Today Writeratops features the incredible Gillian Bronte Adams, author of the Songkeeper Chronicles, in a special guest post… plus giveaway! Gillian writes tales of redemption, heroism, talking cats and snarky griffins, and today she’s writing about adventure on the high seas…
GILLIAN BRONTE ADAMS is a sword-wielding, horse-riding, coffee-loving speculative fiction author from the great state of Texas. During the day, she manages the equestrian program at a youth camp. But at night, she kicks off her boots and spurs, pulls out her trusty laptop, and transforms into a novelist. She is the author of Orphan’s Song, Songkeeper, and Out of Darkness Rising. Visit Gillian online at her blog, Twitter, or Facebook page.
Songkeeper: War ravages Leira and the Song has fallen silent.
Freed from the hold of a slave ship, Birdie, the young Songkeeper, and Ky, a street-wise thief, emerge to a world at war. Hordes of dark soldiers march across Leira, shadowed by whispers of plague and massacres, prompting Ky to return to his besieged home city in hopes of leading his fellow runners to safety.
Desperate to end the fighting, Birdie embarks on a dangerous mission into the heart of the Takhran’s fortress. Legend speaks of a mythical spring buried within and the Songkeeper who will one day unleash it to achieve victory. Everyone believes Birdie is the one, but the elusive nature of the Song and rumors of other gifted individuals lead her to doubt her role. Unleashing the spring could defeat the Takhran once and for all, but can she truly be the Songkeeper when the Song no longer answers her call?
Thanks, Mollie, for hosting me here and helping me celebrate the (almost) one year book birthday for Songkeeper! It is the second book in the Songkeeper Chronicles, which tells the story of a girl who can hear the song that created the world. If this is your first encounter with the blog tour, we are continuing a series of alphabet posts looking at the world and characters and magical creatures of the Songkeeper Chronicles (follow the tour at gillianbronteadams.com and find a list of all the stops at #exploreleira tour). And we have an awesome giveaway that you can enter below!
Today, we’re looking at the letter …
W is for Waveryders
I have always been a dreamer. One of my biggest childhood dreams was learning to sail. Growing up far inland, as I did, made the likelihood of learning to sail slim, but that didn’t stop me from dreaming. Though, honestly, I would probably become woefully seasick if I ever set foot on a sailboat or a ship. I am a daughter of the earth, accustomed to spending my time with both feet firmly planted on the ground, or else seated comfortably on the back of a horse.
But there is still something beautifully alluring about the idea of venturing out into the open ocean. Any other want-to-be sailors out there?
In the Songkeeper Chronicles, the Waveryders are a people of the sea. They inhabit the Westmark and the west coast of Leira. The Westmark is a moorland spotted with peat bogs and bordered on one side by the river Adayn and on the other by the Great Sea.
The Waveryders are a tribe of fishers and merchant sailors. The sea is their livelihood. They are a fierce lot, accustomed to battling gales and waves, sleep-deprivation and discomfort, and the pendulum swing from success or loss dictated by the change of the wind. Their clothes are functional—loose cotton shirts, wide-legged trousers, and salt-battered boots or bare feet. But in a world so often dominated by blues, greens, and grays, their colorful headscarves are a mark of individuality. A sign of defiance against the sea. For though the sea is their life, it is also often their death.
They are a people with salt in their blood, wind-coarsened skin, the ocean in their eyes, and tempers as fierce and tumultuous as a hurricane. They are strong of hand and arm, keen of eye, and unwavering of opinion—which they are prone to stating frequently and loudly.
To those familiar with the story, it will come as no surprise that the peddler Amos McElhenny is a Waveryder by birth. He was raised by his mother in a little white stone cottage on the shore near the village of Bryllhyn. Many a pale morning, chilled after a long night’s fishing, young Amos jogged up the shell lined path, ducked beneath the white rock flowers growing over the doorframe, and fell into a chair at the kitchen table for a breakfast of smoked kippers and eggs.
Once breakfast was demolished, Amos would drag his weary frame to his bunk and collapse into his pillow, lulled by the wash of the sea outside his open window. Only to awaken in the dull afternoon to wash and mend his nets before embarking in his mother’s little boat to fish the night away again.
Little wonder the village of Bryllhyn was too small to hold the young Amos, for he did not possess his mother’s love for the sea. His restless feet longed for dusty roads and the adventures that spring from paths untraveled, so when the Songkeeper Artair arrived, Amos waved a cheery farewell to his mother, stuffed his pockets full of oatcakes, and followed him without a second thought.
When I originally began writing the Songkeeper Chronicles, I had grand plans for a far more in-depth exploration of the lives of the Waveryders upon land and sea—partially fueled by my affinity for the ocean and for sailing. (Research is a perfectly reasonable excuse for drumming up a way to get onboard a ship, isn’t it?) And the little village of Bryllhyn painted such a vivid picture in my head that I could only dream of vacationing there.
But like a lifeboat in a heavy sea, the force of the story carried me in a completely different direction, and I had to watch my grand plans of settling in with the Waveryders drift into the distance.
Perhaps someday we’ll get to revisit the Waveryders and idle the hours away in the little village of Bryllhyn, exploring its white stone cottages with the colorful paint peeling from the shutters, shell-lined pathways, and vines of white rock flowers creeping across the sand. (Admit it, doesn’t that sound like the perfect vacation spot?)
Have you ever dreamed of sailing? Or is there another type of adventure—mountain climbing, skydiving, etc.—that claims your fancy?
Check out the links below for a place to purchase the books.
And before you leave, don’t forget to enter the giveaway! One lucky winner will take home a copy of Orphan’s Song, Songkeeper, and a gorgeous handmade mug. Two lucky winners will take home copies of Songkeeper! Enter through the Rafflecopter below and be sure to visit www.gillianbronteadams.com to continue following the blog tour. You can earn new entries for each post that you visit along the way. Winners will be announced after April 15th.