"Sandra Hurst’s first novel is breathtakingly beautiful. Her poet’s soul shines through the lyrical prose, producing a captivating world that is as real as it is mythical. In this coming of age story, the two protagonist [...] come alive with emotions and challenges familiar to young people of any time and place. " - D.Ford, Amazon
Published: February 2017
Banished. Cast out. Powerless. Y’keta is exiled to the small village of Esquialt as his father's punishment for his rebellious spirit. Village tradition gives him one Cycle, from spring to spring, to earn the right to stay.
The villagers have a legend about mighty beings called the Waki'tani, mythical lords of the wind and lightning who can shapeshift into human form. Y'keta knows the truth behind these stories. Could there be more to them than just tales shared around the campfire?
If Y'keta reveals what he knows to the villagers, it will tear their history and traditions apart...but sharing his secrets may be their only hope for survival when Esquialt is threatened by the brutal, ferociously destructive Utlaak.
Loosely based on the Thunderbird of North American legend, Y'keta is an epic fantasy set in an ancient world where legends walk and the Sky Road offers a way to the stars.
Hi, my name is Sandra Hurst
and I’m a YA Fantasy author, thank you for the opportunity to talk to you and your readers today!
I don’t know how interesting other people will think this is, but to people of my vintage, it rocked!
I was just out of high school, it was the early 80’s and music meant everything. Early one Saturday morning I was working to set up chairs for a church service the next day. My church had its Sunday morning service in one of the smaller theatres connected to Calgary’s big concert auditorium. We were doing sound stuff and putting out chairs when three sloppily dressed guys wandered into the back of the theatre and motioned us over. The guys asked what we were setting up for, and when we told them it was for church the next morning, they quickly jumped in to assure us that if their band got too noisy we should just come in and let them know, they didn’t want to disturb us. They were performing in the main auditorium that evening and they were getting ready to do their sound checks.
They introduced themselves as Peter, Gene, and Chris. It wasn’t until I saw the tour bus outside that I realized I had just met ¾ of KISS.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Book two of the Sky Road Trilogy, D’vhan, is at the necklace stage, that is the point in my writing process when I have pearls written, but desperately need the thread of the story to tie them together.
After 15 years as the warrior leader of the village a lung sickness is slowing D’vhan down. How will he accept the transfer of power to one of the younger warriors? How much of his identity is built into what he does, rather than who he is? Oh, and there is a love interest…… “What are you so afraid of,” he said. “Why does it frighten you that I’m ten cycles younger?” His light tenor voice carried such a weight of authority that a part of my very soul wanted to step into the hunger in his eyes. But I knew if I moved, even a step closer, that I would be lost forever. I wasn’t a youngster to play with a beautiful Warrior and then walk away unburnt. This fire would consume me if I … I stepped forward stopping with the smudge fire between us.
I’m also currently working on a romance novella that is due to be published around Christmas 2018 and a chapbook of my poetry which will be available when I can bear to let it go.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
For example, Ren, the cold-eyed warrior, is learning to deal with a past that haunts her. After her parents’ death, she considered herself an unwanted, unwelcome burden on the village that raised her, learning as a child how to become invisible, blending instantly into any environment, she was the perfect scout, no one looked at Ren, ever.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
When I get time to unwind you can usually find me with my headphones plugged in, listening to music. I’m currently obsessed with Iron and Wine, and Avriel and the Sequoias. My taste in music tends to be a bit erratic and you can find anything from Mozart, to Nightwish, to folk, and blues music on my playlist. If we can, we run away. There is nothing that will unwind my heart faster than a campfire in the northern part of Alberta with some quiet music playing and loons crying in the background.
How to find time to write as a parent?
Writing is a challenge, writing as a parent is like juggling dynamite while riding a unicycle. I am very fortunate to have a great deal of support from my husband and son, even so there are times when my mind is screaming to write but the quiet time just doesn’t exist. To try and work around this I’ve started having ‘dates’ with myself once a week. I go to Denny’s or Tim Hortons and drink coffee for a few hours to let my mind settle into writing mode.
About the author:
Hi, my name is Sandra Hurst, the author of the Sky Road fantasy series.
As a child growing up in England stories and legends surrounded me, I learned how important imagination was. When I was 8, we moved to northern Canada and the legends changed. Stories of the Fae and the little people were replaced by legends of the Thunderbird and stories of the woodlands. I never stood a chance. What could I be but a writer?
Growing up in Northern Alberta gave me a great love and respect for the wild lands and indigenous cultures which made its way into the worlds I create. A mythmaker at heart, I started writing poetry in middle school and graduated to epic fantasy.
Myths give us a way to interpret the world past our normal experience. To ask questions and explore answers in a larger-than-life game of ‘what if.’ We need to make room for myths and mythmakers in our fact driven world. To give space for worlds that are brighter and clearer than our own. For it is in doing so, that we have room to become more fully human.
My first book, Y’keta, is loosely based on the Thunderbird of North American legend, Y'keta is a Young Adult, high fantasy set in an ancient world where legends walk and the Sky Road offers a way to the stars.
I now live in Calgary, Alberta with my husband and son, both of whom I love dearly, and have put for sale on e-bay when their behaviour demanded it. My day to day life is a balance between my outside life as a paralegal counsellor and my inner life as an author/poet. In between, I work on courses to improve my writing, learning the Cree Language, book reviews and blogging on my website, and studying mythologies from around the world.