Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Interview, Excerpt and Giveaway: Tower of Obsidian by L.T. Getty

Published: February 4th, 2014

Description: 13+

When Kale mac Tadhg is betrayed by his Lord’s men, he is sent on an impossible quest: slay a witch in a tower, and end a people’s curse. Both Kale’s best friend and brother-in-arms Aaron Smithson and former betrothed Aoife of Westgate set out to rescue him, but their journey takes them into the uncharted waters and Northwestern Nordic colonies, to a land cursed and all but forgotten. They begin to realize that there is some truth to old legends. Kale’s rescue comes at a price—for by the time Aaron and Aoife know where to search, like so many before him, Kale is bound to the ancient tower’s fate.


What do you think about our day fantasy literature evolutions/trend?
A trend I'm not a huge fan of is grey vs. grey morality. Basically what this means, is that the good guys aren't that good, and the bad guys are kind of sympathetic, but instead of one party being portrayed as wrong, we cheer for one rather then the other because effectively the good guys are less horrible then the bad guys. While this might mimic real life - and I think it's safe to say I use flawed characters - I prefer it when the lines are there. That's not to say I don't like complicated villains or who are evil for evil's sake, but generally speaking, when I'm casting my heroes and villains, it's the good guys who realize they're making mistakes, whereas the bad guys, they won't admit to being wrong and will justify their bad behavior. 

What fantasy stories bring in our life?
I think at the most simple, a fantasy story is any story that explores some aspect of humanity. I think while science-fiction is mostly about the human condition, fantasy is usually about our hopes. All stories need to be more then just about the sequence of events that occurred - the bigger sense of the story, so to speak. Most of us don't have magical powers or the fate of the world in our hands, but we can relate to a giant obstacle in our life as that dragon that needs to be slain.

What a Historic Fantasy story must have?
Research. It's one thing to admit that your story is alternative history and thus you're not being 100% accurate to that time. Most readers expect some light interpretation of the time period for simplicity's sake - and let's be really honest, you're probably writing for a contemporary crowd - but like all good fiction, it has to sound plausible rather then be authentic. Unless your target audience is an expert on that era, most of your readers won't be able to follow along with localized sayings or understand gestures specific to a given historical culture because we don't have that context.

What a historic fantasy story should avoid?
If you're going to set your story in a historical era, think about why you want to set it there, and how easily you are going to be able to do research. Part of the reason I was drawn to the Viking Era was because it was so well documented. Something that has come up at several panels I've been on locally is writing from a culture that isn't your own - we usually end up on the topic of religion. I think as a beginner, I would want to avoid difficult subject matter until I became more comfortable in my craft, but I've learned to say "never" is to censor things needlessly. 

What would you say to those who refuse to read fantasy?
I'd say it would depend on why they refuse. If they say they can't relate to fantasy, then I'd point out that fantasy is anything that never happened, hence, all fiction is in its own way fantasy - even movies based off real events have to take some creative license to fit a narrative structure. 

Another common reason for not wanting to read fantasy is that it's associated with childish fairy tales (at least, the stories that are now made acceptable for children; the original Grimm was rather morbid by today's standards). C.S. Lewis has something better to say on it then me:
When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.


You know how the tale is supposed to go. The maiden is seized, captured by some foul villain. The hero gives chase, defeats the villain, and rescues her. The maid and hero wed and live happily ever after. But suppose it doesn’t go like that. No doubt there have been countless stories of maidens taken by villains. Some are rescued, others are killed, and however tragic their stories, they are ended.

What if one of these maidens lingered in darkness, with puzzles unsolved, her dragons unslain?

She was stolen, like so many before her and many who came after. Was she a goddess, a nymph, or a common girl of great beauty? It matters little. He seized her and forced her into a dark tower, which even the gods could not destroy. Oh how they tried, sending their sons to battle him. All failed.

The wicked sorcerer enticed her, tried to trick and confuse her, but she would never submit. In rage, or perhaps when it seemed the tide was turning, and perhaps her true love finally came, the sorcerer, rather than lose her, cursed her. He locked her in a prison, and she and the tower became one.

At last, the sorcerer was destroyed, but not sent forth to the land of the dead, or chance his evil would survive the grave. Undying, he remained a fragmented wraith, a wicked creature, the villain in countless stories. Perhaps, that was why his defeat did not undo her curse, for she remained a prisoner in the dark spire.

Her would-be hero, defeated at the end, died of a broken heart. The lands around the tower grew dark, as if the world itself knew the tale was too sad. Surely, she was worth rescuing? Surely, there was another who could save her?

Imagine then, if you were she: your beauty, your curse, and your true love stolen from you. Imagine your father playing one suitor off another. All the while, the other women despise you. Imagine being changed—much like how a god would turn a nymph into a cow, a goddess into the body of a mortal. Confined to a prison, and even if it were the finest castle in all the lands, heaven, earth, or the underworld, still a cage. All the while, you wait for a rescue which never comes. The spell will not allow you to die nor to grow old. You are stagnant in a world where stories of old become legends, and legends forgotten—dismissed as childish fancy.

No, child, surely you do not wish to know that story. Maidens must be rescued, the good endure, and evil smote. Even though you know what is true or fair is not so in your life, you expect nothing else in your story. It is how the story is supposed to go. You will accept nothing but a proper ending. Content yourself then with stories of long hair and spinning wheels.

About the author:

L.T. Getty started writing her first novel in junior high, and hasn’t really stopped since. She’s studied kendo, is an open water scuba diver, and has recently taken up archery, and hopes to learn to do it horseback some day. When she’s not writing, she works as a paramedic. When she is writing, it tends to be rather cheeky.

Authors' Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Kai said...

The series sounds very interesting. I love the plot of betrayal and would like to find out why and who order him kill. I also love the Viking setting for the story.

Unknown said...

oo 5 books!! looks great too thank u

Unknown said...

I'm super excited! I love giveaway surprises! And the tower sounds mysterious! :).