Monday, July 22, 2013

A Writer’s Retrospective AAD Spotlight with Phillipa Ballantine

A Writer’s Retrospective

So I’ve reached the end of road…well at least for the novels…with the Books of the Order. Geist, Spectyr, Wrayth and Harbinger. They comprise four books and a significant chunk of my writing life, so I feel it’s OK to get a little thoughtful about it.

I began writing Geist while I was in Europe, strangely enough on a rather rough boat ride to the Orkney Isles at the top of Scotland.

Coincidentally, it was a rough part of my life, full of scary changes, but it was also exhilarating because there were so many chances in that change. Sorcha was the first character who sprang into my mind, a powerful, prickly woman who had been moulded by being so powerful from an early age.

She needed a foil, and I guess the childhood TV shows finally did something useful to me. The idea of a seasoned cop getting stuck with the wet-behind the ears rookie is pretty much a staple…but I hadn’t seen it done much in the fantasy genre.

So Merrick was born, the calming, reasonable force that might just keep Sorcha in check.
The Rossin and Raed were born together; one a fierce expression of the supernatural, the other a charming rogue.

So I had my characters and together we set off.

I don’t recall finishing the book because it happened so quickly, nor do I remember much of what my agent Laurie McLean thought of Geist…but I do recall the morning I woke up to the news that Ace Books and particularly Danielle Stockley had liked it enough to take a chance.
Because I was living in New Zealand then, the timezones meant I woke up, checked my emails, and honestly thought for a moment that I was dreaming. I had to take a little time to make sure that my eyes were open and I was reading what I was reading. I was excited, elated, but also kind of nervous. Now, after all the attempts I had my shot at a New York publishing deal.

Luckily, I found I had a solid, kindly editor in Danielle, that was happy to lead me through the process, and even better she loved my story almost as much as I did. They had signed me initially for a two book contract, but within weeks of Geist being published in 2010, they signed me up for another two books. I was just plain excited then…I’d get to tell the whole story I had always imagined.

When I handed in the final edits on Harbinger to Danielle told me that as she finished she had a tear in her eye. That was when I realized it was going to be OK, and this journey had been worthwhile.

Now, I can’t wait for the book to be out there, and take the readers with Sorcha, Merrick, Raed, and even the Rossin to the final endgame I always had in mind.

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Coffee and Characters 

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Marsha A Moore

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Sapphyria's Book Reviews

July 18 Interview 
Laurie's Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews 

July 18 Spotlight
My Paranormal Book Review

July 19 Guest blog
Romance on a Budget

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Beverly @ The Wormhole

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Fang-tastic Books

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Fangs, Wands & Fairy Dust

July 23 Guest blog
Urban Fantasy Investigations

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Musings of Mistress of the Dark Path 

July 25 Guest blog

July 25 Interview
Urban Girl Reader – 

July 26 Guest blog
Buffy's Ramblings

July 29 Interview
Simply Infatuated

July 29 Spotlight
Musings and Ramblings – 

July 30 Guest blog
Tynga's Reviews 

July 30 Guest blog
Dangerous Romance

July 30 Spotlight
happy tails and tales

Philippa Ballantine

Release date July 30th

Book Description:

The Deacons of the Order are all that stand between the wicked spirits of the Otherside and the innocent citizens of the Empire. They are sworn to protect humanity, even when they cannot protect themselves…

After the Razing of the Order, Sorcha Faris, one of the most powerful Deacons, is struggling to regain control of the runes she once wielded. The Deacons are needed more desperately than ever. The barrier between the world of the living and the world of the dead is weakening, and the Emperor has abandoned his throne, seeking to destroy those he feels have betrayed him.

Though she is haunted by the terrible truth of her past, Sorcha must lead the charge against the gathering hordes of geists seeking to cross into the Empire. But to do so, she will need to manipulate powers beyond her understanding—powers that may prove to be her undoing…

About the Author:

Born in Wellington, New Zealand, Philippa has always had her head in a book. For this she blames her father who thought Lord of the Rings was suitable bedtime reading for an eight year old. At the age of thirteen she began writing fantasy stories for herself.

She first earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Political Science and then a Bachelor of Applied Science in Library and Information Science. So soon enough she found herself working in the magical world of libraries where she stayed for over a decade.

Her first professional sale was in 1997, and since then she has gone on to produce mostly novel length fiction. In 2006 she became New Zealand’s first podcast novelist, and she has voiced and produced Weaver’s Web, Chasing the Bard, Weather Child and Digital Magic as podiobooks. Her podcasts have won both a Parsec Award and a Sir Julius Vogel award.

Philippa is the author of the Books of the Order series with Ace- Geist, Spectyr, Wrayth and Harbinger coming in July 2013.

She is also the co-author of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series with Tee Morris. Phoenix Rising debuted in May 2011 and The Janus Affair came out in May 2012. Phoenix Rising won the Airship Award for best written steampunk, and was the number eight best Science Fiction book of 2011 according to The Janus Affair was the seventh most popular science fiction book of 2012 on The series continues with Dawn’s Early Light in December 2013.

In addition she is also the author of the Shifted World series with Pyr Books, with the first book Hunter and Fox released in June 2012, and the second Kindred and Wings scheduled for August 2013.

When not writing or podcasting, Philippa loves reading, gardening, and whenever possible traveling. With her husband Tee and her daughter, she is looked after by a mighty clowder of five cats in Manassas, Virginia.


Twitter: philippajane

1 comment:

Ilene said...

This is fantastic!