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Friday, January 3, 2014

Guest Post from Author Janalyn Voigt

Please give a warm welcome to guest author, Janalyn Voigt. Her novel, Wayfarer, book two of Tales of Faeraven, releases today, and we're lucky enough to get a glimpse of this marvelous world through the author's eyes.

Special Offer for Today Only (January 3rd, 2014):

In celebration of the release of Wayfarer, book two in Janalyn Voigt’s Tales of Faeraven trilogy, her publisher is offering her book at a 50% discount. Click here to take advantage of this offer.

An Accidental Meeting (by an Author with a Character)

By Janalyn Voigt

What’s that?

It’s strange to meet anyone else on this forgotten track through the woodland tangle, but I swear something moved alongside that stream just ahead.  I strain to see, freeing one arm from my book bag, in case I need to run. Those few who have survived an attack by one of the jaggercats or shaycats that prowl the deep woods always say they never saw or heard a thing, and this creature casts too small a shadow over the water to be a bruin. It’s probably no more than an elk or deer, poised to run at my approach, but a woman traveling alone and so far off the beaten path can’t be too careful. There’s something about this dark forest that sets my nerves on edge, as if the trees whisper secrets.

An unexpected sound floats on the air, and almost I can’t take it in, so out of place is the scrap of melody. I know the ancient lay it belongs to but can’t name it. Fixating on this smaller puzzle postpones the greater one of why a maiden would be singing in such a place. That the sound comes from a maiden is clear. If I hadn’t guessed it from the sweet purity of her voice, I would know it from the sight of her, for she’s moved into my line of sight. The hood of her cloak has fallen back, and as she bends over a patch of pale flowers nodding on the bank, her unbound hair sways about her. It is thick and black, untouched by gray.

Perhaps the song on her lips kept her from noticing me sooner, but all at once she lifts her head and stares at me, not unlike the frightened doe I mistook her for. Her eyes are the vivid blue of the sky, their gaze without guile.

I pull a shaky breath into my lungs. “Well met.” My voice is too jovial, but then relief has made my head light. Politeness prevents me from asking why she’s gathering flowers so far from safety and alone, but of course I’m wondering.

She rises with slow grace, and the soft light filtering through the trees touches a face I recognize. Although Aewen wears a simple tunic, the wild bouquet she clutches makes her look like an elven bride. “You startled me.”

I laugh. “We’re even, then.”

“Even? Do you mean we’re of a height?” Her brow puckers.

“Paid back.”

She stares at me as if I have taken leave of my wits. “Is there some debt of which I’m unaware?”

“No. I’m sorry to confuse you.” Of course, she would not understand my modern lingo. This is Elderland, a world I should know well, for I discovered it in my writings. I have stepped into time at the beginning of Aewen’s story, which I have recorded in the pages of Wayfarer, book two of Tales of Faeraven. “Are you gathering herbs to heal the poor?”

Her eyes widen. “How do you know this?”

“Just a guess. Do your parents know where you are?” It’s not really fair to ask her this, since I already know her parents don’t trouble themselves on her account—at least they don’t yet—but she’s looking at me with suspicion and I want to throw her off.

“I’ll not be looked for at Cobbleford Castle until evening.” Her brows draw together. “Forgive me, but why do you wear a man’s garb? And by what strange weaving is your satchel made?”
Obviously I’ve not succeeded in distracting her. I’m wearing jeans and a long top that could pass for a jerkin. “I’m not from these parts. This is how we dress in my land.”

“What brings you here?”

That’s a question I’ve asked myself, one with answers only another writer can understand. I smile a little and speak the simple truth. “I couldn’t stay away.”

As her eyes narrow, I step backward, ready to return through my computer into my closet writing office.  Most often when I visit Elderland, no one notices me. Really, I prefer that.

About Janalyn Voigt

As children, my older brother and I would beg my father for bedtime stories, and he would give them.  His deep voice rumbled against my ear at his chest as he unfolded stories of exotic places like Oz and Neverland. My imagination carried on with the tales even after he closed the book for the night. When eventually he stopped reading stories, I began creating my own. 

Within a few years I’d become storyteller of my neighborhood. The other children would gather in a circle on our lawn while I invented stories to entertain them. No one, including myself, thought of this as anything unusual. It wasn’t until my sixth-grade teacher pointed out my ability to spin a tale that I and my parents took note. This is how at the age of twelve I decided to become a novelist. At it turns out, the fulfillment of that dream took a few more years than planned. 

Find out more about Janalyn, her closet writing office, and her books at the author website for Janalyn Voigt.

DawnSinger: A headstrong young princess and the guardian sworn to protect her fly on winged horses to the Gate of Life above the Well of Light in a desperate bid to release the DawnKing, and the salvation he offers, into a divided land. Will they each learn in time that sometimes victory comes only through surrender?

WayFarer: When an untried youth ascends to the high throne of Faeraven, his mistakes tear kingdoms apart and allow just one chance at redemption. He must humble himself before the man he banished.

To view a book trailer of Wayfarer click here 


Janalyn Voigt, escape into creative worlds of fiction. said...

Thanks for hosting me, Sarah. I'm looking forward to sharing Wayfarer with you.

S. D. Grimm said...

I'm so happy you chose to stop by. :)

Janet Chester Bly said...

Enjoyed this post by Janalyn as a feature for her new book, Wayfarer. I hope to read DawnSinger too!
Janet Chester Bly

S. D. Grimm said...

DawnSinger was amazing, Janet. :)

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