Today I have author Janalyn Voigt on Novel Teen to talk a little bit about her journey to publication. Janalyn recently released her first novel, an epic adult fantasy novel called Dawnsinger (read my review here).
I really enjoyed Dawnsinger, Janalyn! And I’m so excited to find more fun Christian fantasy novels being released. How long have you been working on this story and where did you get the idea?
I’m glad to hear that, Jill. I felt the same about your Blood of Kings series when it released.
My Tales of Faeraven series, of which DawnSinger is book one, began as a story to entertain my little girl during a drive. For the main character of my story, I twisted the name of her doll, Cinda, and came up with “Syl Marinda,” a half-breed princess in a divided land. Long after my daughter had forgotten that first story, the world of Elderland took shape in my mind. I could picture its trees, creatures, and landscapes. As time passed, the characters deepened and grew, and so did the struggles of the alliance of Faeraven, a group of kingdoms unified under a High Queen in Elderland. Through several attempts, I tried to record the story as it unfolded for me, but I kept backing up in time because much of the history in the story demanded to be told. Syl Marinda doesn’t even enter the scene until close to the end of WayFarer, book two in the series. She is the heroine of DawnKing, book three.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I stood on the hearth and sang into a bottle turned upside down as my early training in voice. I also wanted to be an actress. I got to do both in small ways. Story telling was something I did just naturally. It wasn’t until I reached sixth grade that a teacher pointed out my ability to write and encouraged me to become a novelist. I’m so grateful for his encouragement.
When did you decide to try writing books?
My father read to me when I was a child, and through that time spent with him I learned to love literature. I began spinning my own bedtime stories long after I should have been asleep. Eventually, I wrote my inventions down. I was in my teens before I attempted to write novels, but I never seemed to make it past the beginnings in those days. Later, I realized those failed beginnings were necessary to my learning.
What do you consider one of your biggest life adventures?
During a period of my life I lived in the Australian outback at a remote communications station. When severe cyclone Karen went through town, I huddled in the utility closet with my husband and daughter while what sounded like a freight train went by, shaking the house and rattling the windows behind the storm shutters. Some of our neighbors had “storm parties,” but I didn’t take it lightly. The cyclone left little damage in our area, but one of our Australian neighbors did lose their roof.
The High Queen is dying… At the royal summons, Shae mounts a wingabeast and soars through the air to the high hold of Faeraven, where all is not as it seems. Visions warn her of danger, and a dark soul touches hers in the night. When she encounters an attractive but disturbing musician, her wayward heart awakens. But then there is Kai, a guardian of Faeraven and of Shae. Secrets bind him to her, and her safety lies at the center of every decision he makes. On a desperate journey fraught with peril and the unknown, they battle warlike garns, waevens, ferocious raptors, and the wraiths of their own regrets. Yet, they must endure the campaign long enough to release the DawnKing–and the salvation he offers–into a divided land. To prevail, each must learn that sometimes victory comes only through surrender.
What new fictional adventure are you working on now and when can we read it?
I’ve returned requested edits to my publisher on WayFarer, book two of Tales of Faeraven, but I haven’t received a release date yet. I’m also working on Cheyenne Sunrise, a historical romance set during Montana’s gold rush days.
Fun! Where can readers learn more about you and your writing?
Thanks for talking with us today, Janalyn!
You’re welcome, and thanks for featuring me during DawnSinger’s launch.
Guys, Janalyn is giving away one copy of Dawnsinger here on my blog, paperback or ebook, whichever the winner prefers. Enter on the form below.