Saturday, March 30, 2013

Interview with Rayne Hall

Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?

I'm passionate about writing, especially fantasy and horror fiction.  I love reading fantasy -  magic, made-up worlds, mythical creatures - so I had a go at writing it, and got hooked. The dark aspects of the human psyche are fascinating, and I enjoy exploring them in fiction, which gives my fantasy a dark slant and sometimes tilts it towards horror.

What is it about the paranormal that fascinates you so much?  

The ambiguity of what is and isn't real intrigues me. What if what we believe to be real is not?  What if creatures we humans believe to have invented - vampires, werewolves, dragons - really exist? 

What if demons are real? To what extent are they manifestations of the darkness of our own soul?

Is magic real? Although most people in the modern western world deny its existence, most humans all over the world throughout history have believed. Who is right? What if magic is a scientific phenomenon that's still waiting to be discovered? If magic is real, how might it work? What skills might be needed to harness its force? What dangers lie in its abuse?

The fiction possibilities are delicious.

What inspired you to write this book?

I was staying in a ger (yurt) at the edge of the Gobi desert in Mongolia when I the idea struck. It was a vague idea at first - two people who hate each other must become allies to survive, and although they have previously betrayed and harmed each other they must now depend on each other and learn to trust.

The novel also explores the theme of how we're not responsible for what fate deals us, but we're responsible for how we deal with it.

Further inspiration also came from ancient cultures (especially Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Persians and Hittites), from places where I've lived and travelled (in Central Asia, North Africa, Middle East) - including, of course, Mongolia.

Please tell us about Storm Dancer

Storm Dancer is a dark epic fantasy novel, a story of war, ambition, demons, prophecy, magic, courage, redemption and sacrifice.

Do you have a special formula for creating characters' names? Do you try to match a name with a certain meaning to attributes of the character or do you search for names popular in certain time periods or regions?

Storm Dancer is set in a fantasy world inspired by the Bronze Age period and the Middle Eastern region, so I used traditional Arabic, Turkish, Hebrew and Persian names,  and also some ancient historical names. Some names I made up, and some I used because the characters told me so.

Was one of your characters more challenging to write than another?

Dahoud is a troubled hero with a dark past. He seeks to atone for the terrible deeds he committed as a siege commander, and to build a new life of humility and peace. Ruling the land he once devastated, how can he keep the secret of who he really is? Possessed by a demon that tempts him back into his old ways, how long can he resist the lure? Dahoud fights to protect his people from war's violence - but how can he shield the woman he loves from the evil inside him?

Dahoud was challenging to write, because he didn't reveal his true nature from the start. I had almost finished the first draft before I found out that he was possessed by a demon. That changed everything, and I had to rewrite the whole book. He also pretended to be socially naive, and I believed it for a while and wrote the book accordingly, until I caught on that he had fooled me. Much later, he revealed the nature of his obsession, and finally he confessed just how dark his past was, which meant several more rewrites.

Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?

Writing Merida was fun. She's a lovely woman, warm, compassionate, serious, honest and resourceful, but also tight about principles and prudish. I had wicked fun putting her principles to the test and making her do the things she swore she would never do.

For example, when she learns bellydancing in the harem, she asserts that she would never perform in public or let men see her dance. Later, her only chance to escape captivity is by posing as a tavern entertainer and bellydance for the audience. Watching her squirm, then brace herself to push past her own boundaries was interesting. 

She is certain she would never take a human life - but then the lives of a thousand people depend on whether she kills the enemy leader. Will she do it?

Of course she swears never to forgive Dahoud for what he did to her. But perhaps she will... after she gets her own revenge.

Where can readers find you on the web?

March 1 Interview
Pembroke Sinclair 
March 2 Spotlight
Secret Southern Couture, 

March 4 Guest blog
Catherine Bybee

March 5 Spotlight
Saph's Steamy Book Reviews

March 6 Interview

March 6 Spotlight
Noelle Blakely
Share My Destiny

March 7 Spotlight
All Fantasy Worlds

March 12 Spotlight

March 13 Guest blog
Cloey's Book Reviews and Other Stuff

March 14 Spotlight 
Once Upon A Time

March 15 Guest blog 
From the Muses

March 18 Spotlight
Frankie Blooding's Bookshelf

March 19 Interview
My Sexy Escapes 

March 20 Interview
Laurie's Non-Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews  

March 21 Spotlight

March 24 Interview

March 25 Interview
Happy Tails and Tales Blog

March 28 Feature Spotlight
Musings of an Independent Artist  

March 29 Guest blog
Roxanne’s Realm

March 29 Spotlight
Bex 'n' Books

March 30 Interview
Fang-tastic Books

Storm Dancer
Rayne Hall

Genre: Dark Epic Fantasy

Publisher: Scimitar Press

ISBN: 9781465716651 Smashwords
ISBN: 1230000010279 Kobo

Number of pages:  400
Word Count: 150,000

Book Description

Demon-possessed siege commander, Dahoud, atones for his atrocities by hiding his identity and protecting women from war's violence - but can he shield the woman he loves from the evil inside him?

Principled weather magician, Merida, brings rain to a parched desert land. When her magical dance rouses more than storms, she needs to overcome her scruples to escape from danger.

Thrust together, Dahoud and Merida must fight for freedom and survival. But how can they trust each other, when hatred and betrayal burn in their hearts?

'Storm Dancer' is a dark epic fantasy. Caution: this book contains some violence and disturbing situations. Not recommended for under-16s.  British spellings.

Amazon   Kobo   Smashwords   iTunes

Note: Storm Dancer has dark elements which some readers may find disturbing. Not recommended for readers under 16, not suitable for YA blogs.

Contains British English. Some words, spellings, grammar and punctuation will be different than American English.

About Rayne Hall

Rayne Hall has published more than forty books under different pen names with different publishers in different genres, mostly fantasy, horror and non-fiction. Recent books include Storm Dancer (dark epic fantasy novel), Six Scary Tales Vol 1, 2 and 3 (mild horror stories), Six Historical Tales (short stories), Six Quirky Tales (humorous fantasy stories), Writing Fight Scenes, The World-Loss Diet and Writing Scary Scenes (instructions for authors).
She holds a college degree in publishing management and a masters degree in creative writing. Currently, she edits the Ten Tales series of multi-author short story anthologies: Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires, Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, Scared: Ten Tales of Horror, Cutlass: Ten Tales of Pirates, Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft, Spells: Ten Tales of Magic, Undead: Ten Tales of Zombies and more. 


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