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.

Monday, October 30, 2017

let your imagination take flight! - Airwoman (Airwoman #1) by Zara Quentin

"The story itself is one I love and I quickly got lost in the Dragonverse world. It had such unique aspects of the story and I could hardly put the book down. I loved the pace of the book as well as the main character, Jade. [...] Thank you Zara Quentin for the wonderful book and lovely message and I cannot wait to find out what happens next." - Sarah, Goodreads


A father murdered by magic. A daughter’s cosmic quest for clues could make her the next victim…

Jade Gariq dreams of a new calling. While she wishes she could join the elite force that protects her home world from interdimensional threats, she’s stuck working for the family business. But everything changes when her father is found dead with traces of magic on him… magic that should only belong to the mythical Dragon-Gods…

To uncover the mystery behind her father’s murder, Jade must follow the clues to an uncharted world. Beyond the portal, treacherous jungles, surprising betrayals, and a killer bent on tying up loose ends stand in her way of the truth. It’ll take every ounce of Jade’s cunning to solve her father’s death, but can she avoid his fate?

Airwoman is a high-flying YA fantasy novel set in a stunning new Dragonverse. If you like fascinating worlds, memorable characters, and a dash of romance, then you’ll love Zara Quentin’s action-packed adventure. 

Buy Airwoman today to let your imagination take flight!


1.In what lacks more the YA literature today? How difficult is to create an original story?
I actually think there is so much to choose from now in YA fiction. I love the fact that it is going through such a boom, and the fantasy genre especially. There are always more authors and books to discover. There’s also a lot more niche genres (paranormal, urban fantasy, steampunk, epic fantasy, etc—to name just a few), so if a reader particularly likes a certain “type” of story, odds are that they are going to be able to find more like it.

Is it difficult to create an “original” story? In some ways, yes, because there are so many stories out there that you can get the feeling that nothing is original anymore. I think, however, that if you avoid some of the overused tropes in a genre and steer clear of basing your story on any other particular author, then you’ll have more of a chance of creating something original.

2. What were the most challenging aspects when you created Jade’s fantasy world?
One of the most challenging aspects was making the behavior of the characters consistent with their physical abilities. For example, Jade was always a winged character—this is how I first imagined her (Jade was the first seed of the idea for Airwoman, and the rest of the story grew up around her). However, in the first draft, I found myself writing her character as walking around too much. As I was reading through that first draft, it hit me that, as a winged character, she would fly rather than walk. So, if she has to walk, for the purposes of the story, then there has to be a reason that she can’t fly.

Similarly, the Premyan people use a ‘finger-speech’ rather than a vocal language. At various points in the first draft, I had a Premyan character explain something to Jade and when I was reading it through, I realized that someone with such limited vocal language would struggle to go into such a lengthy explanation. So I had to work out ways of finding out the same information while staying consistent to the culture and physical abilities/ limitations of the different characters.

3. Please, tell us something about how you saw Jade’s character.
Jade is a dreamer. She wants to see the worlds of the Dragonverse—she’s grown up hearing stories of other Taraqans who have travelled the Dragonverse: her parents, her uncle, her older brother and her friend, Axel. However, she’s also a dutiful daughter who loves her family and who has endured the death of her older brother (and witnessed what that grief did to her parents, especially her mother). This puts her in the difficult position, because her parents are at odds with her dreams of travelling—they want to keep her at home and protected. Of course, now she’s in line to inherit the running of the family business, she’s got more and more responsibilities. It’s as though her dreams are slipping away before her eyes. So, at the beginning of the story, she’s still dreaming of a future where she can do what she wants, but she’s also starting to feel the weight of her responsibilities, and worry that her life isn’t going to turn out the way she wants.

4. Mystery, suspense, adventure and action– how do you keep the reader caught up in the story?
I suppose it’s about giving the reader a character they care about, with a goal to achieve, keep the plot moving forwards and setting it in a place that gives a vicarious experience for the reader. I want my readers to feel like they’re visiting a new place with a friend when they read my books. I want them to feel like they’re inside the story (or wish they could be). I think it’s the vicarious experience that is the most important factor—but of course, that relies on getting the other elements right too.

5. What the readers will never find in your stories and why?
Main characters that need someone else to solve their problems for them, or unrealistically kick-ass main characters who need no-one. In the real world, people usually have to work together to solve their problems. While my main characters won’t be saved, they will usually need to work with others to achieve their goal.

6. How do you choose the books for your children to read?
I want my kids to enjoy reading as much as I do. So, when choosing books for my kids to read, I am mainly guided by what they’ll be interested in. I do lean towards children’s books with main characters with courage and resilience, especially for my daughter—I like her books to have role models who do things and solve their own problems, rather than just looking pretty. This seems to be more of a given in books with main characters who are boys. I also look for some humor that they’re going to enjoy.

7. You are a very well traveled woman. Did that help you creating the Airwoman?
Absolutely, I source lots of inspiration from the places I’ve been. I got the idea for Airwoman when I was living in Auckland, New Zealand and there are lots of details in the story that have taken from my time there. For example, Mt Reve, which is a volcano rising out of the sea off the shore of Ingresston in Taraqa, is based on Rangitoto, the volcano in the middle of the harbor in Auckland. The trees that populate the jungle on Premye are inspired by New Zealand’s pohutukawa trees that are so beautiful. Also, Axel gives Jade a pikorua, which is an actual pendant with Maori symbolism, which I reflected in the story as well.

I also drew inspiration from other places I’ve been, such as the Daintree Rainforest in Northern Australia (also for the jungle of Premye), the underground houses of Cooper Pedy in South Australia (for the Taraqan cliff side houses), and, though I haven’t been there, the stepped pyramids in Mexico (for the Ingresston Temple).

In the next book in the series, I draw inspiration from other places I’ve been, such as various islands in the south pacific, the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, and beautiful old cities of Europe.

8. Airwoman was published in 2016 and it’s the first volume of the series. When to expect the next volume(s) and what is the main direction the story will take?
The next book in the series is due out early next year (Jan 2018). At the moment, I’m getting towards the end of the editing process and the cover art is almost finalized, so all of the elements are coming together. I had hoped to bring it to market by the end of 2017, but life got in the way. The third and last book in the series, I would like to start drafting during NaNoWriMo in November, so that I can have it out by late 2018 or early 2019.

What direction will it take? I don’t want to give away too many spoilers for those of you who haven’t read Airwoman but I’ll just say Jade is going to have to deal with the dreadful betrayal she suffers at the end of the first book, as she travels further into the Dragonverse, searching for a missing person, before someone else who intends them harm. Stay tuned…

About the author: 
Zara Quentin is the author of Airwoman, the first book in the Airwoman series. She was raised in Adelaide, Australia, with one younger sister. Zara grew up with a strong sense of adventure, which she inherited from her parents, who took her and her sister on trips to the United States, Europe, and Asia.

She also inherited a love of reading from her mother. Throughout her childhood she explored fictional places through books, and in particular, through fantasy novels. She’d turn the black and white text on the page into the colourful worlds of her imagination.

After graduating from high school, Zara studied at the University of Adelaide and has lived in France, London, and Auckland, New Zealand. She is always determined to fit in as much travel as possible, spending time in Europe, the United States, southern Africa, Morocco, Peru, the Pacific and south-east Asia. 

Zara now resides in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and three children. She is currently working on the next instalment in the Airwoman series.

Author's Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Kate Sarsfield said...

Great cover - that's the sort of hero I used to play-act when I was little!

Richard Brandt said...

"I'm looking for the dirty Dragon-God that killed my father!"

CindyWindy2003 said...

Airwoman is the perfect name for the cool woman creature on the cover.

Wanda B said...

Thanks so much for the great giveaway!