Monday, September 29, 2014

The Emissary by Kristal Shaff Interview & Giveaway

Title: The Emissary
Publication date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Kristal Shaff

For hundreds of years, dark clouds covered the skies of Adamah, and an ageless king ruled. Those who emerged with one of six extraordinary Shay powers were forced into the king’s army, an unmatched force with inhuman Strength, Speed, Accuracy, Perception, Empathy, and Healing. With the army behind him, the king—a man who wields all six abilities—was invincible and unquestioned in his rule. To most, serving the king was an honor. But for others, it was a fate worse than death.

When seventeen-year-old Nolan Trividar witnesses the transformation of his brother from kind to cruel after entering the king’s army, he vows never to follow the same path.

So when his own power—the Shay of Accuracy—comes upon him at the Tournament of Awakening, Nolan conceals his emergence instead of joining the king’s ranks. For years, he traitorously hides his power, pretending to be only a gifted scribe. But when Nolan comes face -to-face with a deserter, the man discovers his secret.

To evade detection and a death sentence, Nolan escapes with the deserter and flees into a night filled with dark creatures who steal both powers and souls. He joins a resistance, a village hidden deep in the forest, filled with others who secretly wield a Shay. But his peace is short-lived when they discover that the dark clouds, undead creatures, their own decreasing powers, and even the king, are all connected.


Kristal Shaff grew up with books (and used to drive her mom crazy when she wouldn’t leave the library); her first job was even shelving books at the library. She loves anything creative, and you can often find her exploring strange and fantastical worlds in her choices of movies and fantasy fiction. Kristal resides in Iowa with her farmer husband, numerous pets, and 3 awesome  kids (plus one more on the way though the journey of adoption). When she isn’t writing, she is a professional face painter who enjoys making children smile.


Where are you from?
I am originally from Indiana. While attending college, I met my husband. He started working on the family farm in Iowa once he graduated, and I moved out to be with him.

Tell us your latest news?
My latest news? My book is coming out! Woot! It’s been a long journey, so I’m grateful for this day to finally get here.

When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing in 3rd grade, when I wrote plays. Then I would talk my teachers into having the class perform them. One was an Easter play. The other was an adaptation to a Charlie Brown book. I wish I still had those scripts!
I gave up writing until recently when I read the book ERAGON, by Christopher Paolini. I found out that he was only a teen when he first published. It inspired me to try, as well.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably when I started establishing a writing habit, and eventually finished my first draft.

What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book is THE EMISSARY. As I said early, reading ERAGON inspired me.

Do you have a specific writing style?
I tend to get a big picture of what I want, plot out several events, and then fill in the blanks as I write. I’ve both mapped out the whole thing and also “winged it”. I find that I work best with the combination of the two.

How did you come up with the title?
I wrote the whole book and finished a 2nd draft, and I still didn’t have a title. I was chatting on the phone with a friend; she gave me the idea of using “THE EMISSARY”.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Not really. That is one great thing about writing fantasy. I can’t necessarily say that gaining superpowers is a life lesson. There are several aspects, but I’m not sure they are things I want to share. A book means different things to different people. I would rather people organically find what is speaking to them. It might not even be something I’d planned.

How much of the book is realistic?
There are aspects of real life, such as family dysfunction and overcoming abuse.  Most of it is fantasy.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Umm.. There are moments, but nothing specifically based off a person, no.

What books have most influenced your life?
Dr. Suess was the first book I read on my own. So he will always have a special place to me. THE HOBBIT was the first high fantasy book I read, forced upon me by my boyfriend in college (who is now my husband). I went from reading historical romance to fantasy, though there were glimmers of fantasy in my earlier reading interests, such CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. It was a favorite of mine around 3rd grade.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I love Brandon Sanderson. He isn’t a mentor, per se, but I strive to write as well as him.

What book are you reading now?
I’m in the middle of two books, actually.
AVIAN  by Nicole Conway
THE NAME OF THE WIND, by Patrick Rothfuss

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I really enjoyed the SELECTION series, by Kiera Cass. Quite different than my other, current reading. Light romance, for a nice change. It’s fun to switch up what you read.
I also have really enjoyed Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles, especially the most recent one, CRESS. Can’t wait for the next one to come out.

What are your current projects?
I recently turned in the sequel to THE EMISSARY, and I’m anxiously waiting to hear back from my editor. I’m also in the process of writing a MG speculative fiction based off of Native American mythology. It’s called LIFE CHARMER.

What would you like my readers to know?

My protagonist is NOT my favorite character. And I’m not going to tell you who it is. You’ll have to read and see if you can guess. :)

Author Links:  Website  | Twitter Facebook | Goodreads

Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of The Emissary by Kristal Shaff (INT)
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

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