F: Flower, Sara. Author of By the Sword.
Today we have a quick interview with author and fashionista Sara Flower, who has penned a fantasy novel called By the Sword.
What came to you first: The story or the characters? Great question! Well, the two main characters – Talya and Jalarn – had been created in my mind a little bit before I started the story. Once By the Sword‘s premise started to form, I knew that this was the perfect plot for them.
What was your favorite part of creating the Malinorian Empire and the world of By the Sword? Gosh, fantasy is so much fun to write. I definitely enjoyed the formation of the Malinorian Empire, because it symbolizes a lot of things that still suppress people around the world today such as marrying girls off very young or forcing children into a life of violence. For Sanctus, it was fun to create a free country that had an elected queen – the polar opposite of Malinor.
Are any of your characters based on people in your life? Often characters in my books are inspired by someone I know, but for some reason all of the characters in By the Sword were not based on anyone I know or have met. A lot of them were formed out of various characters from books and movies.
What were some of your inspirations for the story? Wayne Thomas Batson’s The Door Within series really inspired me to complete a young adult fantasy novel. I also wanted to write something where the villain, Jalarn, is redeemed. Human equality is also very close to my heart so those undertones were also prevalent in the book. Music is a very big source of inspiration for my books. Red in particular fueled the story line.
What is you favorite scene in this story?I would have to say it is when Talya and Jalarn meet again in Hunter Forest which ends in her remembering that haunting vision.
Do you plan to continue writing about Talya, Jalarn, and the By the Sword world? I do have a story started that is not a direct sequel, but it will have Talya in it for sure. The book is a spin-off of sorts. I plan to have it out next year.
Are you working on any other novels? I am working on a supernatural thriller which will be out this summer and then a dark fantasy in the fall.
What is your favorite book of the past year? I read When Heaven Weeps Again– a supernatural thriller by Ted Dekker. I just love the character of Helen, a hippe that struggles with a drug addiction. You just can’t help cheering for her during the whole book.
Do you have advice for aspiring writers? Write what you love – don’t worry too much about the market. If you have a busy schedule, I find setting time aside in the morning helps you start the day off right. No matter what happens that day, you can rest assured that you got to escape into your story earlier. 🙂
About By the Sword
Title: By the Sword
Author: Sara Flower
Genre: Fantasy, Young-adult
Publisher: Violet Sword Publishing
Seventeen-year-old Talya’s main goal is to bring down the Malinorian Empire. And Jalarn, the empire’s prodigy general, is at the top of her list of enemies to kill. Not only has Jalarn murdered Talya’s king, he’s almost killed her. Twice.
But things don’t go as Talya planned when a visiting prophet sends her on a mission to the highly feared Hunter Forest. It is there that she must gain the allegiance of the forest’s inhabitants before Jalarn and his men do.
Then, memories of a haunting vision resurface when Talya comes face to face with Jalarn. She makes a rash decision that sends her down a path she never imagined she would follow.
An Excerpt from By the Sword
Jalarn could sense that the sword maiden was in the forest. The feeling had intensified after he had finished his meal. He left his men to their games and walked through the dark forest in search of her. She was most likely there to sway the giants’ allegiance before he got to them – the fool. It would be the last time that she would get in his way. She would not escape him this time.
“Show me where she is, lord. I will not fail to kill her for you this time.”
Jalarn’s eyes adjusted to the dimly lit woods. He would find her. He would not sleep until her blood soaked the ground.
He came to a clearing. No sign of her. He backed up and went the other way. He found one set of human tracks. They were definitely not a giant’s. He followed them. It had to be her foot prints. No one would choose to enter that place alone unless they were crazy or forced to.
Why had she come to Hunter Forest by herself? She was asking for death being in the same forest as him. Like a hungry predator stalking his prey, Jalarn knew that he would soon kill her. And then he could finally forget about her.
Author Sara Flower
Sara is a twenty-something Canadian who has enjoyed writing stories since kindergarten. She likes good music & inspiring films, which fuel her creativity. She also happens to be something of a fitness nut and fashion is her passion.
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