Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Where in the World are...Christy Farley, Kat Parrish, Frankie Ash, and Natalie Parker?

All this month, I'm featuring authors and the settings of their books, showcasing a variety of locales and characters from around the world--and sometimes off it!--in order to show readers new places and people.

Don't forget to enter the contest for a signed Across the Universe trilogy and swag from lots of authors--not just those featured this month! The contest is open internationally, and is super simple to enter--just tweet or share with a friend some of your favorite unique books, and enter in the Rafflecopter embedded below (or at this link).


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Gilded by Christy Farley

Set in: Korea

Why did you pick this setting?
I was teaching at Seoul Foreign School, an international school in Korea, and I wanted to do a comparison unit of Greek mythology to Korean mythology. When I came across the myth of Haemosu and Princess Yuhwa, the story of GILDED just unfolded for me.

I'm also a history fan and I'm addicted to traveling. I loved visiting the ancient palaces and temples scattered between modern skyscrapers and tucked away in the mountainsides of Korea. Nearly every scene in GILDED is based on my own personal experiences—minus the fantasy element, of course!

But there's so much more to Korea than even that. I wanted my readers to get out and experience Korea for all of its beauty. So GILDED takes the reader from the modern city of Seoul, to the mud flats of Muui Island, to the snowy peaks of Yongpyong, to the underwater tomb of King Munmu.

What makes your book's setting unique?
The mud flats on Muui Island (Muuido) is one of my favorite places to visit. We'd pack up the picnic basket and swim gear, and drive out to the coast for a day on the beach with friends.

Interestingly, I was writing GILDED when we first visited Muui Island and the mud flats completely fascinated me. When the tide is down, you can cross slabs of stone to another tiny island called Silmi. On Silmi there's a cute beach with towering rocks to climb. While climbing the rocks, the whole cave scene in GILDED came to me. That night I went home and wrote it. It's still one of my favorite scenes in the book.
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Frontier by Kat Parrish
Out September 12, 2014

Set in: Frontier--a planet colonized by a galactic trading company with roots in old China.

Why did you pick this setting?
I am fascinated by the techno boom in China and the way the country is reaching out into space. I am also fascinated by the way the old Dutch East and West Indies companies. I wanted a colonial planet where people in the employ of a massive trading company lived alongside scientists and the prison labor imported to strip the planet of resources. There are two nearby planets under the control of the "Double Happiness" corporation; they're Beixing (the political center) and Zhanghai (the trading center).

What makes your book's setting unique?
Zhanghai, the trading planet of the story, sits on a galactic crossroads, which makes it a kind of space-going Mall of America and the universe's largest "duty-free" store. Anything you can imagine is bought and sold here--even intangibles like ... your soul.

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Eramane by Frankie Ash

Set in: fantasy medieval period/ a mountain palace

Why did you pick this setting?
I chose to use this period because I'm a huge LOTR fan and, to me, love and magic and monsters and battle are wickedly awesome when fitted in furs and accessorized with swords...yes?

A good chunk of the story takes place atop a mountain palace. This is where Eramane is forced to give up her humanity. But it is also where book #1 ends.

What makes your book's setting unique?
The mountain palace, and its location, are important because of the location. It is basically a large chunk of rock surrounded by the ocean. If you want to reach it....you'd do well to have wings, or be an ancestor to Michael Phelps.

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Beware the Wild by Natalie Parker
Out October 2014

Set in: Sticks, Louisiana

Why did you pick this setting?
When I was a little girl, my grandfather would let me sit on his knee while he drove one of his giant tractors through the Parker Pecan Orchard. He taught me about grafting trees, about wormy parasites, and about how letting crimson clover flood the orchard in springtime was a natural fertilizer for Mississippi soil. He knew the secret history of every tree he’d ever planted and I always thought that was a little bit like magic.

Around the same time, my grandmother on my mother’s side was filling my head with old stories. Some were traditional like Billy Goat’s Gruff, which she told with voices and a dash of terror, and some were about her children, like how my mother and uncles once tried to keep an alligator as a pet in the misty lake sitting in the middle of their old vineyard. The attempt failed, but left a rather vivid impression on me.

In short, my childhood experience of the south was deeply entrenched in the idea that our environment has its own transitory history that lives and changes through the stories we tell about it. I became fascinated by this idea that something as incredible as my grandfather’s history of trees could also be so fragile – it passed away when he did and his children and grandchildren have only pieces of that quiet knowledge with us. Most of that history is now a secret we’ll never uncover again.

And as writers, I suppose, are wont to do, I began to consider what might happen if those secrets were protecting something dangerous. What if my grandmother’s stories weren’t just a trick to get me into bed on time, but contained careful warnings about the world around me?

One sticky summer day in Southern Louisiana, I was sitting on a porch swing trying not to move more than was required to breathe when I was struck by the thought, “the air is trying to swallow me.” And that was it, the seed that grew into the tenacious, weedy little plant that would become BEWARE THE WILD.

What makes your book's setting unique?
Sticks, Louisiana itself doesn't actually exist. I named it Sticks because I imagined the swamp as a liminal space between worlds....like the River Styx in Greek mythology. 'Styx' isn't a very Southern-looking word. 'Sticks' on the other hand? Well, I couldn't get more pointed than that.

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Don't forget to enter the giveaway! Open internationally, and you can enter every day.


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