Monday, January 22, 2018

Colors of Fear: Cover Reveal and Q&A

For those of you who haven't been paying attention: Colors of Fear is a YA Christian Fantasy short story I'm indie publishing on 02/02. It's the beginning of a short story series titled The Terebinth Tree Chronicles that will include 5 stories. You can read more about it here.

For those of you who have been paying attention: I've been slowly leaking information about Colors of Fear for the past few months. So what information are you getting today? 

Today, friends, you get to behold the glory that is the Colors of Fear cover: 
Okay, so maybe it's not glory on par with a Van Gogh, but considering I made it myself without harming my ears? It's pretty good. Especially if you take into account the images I created leading up to it. Want to see? Okay. You're allowed to laugh. 

I drew my first piece using my laptop touchpad, resulting in a blob of colors that would only be considered art if a six-year-old drew it and then showed it to her very compassionate mother: 

I moved onto a drawing tablet and got this: 
Eh. A bit better, but I wanted it to match the cover style of Skies of Dripping Gold, so I progressed to the official cover. 

You can now add Colors of Fear and its cool cover to your Goodreads list, so head on over and mark it as "Want to Read." You know it's true. 

Now I'm going to smoothly transition to my Q&A. I asked online if anyone had questions about Colors of Fear or The Terebinth Tree Chronicles in general and got a few, so let's get to it: 

Question by multiple people: Where will it be available to purchase? 

Colors of Fear (and the next 4 stories in the series) will be available as a Kindle ebook for the majority, a Nook ebook for the Amazon haters, and an iBooks ebook for the hipsters. It will also be available as a paperback on Amazon...and possibly Barnes & Noble (but that one isn't for sure). 

Question from Emelie: 1) Do any of the good guys have magical abilities? 2) What kind of weapons do they carry? 3) Does the villain work solo, or have a sidekick? 4) Do any of the 5 main characters die?  Don't answer if you can't yet!! 

1) Yes, some of the good guys have magical abilities and some of them have powers. Some of you may now be thinking: "Hannah, magical abilities and powers are the same thing." Well, not in the Terebinth Tree Chronicles universe. 

2) Wanderer, the main character in Colors of Fear, carries a dagger that is practically falling apart, along with a bow and stone-headed arrows. The desert where he lives is very low on steel (and supplies in general), so he doesn't have access to a lot of weaponry. Jayel, the main character in story #2, carries a dagger and steel-tipped arrows. The two humans in story #3 and #4 wield swords and throwing knives. And anti-villain in story #5 uses a sword. 

3) The anti-villain in story #5 is, technically, a sidekick. But she doesn't plan to remain one for long. 

4) Ha. I'm not answering that. Sorry-not-sorry. 

Question from Elza Kinde: 1) What were some "spark" ideas that got you started on this story? 2) Do you enjoy world-building? What make yours unique? 3) Why four assassins?

1) This is something I discuss in the Author's Note for Colors of Fear, but I'll answer it briefly here: My family and I watch a lot of fantasy much so that we noticed a common trend of these short prologue-like clips that play before the movie actually begins. These clips establish the world, the plot, and sometimes the characters (a prime example being the Last Alliance of Men and Elves shown at the start of the Fellowship of the Ring). We dubbed these the Movie Before the Movie and I've always love the concept. So I found myself wondering: What if I did Stories before the Story for The Stump of the Terebinth Tree? And thus this Terebinth Tree Chronicles were born. 

2) YES, world building is one of my favorite parts of writing. Not to sound pretentious, but: There are a lot of things that make my world-building unique. For one: There are multiple different types of elves (desert elves, wood elves, and a few other kinds I won't mention because of spoilers), rather than the stereotypical tall, beautiful, vegan wood elves. The Terebinth Tree Chronicles also contains multiple religions and sects, which is fairly unusual for fantasy novels...let alone Christian fantasy. The magic and power system is based off of scientific concepts (such as entropy), but with a twist of my weird imagination. Aside from that, there's a smattering of other pieces of uniqueness that you'll discover in Colors of Fear and the following stories. 

3) The answer to this is weird, so bear with me: I didn't want my group of assassins to get along. I wanted to show what it would look like to have a team of people supposedly fighting for the same thing, but all with ulterior motives, all with different backgrounds, of different races, and of different religious beliefs. So I needed there to be in-fighting, but I also wanted each assassin to have a partner (after all, even assassins need friends). Doing the math resulted in four assassins: Two human siblings and two desert elves. Hopefully that makes sense.

Question from Beth Wangler: 1) How did you decide to have a main character ruled by fear? 2) What were some challenges of writing an MC with this struggle?

1) So many reasons. One reason was that I was getting a little tired of the brave, reckless hero. I love that character type, but I wanted to change things up. A more personal reason is that, as somebody with Lyme disease, I make it a point for each of my stories to have at least one ill and/or disabled character. Wanderer isn't disabled in the traditional sense, but he does have some issues going on that I won't go into because of spoilers. On top of that, his younger brother is sick and dying. Because he's in the middle of such a stressful situation, a natural part of his character ended up being that he lives in fear: Fear of the unknown, fear of losing his brother, fear of not being able to make a difference, fear of his own mind. I chose to highlight that fear for all the people out there who are struggling with similar issues. Fear is, sadly, something that most people battle with on a daily basis and I wanted my readers to know that they aren't alone.

2) Wanderer deals with his fears in ways that I don't necessarily approve of...and definitely in ways that are opposite of how I would handle them. The story is told from a deep POV, so I found that it would take me several minutes to get into his mindset...I couldn't simply slip into it easily and start writing like I can with other characters. He took more work because he's so different from myself. Another struggle was that, because Wanderer is controlled by fear, he doesn't really know who he is.  I know who he is, but he doesn't, so it was interesting to try and balance that while telling the story from his eyes. Unreliable narrators can be tricky like that. 

Question from K.L.+Pierce: 1) Where did you get the idea of an elf assassin? 2) Also, will the fact that the elf is from a desert setting (rather than the forest) play into how they go about their mission (weapons, skills, attitude towards life, etc.)?

1) As much as I wish I had a deep answer for this: I don't. I've always enjoyed writing fantasy and darker characters, so I naturally gravitated towards the concept of writing an assassin. As for why he's an elf? I like elves. And that is my incredibly shallow answer. 

2) Yes. Yes it will. I can't really answer anything beyond that, though. Not this early into the series.
Aaaand those are all the questions. Have more? Leave them below and I'll answer them! 

Remember: Colors of Fear release on 02/02. I'll be doling out more information next Monday (as well as randomly on social media), so keep your eyes peeled. Until then: Check out the short story on Goodreads! 

Related articles: 
Announcing The Terebinth Tree Chronicles Publication Date of 02/02/2018SaveSave

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  1. Love the cover art! I plan to purchase this, I can't wait!

  2. Thanks for the Q&A opportunity! I love that you're going to be exploring elvish diversity, and internal team drama is always delicious. That's not weird at all. Or did I just go and make it weird? :P

    Super curious to get my hands on a copy now <3

  3. Congratulations! Your book series sounds wonderful and the cover is impressive. All the best.

  4. Ooooh, it's on Goodreads already! *adds* *stares at calendar* Wow, it's 2018 already. When did THAT happen?

    "One reason was that I was getting a little tired of the brave, reckless hero... A more personal reason is that, as somebody with Lyme disease, I make it a point for each of my stories to have at least one ill and/or disabled character." Yes! Thank you!

    Can't wait to read your next stories.

  5. This sounds awesome! I can't wait to read them. I love your character Wanderer already - an anxious assassin is so refreshing and sounds like it will be an incredible character arc. The team-has-same-goals-but-completely-different-motivations dynamic is great. And your world sounds so interesting! Off to Goodreads I goam. (So far I've been a shy silent subscriber but these announcements have successfully brought me out of my internet shell.)

    1. *go - oops first comment and I make a typo on an author's blog of all places!

  6. This sounds absolutely fantastic! I can't wait to read it!

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