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Interview with Kelley Grant, author of the Desert Rising Trilogy


Please welcome Kelley Grant to The Qwillery. The World Weavers, the 3rd Desert Rising novel, was published on April 19th (digital) and will be published on May 31st (print) by Harper Voyager Impulse.



Interview with Kelley Grant, author of the Desert Rising Trilogy




TQWelcome back to The Qwillery. Your new novel, The World Weavers (Desert Rising 3) was published on April 19th in digital format. Has your writing process changed (or not) from when you wrote Desert Rising (Desert Rising 1) to now?

Kelley:  Desert Rising was my second novel and the first novel I wrote without Nanowrimo. I began writing without a clear idea of where it would go and had to discard five chapters and begin again with a new main character. With The Obsidian Temple and The World Weavers I learned to brainstorm and write ideas before beginning to write the story, to winnow down and focus my creativity. I learned that I love the challenge of writing to a deadline. The World Weavers was the first novel where I actually plotted by extensively mapping my chapters as I wrote them in order to keep everything moving toward the concluding battle.



TQWhat do you wish that you knew about book publishing when Desert Rising came out that you know now?

Kelley:  If you don’t feel like you are a real writer before your novel is published, having one novel, or even three novels, published will not change that. It will not make you love the person you see every day in the mirror. You have to believe in yourself as a writer and love yourself whether you ever see your book in print or not. The only person who can give you the validation you need is yourself.



TQWhich character in the Desert Rising Trilogy surprised you the most? Who has been the hardest character to write and why?

Kelley:  The character of Abram, the cousin of Kadar and Sulis, in the World Weavers came as a surprise. He was a minor character that I revised to be a point-of-view character. He ended up being one of my favorite characters with his wit and personality.

Ashraf was difficult for me because I wanted him to be more than just a love interest for Sulis – I wanted him to have his own interests and life. But he often was lost in the writing of the major characters and I rewrote and added several times to give him more life.



TQHow did you keep track of characters, plot lines, etc. in the Desert Rising Trilogy?

Kelley:  I am more of a pantser than a plotter, so it was difficult for me! My editor gave me a chapter spreadsheet for Desert Rising, to help keep track of the timeline. That became more important in The Obsidian Temple, and essential for The World Weavers. In each chapter I tracked which characters had POVs on what pages, what month it was, and what happened in each. Because of this outline I was able to seamlessly add the character of Abram while on a stiff deadline. Even a pantser will plot when the storyline becomes complicated enough! There were several times where I got my characters into situations I thought were impossible to overcome and had to write my way out of them.



TQPlease tell us about the deities in the Trilogy.

Kelley:  The Deities were created by the One-being when humans became too demanding, to rule over the humans and were created in the image of humans. Ivanha, the goddess of family and hearth and Voras, god of trade and war are allies, and Aryn, messenger/healer goddess, and Parasu, god of justice/luck ally with each other. Unfortunately they were too human and conceited and began warring with each other and against their creator, creating chaos. The One used the help of southern mages to limit their power in a great battle 500 years before Desert Rising begins. Now the deities want those powers back and join together to try to defeat the One, who created them. They can only channel through the humans pledged to them. They were inspired by the Greek gods I loved to read about as a kid.



TQPlease tell us something about The World Weavers that is not found in the book description.

Kelley:  Kadar grows into his powers in this novel. He has always been overshadowed by his twin, but we find a depth to him in the World Weavers, and a wry humor, that isn’t emphasized in the other two novels.



TQPlease give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The World Weavers.

Kelley:  I like this one when Sulis meets a new teacher:
     “I am Amon, a Descendant of the Prophet!” the man declared, unfortunately in the Northern tongue, so none of the warriors of the One understood him. “The Descendants have risen and the second Great War has begun.”
     Silence followed this announcement as the warriors of the One looked at the Chosen for translation and the Chosen looked at one another.
     “Are we supposed to be impressed?” Sulis said into the silence.
Alannah snorted and Lasha hid a grin behind her hand. The man looked nonplussed.
     “I mean, it was good delivery,” Sulis continued. “Dramatic. But most of these people don’t understand your language. And those of us who do, well, we’re already Chosen by the One and have a prophecy of our own. We don’t really need a new one.”


TQWhat's next?

Kelley:  The World Weavers will release in paperback on May 31st. I am working on a new series, set in the jungles of a new world.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Kelley:  It is always a pleasure to speak with you! I love The Qwillery.





The World Weavers
Desert Rising 3
Harper Voyager Impulse, April 19, 2016
     eBook, 288 pages
Harper Voyager Impulse, May 31, 2016
     Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages

Interview with Kelley Grant, author of the Desert Rising Trilogy
It has been a year since Sulis Hasifel fled to the desert, narrowly escaping death at the hands of a vengeful god. The time of the final battle, the final confrontation with the deities of her world, is nearing. Lured by the call of their long-trapped powers, the deities will descend upon the Obsidian Temple, where the Chosen await.

But the war between gods and humans has enveloped the entire land. Sulis’s twin, Kadar, joins forces with the nomadic warrior tribes of the desert. Little by little, the desert armies draw the deities away from their stronghold in the north, towards their doom.

In the face of a battle that will reshape mankind’s destiny and the face of the earth itself, old friendships will be tested and new alliances forged. In this spellbinding denouement to Desert Rising and The Obsidian Temple, Kelley Grant brings her epic trilogy to a thunderous and powerful conclusion.





Previously

Desert Rising
Desert Rising 1
Harper Voyager Impulse, April 21, 2015
     eBook, 288 pages
Harper Voyager Impulse, May 26, 2015
     Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages

Interview with Kelley Grant, author of the Desert Rising Trilogy
"It frightens me, knowing the One has called up two such strong individuals. It means that there are troubled times in our future, and you must prepare yourselves."

The Temple at Illian is the crown jewel of life in the Northern Territory. There, pledges are paired with feli, the giant sacred cats of the One god, and are instructed to serve the One's four capricious deities. Yet Sulis, a young woman from the Southern Desert, has a different perspective - one that just might be considered heresy...

Sulis's twin Kadar, meanwhile, is part of a different revolution. When Kadar falls in love with a woman from a Forsaken caste, he finds he's willing to risk anything to get her people to freedom. But with Sulis drawing a dangerous level of attention from the deities, and war about to break out on two fronts, change may not come as easily as either twin had hoped.

An astonishing debut, Kelley Grant brings to life a powerful new epic fantasy tale of determination and self-discovery.




The Obsidian Temple
Desert Rising 2
Harper Voyager Impulse, July 21, 2015
     eBook, 368 pages
Harper Voyager Impulse, September 1, 2015
     Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages

Interview with Kelley Grant, author of the Desert Rising Trilogy
After a harrowing escape to the desert, Sulis Hasifel finds her calling is not yet fulfilled. Traveling to the Obsidian Temple—the site of an ancient divine battle—Sulis is tasked with mentoring Ava, a young girl with a troubled past. Together, they join a group of magically gifted warriors to re-make the very fabric of the universe. But the fate of the world hinges on whether Ava can harness her power, and some trials cannot be overcome.

Returning to Illian, Sulis's twin Kadar finds that his lover, Farrah, has abandoned their newborn daughter for the revolutionary cause. Not willing to give up his dream of a family, Kadar vows to stay by Farrah's side. But when he finds that Farrah is willing to anger the gods to aid the Forsaken caste's uprising, and as she steps farther down a violent and dark path, Kadar must decide if he will help her…or let the world spin out of control.

In this mesmerizing sequel to Desert Rising, Kelley Grant brings us back to the cities of Illian and Shpeth, drawing her epic fantasy tale closer to the trilogy's stunning conclusion.





About Kelley

Interview with Kelley Grant, author of the Desert Rising Trilogy
Photo by Susan H. Grant
Kelley Grant grew up in the hills of Ohio’s Amish country. Her best friends were the books she read, stories she created and the forest and fields that inspired her. She first told stories to her cats, then other kids, then expanded her audience to professors at Otterbein college, where she got her degree in writing. She and her husband live on a wooded hilltop and are owned by five cats, a dog and numerous uninvited critters. Besides writing, Kelley teaches yoga and meditation, sings kirtan with her husband, and designs brochures and media.



Website  ~ Twitter @kgrantwrites
Facebook



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April 2015 Winner


The winner of the April 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars is Desert Rising by Kelley Grant with 36% of all votes.



 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April 2015 Winner





The Final Results

 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April 2015 Winner



The April 2015 Debut Covers

 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April 2015 Winner



Thank you to everyone who voted, Tweeted, and participated. The 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will continue with voting on the May Debut covers starting on May 15, 2015.

Interview with Kelley Grant, author of Desert Rising - April 20, 2015


Please welcome Kelley Grant to The Qwillery as part of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Desert Rising will be published on April 21st by Harper Voyager Impulse in digital format and on May 26th in print.



Interview with Kelley Grant, author of Desert Rising - April 20, 2015




TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. What inspired you to write Desert Rising? What appealed to you about writing secondary-world fantasy?

Kelley:  I love the possibility and potential of new worlds. Anything can be, anything can happen. I love creating new cultures and myths the cultures live by. I know Tolkien loved languages – but I’m into the myths of a world and what it says about the history and culture of the people who live with those myths. My love of Greek mythology inspired the deities of Desert Rising, and allowed me to create my own mythological base to the great Temple, which is home to the giant temple felines who choose pledges.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Desert Rising?

Kelley:  I researched caste systems – how and why they came into being. I also brushed up on Greek mythology to help my deities become larger than life. And I studied trade routes and caravans of the Syrian Desert in pre-modern times to get a feel for what a merchant would need to caravan through a desert climate.



TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Kelley:  The Crone, who is the voice of the deity Ivanha for some reason was easiest, even though I don’t like anything Ivanha stands for. Perhaps because the Crone is wisely wicked and contemptuous of others and it can be fun to write such a tone. My second viewpoint character of Kadar was difficult because he is relatively ordinary and tends to be overshadowed by his more flamboyant twin sister, Sulis.



TQ:  Which question about Desert Rising do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!


Kelley:  Who was the great Temple feline, Djinn, based on? Djinn’s alter ego was Chester, a beloved little gray housecat with the heart of a great feli. Anyone who visited my home was stalked, observed, judged, and either selected or rejected by Chester. Those he selected were never forgotten by him. Those he judged unworthy, tended to bleed if they dared to approach him. Most of Djinn’s mannerisms come from Chester’s unique way of showing his love and ownership of me. He passed away at age 19 a few years ago, but through Desert Rising, his legend lives on.



TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from Desert Rising.

Kelley:
Incense filled the air, and Djinn gave a giant sneeze, spraying Sulis. Unlike the other feli, who remained sitting tall, just barely touching their paired, he sprawled beside her and laid his big head in the lap she created with her crossed legs. When she didn’t immediately stroke him behind the ears, he reached out a long leg and touched her knee with his paw, claws barely sheathed. She sighed in irritation and caressed him, so he wouldn’t put a hole in her shift. His answering purr filled the meditation area, and the other pledges looked over at them in surprise. Lasha met her eyes, and Sulis rolled hers. Lasha looked away, hiding a smile.


TQ:   What's next? 

This is a wonderfully busy time! I’ll be in Chicago at C2E2 on an epic fantasy panel the end of April. Then Desert Rising’s sequel, The Obsidian Temple, will be released in July. In between you can find me teaching yoga classes, writing the third book of the series and editing other finished novels.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Kelley:  Thank-you for having me! The Qwillery is my favorite source for new novels and it is an honor to be interviewed by you.





Desert Rising
Desert Rising 1
Harper Voyager Impulse, April 21, 2015
eBook, 288 pages
Mass Market Paperback, May 26, 2015

Interview with Kelley Grant, author of Desert Rising - April 20, 2015
"It frightens me, knowing the One has called up two such strong individuals. It means that there are troubled times in our future, and you must prepare yourselves."

The Temple at Illian is the crown jewel of life in the Northern Territory. There, pledges are paired with feli, the giant sacred cats of the One god, and are instructed to serve the One's four capricious deities. Yet Sulis, a young woman from the Southern Desert, has a different perspective - one that just might be considered heresy...

Sulis's twin Kadar, meanwhile, is part of a different revolution. When Kadar falls in love with a woman from a Forsaken caste, he finds he's willing to risk anything to get her people to freedom. But with Sulis drawing a dangerous level of attention from the deities, and war about to break out on two fronts, change may not come as easily as either twin had hoped.

An astonishing debut, Kelley Grant brings to life a powerful new epic fantasy tale of determination and self-discovery.

Publisher's Weekly Starred Review





About Kelley

Interview with Kelley Grant, author of Desert Rising - April 20, 2015
Kelley Grant grew up in the hills of Ohio’s Amish country. Her best friends were the books she read, stories she created and the forest and fields that inspired her. She first told stories to her cats, then other kids, then expanded her audience to professors at Otterbein college, where she got her degree in writing. She and her husband live on a wooded hilltop and are owned by five cats, a dog and numerous uninvited critters. Besides writing, Kelley teaches yoga and meditation, sings kirtan with her husband, and designs brochures and media.




Website  ~ Twitter @kgrantwrites  ~  Facebook

2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Desert Rising by Kelley Grant


2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Desert Rising by Kelley Grant


The Qwillery is pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2015 Debut Author Challenge.


Kelley Grant

Desert Rising
Desert Rising 1
Harper Voyager Impulse, April 21, 2015
eBook, 288 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Desert Rising by Kelley Grant
"It frightens me, knowing the One has called up two such strong individuals. It means that there are troubled times in our future, and you must prepare yourselves."

The Temple at Illian is the crown jewel of life in the Northern Territory. There, pledges are paired with feli, the giant sacred cats of the One god, and are instructed to serve the One's four capricious deities. Yet Sulis, a young woman from the Southern Desert, has a different perspective - one that just might be considered heresy...

Sulis's twin Kadar, meanwhile, is part of a different revolution. When Kadar falls in love with a woman from a Forsaken caste, he finds he's willing to risk anything to get her people to freedom. But with Sulis drawing a dangerous level of attention from the deities, and war about to break out on two fronts, change may not come as easily as either twin had hoped.

An astonishing debut, Kelley Grant brings to life a powerful new epic fantasy tale of determination and self-discovery.

Interview with Kelley Grant, author of the Desert Rising Trilogy 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April 2015 WinnerInterview with Kelley Grant, author of Desert Rising - April 20, 20152015 Debut Author Challenge Update - Desert Rising by Kelley Grant

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