Indie Spotlight: Paul Dorset & Xannu - The Prophecy
An author interview was featured yesterday in Indie Spotlight. I have reproduced the article below. The original can be found HERE. Many thanks to Indie Spotlight for the shout out. Paul Dorset – Xannu: The Prophecy
Title: Xannu – The Prophecy
Author: Paul Dorset
Page count: 378
Genre: YA Fantasy
Paul Dorset was born in Poole, Dorset in England in 1960 but has been living in America since 1995. He has been writing for many years and some of his early works were published in ‘teen advice’ columns. He has also had many technical articles published, mostly in the field of Computing.
Paul currently lives in the Pacific Northwest but has traveled extensively and worked many times with teens and youth groups. It is this background combined with a vivid imagination that has enabled him to weave a tapestry of magic into complete novels. His first epic fantasy series, aimed at young adults, is entitled ‘The Southern Lands’. However, the storyline is more than exciting enough to keep adults turning pages as the story unfolds.
Paul is currently working on several other projects and hopes to release a couple of new books later in 2011. For up to date information on his projects, please read his blog which is linked below.
Tell us about your book:
“Listen to the teachings of a wise man. You may not understand all he says but you will surely have nourishment for the future. Be positive and plan for success. Failure to plan is to plan for failure. Worry not at what came before but only prepare yourselves for that which is ahead.” (Pika’Al 10:1-5, The Scriptures of Al’Zaneed)
Living out a mundane school life is not the norm for 12 year old Terry West. After digging up some rune coins near an old roman road two years ago, he has been living another life. This parallel existence in another world, is very different from his home. There he is Teern Truthbringer, an 18 year old soldier, who is tasked with finding the Xannu – ‘he who will lead the people into deliverance.’
Journeying far and wide to fulfill his destiny, Teern will meet many others. Some who will help him and some who will want him dead. Visiting strange lands, battling un-earthly creatures and witnessing powerful magic are all in a day’s work.
But remaining an integral part of his circle of friends back home leads to many dilemmas. How will he balance the two lives he leads, solve two sets of problems, and understand the lessons he receives from both? Only time will tell. But time is something Terry doesn’t have too much of, as everything is unfolding in ways he could never have imagined!
How long did it take to write the book?
Originally written over a three month period, the book has been revisited several times and re-edited to make it tighter, faster and more compelling.
What inspired you to write the book?
I originally wrote this book after a long period of traveling and working abroad. It was something that had been building inside me for several years. I finally had a break between two work contracts and seized the opportunity to write. The words poured out!
Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
I like to plan a lot. I start with the basic plot and then start to augment it, carefully taking notes. After the plot has sat with me a while, I start to map out the chapters and the overall ebb and flow of the book. As I start to write it, I write more detailed notes about upcoming chapters and jot down new ideas that come while I’m writing. I do varied research around all type of topics to add as much realism as I can to the world of fantasy. I also dig out pictures to represent my characters and places so that I have constants to refer to.
What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
I want to leave the reader with a desire to read more. To learn and to understand more about the fantastic world I am building. Also by the end of the series I want the reader to question things around them that they have been led to believe are true. Imagination can be a very strong motivator.
At first she didn’t think anything of the rustling in the trees, the excited squawk of the birds, or the silence that followed. She looked up too late and froze, face to face with a huge cat-like animal. Its mouth was hanging open, revealing two huge canine teeth protruding downwards, drool slowly dripping from its mouth. She did not dare move, and the large orange and black striped creature stood and stared at her, its great pink tongue flicking back and forth across its hungry mouth. It came to a complete stop not four paces from a mortified Maria and squatted down onto its haunches. Maria swallowed loudly, and a small drip of berry juice escaped from the corner of her mouth. She didn’t dare lick her lips and the drip slowly made its way down her face, finally coming to a stop on her chin. She swallowed again and stared at the great beast, easily as big as her, and probably weighing two or three times her own weight. She had never seen a B’Wot before, but had heard all about them. They were said to live in the great forests and mountains, solitary creatures that could kill a fully-grown man as easily as a boy snapping a twig. B’Wots had often been blamed for mysterious deaths in the small foothills of the forests and mountains, and no one had lived to tell the tale of capturing or killing one.
The B’Wot gracefully got back up and sauntered over to Maria, finally resting with its face inches away from hers. She tried to stay completely motionless and the foul stench that came from the creature’s mouth washed over her. She tried not to even breathe. Its large green eyes stared into hers, not blinking or moving, but trying to make out exactly what or who she was. Finally, its tongue flicked at her face and licked the blue drip of berry juice from her chin. Then the B’Wot sat at her feet and started to purr. An enormous purr that almost vibrated the very ground on which she stood.
Maria breathed out again and looked down at the B’Wot. It still did not move, except to rub its head against her legs, purring loudly. She ventured a hand and touched the top of the creature’s head, gently stroking the soft fur that covered it. Its eyes searched her out, but still it made no move. Finally Maria started to relax and absently-mindedly stroked the creature some more. She continued to do this for a further few minutes until she felt confident that the beast was not going to attack her.
“You had me worried for a few moments there,” she said without thinking. The B’Wot raised its head and looked up at her. It opened its mouth and made a kind of guttural sound at her. Looking confused, the creature tried again.
“Maria,” it seemed to say. She couldn’t believe what she thought she heard and laughed to herself.
“Animals don’t talk,” she said out loud. “I must be going crazy too!”
“Maria,” the creature said again, much clearer this time. Maria abruptly stopped stroking the creature and looked down.
“Did you just say my name?” she asked, chuckling because she felt stupid about talking to an animal.
“Maria Pengollen.” It was very clear this time, as if the creature was finding a voice that had not been used for many years. Maria looked astounded at the creature, hardly believing what she was hearing. “I am called Amber Fleetfoot,” it continued. Maria scrunched up her face in confusion. This time she had seen. The B’Wot hadn’t actually said those things. It had spoken, in its way, but Maria had understood what was said. It was as if her mind translated for her.
“Amber Fleetfoot,” she replied, without thinking. Again the B’Wot purred loudly and rubbed up against her. “Well, Amber Fleetfoot,” she continued, “what are we to do?” It was a rhetorical question, for she didn’t really expect an answer from an animal.
“I am here to guide and protect you,” the B’Wot answered. “The creatures of the forest sent word you needed help. I have come to give you that help. I cannot stay long, but it will be time enough for what we have to do.”
Maria sat in silence, reflecting on what was happening about her. No one had ever warned her about this. Of course she had been able to talk to the Prassos, but to understand a B’Wot was another matter completely. She had so many questions, so many things to ask. She didn’t know where to start.
“We will have time along the way,” Amber Fleetfoot said, as if reading her mind. “Come, let us depart.” The B’Wot got to its feet and nudged at Maria. She reached out and took her branch and pulled herself up.