Saturday, June 18, 2016

Alen's War


I have the highest pleasure and honor of being allowed to proof-read my friend, Hannah's, book! You've heard me mention her writing accomplishments and I rave about her writing blog. She is a wonderful fantasy writer who will suck you into her amazing world of nobility, adventure, and heart-felt trials. Plus, to put the cherry on top of the ice cream - Magic! Allow me to share the synopsis. (That word sounds as funny as it looks. I promise you, me and parents spent a good 10 minutes saying it over and over.)

Alen, the son of the king of Agran, is given a simple secret task: find an insurrectionist named Galer and bring him back quietly to the capital for trial. Yet in a series of tragic mistakes Alen sets off a full-blown rebellion, abandons a burning city, and betrays his own father. He flees and six months later finds himself on a raiding ship, killing and stealing for his life, full of guilt.

When Alen finally returns to his father, he repents of all he has done; yet Agran is still at war, and she will be out to have Alen's head for a wereguild. His only hope for acquittal is to do his part and capture Galer once and for all, so Alen recruits Brandis, an old companion from his raiding days, and Turomar, an ill-disposed surveyor with a brain for strategy. All three are dedicated and competent to find the troublemaker, but their own dark secrets haunt them at every turn and foil their plans.

Best of all, Hannah has the most wonderful balance of humor and dark trials. I loved every sentence of it! There are few fantasy books that I enjoy, and fewer still those that I will recommend others read. Her characters have a depth of personality and their lives quickly become your own if you're not careful to remember your simply reading a book. (But by all means, get sucked into the story. It's worth the ride!)
But please, allow me to introduce her to you! I was able to interview her and will share it with you! (And if you want to learn more about her characters you can check out her blog Here. I didn't want to create a mile long blog post.)

                                             Q:   What inspired you to start writing?

Hannah: It was mostly other authors and stories. Tolkien, Lewis, Stowe, Zusak, and countless others wrote books that have impacted the world to this day, and I knew I could get in on that mission. I could tell stories; why not write them down and share them with others?

Q:   In two words, describe your character's main attitude.

Hannah: Well… this is certainly easier than it would be for all my characters in Son of Ren. (I apologize in advance for all the “isms.”)
Alen: Loyal trepidation
Brandis: Brave utilitarianism
Turomar: Competent individualism
Galer: Bold idealism
Reyis: Calm circumspection
Arila: Wise loyalty
Tian: Humorous camaraderie

Q:   I’ve noticed you favor the medieval/mythological settings. Why?

Hannah: I honestly can't give one definitive reason. I have always enjoyed traditional fantasy stories like LotR and Narnia, and it seemed a natural next step to write my own. On the other hand, while writing I like to do whatever I want when I feel like it, and medieval/mythological worlds offer that flexibility. I can put Napoleon Bonaparte on a dragon whenever I like, and nobody can complain. 

Q:   Is there a character that you would say shares your characteristics?

Hannah: Lots of them do. Tom Hiddleston once said that acting is like playing a piano; everyone has all the keys, but each person or character plays on a different octave. I am not an actor (nor a Marvel fan, for the record!) but it's the same way with writing. Every character gets a little piece of my personality. Turomar, Elkay, and Reyis are probably most like me- but then I can even act like Aldal after eating too much sugar. 

Q:   What was the easiest part to write? What about the hardest?

Hannah: I found it really easy to write the dramatic scenes or turning points of the story. When something with large stakes happens or characters discover a great secret, I rarely have trouble writing what ensues. However, writing the battles was tricky; I had to keep a nice balance between action and drama without making anything too choppy or telling rather than showing. 

Q:  Who is your favorite character?

Hannah: Ever? Wow. Brandis is probably my current favorite; I would love to write a book all about him and his mysterious, adventurous life. Of course, I might change my favorite when I write the next story… 

 Q:  Simply for the fun of it. If you could play any character in any book or movie, which one would it be in what book/movie?

Hannah: Blimey, I don't know. I would love to play Yavanna in The Silmarillion because she is such an intriguing mythological figure. On the other hand, I would enjoy playing a villain like Jadis or the Snow Queen. Then again, Elizabeth Bennett might be fun. 

Q:  Which part of your book do you like the best?

Hannah: My favorite part to both write and read is the first act, the one with the raiders. All the narrative just turned out so nicely. It's no secret that I like writing about icy wind, salt-seas, fire, and Viking ships- not to mention Brandis. 

Q:  Why did you start writing?

Hannah: Pardon my double negative, but I can't not write. God wired me to write the way He made trees to grow and birds to fly. Whether I am feeling stressed, excited, outraged, or silly, I can find an outlet for those thoughts and feelings in a way that will help others learn truth. 

Q:  Where can we get your book once it’s published?

Hannah: Always Amazon. You can get it in either print or eBook format- or both, if that's your kind of thing.

Q:  Do you have any parting thoughts for us?
Hannah: I would not dare add to your exhaustive genius, E.J! :) I think you have asked about everything. Thank you for the chance to rant about a few of my favorite things.


  1. Hey, I can't believe I missed this! Thanks for the interview and other lovely rantings about the story. :)

    1. Anything for you Hannah! Your book is truly amazing!!!! <3 <3