Today I have Jennifer Ford, author of The Waking Dream, here with an interview as part of her blog tour. Here’s her blurb, and then see why she writes what she does.
Two cities. A forgotten past. Destiny comes to call.
Cut off from the outside world by a hostile desert full of savage secrets, the city of Illamar must fend for itself. Late one night, Dante Montero, Commander and Ruler of Illamar, is confronted on his own streets by a mysterious woman bearing an ominous message from a dangerous man known only as Rasheim. Dante and his close friend Kerran, Captain of the Guard, rush to discover the identity of Rasheim and the nature of the threat posed against their city. The closer they get to the truth, the more their worlds begin to fall apart. Both men will have to rely heavily on their friendship as they struggle to comprehend the events happening around them, their past, and even the truth about themselves. They must move quickly and choose wisely, for time is running out as Dante and Kerran discover a secret plot is already underway to destroy their city and kill every last person alive. It seems the answers they so desperately need can only be found in a sequence of dreams, but in a world where nothing is as it seems, even their dreams could turn out to be deadly.
Jennifer Ford was born and raised in a small town in Massachusetts. She currently resides in sunny southern Florida. She lives with her cats, of which she says; “They are possessed little terrors at times, absolute darlings at others, and an endless source of entertainment. Only another cat person would understand.”
TK: What is your book about?
JF: My book centers around a pair of cities that are cut off from the rest of the world in a massive desert, but the residents have come to terms with their isolation. Illamar is a model city, where people prosper and it is clean and safe. Rheamyre is in chaos, controlled by dangerous gangs. These two cities depend on each to survive, but their coexistence is strained at best. The book is told from point of view of the two main characters from Illamar; Dante Montero, who rules Illamar, and his right-hand man, Kerran Gurtene, who runs the military in Illamar.
Overnight, the gangs in Rheamyre are overrun, and a mysterious stranger begins assuming control of the city. Naturally this causes concern in Illamar. They can’t figure out what is happening. All they can come up with is a name; Rasheim. From here, their world gets rocked and slowly turned upside down. Both the main characters are forced outside their comfort zone and have to adapt to the situation before them. The stakes are too high; their city is at risk, so they cannot fail.
Dante and Kerran scramble to discover the truth about Rasheim, and in doing so are exposed to forgotten truths about the history of their ancestors, and therefore also about themselves. They discover a lost civilization beyond the safety of their city walls, along with a whole world of power and conflict. The true reason for their isolation is revealed, and hand in hand with that truth comes the fact that the same thing which is responsible for the isolation around their cities is about to become the cause of their imminent destruction.
Kerran has a harder time than Dante through dealing with all the changes as he is more impulsive than Dante. But the experiences teach Kerran things about himself he would never have discovered otherwise, and both men grow as individuals because of all the adjustments they are forced to make. It is also a story about friendship; we watch the friendship between these two men grow as they go through all this, and we see the difference it makes when they literally have each other’s back at times. At the end of the story, despite all the trials they go through, they are still the best of friends.
TK: Why did you decide to write it?
JK: I am very interested in ancient history, and I spend a lot of time reading about ancient times and lost civilizations, and how climates in regions have altered over time. I have also always been a huge fan of fantasy and Sci-Fi. I started mixing elements of the two things together, and I was immediately struck with the idea of the lost civilization still being alive, just forgotten. The imagery that came to mind was so powerful, I just had to write it down. As I went further into it and discovered all the characters, it became a real world for me. And I think Dante and Kerran have a valid voice that resonates with a lot of people today.
TK: How did you get your book published?
I knew I wanted to self-publish my book. After doing a lot of research, it seemed the easiest way, since if you are an unknown author you’re chances of getting published via a traditional publishing company get lower by the day. Plus, with self publishing I didn’t have to worry about an editor wanting to alter my story. I found that Outskirts Press was ranked among the best publishing houses to use, and the best overall for the cost, and I haven’t looked back since.
TK: What types of readers will be interested in your book?
JF: Obviously, anyone who enjoys the Fantasy/Science Fiction genre would enjoy it; but beyond that, anyone who enjoys a well-crafted story. My book does have a strong, heroic woman as one of the main characters. It is a fast moving story that quickly takes you to the heart of the action and dilemma faced by the two stars of the book- Dante Monterro and Kerran Gurtene. It has already been enjoyed by people of all ages; from young adult to mature adult. If you are a person that enjoys to read, then you will definitely enjoy my book. It follows a non-conventional path that should intrigue even the most experienced fantasy, Sci-Fi, mystery, or fiction reader.
TK: Have you published any other books? Do you plan to publish more?
JF: I have not published any other books yet, but I certainly plan to. I have one that should be ready later this year, entitled “The Horsemen Will Ride”, which is another fantasy adventure story, in a completely separate world and setting from The Waking Dream. I also plan to publish the sequel to The Waking Dream in 2012, towards the end of the year. After that, I have plenty of characters lined to up keep me busy for years to come getting all their stories written down.
Thanks, Jennifer, for stopping by!