In an age when Stormlings have only known peacetime, one man's desperate action threatens not only the stability of the mystical world of Mordana, but Earth as well.
Teenager Ophelia Drewe discovers a jewel that has been lost from its homeworld, and whilst she thinks she can keep it, demonic forces believe otherwise.
She’s not alone, but who can she trust? The head Stormling, Anadyr, hasn’t been to the Earth in 500 years, but go there he must – if the jewel is not returned, it will destroy both Ophelia’s world and his own…
1. A Lost Jewel. A World in Chaos. A Quest Unlike Any Other. What an author can do with these?
The lost jewel affects both the worlds in the ‘universe’ of Stormling. But it is so much more than that. The story is about the ‘journey’ of the characters – how the choices we make in life can affect everyone and everything around us. Some people get in a car and get angry, distracted, and hit another car, injuring or killing the members of the other car. That’s wrong. People need to wake up and realise that what they do has consequences!
2. What was the biggest chalenge of writing Stormling? What a fantasy story must have and what should avoid?
A fantasy story has got to be able to transport the reader to a completely new world. It’s especially important that the story contains characters that people can believe in, and relate to. It’s probably got to avoid cliché, and also try and do something different with the genre. A story can still be great if unoriginal, but is entertaining. In the case of Stormling, I hope it is original enough!
3. From Dark Winter a horror- thriller to Stormling “an epic sword and magic (and cookies) fantasy” – What they have in common, what is your “signature”?
I suppose both books have elements of horror in them, but whilst Dark Winter really is a full-on paranormal horror, Stormling is a fantasy, and I attempted to make it a much lighter story as a result. That said, it should be no less thrilling to read. And of course, both books are part of a series, so there is more to come from each. You’ll be seeing those characters again!
In terms of writing them, Stormling was conceived first. The original draft needed a lot of work, and so I left it, and wrote Dark Winter. I then re-drafted Stormling several times and have gotten it to the version people see today.
4. How important are the names of the characters and/or places for you and for the story?
It can be very stressful trying to come up with good names. But I think it is vital, because you are asking the reader to go along with you. So you need memorable names. They don’t have to be too left-field, but they should be memorable.
Some the place names are word plays on actual places. Annan Ghorst is actually ‘Annan’, in Scotland. Avonwych is actually ‘Wychavon,’ in Warwickshire. Places like Caldreah Monus and Cyllus Mordis are made up, but have a Celtic ring to it with the former, and a Latin ring to the latter!
5. You also review books. Was that helpful for your writing? Do you manifest the same criticism to your own books?
It was very helpful to do the reviews. I always try and be fair and balanced in my reviews, but ultimately, if I really don’t like a book, I won’t leave a negative review on-line. Whatever my opinion of it, I am sure someone will love the author’s work. I too hope that when people read my stories, that they love them too.
About the author:
John Hennessy is a young adult / new adult novelist whose works to date have been Dark Winter (published 2013), a paranormal horror thriller, and Stormling, an epic swords and magic (and cookies) fantasy. The first short story he ever wrote brought together Fagan, Lizzie Bennet, Sherlock Holmes and Dracula, which despite impressing his long suffering English teacher, thankfully remains unpublished. For recreation he will visit paranormal hotspots, but prefers to write about ghosts rather than meet them. He also believes almost any problem can be overcome so long as there is an inexhaustible supply of tea and biscuits. He has also written the non-fiction title The Essence of Martial Arts (published 2011), and released The Essence of Martial Arts: Special Edition, in 2014.