Guest Post by Joanna White
I’d like to welcome my first guest blogger, Joanna White, author of the fantasy novel, Hunter, to Talithia! Joanna has graciously offered to share her thoughts on her love of the medieval and how it has influenced her novel.
I absolutely love anything medieval, from dragons to swords and knights. To me, medieval is the base for a good fantasy novel, movie, even video games. I mean, Skyrim is my favorite video game and one of the most fun to play and it’s medieval-based (with a combination of magic).
When I made Hunter, I couldn’t start my very first fantasy novel without doing something that was and still is traditionally medieval: King Arthur. Most people don’t know this about the novel, but there’s actually a small section of it that goes deep into the legend of the world Hunter takes place on and has a King Arthur reference.
At the time I was writing it, it was sort of random; I wanted and needed a story for my main protagonist, Averella’s, father to be telling her for the sake of a flashback, and King Arthur’s story was really easy to tweak and fit into my story, especially with the geography setting I chose—don’t worry; I’ve included an excerpt of it at the end of this guest post, so you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
After that, I loved messing around and tweaking different legends but it was some years later before I actually chose to write anything fully based on King Arthur. At least, not until I wrote the book The Last Pendragon. It ended up being a short story/novella, but I had so much fun writing it and coming up with the different ideas for it. Similar to Hunter, it was also a first; in this case, with The Last Pendragon, it was my first modern fantasy. This book basically started with a simple, yet twisted idea; What if King Arthur was the bad guy? He cast a curse on mages and in order to break it, mages are now killing every single member of the Pendragon family. The main protagonist discovers she’s a Pendragon and now she’s forced on the run.
The Last Pendragon is free to read on Wattpad right now.
When Hunter was accepted by Ambassador International, I couldn’t have been happier. In rereading it as my editor went through it, I read that same scene, the one about the legends of King Arthur and the world Hunter takes place on, Averell. It reminded me that that scene was the first in a long line of tweaked legends and epic stories. It was the first time I’d world built anything and it was also the first piece of history I’d ever invented for a world of my own.
I want you guys to read the scene that started it all:
Hours later, I was walking toward the Averell, the rock-formation I was named after. The rocks were all formed in a perfect circle, almost like chairs around a huge stone table.
I smiled, remembering the old children’s story my father used to tell my brother and I when we were younger. “Long, long ago, when our world flourished and thrived in the Early Days, the people saw another world, far away from our own, and saw that it was struggling. So, in compassion, our people gathered together at the Averell and decided what they could do to help. They took every other stone out of the Averell and traveled to the far away world and left the stones there. Our people provided a test in which the rightful king would be the only one to pull one of our Inquiri blades out of one of the stones. Because it was an Inquiri blade, only the true heir to the throne on that world would be able to pull it out. He would be one of their people with Hunter potential. We didn’t share with them the secret of the Hunters; we didn’t want to corrupt their world to the Aretul’s power like our own had been. Without knowledge of the Aretul and the Hunters, the Aretul couldn’t rise to power in that world.”
“So, what happened to the people in the far away world, Father?” I had asked him, staring at him intensely. My tired eyes drooped, but I awaited the end to the bedtime story.
“One of their great warriors, Arthur, had taken the Inquiri blade out of the stone. He became their king and helped the restore the land and its people. But eventually his own people killed him, and the land was again engulfed in darkness. So, our ancestors, after helping them, had left, leaving the stones with the people on that world as a silent reminder through all the ages of the great encounter between the worlds.”
As a little girl, I couldn’t understand why they came back. They had been safe on that world, away from the Aretul, so why had they returned at all? Gazing at the stones before me, with the stars twinkling overhead, the two moons circling one another, providing plenty of light to see, just for a second I imagined the old story was true. I could travel to that world, and be free, with Gabriel and Mother, safe. The minute I peeled my eyes away from the silver and blue light of the moons, I forced my thoughts to come back to reality.
A reckless young woman named Averella does what no woman has ever done.
She disguises herself as a man and purposefully gets herself arrested and thrown into Zagerah. Her brother Gabriel was taken, and with his disease, he will not survive on his own. She has no idea what to expect inside the prison; all she knows is that once men get taken, they never come back.
The Hunters will find her.
Genetically altered to be faster and stronger than humans, the Hunters use their powers to find and kill every prisoner who enters Zagerah. The only ones who can defeat them, are in fact, themselves.
Jared is a Hunter. It’s all he’s known, all he remembers. He kills ruthlessly and without regret, one prisoner after another. When a new prisoner Dalex shows up, everything begins to change. Jared goes undercover to make Dalex and the other prisoners believe he is one of them, a prisoner himself.
No one knows the truth.
He will trick them.
Toy with them.
Then, he will kill them.
Thanks, Joanna, for stopping by!
Joanna White earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing for Entertainment at Full Sail University. The Valiant series is her first published work, which first started off being updated on a website called Wattpad. She lives in the Missouri countryside with her husband, where she continues to work on her other upcoming books. Writing has been a passion since she was ten, when she wrote her first book. Ever since then, writing has become her life outside of her family, God, and being a nerd.