Hex Breaker: An Interview with Taryn Noelle Kloeden


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Forced to decide between her happiness and her pack’s safety, Rayna Myana chooses to protect those she loves. But when shattered promises and dark magic collide, no one is safe…

For six hundred years, Fenear, a land where humans can take wolf form, has warred with Maenor, its neighboring kingdom ruled by a ruthless dynasty. The possibility of peace emerges when the Maenoren Overlord, Rhael, enters negotiations with Fenearen leaders Bayne and Silver, but their niece, Rayna, is skeptical. Yet, when Rhael proposes to her to strengthen the alliance, she agrees for the sake of her country, despite her family’s objections and a blossoming romance with her best friend. Suspicion of treachery changes Rayna’s decision, but before she can annul the agreement, powerful forces subdue her with a sinister hex. Separated from her pack with Fenear and everyone she loves in danger, Rayna must escape and travel to a distant realm to break the hex. Only then can she save her best friend and her homeland.

Lines blur between heroism and recklessness, dreams and reality, even life and death, and Rayna risks losing herself along the way.

1. Thank you, Taryn, for allowing me to interview me today!!! I am so excited to read your first novel in final form. It was awesome when I read it in draft form so I can only imagine how spectacular it must be now. Tell us a little but about it.

Thank you for having me! I can’t wait for you to read Hex Breaker either, as it has really evolved since those early stages. As you might remember, this novel is the first in the Fenearen Chronicles trilogy. Hex Breaker is a YA fantasy about a young woman with the ability to transform into a wolf who finds herself at the center of peace negotiations between her nation and their long-time rival. When she discovers all is not as it seems, she must undertake an epic quest to save those she loves. At its core, I’d say it’s a story about love, family, and the lengths we go to save those closest to us.

2. How did you get the idea for the book? Have you always loved writing or is this a new thing for you?

The earliest kernels of this story come from games I used to play as a child. I loved to play outside and since my siblings and other neighborhood kids were older and had β€œgrown out” of such things, I had to come up with ways to entertain myself. So, I created characters and stories. A few characters in this book including Rayna, Channon, and Gar got their start out there in the woods. I started writing these stories down when I was in middle and high school, eventually leading to the first draft of this novel. I kept writing throughout college, but mostly short stories and creative nonfiction. But when I graduated and eventually joined a writing club, I decided to become more serious about this novel. A few years later, here we are!

3. If your book was made into a movie, what actors would be in it?

Haha, yes, one day perhaps Hollywood will come a-knocking and I’m sure the casting director will be happy to know I have this Pinterest board filled with ideas. Certain characters I’ve always sort of envisioned as specific actors. For example, I have always seen Seperun as Idris Elba and Kellan as Ben Barnes. Other characters though, including Rayna and Bayne, I have a very specific mental image for, and I’ve never quite found an actor that matches. Maybe that means the actors destined to play them just haven’t been discovered yet πŸ˜‰

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4. Have you always loved animals?

Yes, absolutely. I drove my parents bonkers I’m sure with all my requests for various pets and my tendency to find strays and wildlife in need of rescuing. I was obsessed with Animal Planet growing up and the first job I ever remember wanting to be was a veterinarian (ended up as an anthrozoologist, so pretty close). I was lucky to live in a rural area with lots of wildlife and have many pets (mostly cats) over the years, and for me that love for nonhumans never faded and has become an integral part of my writing and my career.

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5. You recently graduated. What did you study and what is your 9 to 5?

Yes I recently graduated with my M.S. in Anthrozoology, which is essentially the study of human-animal interaction. I specifically am interested in understanding and helping to address instances of human-wildlife conflict. This built upon my undergraduate study in psychology and biology. I will be starting a PhD program in the fall, this time under the label of environmental science but plan to continue my anthrozoological research. One day I hope to be a professor but have held several animal related jobs over the past few years. I’ve worked at wildlife rehab centers and an animal shelter, and now I have a really fun job as a dog swim instructor!

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6. If you could wake up as any animal, what would it be and why?

That’s a tough question. My first instinct would be to say some kind of bird, because birds are absolutely fantastic animals with better eye sight than us and the ability to fly of course, but I also have studied birds enough to know how strenuous their lives can be. I’m not sure I’m hardcore enough to hack it as a bird! My second instinct is to say a wolf or a fox, but they also lead very intense lives, and as someone who only eats plant-based food, I don’t think I’d transition into killing to eat well either. So if we’re being honest, I think I’d do best as some kind of large herbivore, if I had to make the change permanent. If, however, I could shift back and forth like a Fenearen, I think I would have my other form be a wolf or fox πŸ™‚

7. What else are you working on right now? Will there be more Fenearen Chronicles coming soon? And will those also be submitted through “The Tamara Effect”?

Right now I just finished up my Master’s thesis (yay!) so am decompressing for a couple of weeks. After that, I’m going to be working on Twice Blessed, the second in the Fenearen Chronicles trilogy. I hope to publish that sometime next year, and indeed, if she’ll have me, I hope to work with the fabulous editor Tamara Shoemaker once more! The Tamara Effect turned my first book into something far more amazing than I could’ve hoped, and I can only imagine the wonders it will do for my second. Besides this series, I am working on some short fiction and a science fiction project, but those probably won’t see the light of day for quite a while as I focus on finishing this trilogy and starting my PhD.

Thanks so much! This was really fun, and I feel I learned stuff about animals in the process! So excited to read your book!

Here’s where you can find out more about Taryn and her books!

Amazon short link: goo.gl/6M9tjo

Website: www.tnkloeden.com

Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest handle: @tnkloeden

Facebook: www.facebook.com/tnkloeden

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16521805.Taryn_Noelle_Kloeden

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Interview with Tamara Shoemaker: Author of Mark of Four


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  1. Tell me a little about who you are and what you write.

I’m a bookworm masquerading as a wife, mother of three, writer of books, freelance editor. Imagination is my middle name. Or chocolate, one or the other.
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  1. How did you get into writing?

It’s always hard to know how to answer this. I’ve doodled stories from little on up, but didn’t actually finish a novel until 2006. It took me six years to find a publisher, but I loved the creation of novels so much, I haven’t stopped making books since.

  1. If you were on a deserted island, what three books would you bring with you and why?
    1. How to Build a Boat and Other Interesting Things You Can Do with Palm Fronds – for obvious reasons.
    2. 1001 Travel Games – in case of boredom
    3. 400 Ways to Cook Seaweed – for, you know, the meals I’ll need to host.TamaraShoemaker-300dpi-3125x4167(1)
  2. Give us an idea of what Mark of Four is about.

Seventeen-year-old Alayne Worth wields four elements in a world where all other Elementals wield only one, and every force on CommonEarth, both good and bad, wants to use her talents with fire, air, earth, and water. How will she survive the struggle for the power she possesses?

  1. What books are similar to Mark of Four?

A test-reader just got done reading Mark of Four yesterday and gave me his opinion. β€œIt’s Harry Potter meets Avatar,” he said. As a lifelong Harry Potter fan and a loyal follower of Avatar, I’ll take that as high praise.

  1. If your book gets made into a movie, who would play the main characters?
  • Alayne – a slightly younger Adrianne Palicki (Bobby, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
  • (Diving into the cartoon world) Marysa – Rapunzel from Tangled (with shorter, dark hair)
  • Jayme – Flynn Ryder, also from Tangled
  • Kyle (Departing from the cartoon world again) – Luke Mitchell (Lincoln, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
  • Daymon – Theo James (Four, Divergent)
  • Manders – Robert Downey, Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man, The Avengers)
  • Malachi – Woody Harrelson (Haymitch, Hunger Games)
  1. What are some of the other books you have written?

I have four mysteries out: my Shadows in the Nursery series, and another mystery, Soul Survivor. This past summer, I released the first book of my Heart of a Dragon trilogy, Kindle the Flame, and its sequel will follow in March of 2016. Mark of Four is the first book of my Guardian of the Vale trilogy.

  1. How do you juggle being a stay-at-home mom and an amazing author?

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Sheer insanity. Lots of coffee. And an understanding and supportive husband.

  1. Name your favorite animal and why…(this was a sneaky, three-point question…) πŸ™‚

Gorillas fascinate me. When I visit the zoo, they are the one animal that I would sit and watch for hours, if I could. Of course, I’ve never cuddled with a gorilla, so if I ever had the chance, it’s possible I would choose the more normal cat or dog answer.

  • Could you give me three words that say what you like about a gorilla?
    • Gorilla: Three words or three phrases? I’m having trouble coming up with anything besides big, hairy, or funny for the words. Phrases could be: a.) He plays peek-a-boo with my kids and saves me a whole lot of energy, b.) he picks his nose just like my son, and c.) he uses his toes like fingers. Wish I could do that. πŸ™‚
  • Okay, so using your phrases about your fav animals (big, hairy, funny, plays peek-a-boo, picks his nose, uses toes like fingers) – tell me how those characteristics relate to you.
    • Hahaha!! Hmm, I’m not very big or hairy, but I do have an occasional funny moment. I play peek-a-boo with my kids, but not as well as said gorilla. In shocking news, I have picked my nose before, but have trouble using my toes like fingers–they just don’t have that piano flexibility that I’ve developed with my hands. πŸ™‚
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  1. Who inspires you?

I am amazed every week by the work of the Flashdogs, writers from around the world who come together online to offer pieces of absolutely stunning work on various flash fiction sites. When I hit writer’s block, I go search for their work, and generally reading over their stories shatters the wall, and the stories begin flowing again.

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Tamara Shoemaker lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband, three children, a few jars of Nutella, and a never-ending carafe of coffee. She authored the Amazon best-selling Shadows in the Nursery Christian mystery series and Soul Survivor, another Christian mystery. Her fantasy books include the beginning of the Heart of a Dragon trilogy: Kindle the Flame, as well as the upcoming Guardian of the Vale trilogy.

Follow her on social media:

Twitter: @TamaraShoemaker

Website: www.tamarashoemaker.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/tshoebooks