The name of the book you’re promoting.
What Genre is your book?
If it’s not released yet, when is your launch date?
Tell us a little about your book.
*The Journey is a YA coming-of-age story, following three siblings who are kicked out of their home and have to find a place of safety. It’s a travel story with lots of setting changes, a sibling story that explores communication and the complicated bond of family, and a character growth story where people have to mature in the face of trial. Included: jealousy complex (non-romantic), lots of missing family members, and sacrificing, forest-dwelling maniacs.
Tell me about your main character(s).
*The Journey’s principal character is Fred Thorne. His conscientious soul fears being in charge, yet at the beginning of The Journey that’s exactly what happens to him. Throughout the first third of the book, he’s constantly hoping for a chance to hand it over to “someone else”. He knows he’ll fail his sisters, he won’t be able to protect them from all he should, and the more he fails them, the more guilt he bears. Sandy Thorne, who shares much of the spotlight with him, couldn’t care less about responsibility and rules. In fact, she spends her life breaking a lot of the rules. Self-reliant and confident as a rule, she nonetheless has a subverted need for affirmation, which, once awakened, may get a little… obsessive.
How has faith played a role in your book?
*The aspects worked in little by little. I didn’t have any intention of incorporating it when I first began the story (way back in 2013). Later on, when I trashed certain plot ideas and needed a new one, the thindran presented itself. The thindran is, quite simply, a messenger of God. Equivalent to an angel, you could say, but intrinsically corporeal, so not quite. It isn’t God itself; it can be challenged, gainsaid, but there are few who would dare to. It’s an unfallen creature and terrifying in its holiness and power. Part of The Journey is about how circumstances we see as unhappy and horrible are God’s way of creating something good. His hand is over the Thornes throughout their journey when they are least aware of it, making sure that even the evil that crosses their paths will ultimately bring about His wise ends. I would say more, but I keep treading on spoilers, so we’ll leave it at that. I still would not call my book “overtly” Christian. The hints presented are pretty subtle, and that is conscious. I prefer to take an organic method of introducing my stance, and the first books are filled with references yet rarely explicit. Eventually, the focus swings around and takes Christian themes straight on, letting characters grapple with their faith and ask hard questions.
What was the hardest part about writing this book?
*Fred. My struggling, responsible, currently lovable protagonist was a splitting headache in the middle of the first draft. I didn’t understand the concept of overwriting an emotion at the time, and consequently ALL his emotions were overwritten. He had maudlin soliloquies on a page-by-page basis, and I detested him, but had no idea how to fix him. Late in 2015, I deliberately altered my writing style to a closer imitation of an author I deeply admired. It became straightforward, concise, and slightly archaic, and suddenly all the extraneous Fred-drama was gone. His internal thoughts naturally followed the concise pattern I was trying to emulate, and I actually began to love him. My other saving decision was to include Sandy’s point of view. Her sassy, ironic voice balances out Fred’s serious thoughts.
What was the most enjoyable part about writing this book?
*The climax for sure. What a rush of emotion that was. The words were practically writing themselves under my hands, yet I had to keep putting down the pencil because of the pure awe and exhilaration surging through me. It was the kind of thing one couldn’t rush through, any more than the characters experiencing it would dare (or be able) to rush the moment. It’s now three years since I wrote it, but the memory rears up with fresh vitality every time.
If you could swap lives with your main character for a short time, would you? Why or why not?
*My gut response was to howl “NO” and flip my computer across the room to emphasize the point (no, I didn’t actually do it!). If that gives you any idea of how I treat my characters… well, it gives you an idea. But to be fair, The Journey’s time span includes plenty of mundane traveling, and I do love traveling. So if I could pick an uneventful slot, I’d totally sacrifice my modern comforts to see the vivid landscapes of Legea.
Why do readers want to pick this book up?
*That’s a great question! There are any number of reasons, really. If you like sibling stories, you should pick this up. I firmly believe there aren’t enough YA sibling-focused stories out there. If solid character growth is your thing, you’ll definitely get that in The Journey. If you like descriptive prose in a classically-influenced style, this might be the book for you. Or if you enjoy fantasy with a highly developed world and a bit of language nerdiness, well, you might just give this a try.
What’s next for you as an author? What are you working on now?
*I’m editing the next book in the Ceristen Series; The Journey is book 1. There are four books in the series total, all of which are completed, and I hope to submit them to Ambassador International in the future. I’m also in the midst of writing the four-volume sequel to the Ceristen Series (yes, it gets complicated. Four books in one series, followed by one book in four volumes). The sequel is an epic fantasy proper, quite unlike the Ceristen Series in its scope, but it maintains the same themes of character growth and platonic relationships. Faith elements come more strongly into play, and much of the story focuses on older protagonists (40+ years old). Finally, I have a middle-grade side project called Swirls of Sand. I started writing it for fun, because I wanted to explore a more ethnically diverse country that doesn’t feature in the main series aside from cameos. It’s become one of my favorite stories because it’s so unique in its setting and plot (and style; I’m writing it in first person, a break from my norm), but it too features my signature touch of sibling relationships and character-growth plots. It’s a side project with no current intentions to publish, and I post it to the online writer community of Wattpad when I find time to work on it.
Anything else important you want to tell readers?
*Hmm. Only that I love each and every person who decides to invest their time in my baby. I know it can’t ever be perfect, and I’m frankly terrified for it to go out in the world, but I captured what I meant to in its pages, and for that reason I love it. And my heart bursts to know that there are people eager to love it as much as I do.
Please include your social media links and a link to purchase your book.
*Social media: https://www.facebook.com/VBuchananWrites/ https://www.instagram.com/verityb.writes/ https://www.wattpad.com/user/autumn_sunfire
The Journey isn’t released yet, but when it is you’ll be able to purchase it here on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1620209357