Fortunata: Book Two, The Hanged Man

I’m halfway through The Hanged Man., the second book in the Fortunata series and it’s finally coming together. There are lots of new characters in it, and some old faces that probably shouldn’t be there, including a surprise visit from a character from the Tamarei series. :)

Here’s the Foreword of Book Two.

In ancient times, there were people who believed that the destiny of every man and woman on earth was governed by the Three Fates, Clotho, who spun the thread of a person’s life, Lachesis who measured its length and Atropos who finally cut it. Three days after a person’s birth, these individuals apportioned to them their lot in life, and no-one, not even the gods themselves, could go against their decree.

But that was back then. These days the Fates have gone corporate: Fortunata, an organisation that seeks out the most talented amongst mankind and shapes their destiny, helping them to fulfil their potential and benefit the rest of humanity. The problem is that two of the CEOs, Lydia and Hector Flint have decided that they don’t like the way that things are being run these days, and are playing by their own rules. Their former partner, Cain, has other ideas and when he finds out that Lydia and Hector are planning to systematically murder the people they are supposed to be helping, he takes matters into his own hands.

Aria Swift, and Jason Sabatini are on the Flints’ hit list – two innocents who have no idea why Fortunata wants to kill them. They have never met, are not even aware of the other’s existence, but their fates have been inextricably bound together, since October 6th 2008, when both of their lives changed forever. October 6th 2008 – the day that Jason’s mother was killed in a freak electrical accident, and Aria’s father was taken from her in a car crash.

It was a day that was never meant to happen.

When Aria and Jason narrowly escape death, Cain realises that the only way he can protect them is to take them into hiding. Unfortunately, the safe house isn’t quite as safe as he’d hoped and the three of them are forced to flee for their lives, only to emerge and find themselves in a world that none of them recognise.

And somehow it’s up to them to put things right.

New Tamarei Book

Just an update on the Tamarei series. I’ll be starting a new Tamarei book at the end of June and will hopefully have it finished some time in October or early November. I’ve already got the plot mapped out, and it will feature all of the usual characters: Shiri, Craig, Nathan, Tobin, Braegor, Aris and Caranthus.

It’s the dawn of a new age for Taiu, a golden age of peace and prosperity. Queen Shiri has begun to put right the wrongs that her people have suffered for the last thousand years and the prophecy has finally been fulfilled. Or has it?

When portals being opening all over Taiu, spewing out hell beasts of every kind, Shiri is forced to face the dreadful truth; the dark gods aren’t all dead and they are hell-bent – literally – on reclaiming Taiu for themselves. They build a demon army, each calling their own creations to arms: Scaros; Umlook; Syffed – and Tanteros to fight on their side. Demons of every kind, good and bad, are forced to obey their new masters and fight to the death against Shiri and her army. Will Braegor be able to resist the call of his new master and stay loyal to his friends, or will he turn on them and destroy everyone he has ever loved?

Update on the Sorcerer’s Tale and Finding Gideon.

Well, I’ve finished The Sorcerer’s Tale and Finding Gideon and the are both available to buy at most ebook retailers.

The Sorcerer’s Tale gives a glimpse of Nathan’s early life in Tanereff prison, and tells how he met and fell in love with Tobin. I really enjoyed writing it, because it turned up quite a few surprises for me as well! Finding Gideon is the story of a girl called Laurel who, like Shiri, is trying to uncover her past. In Laurel’s case what she finally uncovers doesn’t lead her to a throne, but to a Fire Elemental, Misha, who seems determined to make life very difficult for her.

Building worlds

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I’ve just about finished the first part of Fortunata and have spent the last few nights in a cold sweat wondering how on earth I’m going to handle the next part of the book. I’ve got to create a whole new society where people barter for goods, have little or no technology and have to fight every day to survive in a violent society where there are no rules.

Being a technophobe I don’t even have a clue how to work the remote control on the TV, and being faced with the prospect of having to work out how a whole civilisation could devolve to a pre-industrial society has already turned me into a quivering wreck. Now I’ve got to rebuild the world into a whole new entity from the foundation up. I’ve ordered in a ton of chocolate to keep me going, but it’s going to take an awful lot of Kit Kats to get me through this one.

Of course, every novelist has to build a world of some kind or another to make their book come alive, even if that world is as mundane as a council housing estate, or as grandiose as a palace in ancient Rome, but how do you actually make it believable? It’s a dilemma that every single author has to face all the time, but especially so when the world they’re creating is a fantasy world that has to be built from the ground up, the schematics existing only in the mind of the writer.

I recently read the debut book of a young writer whose name I won’t mention because I don’t want to embarrass her; she obviously has a very fertile imagination and it wasn’t a bad book, but the world she created in it truly sucked. The reason is very simple: she didn’t believe in that world – and if she didn’t then her readers weren’t going to either. Her world was a vague collection of two dimensional shapes where characters wandered about like cardboard characters in a Victorian toy theatre, moving from one scene to the next to stand in front of paper scenery. At no point could I believe in her world, because it was obvious she didn’t see it as real.

If we look at the greats, like Tolkein, C. S. Lewis, Frank L Baum, H. G. Wells and Conan Doyle, their worlds are believable because the characters they created do the things that all of us do every day; we can relate to the people and places in their worlds, even if they are incredibly alien to us, because we can see ourselves in them. I think it’s almost certainly because those authors were able to put themselves into their worlds and to them they were real. All they did was to write down what they were seeing for their readers.

So I’m now going to hit Google and find out as much as I can about how people lived in pre-industrial Britain, how bartering worked, about transportation and food supplies and take a trip into a world where chocolate bikkies don’t exist. It’s going to be a tough few weeks. Lol.

More Tamarei?

Well, I’ve been thinking it over and I’ve decided that I am going to write more books in the Tamarei series. I wasn’t going to, because I was terrified of jumping the cash cow or milking the shark, but I’m getting withdrawal symptoms. The truth is that I miss them all too much. I was reading over some of the books, looking for information for The Sorcerer’s Tale and realised I couldn’t bear to leave some of their other adventures untold. Shiri, Craig and the others are just too dear to me – and it seems that other people want to hear more of their stories as well – so that’s that.

I do have the feeling that although most of the old gods are dying that they are quite resourceful and some of them are still lurking, waiting for the opportunity to restore themselves to their former power. Sekhmet and Abileck might be gone, but there are many others. The different species of demons on Taiu were all created by these fallen angels, and if the gods ever decided to bring them back under their control, then Taiu would suddenly become a very dangerous place. And Tanteros demons are no exception . . .

One step nearer the finish line

Well, I finished the first draft of Fortunata today, sitting on my bed, with a family sized strawberry and raspberry lattice pie, my Linkin Park thermos filled with fizzy orange, and an emergency bag of crisps. The cat added a few unsolicited paragraphs when he paddled across the keyboard, but with a bit of careful editing, it might be usable.

It’s about 100,000 words at the moment, but will probably end up about 125,000, once I’ve done the rewrites and edits. So I’m a happy bunny at the moment.

Update:

I’m still working on the first part of Fortunata and was having serious trouble with one section of it up until yesterday. I suddenly realised what the problem was – it was boring. Lol. It’s so easy to get lazy, just putting down anything on a page so that you feel that you’ve achieved something that day. I’ve realised now that if you really don’t feel like working on a particular day, it’s better just to go and read a book or watch a good film, because if you try to write when you’re not in the mood you just end up turning out rubbish. I’ve gone back over it now and rewritten it, and I’m back on track again. I should have the book finished in a couple of weeks and then I can get stuck into book two. I’m a happy little bunny.

September 10th: The Sorcerer’s Tale is finished and I’ll be putting it up as a freebie on this website and quite a few other places very shortly.

Dilemma

Oh dear, I’ve got a problem with Fortunata and don’t know quite what to do with it.

I’ve always been very cautious about switching points of view between characters because it can be very disorienting for the reader if an author becomes an omniscient narrator and feels that they can get inside every character’s head and switch between points of view willy nilly. I’ve seen some books by really inexperienced writers that literally switch points of view from one sentence to another, often with disastrous results. It can be done very successfully, as in Stephen King’s Needful Things, but it takes a very skilful writer to be able to pull it off. Unfortunately, I’m no Stephen King.

I’m now faced with a dilemma. I really need to show certain scenes from two characters’ perspectives and I’m not sure I can pull it off. The real problem is that I don’t have any choice, because each of the character’s thoughts and feelings are equally important in certain parts of the story and the book is going to seriously suffer if I don’t view the story through both of their eyes.

I suppose in a way that means there isn’t a problem. I don’t have any choice in the matter and so I’m going to have to switch between points of view and just hope that I can pull it off.

Fingers crossed.

Feedback from readers

I had a lovely surprise today when I went in to check how Twilight of the Gods was doing on Amazon. A lady called Angela had left a review there for me, giving me five stars – which is always appreciated, because it’s very encouraging to know that people are enjoying my books. It’s also always very helpful to see what a reader liked or disliked about the book, because quite often we get a reader saying they like it or hate it, without saying why. Most authors want to please their readers – I certainly do, and I love for my readers to tell me what they want so I can give it to them. That was really why I started writing the Tamarei series in the first place, because I couldn’t find anything I wanted to read.

What was even more helpful was that Angela suggested I group my books together on Amazon, so that readers could find them more easily and I’m going to look into that – at least I’ll get my daughter to look into it and do it for me.

I know authors often gripe about bad reviews, but it’s good to remember that reviews can sometimes be very helpful and really give writers a boost. A big hug to Angela.

Welcome to my website

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Hi,

This is my first post and I haven’t got a clue what I want to say, which is probably not a good recommendation for an author. Usually you can’t shut me up – I could win an Olympic medal in gossiping, and put me in front of a keyboard and I can write up a storm, but this is scary.

I’m here because I was informed by my daughter that an author must have a website, and I’ve got to fill it with something. I can only promise I’ll try not drive anyone unfortunate enough to stumble across it into a boredom-induced coma. Perhaps I should put a health warning sticker on it now.

If you’ve found this website, then there is a good chance that you’ve at least seen one or more of the books in the Tamarei series somewhere in your travels. If you’ve read any of them, I hope you enjoyed them. They are a bit hard to categorise as books, although I think it’s safe to say that they are adult fantasy – very adult fantasy; if you’re easily shocked, then they’re not for you.

Why did I start writing them? Because I didn’t have anything to read. I’d spent the day cleaning, washing, cooking, looking after a husband and cats – although not necessarily in that order – and decided I deserved to put my feet up with a good audio book. Audio books are the most wonderful things ever invented and I have hundreds of them. With the click of a switch you can be transported into another world and you don’t have to move a muscle to do it.

I’ve always loved fantasy books, Anita Blake, Meredith Gentry, Women of Otherworld, Morganville Vampires, The Vampire Chronicles, Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, but I’d heard all of them so many times I couldn’t quite face listening to them again just yet, as much as I loved them. So I decided to write my own. I started the first Tamarei book Coming of Age. Now six books later, I’ve just started my new series Fortunata.

I’m going to put a few sneak previews up on the site of upcoming novels and novellas, and also some outtakes from the Tamarei books that I decided not to include. I’ll try to put up some wallpapers and artwork from the books as well. In the meantime, please bear with me and check back from time to time to see what’s new.

Kind regards,

Jenna Grey.