*Materials & images provided by Xpresso Book Tours.
~Published: September 27th 2014
~Length: 141 Pages
~Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Secrets beget secrets. The curse that befell the Hollows clan has left them incapable of producing male offspring. To extend their bloodline, they have formed a covenant with the serpentine Ophidians, who give them children. In return, the Hollows must keep these monstrous creatures well fed, though the details of the procurement are so abominable that the truth is never revealed to the other clans. In their homeland of Matikki, they live like outcasts.
Through a series of chance discoveries, the secrets of the ancient curse unfold before a warrior named Writhren Hollow. Is her purely female clan the result of a lapse of divine providence, or are the Hollows themselves victims of an enslavement scheme?
If Writhren frees her clan from the covenant, she risks the wrath of the Ophidians and the future of her bloodline. If she keeps the truth of the curse to herself, she is a traitor to her own kind. Either way, she will suffer for what she must do.
This is not a story of redemption, but regret. This is Writhren’s story.
Annie K. Wong was born in Hong Kong and lives in Canada, in the west coast city of Vancouver, BC. She has a BA in Business Administration and Creative Writing from Houghton College as well as a Diploma in Film Studies from the University of British Columbia. Although she explored careers in advertising, television and office administration, the desire to write overtook her at the turn of the new millennium. In 2003 she earned a Post-Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing from Humber College and has been crafting stories ever since.
Her current project is a fantasy series, the prequel of which is Children of Lightning.
Connect with her and receive freebies and updates about her book and other upcoming projects.
~Rose: As a new author, what has been the most challenging part of getting your book published? What's been the most rewarding part?
~Annie: Since Children of Lightning is an ebook, publishing it was the easy part. Writing it was a bit more complicated.
I started developing the plot for a fantasy series in 2010. Two years later, I had drafted the first book in this series about a modern day hero rising against an ancient but powerful monster that threatens to destroy, not just her family, but the world. After I finished the manuscript, however, I became curious about this monster, this villain. I wanted to know more about where she came from and how she ended up being so hell-bent on massive destruction. Even though she is evil, I found it unfair to this character if I used her simply as a target for directing our disgust and fear. She needed her own story.
We don’t often think about this, but the villain makes the hero necessary. Without the villain, there will be no hero, no story. The villain initiates the attack, while the hero’s action, spectacular though it is, is often reactionary. In the fantasy genre, the villain drives the story. Having realized that, I decided to write a prequel to explore the origin of our villain in the book series, Writhen Hollow.
Writing Children of Lightning forced me to delve into the mythical land of Matikki, where Writhen Hollow came from. Since Matikki is a volcanic land where magic thrives and Writhren and her peers are not human, their culture and beliefs should be very different from ours. What colours do they associate with life and death? How do they organize themselves, govern themselves? Do they have a monarch or a warlord as a ruler? What do they use as a currency of trade? Dollar bills or magic spells? These details took a long time to take shape.
Also challenging in the creative process was finding the time to write. Developing a writing career is a full time job, and I struggle to fit that in my schedule with my other full time job – the one that gives me an income. When you’re tired after a full day’s work at the office, writing takes more than just desire and interest - it takes will. It’s hard to move from the sofa to the computer desk. Once there, my mind would remain unresponsive for the first few pages of the manuscript while I re-read what I wrote before, but slowly, the story would suck me back in. The storytelling gears in my head would start to click and turn, and soon, new details of the geographical landscape would emerge, new twists to the plot surface, all to my delight, and THAT is why I will keep on writing.
The story, as it develops, pumps adrenaline into my veins, and I am addicted to the excitement of it. Every story, every book written, bears the double helix imprint of the joy and hardship of the author. The challenge is different in every case, but the rewards it gives should be very similar – the joy of discovery (remember: the author is the book’s first reader); and the sense of achievement that adds to the sense of self-worth.
I am happy to say that writing Children of Lightning has been equal parts painful and delightful. Hope you and your readers will enjoy it.
Thanks, Annie! I hope my readers enjoy it as well =)
Children of Lightning is the origin story of Writhen Hollow, the villain in an upcoming book series.
In celebration of great villains in the sci-fi/fantasy genre, Annie K. Wong is offering for the tour giveaway gift, a copy of The Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons (ebook or print - winner's choice), as well as:
1x $50 Amazon.ca gift card
1x $100 Amazon.ca gift card
"An award-winning series from Dan Simmons, The Hyperion Cantos features one of the greatest villains ever written and a storyline spanning hundreds of years across distant galaxies. In this epic space opera, humans are threatened by their own creations, including biologically engineered post-humans, artificial intelligence supercomputers, and their constant internal wars. Amidst the violence and chaos, the protagonists search for life’s meaning through religion, poetry, romance, not to mention strife and battle.
As of June 2015, Syfy Channel is developing the first book, Hyperion, into a TV series, with one of executive producers being Bradley Cooper."
Let us know what you think of this book, and be sure to share this post and giveaway with your friends!
Thanks for visiting! =D