25 March 2013

Book Tour: 'Trinity' by Clare Davidson

Today's Book Tour is for 'Trinity', an epic fantasy novel and Clare Davidson's first book. 
Lots of stuff to go through, with info about the book and its author as well as an excerpt from the novel and a guest post written by Clare Davidson herself about Avatar (the animated series, not the movie). 

On a more personal note, publishing the above mentioned guest post on here has somehow helped reinforce my position as a cool Dad in my son's eyes in the process (Avatar is one of his favourite TV series...) So, many many thanks to Clare for that too!

Today's Book Tour also gave us a golden opportunity to re-open our (quite neglected for far too long) wolf related category at last... yep, definitely another thing to be thankful for!

(Wow! Today seems to be a day with quite a few win/win situations for me. Cool!)


Loup Dargent

About 'Trinity'

Author: Clare Davidson

Genre: YA Fantasy

'Trinity', released July 2012, is Clare Davidson's debut novel. It is an epic fantasy, targeted at young adult readers, with strong crossover appeal into the adult market.

Kiana longs to walk through a forest and feel grass between her toes. But she is the living embodiment of a goddess and has enemies who wish to murder her. Her death will curse the whole of Gettryne. Locked away for protection, she dreams of freedom.

Her wish comes true in the worst possible way, when her home and defenders are destroyed.

Along with an inexperienced guard and a hunted outcast, Kiana flees the ravages of battle to search for a solution to the madness that has gripped Gettryne for a thousand years. Pursued by the vicious and unrelenting Wolves, their journey will take them far beyond their limits, to a secret that will shake the world.

Book Excerpt:

Nidan turned to face the Wolves as they dismounted. In their position, Nidan wouldn’t have given up the advantage of being on horseback, but the Wolves had over-confident smirks plastered on their faces. They began to march forwards, drawing their swords.

“Stand behind me. Don’t let them get near you.” Nidan hoped that the hedge at their backs would prevent them from being circled.

Kiana nodded and obeyed.

Then the Wolves were upon them. Nidan gritted his teeth and engaged the first man, allowing fear and anger to flow through his body, lending him strength and speed. Steel crashed against steel as Nidan blocked blow after blow from first one, then two opponents. Each time their blades struck his, he found his heels digging further into the ground. He wanted to move and dance around their attacks, but Kiana was behind him. I can’t let her die. Pios, help me!

Block, block, strike. His blade bit into the neck of a Wolf, causing a fountain of blood to spring forth. The man looked surprised and fell, only to be replaced by the next.

They're playing with us.

There was no reason why the five remaining Wolves couldn’t just attack as one pack and finish them.

Nidan forced the air out of his lungs in a war cry. He fixed his teeth into a snarl and parried, dodged and weaved, tying the Wolves up in a not-so-merry dance as he struck with a solid kick and then a sweep of his sword.

I’m better than them. He’d win if it was two to one, but the odds were far worse than that. He cut down a second man. Four left, plus the scout. They know I’m a threat. He waited for them to stop tormenting him and surge forward. Is this how Wolves kill?

What we can learn from Avatar
By: Clare Davidson

No, I don't mean the film about Americans searching for "unobtanium" on a planet populated by blue aliens. I'm talking about the popular animated series, Avatar: The Legend of Aang.

I recently sat down and watched all three series again (I was sick and it seemed like a valid use of "resting" time) and, as I was already familiar with the story and the characters, I thought I'd attempt to work out why Avatar is such a winning formula. This is what I came up with:

The characters: Although Aang is technically the main character, Avatar is really an ensemble piece, with Aang, Katara, Sokka and Zuko all receiving equal screen time and their own side plots. The second series introduced Toph and Azula to the mix. Each of these characters has well thought out backstory, believable motivations and a reason for the viewer to care about them. Even (or maybe especially) Zuko, as an antagonist, has a storyline which really tugs on the heartstrings. You root for the characters, you want to know if they win or not, which brings you back episode after episode; series after series.

The background/setting: I've always loved the way Avatar has a multi-cultural setting, with an interesting background. In Avatar, the setting isn't just a pretty backdrop, it's part of the story. You need to know what's happened in the world's past, to understand why things are so bad in the present. It's interesting and thought provoking.

Humour: A lot of the humour is provided through Sokka and later Toph, plus there's generally plenty of humour at the expense of Zuko and sometimes Katara. This is a show which isn't afraid to make fun of itself (the play episode in season 3, for example). It balances the darker moments with humour beautifully, without dropping into all out farce.

It's so damned pretty: Really, it's beautiful. Not just the animation of the characters and the setting, but also the animation of the way magic is cast. Based on real world martial arts, each type of magic (air, earth, fire and water) has it's own distinct visuals and all are wonderful to watch, making Avatar a visual feast.

So, what can we, as writers, learn from Avatar?

Ensure your characters are rich, complex and have a reason for your readers to care about them.
Create a detailed world, which is as much a part of the story as the characters and plot. Your setting should never be pure backdrop.
Use humour if appropriate to your genre, in order to add moments of relief. If your story is one tense moment after another without any reprieve, the impact can be lost.
Make your world come to life through your descriptions. Make them vivid enough to allow your readers to create the visuals in their minds, but give them some freedom to fill in details with their imaginations.

More About Clare Davidson

Clare Davidson is a character driven fantasy writer, teacher and mother, from the UK. Clare was born in Northampton and lived in Malaysia for four and a half years as a child, before returning to the UK to settle in Leeds with her family. Whilst attending Lancaster University, Clare met her future husband and never left. They now share their lives with their young daughter and a cranky grey cat, called Ash. Clare juggles family life with writing, teaching and a variety of fiber craft hobbies.


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