A Chronicle of Chaos – The D.M. Cain interview!

October 23 is the day. The day A Chronicle of Chaos will be available to the world. This is the first book in The Light and Shadow Chronicles, though you can read them in any order you like, with the exception of the final book.

About the Book

In the deepest bowels of hell, five demons have been summoned, their bonds to the fires of damnation severed. For the first time in millennia, they have been called to the human realm to put an end to a battle that has raged for centuries.

The Children of Light and the Brotherhood of Shadow dominate the war-torn land, each yearning to rule the planet. Now the Brotherhood has summoned the demons, a weapon that could destroy their enemies once and for all, if they can only keep them under control. Chaos, a soldier in The Children of Light, basks in the glory of being the highest ranking fighter of his generation, but his arrogance and impulsiveness prevent him from being given the opportunity to prove himself. He believes himself beyond the law, but a fateful coincidence puts him at the mercy of the demon, Anathema.

The two warriors, demon and human, strike up an intense rivalry, but their obsession to destroy one another only leads them closer together. They must decide which is more important to them – their duty or their desire.

Are you just as curious to find out more about the book and the author as I am? Then listen to this amazing interview with D.M. Cain where she gives us a peek into her way of writing, her childhood, her personal life and how The Light and Shadow Chronicles were born!

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About the Author

Since early childhood, D.M. Cain has always been blessed with an over-active imagination. Stories and characters rattled around in her mind and she began to write them down in a (relatively) organised manner when she was around ten years old. Cain still has the stories she wrote as a young child and can vividly remember losing herself in a world of her own creation.

“I tried my hand at writing a variety of different tales – from short stories about daily, teenage life to horror and science fiction. As a teenager, my amazing best friend and I created a world of fantasy and wonder. We met every day and created new characters, walked for hours and simply talked through battles and events. It became our own little project, which grew and developed over three or four years into a rich fantasy world. My friend grew up and moved away from dragons and magic, but I never did. So I continued the story and it grew… and grew… and grew. The stories remained inside my head and I didn’t write them down for many years.”

Cain began to write in earnest around the age of eighteen, when she came up with the idea for The Phoenix Project. She played around with certain scenes – writing the most exciting parts – until university, friends and relationships stole her attention.

Throughout her university years, she carried on with both of these ideas – the fantasy world and ‘The Phoenix Project’, dipping in and out of the stories and characters, playing with ideas as and when they occurred to her, writing paragraphs here and chapters there. It wasn’t until she graduated and traveled to Japan to teach English that the fantasy world really began to take off.

Japan inspired Cain in so many ways and her imagination blossomed. The stories in her fantasy world stretched out to both the past and the future, and the timeline began to cover decades, then centuries and finally, millennia. She started to keep notes of the things that happened (it all became too much for her brain to keep track of!), but she rarely wrote anything as actual prose.

In 2008, Cain returned to England, depressed and dejected at having to leave the place she loved so much. She planned on keeping her head down, getting her teaching qualifications, then running straight back to the country she now called home.

“I never expected to meet Matt, the love of my life, in my dreary coal mining hometown, but there he was, dancing away with his friends in a dingy bikers pub, and he piqued my interest. He stole my heart when I discovered he was a talented writer and had actually finished two novels, where I had only dreamed of doing so.”

That was it. The challenge was on. His support and encouragement gave her the focus to write properly, and she resurrected the old ‘Phoenix Project.’

IMG_1368.JPGD.M. Cain at the launch party of The Phoenix Project

“We spent every evening writing, sharing chapters and critiquing each others’ work. It was one of the happiest times of my life. We dropped everything and traveled across Europe via InterRail – Istanbul, Budapest, Krakow… We visited 14 countries and would spend hours and hours on rickety trains trundling through Carpathian mountains or idly floating along the Rhine Valley. And it was on this journey that I wrote the majority of that novel – inspired by the majesty of the scenery and the freedom of the open road.”

They returned to England and settled into jobs. Cain became a primary school teacher, a job she adored, but which exhausted her daily. In the evenings she continued to write, and in 2011, heavily pregnant with her wonderful son, she finally finished ‘The Phoenix Project.’

“I imagined that a baby would stop me from writing, but strangely I found his little face more inspiring than any of the scenery we’d passed on our travels, and I wrote more following his birth than I did before it.”

But she had finished ‘The Phoenix Project’ – her everything, her passion in life, the book she poured my heart and soul into. Cain wanted to feel that passion again, that burning desire to delve deep into her character’s mind and tell their story.

So she began to write the fantasy world which had existed in her head for so long. And that’s how the Light and Shadow Chronicles were born. She picked a point in the centre of the timeline and focused upon Chaos – a character very close to her heart, and began to write his story. Two years later, ‘The Chronicle of Chaos’ was finished, but she had barely scratched the surface of this immense world.

Cain realised she wanted to tell the entire story, and she chose another character and began to tell their story. ‘The Shield of Soren’ is still in progress and is likely to be finished in 2015.

A Chronicle of Chaos is available for pre-order now! You can order your copy here

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Ramblings of a Modern Druidess – Interview Jack Croxall – Unwoven

Monday morning. Unwoven, part II of the Tethers Trilogy sees the light of day. Time to find out more about the creative mastermind who’s responsible for what happens to our beloved characters, Karl and Esther.
So I sat Jack Croxall down on his couch and asked him the following questions.

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Karl and Esther have changed quite a bit after Tethers. Did you know from the beginning this would happen or was it something that happened along the way?

They certainly have! I knew this would be the case from the start as, naturally, when I was trying to write the first novel my mind kept drifting off and imagining what would happen in the second. That meant I knew virtually the entire plot before I’d even started.

Both Tethers and Unwoven are set in a different time, but it very much resembles our normal world. How did you find the right ‘voice’ for your characters? Did you research how people spoke back then and what they did?

I live in the area where a lot of the books are set (all be it 150 years later), and so a lot of the regional dialect (ey-up for example) is still used now. As for the southern accents, I’ve read and watched so many Victorian period pieces that I’ve absorbed that dialogue pretty well.

If you would have to choose one character who you resemble the most, who would it be and why?

I would LOVE to say Esther but I’m really not much like her at all. Firstly, she’s awesome and an amazing fighter, and I’ve never been in a single fight in my life! I’m probably more like Karl; more considered and calm, but certainly not shy of going off on an adventure. Some minor traits of Esther’s, like her love of amphibians, do belong to me, however, but the similarities probably end there!

There’s a lot of tension in Unwoven amongst the lead characters. Was it difficult to keep them apart?

Quite the opposite actually, it was really hard to find time for them to reconcile as there was so much stuff I wanted to happen in the main storyline. I kept having to find little pockets of time for them to talk about what had happened, and in the end – well – you’ll just have to wait and see.

Are you a go-with-the-flow kind of writer or do you sit yourself down and write for a set period of time?

Go-with-the-flow mostly, I do try to get some writing done every day though.

Will there also be a paperback version of Unwoven, like Tethers?

If people want one, then I will do one. I’ll donate half of the paperback proceeds to ME Research UK again too I think.

Esther’s sword-fighting skills have enhanced even more. Is sword-fighting something you like to do yourself?

Yes, Esther has become a lot more skilled with a blade – she’s also become quite bloodthirsty as well, which is a pretty lethal combination. I’ve never actually held a proper sword before, so for my research I just watched a load of instructional fencing videos on YouTube and played along with a ruler! I would really like to try it properly though, and, as Esther gets better and better, I’m less qualified to write her fights in detail so it might be a good idea to try it.

If you could be a famous person for one day (from the past or present), who would you want to be and why?

Gosh that’s a tough question! JK Rowling maybe, I want to know what being a success feels like!!

Torn will complete the Tethers Trilogy. Is there one quote you could reveal to us about the essence of that book?

Well, the essence of the third book is almost a race, as various groups of people speed towards the same place and goal. It’s going to be written from multiple points of view which is new for me, and something I’m really looking forward to doing. It means I can really explore the thoughts and backgrounds of some of the secondary characters, especially Mr Cauldwell who has been somewhat of a mystery during the first two books. I have no idea how to encapsulate all that in one quote, so I hope that answer is okay!

Thanks so much Jack, for taking the time to answer my questions. I wish you the best of luck with your amazing Tethers Trilogy!

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Unwoven is now available for purchase. Unwoven by Jack Croxall on Amazon