that word in its non biblical sense) while writing. I totally love that feeling.

Tell us about your latest release

The Jericho Prophecy is my first book in a new series. Each book will be a standalone novel loosely based in an Old Testament story, re-written in a contemporary way. The concept behind this new series, named The Eternal Realm, is that humanity is living their lives at the mercy of beings (Angels, Gods) more powerful than themselves. These powerful divine creatures are waging a war against each other we simply have no understanding of.

I love writing stories based on the Old Testament historical writings. It doesn’t matter if you believe them or not, they are full of turmoil and make awesome backdrops for fantasy stories.

Here is what some of my early readers are saying about The Jericho Prophecy:

“A truly wonderful read with the plot very skilfully woven throughout the book.” Claire Simpson

“A tantalising tapestry of drama, power and faith woven between the worlds of mortal and divine.” Rachel French.

For a short time, The Jericho Prophecy is only .$.99 on Amazon and Books2Read.  Get your copy now!

Gaywyck, a Gay Gothic Novel

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I read Gaywyck, by Vincent Virga, because of a mention in  an article where it was described as the granddaddy of gay gothic fiction. First published in 1980, it has been out of print, but is now available both in paperback and Kindle versions. I was curious enough to order it, and once begun, found the book hard to down.  The writing is dated, but lush and beautiful.  I love tales told in the first person and the author manages it masterfully.

Robert Whyte is our guide through the troubled world of Gaywyck, a turn of the century mansion on Long Island, the ancestral home of Donough Gaylord, who hires seventeen-year-old Robert as the librarian for his vast literary holdings. Robert is a brilliant, sensitive youth, with an unforgiving father and a mother confined to a home for the mentally ill. When he refuses to attend college, his father tells him he must leave his house. Shortly after, a letter arrives offering him the position of librarian at Gaywyck.

At the huge mansion overlooking the sea, Robert is enthralled by the luxury, the art, the books, and the presence of melancholy but kindly Donough.  His father, the elder Gaylord, and Donough’s twin brother, Cormack, were killed in a fire thirteen years before. Now Donough runs the family business, but it seems the tragedy robbed him of the ability to enjoy his life or open himself to love. When he meets the beautiful and impressionable young Robert, everything changes.

Gaywyck is a coming of age story as Robert matures from a naïve student who sees the world through a rose-colored romantic haze into a man who comes to understand the contradictions of the human heart. It is a romance as the friendship between Robert and Donough moves through infatuation into an adult relationship.  It is a mystery as Robert slowly unravels the multi layered history of Donough’s early life at Gaywyck, uncovering horror after horror.  The twists and turns of the plot are more complex than the labyrinth that imprisoned the Minotaur, and although the novel proceeds in a leisurely fashion,  providing the reader with an education on art, literature and philosophy along the way, it picks up speed rapidly as the conclusion draws near.

This book is populated by many extremely odd people, most of whom I would not care to encounter, but the two protagonists, the trusting Robert and the moody Donough, both won my heart. Robert’s initial naiveté was endearing and as he slowly realized the extent of the evil he had stepped into, his struggle to maintain his integrity while integrating the truth of Donough’s past was very real.  Donough slowly comes out of his self-imposed isolation so he can engage with Robert and face his past, forsaking the safety that his wealth and position provide for him.

The novel is overwrought, yes, as are the characters, but the writing is excellent and the journey worth the trip.

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Color Yourself Creative!

Color Yourself Creative!

The word is out!

Creativity goes up when stress goes down!

It also turns out that subjective feelings of happiness depend less on what we have and more on what we do.

Who doesn’t want to feel excited at the start of every day? Satisfied with the result of the day’s effort? In harmony with the impulses that spring from within?

So how can we increase our satisfaction with our lives?

Many people bemoan their lack of inspiration. I’m not creative, they say, all the while wishing they could be.

Others are sure they don’t have time. It’s true that we’re all busy. I meet people who say, wistfully, after the kids grow up, after I start making more money, after I retire, THEN I’ll do my creative work.

But what if your inner muse grows weary of waiting? What if your ideas fade to dust because you haven’t put the energy into making them real?

Creativity is like a garden. It you don’t water it, it dries up.  It doesn’t take a lot of water. A regular sprinkle is better than the occasional downpour.

The good news is, you can be creative now. Without quitting your job. Without getting another degree. Without committing to writing a breakout novel or painting the next modern masterpiece.

All you have to do is give yourself the time and space to relax. To let your creative impulses come forth. Creative work comes from play. From downtime. From daydreaming. From noodling with ideas, words, pictures. From giving yourself a gift that only you can give. Permission to be who you are. 

We all have creative gifts. For some, that means serious writing, painting, music, design. For others, it means craftwork. Or nurturing a beautiful environment. Or growing healthy vegetables and beautiful plants. Doesn’t matter where your talents and impulses take you. What matters is that you follow them.

Easy to say, you might sneer, and you’re right. It is easy to say. BUT, it’s also easy to do.

Start small. Allot a short period of time on a regular basis when your creative self can roam free. Turn off the phone, the computer, shut the door and be with yourself.

You could meditate. Read inspirational material. Draw. Write in your journal. Or sit and listen to yourself breathe. Or you could evoke your inner creative self with color!

Color Your Way to Your Creative Self

A great way to relax in your creative time and get those juices flowing is to get an adult coloring book, some crayons or colored pencils and have at it! It’s amazing how relaxing it is to color beautiful designs that an artist has produced. The proliferation of these books speaks to how effective they are, both in reducing stress and promoting creativity.

Books with almost any theme that interests you are available on Amazon. I’ve listed a few below, and there are many others.

Have you tried coloring as part of your creative process?  I’d love to hear about your experiences.

Adult Coloring Book for Stress Relief

Adult Coloring Book Stress Relieving Animal Designs

The Secret Garden Coloring Book

Color Me Calm