In your own words, please describe your book….
Kalena awakes one morning to find her world changed forever….
The Imperium Provosts of the Great Suene Empire have come to take Kalena away from her family and friends.
All because she is Second Born.
The Second Born Rule declares that all second born children above the age of five become indentured to the Empire for a period of thirty years to serve wherever the Empire sees fit. After the thirty-year period, the Kalarthri (as the indentured are called), are then pensioned into retirement by the Empire.
Kalena is different in that she has a special gift that is much sort out by the Imperium Provosts. Her mind has the ability to accept the special ‘living’ crystal that is implanted into her head to enable her to partner a Hatar’le’margarten (Hatar) in the Military Flight Corps. Kalarthri who are in the Flight Corps are indentured for life.
Taken to Darkon, Kalena is paired with one of the giant, feathered Hatar’le’margarten. But when Kalena accidentally injures one of her Wingmates, there is a race against time to find the one man who can help them.
And Kalena and her New Hatar Partner, Adhamh, are determined that they will be the ones to find him.
Briefly in my own words
It is the story of a young girl, Kalena, who is taken from her family and put in service to the state due to an old law and cultural tradition. We follow her as she learns about her new way of life and meet her new friends. We also follow her through her mistakes, one of which could injure one of her new friends for life. Instead of waiting for a healer that might come too late, Kalena and her new friend
Kral decide to go out in search of one themselves. During their search for a healer they uncover intrigue, plots and other adventures.
What is the genre?
The Genre is most definitely YA Fantasy
What inspired you to write this book?
One day over a decade ago, I was sitting in the garden and had an image come into my head of a young girl carrying a ragdoll around with her. And when a few months later I sat down to write a story, I decided to use her as the main character. It sort of evolved from there.
Will this book be a standalone or part of a series?
This is the first book in the ‘Way to Freedom’ Series. The series follows Kalena as she grows to adulthood and leads her section of society to their ‘Way to Freedom.’
What message would you like to convey with this book?
The main message I hope people come away with from this series is that it doesn’t matter what your name is, what you look like, or what you think you should be. What does matter is what you actually do – both in the moment, and during your lifetime. Actions always speak louder than words.
What books are similar to this one?
Similar books and series? That is a hard ask as there are many that I can pick from that have the same themes I will have for the ‘Way to Freedom’ series. I would love to include Harry Potter in this list but… the three series below are probably the closest in theme to it.
The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan.
The HarperHall Trilogy by Anne McCaffrey
The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
Where can readers find your book?
You can find my book at all good online book sites – and at all the bad ones as well!
Can you tell us some about the writer behind the book?
I’m an Australian now living in the US and I write under my maiden name. For most of my working life in Australia I was a very hard-working Public Servant and closet writer. I like cooking, reading, snow, hot dry days and copious amounts of coca cola and chocolate!
Tell us one thing about you we wouldn’t know?
In Australia, I was very involved with my local writer’s center and the authors that were members there. I therefore know some well-known Aussie authors such as Sean Williams, Fiona MacIntosh, Tony Shillitoe and Joel Shepherd.
How do you come up with the titles of your book?
The titles come from the book itself. My titles usually involve the main character somehow, or an event that happens in the story. I like to make my titles relevant to the story.
How long does it take you to finish a novel?
It really depends on the novel – or more specifically, the subject matter. My shortest time to complete a project has been about 4 months; the longest has been around 2 years. The last time frame is for the ‘Way to Freedom’ series of which I have most of the books written.
How can readers connect with you?
People can find my hangouts in the following places…
Official Website: http://hmclarke.wordpress.com/
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on two manuscripts – One is a project called ‘Howling Vengeance’, which is a supernatural mystery set in the Old West.
The other project is ‘Within Winter’s Reach’, the first book in an urban paranormal fantasy series set in Adelaide, South Australia. Based around Kaitlyn Winter and the investigative unit she is attached to which protects the ‘straights’ from all the nasties that go ‘bump’ in the night…
Thanks for letting us interview you!