If you haven’t yet read Dawnstone Tale – Translations from Jorthus what are you waiting for? I couldn’t put it down and when it was done, I begged the author for book two. Since she’s a wonderful person, she took pity on me and sent me her proof copy. Sorry folks the rest of you will have to wait for the book to come out. But the good news is, it’s coming soon! Meanwhile, you can read Book One, which will rock you!
When did you start writing?
I dabbled with fiction in high school, and then continued starting many different storylines throughout college. I slowed down after my son was born, and didn’t think seriously about writing novels for publication until four years ago when my friend, with whom I was sharing the various adventures, asked if I could send them all in sequence for her. So, I thought if I’m going to go that far, why not finish them as books.
What gave you the idea for your first book?
My first printed book, The Dawnstone Tale, was a way to introduce the world, the characters, and their relationships that were already set up in the story that I was writing before it (which turned out to be the second and third books). I did it backwards, I suppose–started writing an adventure, then went back to show how they all met. It started as a short story, but was encapsulated enough that if I stopped with only one book, then at least it had a definite beginning, middle, and end. The original adventure that I had started has such a long story arc, that I had to divide it up.
The characters, which had developed in my mind, pretty much controlled or dictated the plot by their natures. And, the characters started from just a simple discussion between two old friends. I was helping my friend repair some dolls, and we began making up personalities for them as we worked. The world of Jorthus began to take shape, having started from a daydream of journeying across a map of the ocean floor in geology class, and when I put the two elements together, it took on a life of its own.
What genre do you write?
I write what could be classified as high or epic fantasy, although I do enjoy spicing it with irreverent humor to keep it light sometimes. My first unfinished endeavor was a vampire trilogy that was very dark and harsh, but not without an injection of humor as well.
What do you do to keep yourself focused?
Focused? Procrastination is more my “go to” word! But, seriously, it is very hard to stay focused. Some days I get busy with so many other projects (either costuming, painting, drawing, or helping others) and some days, usually in the middle of the night, I can sit and type out page after page. It helps keeping an outline from the notes that I have written over the years. What keeps me focused, on finishing these stories, are the friends and family members that are waiting to find out how this will all end, and I don’t want to disappoint them.
Do you stay with one project or do you work on multiple projects?
I used to work on multiple projects, as I would get quickly bored of one storyline until I was working on another, then new ideas for the old one would pop up. But, now, I try to stay within one “world” just so that I can finish the novels as quickly as possible. I am currently indulging in a short story compilation as well as finishing the fourth novel in my Jorthus series.
What is your writing process?
That’s hard to say. Generally, I will start with characters in mind, and then toy around with putting them into situations. It is almost a case of letting them take the lead. Rarely do I have a strict plotline defined first. By their personalities and motives, the characters control how the events resolve. Each one is a piece of me, so I try to keep them true to how I see them, and just go along for the ride! I try to keep it as exciting for me, as a reader and a writer, as it will hopefully be for other readers.
What is the theme of your novel?
Each novel could have its own theme, in a sense, but I see them as all parts of a whole story that will take several tales to tell. The overall themes, I suppose, would be hope, personal redemption, and learning to forgive oneself. I see the series as a journey for the characters–to discover themselves and how they fit into the mystery of their universe.
Do you consciously use symbolism in your book?
I do notice quite a lot of symbolism creeping into my stories, though I wouldn’t say that it is completely conscious. With fantasy, I find that it tends to be the nature of the beast, as it were, to have symbolism mingled throughout the writing. It may not always be intentional, but after the story has concluded itself and I reread it, it’s there.
What is your latest release?
In order to lower cover prices, I split Book Two into two books, so they will be re-released at the same time. I will be issuing a reedit of the second book, The Convergence, with new illustrations by my talented friend, Khanada, later this year. The second half of it will now be included in the book, The Excursion, which will have new cover art by Khanada. I hope to have the fourth book, The Midnight Shadow, ready for release early next year.
What other books do you have published?
My sister and I wrote and illustrated a small, children’s book in honor of our grandmother and her daughters. It was a short run, self-published book called, A Wise Woman’s Fable. Originally intended for family and friends, it was so well received by others that we are thinking of redoing it and submitting it for wider release.
Where are your books available?
My books are available through Amazon.com, Triscelle Publishing, and my own createspace estore on http://www.booksofjorthus.com. The ebooks, or epub files, are available for download from Lulu.com.
The Dawnstone Tale – Translations from Jorthus: Book One is the first in in Ruth Davis Hays’ fantasy series. In a world where life is enhanced by magic, the magda rule select territories.
Lylith Antinon is the daughter of a magda, or magic user. A magda herself, she lives alone until a strong compulsion to venture into the unknown brings her out of her comfortable, though lonely, tower. Her innocence of the outside world makes her easy prey for one unscrupulous enough to take advantage.
Traveling alone isn’t safe, but on the road she meets the dark and mysterious fae lord, Dharromar. He swears to protect her, but does he have more insidious things in mind for the naïve human? His strange countenance and dark blade mark him as very different, even among the fae.
By chance, they encounter a young faerlin thief named Keinigan. On a mission of his own, he throws in his lot with Dharromar and Lylith because they all have the same objective in mind—find the Dawnstone.
The Dawnstone is a legendary gem held on the Isle of Daie. Taking it is foolhardy and futile, but the three companions plan a daring escapade to steal the magical gem.
Ruth Davis Hays has a beautifully descriptive narrative style. She truly creates pictures with her words, describing the characters and environment so that readers can easily see them in their imaginations.
The characters in The Dawnstone Tale, are beautifully crafted. Lylith is a pretty, delicate, young woman whose innocence marks her as a pure spirit. Is it any wonder that both fae men find themselves attracted to her? She has no desire other than to rescue the Dawnstone from its current owner.
Dharromar is a fae man of mixed blood whose lineage is greatly in question. Even he may not be sure what race his father is. His skill set also sets him apart, as does the dark blade at his side. Although he protects Lylith, he isn’t quite what he seems.
Keinigan is a thief. He doesn’t profess to be anything but that. While one cannot call him honest, he isn’t exactly dishonest either. His feelings for Lylith are genuine and his distrust of Dharromar is based on more than his desire to woo the redheaded magda.
The Dawnstone Tale – Translations from Jorthus: Book One is one of the best fantasies I’ve ever read. I found it even more compelling and well paced with a story that keeps the reader moving. When I got to the end of the story, I wanted to read the next book immediately to find out where the tale goes from here.
The Dawnstone Tale – Translations from Jorthus: Book One, is a marvelous, epic fantasy that leaves the reader begging for more. It starts out good and gets better as the story progresses. By the last ten pages, I was literally breathless. The ending is one of the greatest cliff hangers of any book I’ve ever read. I highly recommend it for anyone who loves fantasy or who enjoys a well told tale.
I give this book 5 golden acorns!
© Dellani Oakes 2011