Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Blog Tour: Anastasia Pergakis - Fantasy Novels

Today, I have the pleasure to welcome Anastasia Pergakis, who recently published her first novel, CLEANSE FIRE.

A little about the author:

Anastasia knew she always wanted to write. She began at a young age, writing those little stories about the apple tree in the yard. Though her love of stories stayed with her through her poetry stage in high school, she didn’t begin writing novels until she was almost an adult. That’s where she found her true passion.

Her characters visit her dreams – and sometimes during the day – to share their stories with her. Anastasia is merely the writer, but the characters are really the storytellers.

Anastasia lives in Columbus, Georgia with her husband and son. A stay at home Mom, she loves spending time with her son during the day, then writing furiously at night. 

If you're like me and the only fantasy novels you've ever read are The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings #1, and Truth Teller, you'll learn a lot about this genre by reading Anastasia's answers to my first question. And if you're into fantasy, you'll be interested to know what makes her book stand out from the crowd, which she explains in her answer to my second question.

Read on, and don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of her book!

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Question #1:  What are the basic characteristics of a fantasy novel?

Since fantasy as a genre has so many different sub-genres, it can be hard to just list the characteristics of "fantasy" and stay accurate. But I think I've figured out a few things during my research to classify fantasy as a whole, although some might say differently. Also, I want to keep in mind to the readers that I write high fantasy and fantasy adventure which might cloud some of my opinions here of what fantasy actually is - don’t hate me for it! :)

Fantasy in general deals with "plausible impossibilities." What if questions are important in this genre. For example, asking "What if dragons really existed?" or "What if elves were real but just in hiding?"

All fantasy books have an element on magic or something magical in them. Without magic, most often, fantasy would turn into alternative historical fiction instead. Now magical, in this sense, can also mean anything paranormal or supernatural.

World building is important in all fantasy books, even urban fantasy that happens in a modern setting, on Earth. Even those require a bit of world creation because of the "magical" creatures involved in the story. But of course, in high fantasy, world building is key.  The entire world must be created, as the story takes place somewhere other than Earth.

A lot of fantasy books also have a sort of coming of age or rite of passage theme in them. No, this isn't always the case, but it is popular. Quests are often seen in fantasy stories, long journeys that change the character in some drastic way - whether good or bad. This is where a lot of the world building comes into play, as the characters travel great distances to complete their quest.

There is so much more to it, as I said, with so many sub-genres, but I think that explains fantasy in a nutshell.

Question #2:  What makes your book different than others in your genre?

My book is different because the "fantasy" element is not the forefront of the story. As in, while there is deep world building, the world comes through to the reader through direct character interaction. If it doesn't deal with the plot or the characters don’t think or act on it, I don't mention it. Many fantasy stories I have read – and yes there are exceptions – go into long prose about the land, the people, and where they came from that don't necessarily deal with the plot/characters directly. I hate to say it but when I read fantasy books, I often skip over those sections. I'm more interested in the plot and the characters - which is why I write very character driven novels myself.

So in my book, we are in Derac's point of view throughout most of the story, and since he is not the type to think about anything other than the current mission, I don't go into the normal fantasy prose of describing my world.

Yes, I have had some reviewers not like this, but there are plenty of others who love the way I wrote the book. But, since Cleanse Fire is the start of a series, more and more of the world will come out as more books are released. I think it works nicely that way, balancing out the world building with the plot.

Question #3:  Who's your target audience?

My book not only is fantasy but is also has a bit of mystery, romance, suspense, and of course military genres. I want to say that anyone can enjoy my story – doesn't every writer? – but honestly, I think my book is for those who love fantasy, military fiction, and lots of action. I guess that appeals more to men sometimes, but the romance element in the story pulls the ladies in too, I think. And hey, you can't go wrong with hot elves either way!
Cleanse Fire is a fantasy adventure novel, with edge-of-your-seat action. Epic battles, suspense, and a bit of romance too! Follow the Kinir Elite as they track down a traitor and find more than they bargained for.

**Portions of profits for this book are given to the Wounded Warrior Project**

Complete the mission, no matter what…
Captain Derac Vidor has served Kinir for nearly twenty years. It’s his life, his blood. And then his Commander betrays everything Derac holds dear. Now he has to focus on his own life and his team instead of saving the citizens of Kinir.

Treason is only the beginning…
Fueled by rage, the team chases the source to their Commander’s betrayal – a powerful wizard bent on revenge. The wizard seeks to destroy the Kinir Elite, in both mind and body. No place is safe, even among their allies.

The past holds the key…
Derac’s tragic past may be the key to saving the team. But can he face the gruesome nightmare in time?

Purchase Cleanse Fire
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I’m giving away an e-copy of Cleanse Fire! Leave a comment on this post to enter into the random drawing. I'll draw the names at the end of my tour, January 31, 2012. If you want more chances to win a copy, visit our website to follow our tour! The more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win!

All commenters will also be added to the drawing for a chance to win a signed hard cover. Drawing for the hardcover will be on January 31, 2012, the end of my tour.

You can also get more chances to win by tweeting or posting on facebook! Just leave a link to the tweet or post in a comment below!

**All Winners will be announced on the Kinir Elite Website on February 1st**


Emailman said...

What an awesome interview :) I'm so excited about this book release, I know it will go down in history as a classic! Hurry up and finish the rest of them! :D

Anastasia V. Pergakis said...

I love how you make demands for me to finish my books, Kurt! So I demand that you have book of the Truth Teller series ready in 3 months HA! :)

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