The good news: I did not have to wait long to get my grubby mitts on more Nell.
The bad news: I will now have to wait longer for Nell #3 than I did Nell #2. This means withdrawals, and I don’t handle those very well… Send help. Please.
In the meantime, I am pleased to share a Q&A with you, where Faith’s Street Team, the Beast Claws, ask all kinds of questions about writing, etc.
The Beast Claws ask Faith a Few Questions
Claws: How do you go about planning and building up a series?
Faith: The hardest thing for any writer to achieve is voice. Every character has to sound like themselves with no confusion in the writer’s head. Once I know what the character sounds like in my head (not in Audible. That is a different voice entirely, chosen by the actress), I chose her greatest weakness and her greatest strength. The central conflict and the series arc plot problem is based on these two. For instance, Jane Yellowrock’s greatest weakness is that she is a complete loner, with little ability to get along with people. Her greatest strengths are two: she is one of the two souled, with a mountain lion living inside with her, and she can change into any animal of her relative mass, providing she has some genetic material to work with. All the action in the Yellowrock novels drives Jane to deal with this loner problem and to grow her existing strengths. Nell Nicholson Ingram’s weakness is that she was brought up in a cult and has never really, totally gotten away from it. All the action in the Soulwood series drives Nell to recognize and deal with her restrictive lifestyle. Nell’s strengths are that she is utterly adaptable. Oh. Then there’s that whole feeding the earth thing. That’s a doozy of a secret…
Claws: Do the characters ever seem to take over and lead you where you didn’t intend to go?
Faith: I try to keep that from happening. I plot the series and each book carefully in terms of the action and the reveals moving from Point A to Point B and on to Point Z. I do not plot the character’s reactions the things she learns and discovers or has to deal with, but the conflicts are known and resolved before I start writing. When a character starts off on her own, things usually quickly get painted into a corner and I have to tear it all out and start back at the point where the character misbehaved. That saying, some things have come out of left field and are sometimes so perfect that I stop and write them into the outline.
Claws: Pardon the language, but what the bejeezus is this test that determines whether or not someone is a witch?
Faith: LOL Well, it is hitting the pubescent child with magic and seeing what happens. With Nell, the result of the test was nothing.
Claws: What is Nell’s favorite type of tree?
Faith: One that doesn’t morph into a vampire and stick her with thorns?
Claws: What new blissful fast-food item will Nell be exposed to next?
Faith: Sadly there is no new food in the next book CURSE ON THE LAND, but Nell does go into a restaurant and buy take out for the very first time. I was quite proud of her.
Claws: Is there as much of a threat of rape to Nell or others? Much to my surprise, I found it overwhelming for the scale of the coercion. Never occurred to me before.
Faith: I’d like to think that when humans lived in a matriarchal society, women had choice and freedom and the opportunity for love, but when the patriarchal system came about, women lost that and became chattel (owned possessions to be bartered and used as the men in their lives dictated). Being give and traded for land or riches fits today’s definition of the word rape. All through modern history women have traded the use of their bodies for safety. Nell and her cult allowed me to explore the way most of the world’s women still live today. Some of are very lucky to have choice and to not be sex slaves to men who use us.
Curse on the Land by Faith Hunter
Series: Soulwood #2
Published by Roc on November 1st 2016
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Purchase at IndieBound | Amazon | The Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | iBooks | Kobo
Set in the same world as Faith Hunter's "New York Times" bestselling Jane Yellowrock novels, the second Soulwood novel tells the story of a woman whose power comes from deep within the earth...
Before Nell Ingram met skinwalker Jane Yellowrock, she had no one to rely on, finding strength only in her arcane connection to the dark woods around her. But now she has friends in the newly formed PsyLED team to keep her grounded even if being part of the agency responsible for policing paranormals comes with dangers of its own....
After training at the PsyLED academy, Nell returns home to her woods to find the land feeling sick and restless. And that sickness is spreading. With the help of her team, under the leadership of agent Rick LaFleur, Nell tries to determine the cause. But nothing can prepare them for the evil that awaits: an entity that feeds on death itself. And it wants more...."
Disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
It’s official! Nell is now a part of PsyLED, Unit Eighteen, and has the Spook School training to prove it. But before she has time to rest up after training, Nell’s pulled into an investigation – and finds evil and radiation poisoning the land…
And other presences. Singing, dancing, slumbering presences, in addition to Brother Ephraim’s pulsing evil beneath Soulwood.
The Plot: Curse on the Land is messy and gritty and icky, and all of it is part and parcel of Faith Hunter’s descriptive, detailed world building. So now you’re warned before you get to the bodies – and there are lots of bodies in Curse on the Land.
Which means Nell’s investigating the logical – and paranormal – reasons for said bodies, while trying to hide that thing-she-did-to-Brother-Ephraim. And, of course there’s a deadline.
The Characters: I really liked how much Nell grows in Curse on the Land. She’s more comfortable being herself, she’s getting better at accepting help, and she’s working on being open to friendships.
I also – and I hate to say this, after what he put Jane through – feel sorry for Rick. And I’m not saying another word on this; you’ll have to read the book for yourself to find out why.
The Story: There’s so much going on in Curse on the Land that it could take a while to absorb everything. Sure, there’s the deaths to investigate, which takes up a lot of the book. There’s also character growth, and not just Nell’s. And local histories to dig into, team dynamics to get used to, family relationships to rebuild and regrow, wicked trees to (attempt to) contain, and ginormous presences to keep asleep. I’m sure if I re-read Curse on the Land right now, I’ll find something else that I missed in the first few go-rounds.
Which is just another
excuse reason to pick it up again. 😉
drey’s rating: Excellent!
Have you read Curse on the Land? What did you think? And if you haven’t, read on to win your own copy!
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