It’s my book’s birthday! It’s publication day for me and my coauthor Jonathan. I didn’t get any interviews for my local newspapers, radio, TV, or magazines so naturally I decided to interview myself for a blog post. Trials of the Innermost is available online where most books are sold, but handy links are here for you.
Books Release Interview
Seven years ago, Kristina Kelly and Jonathan Fuller completed the first draft of a novel. On May 26th, it releases from indie publisher, Hansen House Books. Kristina answers some popular questions about her book and her writing process.
What inspired you to write the novel?
Video games. Primarily it was the friendship between Jonathan and me, but then it was video games. The novel started as an idea to pitch a Skyrim-like open world to developers. But the more we planned, the more we wanted to write an adult book series. We thought about our favorite parts of sci-fi and fantasy novels, movies, TV shows, and games and how we could create something other people would love just as much but was unique. We started with the question, what if the world stopped spinning? We took our new tidally-locked planet, Etherea, and decided to write in the science fantasy genre. We’re both musicians so we made sure to add in music as well.
What is science fantasy?
It’s really what it sounds like! It combines elements from both sci-fi and fantasy. It’s becoming a more popular genre. We didn’t know it then, but the video game Horizon Zero Dawn was about to launch. The spoiler-free summary is that HZD explores survival in a seemingly post-catastrophe world with a rediscovery of lost history and technology. Just like Trials of the Innermost! If you’ve ever played Final Fantasy games, you know the creators blend magic with technology. In Trials of the Innermost, we have magic connected to music and exploding (I’d remove “exploding” since that’s not all they do) crystals as well as cubes that suspiciously display holograms.
How do you write collaboratively?
Communication is key. Especially now that Jonathan lives in a different state. Before, we could meet at a library or coffee/tea shop. Now, we get creative with tools like Zoom. Early on, we divided our work. I created and wrote mainly from three of the characters’ points of view, and he the other three. Documenting everything from the phrases unique to each realm, the creatures and plants that grow in specific areas, to religious and political histories helps us stay consistent. We have a shared DropBox with folders and files, including a timeline of events. Though, we still text each other at times asking, “Did we say jeroti has a capital J or not?”
What are your favorite aspects of your novel?
To pick a few:
- LGBTQ+ representation. Of the 6 points of view, we have gay, bisexual, and asexual representation.
- The bard. Kilahym is integral to the story, but also comic relief. He sings and plays ocarina and dulcimer (accidental music-induced magic ensues). He touches buttons he shouldn’t and gets eye-rolls from several characters.
- Challenging social norms. Each of the three realms is distinct, which means they view the world through their own lens. Our characters either challenge those long-held beliefs of others or learn to examine their own worldview and prejudices.
- Animal Companions. There’s this lion-sized wolf-like creature that’s a “life-friend” of our mountain-dwelling character, Vayriel. They have a special bond within the magic energy of the world that enables them to read each other’s emotions. When Vayriel gets angry, Orgar bares his fangs. And if she likes you? Orgar might pin you to the ground and lick your face.
- Giant. Bioluminescent. Mushrooms.
About the Book Release
Sometimes the longest journey is to discover your true self. In a world that stopped spinning, six young people embark on a quest to preserve peace between their homelands and fulfill a prophecy that says they will save their world from being devoured.
Three distinct realms: one of light, one of dark, and one of twilight. Year of war between them. The six Truthseekers will need all their unique abilities to survive the Trials, which take them through scorched wastes, a wall of storm, and the shadowed Fellwood. A fragment of an alien force called the Penumbra has possessed one of their own and the Truthseekers must overcome their differences and work together to stop the malevolent entity before they lose their friend—and their world—to the Penumbra’s hunger.
Learn more at EthereaCycle.com. And if you’re in Indiana, Kristina’s book launch and signing is at Gal’s Guide Library in Noblesville on June 3rd, 12-2 pm.
The ebook is still 50% off through the end of May!