Meet Author Terri Rochenski. She May Write Fantasy, But It Sure Doesn’t Feel That Way.
If you’re like me, and you love reading when you see the world, experience it, and feel the heart of the character, then you’ll love Eye of the Soul.
Welcome to the official blog tour for Eye of the Soul, Book 1 in the series Pool of Souls, and my interview with author Terri Rochenski.
A Bit About the Book
Publisher: J. Taylor Publishing
Release Date: October 7, 2013
The Back of the Book.
That should be Hyla’s first thought as her people are chained and imprisoned for no imaginable reason.
Instead, Hyla finds herself traveling through a land void of Natives, with human soldiers pillaging in desperate pursuit of her, and in search of the mystical Pool of Souls—home to the one man who can save her people.
Or so she believes.
Led by her faith in the deity Fadir, Hyla is met along her journey by Jadon—a human male and fierce King’s warrior, and his childhood best friend Conlin—one of the few Natives aware of his Fadir-given Talents.
Protected by Jadon, guided by Conlin, and with an unfailing belief in the purpose of her pilgrimage, Hyla carries on.
Like her, though, another searches for the Pool, and should he gain access first, everyone she loves, and everything she knows, could be lost.
Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with the fantasy genre.
Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her two young daughters allow. When not potty training or kissing boo-boos, she can be found on her back patio in the boondocks of New Hampshire, book or pencil in hand.
How To Find Her:
Where did the idea for your book begin?
I’ve always wanted to write a medieval fantasy, and while studying those years I learned a lot about the herbs and roots they used for medicinal purposes. I created my world with both in mind, and the story itself was inspired by some life changing events that occurred during the years I spent in the Maryland area.
Tell me about your desire to write. When did you know it was something you really wanted to do?
I don’t know the exact moment that I decided I wanted to write. I’ve always been an avid reader and enjoyed daydreaming / pretending as a child. Once I became an adult, it’s said you should put away childish things, but I couldn’t stop the characters within my mind telling me stories. I decided to put what they said onto paper and suddenly I had a new hobby that I thoroughly enjoyed.
When you develop characters, how do you begin?
Each story is different for me. Some of the flash pieces I wrote required a certain character type to fit the story. One of my short story characters was inspired by my sister-in-laws experiences in life. No matter how they begin, ALL characters go through a thorough interview with me. We’re talking a sit down & chat kind of interview where I observe and write down all their mannerisms, quirks, and expressions.
How long have you been working with the storyline and characters in Eye of the Soul?
I started world building just over five years ago, but the actual characters and stories didn’t occur for some time after that. Up until three years ago I was still unsure how the ending would actually occur.
Where do you write? An aspiring safe place?
I write wherever and whenever I can. As a stay-at-home mom of 3 little kids sometimes it’s a week between new words getting down on paper.
What 1-2 surprises came up as you were writing this story?
I never expected a relationship to bud between two of the characters. I also never expected a supporting character to show so much growth through his own journey. Because of it, he won me over when I expected to be annoyed by him.
Briefly tell me about a memory of you growing up, and how it defines your character.
If you’re asking about MY character (me) then that’s truly a tough one! I’d have to say there’s no specific memory, more the fact that I grew up with three brothers and two awesome parents on a farm that made me who I am.
If you’re asking about MY memories defining the character within my book, I’d have to say there are none. Hyla isn’t like me in the least. Quite opposite actually, which makes for telling her story a little rough. It’s only what she experiences later in the series that is similar to what I did in my late 20s / early 30s.
What one piece of advice can you give aspiring authors about making their dreams of becoming published come true?
Never give up, and in the meantime be sure to learn as much as you can from those who’ve gone before you.
A Brief Glimpse of Her Writing.
Cursing her arthritic fingers, Miri squeezed out a rag and draped it over the human man’s hot forehead.
“I’ve seen a lot more harvests than you, old goat,” she muttered, lifting his eyelids. “I’m thinking you’ll never catch up either. Doubt you last another half-moon’s phase.”
Miri pushed to her feet and stretched her hunched back. A heavy sigh slipped past her wrinkled lips as she glanced around the sick house. Keeping the night watch wasn’t too bad—she’d volunteered often since her old bones wouldn’t allow much sleep.
“Joints wasted, hearing all but gone …” Miri yanked on the long white braid lying over her shoulder. “I’m the old goat.”
She shuffled down the aisle, woolen kirtle swishing in the silence. A cool, autumn breeze rustled the crimson leaves of the magnolia and palm fronds overhead, drawing her gaze upward. Violet streaks lit the pre-dawn sky. A dog barked, yipped, and fell silent.
Miri peered across the village green to the thatched buildings beyond. A shadow passed between two cottages. Another three hurried toward the neighboring dwelling.
“Sight fading or my mind, too?” Miri rubbed her watery eyes, blinked, and leaned forward. Light flickered through the palm trees behind the outlying homes.
The flames drew closer, weaving between the trunks.
Humans from the mainland? Miri’s hand clutched at her throat. Soldiers. Fadir have mercy.
The men crept through the village, taking up positions at every doorway. Two brutes, more horse-like in size than human, approached the sick house.
Sputtering torch held high, the first strode forward, dark eyes intent upon Miri. A green surcoat covered broad shoulders and fell to his thighs. The golden wheat sheaf of the city of Varosh adorned his chest.
Cold sweat beaded upon Miri’s brow. Breath burst from her lungs, and she moved back, clutching the door jam.
The second soldier stepped closer, chains and shackles clanking in his hand. He stopped two paces away from Miri, and a smile stretched his stubbled cheeks, revealing rotted teeth. “Good morning pointy-ears.”
Miri stared, heartbeat thundering in her ears. She’d been called worse in her eighty-three birth passings but never with such malice.
A single cry rang out across the village, and doors crashed inward. Screams rent the air.
“Don’t fight Native woman,” rotten-teeth sneered, shackles outstretched.
“W-why?” Miri whispered, taking a step backward.
A scowl narrowed his gaze, and his fist shot forward.
Bursts of light and pain exploded through Miri as she crumpled to the floor.
Miri’s people huddled on the village green as fall’s pale sun crested the trees. Cold metal had been clasped around their necks and ankles. Many trembled in the cool air, little more than night clothes covering their nakedness. Miri held to her braid with a white-knuckled grip, her head and its egg-sized bump throbbing in time with her pulse.
A handful of other battered Natives who had attempted flight were the last to join them, the soldiers tossing them forward like sacks of potatoes.