Guest blogger: Cheryse Durrant
I’ve been tormented by my characters since I was a child.
My sister used to roll her eyes when she caught me having conversations with my heroes and heroines.
It often felt like they and their story were trapped inside me and the only way I could give them freedom was to ‘get them out and get them down’.
Only once I’d channelled their stories onto paper would their spirits release themselves from the deep and often scary recesses of my mind—and not until I gave them a satisfying ending.
This is the plight, I think, of authors everywhere, to be battered and crowded out by vivid, three-dimensional characters that arrive amidst magical cerebral mists, and refuse to leave, even if we ask them nicely.
So when the image and voice of my gutsy heroine Shahkara (The Blood She Betrayed) first flashed through my mind, I knew it would be a challenging journey before I could finally let her go.
Shahkara is one of the strongest, most inspiring, most selfless yet single-minded women I have ever ‘met’. Her life is pitted by secrets and tragedy, her kingdom devastated by Taloner demons and political intrigue.
But she didn’t want me to write about her murky Gorian homeworld but, instead, her dangerous quest to Earth to find an ancient artefact—the Elnara death lantern—her last hope against the heart-devouring demons plaguing her lands.
Shahkara: A fallen warrior princess, bound by duty, but harbouring dark secrets, forced into a world of breath-taking technology and sinister forces.
Max: A directionless Earthern on the brink of manhood, trapped by his wealthy father’s manipulations, and grieving the loss of both mother and brother.
These two characters cross paths from the very first page of The Blood She Betrayed and their lives are never the same again.
Neither was mine. Maybe Shahkara’s magic will also touch you—and you’ll be changed, also.
I’m in Brisbane this week for the official launch of The Blood She Betrayed at GenreCon and will also be appearing at my signature Dark Creatures Author Events at various venues.
I’d love to have coffee in the city with any Brisbane ARRA members who are interested so please email me via cheryse(at)quietdawn(dot)org and we can set a date (Friday sounds good?).
Or come along to my Dark Creatures event at Mary Ryan’s Milton on Thursday, 10 October. You must telephone Mary Ryan’s on 3510 5000 to reserve your ticket.
Thanks to the ARRA for hosting me today and thank-you, readers, for helping me share my characters with the world. That makes you very special in my hunter’s heart.
Cheryse Durrant grew up on a farm near Roma, Queensland, where she regularly created bunyips and other imaginary characters. She wrote her first story on her aunt’s bedroom wall but it did not attract the literary acclaim she deserved. She worked as a journalist for 15 years before trading her soul for fiction. The coffee/chocolate/strawberry addict now lives at Bargara on the Central Queensland coast, with her beach cat Scamp and sexy geek husband Shane.
To celebrate the physical launch of The Blood She Betrayed, I’m running a special competition where one lucky reader will have a character named after them in my next Heart Hunters book, The Ghost She Killed, scheduled for release next year.
All you have to do is order an eBook or paperback copy of The Blood She Betrayed before 16 October and email me proof of purchase via cheryse(at)quietdawn(dot)org, which also gives you the chance to win a $50 Amazon gift voucher (drawn 31 October) and a $130 9ct gold crystal pendant (drawn 30 November).
Why not buy a copy for your daughter or bestie for an extra entry in the draw?
To save her kingdom, she must betray her blood…
Thrust into the technology-driven Earthlands via magical mists, Shahkara is forced to rely on Max McCalden to help search for the ancient Elnara death lantern, her homeworld’s last chance of survival against the heart-devouring Taloners.
Max has his own problems—a manipulative billionaire father, a murdered brother—but nothing prepares him for this fugitive warrior’s razor-sharp talons and magical abilities.
Shahkara’s half-Taloner blood demands what she knows she can’t have—a human heart. She longs for love, but as deadly enemies attack at every turn, will her lust for Max destroy them both? Or will she find the strength to free both worlds from a threat more horrific than the demons that share her blood?
The Blood She Betrayed will be available from all good bookstores, Clan Destine Press, Amazon, iTunes and Kobo, from 12 October.
For those who want to try before they buy, they can download the first 12 chapters for free from Clan Destine Press.