Thursday, March 18, 2010
THE SAPPHIRE FLUTE BLOG TOUR
I am excited to tell you all about a great new book that just came out called THE SAPPHIRE FLUTE by Karen Hoover.
The world of Rasann is dying. The mages in the land have been working together to weave their magic into a net to hold the world in one piece, but those cords are breaking down. They need a white mage, the rarest of them all, to step in and take over where they are falling down, but there hasn’t been a white mage for over three thousand years. Their only hope lies in finding the magic keystones, long hidden, which will bind the world together.
Kayla has been given charge of one of those keystones, the Sapphire Flute, and been told not to play it. Along will come another, destined to play the flute and bring the magic within it to life. She has never met this player, and has no idea where to find such a person.
In the meantime, Ember has discovered a secret – her father had the ability to shift himself into the shape of a wolf, and she has that gift as well. When she takes upon herself her new appearance, quite by accident the first time, she discovers a family she never knew she had.
Lurking behind it all is C’Tan, the sorceress. She wants the keystones for herself, and she will stop at nothing to get them.
“The Sapphire Flute” is Karen E. Hoover’s first publication, and is the first of a series of seven. A new book in the series will be published each spring.
I was lucky enough to meet Karen at Life the Universe and Everything in February and she is a super nice, fun voice in the YA market. So nice infact, that she took some time to answer a few questions for me.
Me: Your story revolves around strong female characters. Thinking of the two main protagonist's, Ember and Kayla, they are each so different and yet both find the strength within them to fulfill their quests. Very inspirational. What women in your life have been inspired you to learn and grow?
Karen: I love this question. A lot of women have inspired me over the years. Several teachers from school and church both. Friends of the family. Friends in general. But mostly, I'd have to say the two women who have inspired me more than any others are my mother and grandmother. My great-grandmother passed away when my grandma was only six and her father disappeared,so she was, as she used to say, "kicked from pillar to post." She was raised by other family members so grew up very strong and independent, yet had a very tender heart. She taught me that I could make it through anything.
My mother was my hero. She was an only child, and a widow for over 30 years, and raised my little brother and I alone from the time he was 2 and I was 4. She had a beautiful singing voice and could do anything. She was the one who taught me not to be afraid to try anything. She said "Karen, you can do anything if you want to do it bad enough." She told me she had confidence in me. She taught me how to build, how to sing, how to follow my heart, how to listen to the spirit. She was everything I want to be and more. I miss her.
Me: I will admit, I am more sci-fi than fantasy, but I really got caught up in your story. Where did this fun idea stem from?
Karen: I've always been a day dreamer and love to imagine the impossible. I can't seen to help myself. I was one of those kids who was constantly looking out the window in schoool, or reading a book when i should have been doing my work. The first idea came from a dream of a girl standing by a tent playing a sapphire flute under the full moon. A white wolf with beautiful green eyes came from the shadows and sat on the other side of the stream and sang with her as she played before disappearing into the night once more. I wrote it down, just three short pages, and the idea never left me. About five years later I started working on the actual book, knowing next to nothing about how to craft a story. Eventually that flute playing girl split into two characters. She just had too big a story to tell.
Me: This is the first of 7 books what a great contract to get. What did you think when you got the news they were going to be published?
Karen: I can't even describe the feelings that washed over me, but I'll try. I've spent my whole life wanting to be a writer and finally seeing that offer on paper . . . well, I squealed, I'll admit it. My heart was racing and I had to run upstairs and show my husband. There was a bit of sadness involved as well, because I couldn't share the news with my mom. She passed away in 2008 after a short sting with pancreatitis and a resulting heart attack. She had always wanted to be a journalist and had been with me every step of the way on this journey. So, it was bittersweet. But honestly, the sweet outweighed the bitter. How could it not? I was going to be PUBLISHED! :)
Me: Will all the books follow these two heroines, or do you plan on introducing us to other protagonists as the series progresses?
Karen: You know, I've really debated on that for a very long time, and finally decided to stick with Ember and Kayla with the future keystone holders joining one group or the other. The groups will come together at times and separate again, so it continues to be two stories. Not sure how that's going to translate in the final couple of books when they are taking on the baddies together, but it will work out somehow. lol
Me: How long are we going to have to wait for book two? Any clues you can give us on what to expect?
Karen: Book two will be released in March of 2011 and each book will be released in March of the following years. Clues on what to expect? Well, the end of book 1 will have the first two chapters of book two in it, so that gives you an idea of what's coming. There will be some new bad guys introduced in book two that completely changed my plans for book 7. lol I don't even know everything that's going to happen yet. I know the big scenes, but I tend to be a bit of a discovery writer and see where the stories lead me. The best thing I can tell you is that Kayla, Ember, AND C'Tan all develop as people, not just characters. They grow and come to understand themselves better through the series.
Okay, so now that you know all the info, let me tell you what I thought of this terrific book. Oops did that give my thoughts away? When I first got this book in the mail I have to admit, I wasn't that taken with the cover. And as a result I didn't open it immediately. My mistake. This is a fun well written book that kept me intrigued the entire time I read it. I loved the characters, both good and bad. I found myself hoping for them, wondering what was going to happen next, and hating to have to put it down (when you're a mother of three that is sometimes inevitable). This book is sure to please young audiences, fantasy lovers or not. I am excited to pass it on to my nieces, although seeing as I am lucky enough to have a signed copy I may have to get them one of their own!
Click here to get this great book for yourself!
And to find out more about the author you can visit her blog http://karen-hoover.blogspot.com/