introduction

The Reason for my Madness

I’m sure everyone has their own reasons for why they write and for why they write the things they do.

I’m going to share the reasons why I do what I do.

I’ve been writing since I was about thirteen. I started writing in a journal to help me cope with some emotional and psychological stress I was experiencing in my family life. Since I was thirteen and living in rural Ontario, there was only so much help and support I could get, or knew to try and access, so I dealt with things the best way I knew how: I escaped into reading and writing.

I devoured every sort of book I could find. Stephen King, John Saul, V.C. Andrews, R.L. Stein, Guy Gavriel Kay. It didn’t matter the genre although I had a penchant for horror or fantasy.

In my journal I would lament about my struggle with life, with my family, with myself. Looking back it was a torturous time and I only hope that my own children never feel that way. Or if they do, it doesn’t last long and they feel comfortable talking to myself or my husband about it.

I started writing short stories. Everything was horror. People died left, right, and centre. Usually I modeled characters after people who made me feel insignificant or worthless and unceremoniously knocked them off in my stories.

I can’t write ‘normal’ fiction. There has to be magic, there has to be fantasy, there has to be some sort of other-worldlyness or else I can’t connect or identify with the characters I’m creating.

As I’m editing more and more for Black & Red I ran across the first character I ever created to be mentally unbalanced. It was a huge thing for me as I drew upon a lot of what I had experienced to create this persona.

The story to follow Black & Red touches more on power-insanity than this one. In this story, the character has been belittled, under-valued, and basically shunned by society so it was something I could identify with a lot.

I can probably go more into this later, if I remember 🙂 Otherwise, happy writing and happy editing to all those out there!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

NAKED LADIES!!! NAKED MEN!!!!

Are not in this post.

But, I probably got your attention. Maybe just to see WHY the hell I’m writing about naked ladies and men, maybe to see WHERE the naked people are.

I’m learning that catching and holding attention is very important when you are writing a book. I’ve known that for a long time, and usually (as I have been told) my work is very grabbing and attention holding.

My fear is that any synopsis I could write that would go on the back of a book cover, traditionally, might not be attention grabbing enough. When I write and I tell people about my story, I have a tendency to go over and above when I’m describing it and explaining it. I feel there is SO MUCH people need to know to fully understand the awesomeness of what I have written.

As I’m working on editing, I’m thinking about what sort of information I should put in my synopsis which will get people to want to download any sample chapters, let alone buy and read the whole thing.

This is my dilemma. I hope it’s resolved soon. Maybe once I work on the formatting/second edit I’ll figure some way to describe the plight of Kalan in her world of Black & Red.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Black & Red

Alright! So today I finally get to talk about my story! In this post I’m just going to give a general overview to what the setting is, introduce the main characters and give you a teeny bit of background. This story is one of many, but since it is the one I am aiming to publish in April 2013, I wanted to talk about it first 🙂

Title: Black & Red A Tale of Revenge (not really. It’s really just called Black & Red but that last part sounded cool so I wanted to throw it in :P)

Setting: It’s sort of in medieval times kind of? Think Lord of the Rings and those sort of settings that are common in Fantasy stories, but no elves, dwarves, evil overlord wizards with magic rings etc. It’s that time period when the common clothing is tights and tunics and there are swords everywhere. It’s got a little bit of a cyberpunk taste in that there is basic technology like electricity, radios, running water etc but nothing over the top like computers and cell phones. That’s in a different story. Magic is a strong presence in this world and the principles of magic are built on a system of 5 to represent the 5 elements: Fire, Water, Earth, Air, and Metal. Most magic is made up by combining two or more elements. It is also built upon the Law of Exchange (those who have read Fullmetal Alchemist will know what I mean :P) People who are able to use magic are called “gifted” but there’s no huge discrimination between those who can and those who can’t. The only discrimination is against those born with deep crimson hair. Those born with this hair colour are usually children whose mother’s have died in childbirth. It is rare, as there are advancements in medicine and healing magic, but it does still happen from time to time. These children rarely live to their full potential and when they do, they are either seen as a novelty, or are feared.

It takes place in a single kingdom called “Eikon” which is actually massive in size. Eikon is home to The Institute of Magic which is the only place that one can go to train their magical skills. It’s most often referred to as “The Institute”. The Capital is where the King of Eikon resides and he has The Guild: a grouping of the 5 most powerful sorcerers and sorceresses in all of Eikon. Guild members are identified by a silver talisman they wear that is a sort of optical illusion. It either looks like an abstract linear design, or a chinese-esque dragon.There’s no war and there’s no talk of outside kingdoms and realms. In this story, everything focuses on Eikon alone.

There are some influences of other cultures, mainly Japanese. You will see this in how the characters react by bowing, kneeling in certain occasions, and being overly modest. Other elements of Japan are in the shrines in homes for the dead family members, cremation as opposed to burials, temples and those who run them, how the dead are treated, katana’s being a regular sword-type, some food, words and there are some influences from manga I have read. I don’t want to give too much away 😛

Characters: There are two groups of main characters in this story as it takes place in two separate time frames which then collide. The first group is:

Kalan – She is tall, proud and extremely powerful. She is the daughter of Javier, the most powerful sorcerer in all of Eikon. Javier used to teach at the Institute until Kalan was born. Kalan has red hair as her mother died during childbirth which causes Javier to retire early and raise her. In the first chapter of the book we discover Kalan and her past.

Koen – A tall man with dark features. Quiet, not gifted in the slightest but his senses are sensitive. He is introduced in the first chapter and he lives/serves Kalan.

Alastair – Another tall man (jeez. Everyone is tall!) with long, stringy dark hair. He is very thin, very powerful, and very crazy. He is extremely emotionally unbalanced and will often switch attitudes from that of a child, to that of a blood-thirsty and power-hungry individual. We meet him in about chapter 3 or 4.

The next set of characters are:

Piers – He is descended from Julian. Julian was a powerful sorcerer who grew up with Kalan and was privately tutored by Javier. He graduated from The Institute and served on the Guild. Piers also serves on the Guild and in the beginning of the story he is on a quest to find those descended from the Guild members of Kalan’s time. (ooooo! I just dropped a secret! Did you see it?!)

Aidan – Descendant of Landon. Landon was an arrogant bastard, if I do say so myself. Landon served on the Guild in Kalan’s time. His chief rival was Javier and he held extreme disdain for any one related to him. Aidan and Piers have had a rivalry that extends back to childhood due to their bloodlines. Aidan comes across as self-absorbed and arrogant. He currently serves on the Guild with Piers and is joining him on the search for the descendants.

Vega – Descended from Brann. Brann was a physically overwhelming man who wasn’t extremely gifted like the others on the Guild, but his physical prowess made up for that. Vega has an athletic body and is fairly gifted. She is the second to be found by Piers and Aidan while working in a roadside tea house.

Acacia – Descended from Keion. Keion served on the Guild with Javier, Brann, and Julian. Keion is older than the rest and had been serving on the Guild from the time of the Queen who is in power shortly before Julian joins when it is run by her son. Keion is a grey little man with no self-confidence or self-worth. He is extremely gifted in the healing arts and has made huge advancements in the field and with traditional medicine. He has even written textbooks. But as a man, he was belittled for his talents. Acacia spent one year at the Institute before dropping out from the bullying of her background. She comes across at first as curt, slightly cold, and closed off. She is discovered by Piers and Aidan while traveling as a healer.

Terentya – She is descended from Devin, Javier’s closest friend who also served on the Guild. Terentya was found as an infant and is raised by a mercenary band called The Falcons. She is extremely gifted with the sword and when her adoptive parents are killed on the job she receives her father’s sword. She is able to ‘bond’ with her sword and hear it’s ‘voice’. She is the last to be discovered in a small town where her adoptive parents are buried. She is slightly gifted, but as she cannot read she is unable to study spells and the few she knows she has learned by word-of-mouth.

And those are the main characters in this tale.

“That’s all well and good, Sarah,” you say, “but what is the story actually ABOUT?”

Well, I will tell you.

The story is about a sorcerer, Kalan to be precise, who has had everything taken from her. Her mother dies in childbirth, her father is murdered due to jealousy. When she tries to exact revenge on those who murdered her father, she is trapped in an alternate dimension where she is cursed with immortality and a mirror that only shows her home world. She lives there, for two hundred and fifty years, unable to die, not needing to eat or drink to survive in a grand house in a misty wasteland. By accident she casts a spell which pulls Koen from her native world and pulls him to her hell where he is also cursed with immortality. While she is mourning her life in this hell, she is suddenly summoned back to her home world by Alastair, discovered to be descended through a bastard lineage from Landon.

Sensing the shift in her prison, those serving on the Guild in the ‘present’ are concerned. They dispatch Piers and Aidan to find the descendants of the original five who sealed Kalan in her hell: Julian, Devin, Landon, Brann, and Keion. Only one with that bloodline would be able to bring her back; or return her to her hell.

And thus, the adventure begins. After all five are collected it is discovered that none of them returned Kalan to their world. The rest of the book talks about the journey back to the Capital, dealing with the fury of Kalan’s return and dealing with the inner secrets everyone holds.

I plan to put a few chapters up once I’m finished editing them. I’m currently on page 87/375 so it might be soon! This book is planned to be published in April 2013.

I hope you like what you’ve read so far!

(oh yeah, all this information is (c) Sarah Jayne Nantais, 2013. If you try to steal it, I’ll sue your ass 🙂 I’ve got my copyright all done up 😛 So be good!)

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Regret is worse than Rejection

Welcome welcome welcome!

My name is Sarah Jayne Nantais and I’ll be your entertainment/pass-time/boredom-killer today.

I decided to set up this website as a way to promote myself and whore the hell out of myself for my next step in my life.

For a long time I’ve been writing. I call them “stories” because since I’ve never been published, I didn’t feel I had the right to call them “novels”.

I write because I want to. I write as a sort of self-therapy and I write for fun. I’ve never been very confident in myself or my abilities although many around me told me my stories are “good” or “great”. I have always thought they just said that because they were my friends/family so I never took the step to get anything I’ve written published.

But now I am taking that step. That jump. That leap. It’s bloody terrifying.

It’s self-publishing, so maybe that’s cheating a bit, but I’m doing it anyway! I’ll be publishing through Kindle Direct Publishing with Amazon and I’ll post when it’s actually available. Right now I’m in correspondence with them to clarify something in the agreement I didn’t understand.

I don’t speak legalease!!! *shakes fist*

Aaaaanyways.

I wasn’t going to do much on this website until I had a few things sorted out, but I can’t wait that long!

I wrote a bit about myself on my “About” page. (that’s what it’s for, right?) so there’s not much to say here that isn’t a repetition.

A lot of my writing is influenced by anime, manga, Japanese folklore, and video games. I just love it all. I can’t tell you why. Sometimes when I write, I envision what the scene would look like if it was in a manga or anime ^^; I’m just like that. Strange I suppose.

Why did I decide to publish NOW and not 10 years ago? Well, this year I turn 30.

Yup. THIRTY.

I decided now was as good a time as any because I didn’t want to regret the fact that I never tried. The worst that can happen from publishing my work is that people hate it.

And that’s okay.

I’m not looking for fame, I’m not looking for fortune, even though it would be nice. I write because I want to.

Hopefully those of you reading this will be interested enough to check it out. Maybe you’ll even buy it when it comes out and wish for more. Maybe you’ll hate it and think it’s lame.

But that’s okay. That’s your opinion and you are allowed to have that.

Just like I’m allowed to try 🙂

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 1 comment