Today, we have another interview and excerpt, this time with Cindy Young-Turner, author of Thief of Hope.
What inspired you to write Thief of Hope?
I started playing D&D in college (I admit, I’m a geek) and that got me interested in fantasy. I was a late bloomer. The Hobbit bored me when I first read it in middle school or high school, but reading it again after college I loved it. I was already interested in writing and thought, why don’t I try writing fantasy. And so I did.
I'm a geek so there's nothing to be ashamed of! I'll admit that the first chapter of The Hobbit is soooo slow. After that, it picks up. How did you come up with the title? Thief of Hope is a great title!
My heroine, Sydney, is a pickpocket and she lives in a town called Last Hope. So Thief of Hope fit. The story is also about finding hope and fighting for it.
Very cool. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
It’s important to fight for the things you believe in and hold dear.
Always. What books have most influenced your life most?
It’s so hard to chose, but here are a few favorites: Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (a childhood favorite), Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, On the Road by Jack Kerouac, and The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath by H.P. Lovecraft.
Great list! What book are you reading now?
I just finished Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King, book 5 in the Dark Tower series. I loved it. I’m still processing it and trying to decide what to read next. Before that it was Storm of Swords by G.R.R. Martin. I think I’m ready for something light and fluffy.
Still have to read G.R.R. Martin. *hangs head* What are your current projects?
I’m currently working on Thief of Destiny, which is the sequel to Thief of Hope.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Here’s a brief teaser from Thief of Destiny (currently in progress, so this is nowhere near the final version):
Llyr’s voice roused her from a restless sleep. She awoke, shivering in the night chill that lingered in the air, her clothes damp with dew. Dawn filtered through the trees and washed the clearing with lush hues of pink and gold. A promising start to the first day of their journey. Then she noticed Llyr standing near the stone, his face taut, hands clenched at his sides.
“Look around us,” he whispered.
She followed his gaze to the perimeter of the clearing. Lurking in the lingering darkness, surrounding the entire clearing, were dense shadows. Unnatural shadows. Sydney had seen that many Shadow Folk together only once before, in the desolate borderlands where they dwelled between her world and the realm of the Tuatha.
Knowing that fear empowered them, she struggled to remain calm, but her whisper trembled with the memory of their deadly power. “Why are there so many? What do they want?”
Llyr shook his head. “I don’t know. Perhaps they have come for you, or perhaps for me. For now, the enchantment placed on this circle is keeping us safe. As long as it holds, they cannot enter.”
Sydney reached for her knife and stood beside Llyr, her back to the stone. The knife was useless against them, but feeling it in her hand gave her some comfort. A few of the shadows tried to edge closer and were stopped by an unseen barrier.
“Can you use your magic?”
“And risk alerting the other Tuatha I’ve come to your world?”
“If the Shadow Folk get to us, it won’t matter what the other Tuatha think,” she snapped.
“It’s not that simple,” he responded, glaring at her. “You don’t know the Tuatha.”
She knew enough about the Shadow Folk to fear them more than the Tuatha, at least at this moment. The wariness in Llyr’s eyes and the tightness of his jaw suggested he shared her fear.
Faint whispers echoed in the back of her mind.
“We can’t stay here and wait for them to get through.” She clutched her knife, heart pounding, as she remembered the terror on the faces of the people she’d seen killed by the Shadow Folk. “I know what they do to people. You’re more powerful than a wizard. Do something.”
Llyr hesitated, looking from Sydney to the shadows. The invisible barrier protecting them was shrinking as the opaque figures bent against it, as if it were a giant soap bubble about to burst. The whispers reverberated through her, snaking around her with a sinister promise.
If you want more of Sydney and the Shadow Folk, check out Thief of Hope!
What paranormal creature would you be and why?
It would have to be a vampire. But the cool Lestat rock star kind, not the sparkly kind.
That's the only kind that exists in my mind! :D What would you do if you didn’t have to work?
Write! And volunteer somewhere, maybe in a literacy program.
Me too! What did you want to be when you were 10 years old?
I wanted to be an author. Really.
Again, me too! If you had six months with no obligations or financial constraints, what would you do with the time?
Write and travel and spend an extended time in a cottage in the English or Scottish countryside.
Awesome. If you won $20 million in the lottery, what would you do with the money?
I’d write full time and travel (see above) and also help all my starving artist friends achieve their dreams.
If you were a Star Wars character, which one would you be?
I’m a huge Star Wars fan. I’d have to choose Boba Fett because he’s just awesome. (And the prequels do not exist for me. I won’t let Lucas destroy my childhood memories.)
Yes! The prequels ruined Boba Fett. I was so disillusioned.
Sydney, a street urchin and pickpocket in the town of Last Hope, has managed to evade the oppressive Guild for years, but there is no escaping fate when she's sentenced to death for associating with the resistance.
After she's rescued by a wizard,
Sydney is forced to
accept that magic—long outlawed throughout the —still
exists, and the Tuatha, a powerful faery folk, are much more than ancient myth
and legend. When the wizard offers a chance to fight the Guild and bring
Willem, bastard prince and champion of the Tuatha, to the throne, Sydney
embraces the cause as a way to find her own redemption. Kingdom of Thanumor
But Sydney's fear of the Guild, distrust of authority, and surprising connection to the Tuatha threaten Willem's success. Can she untangle the strange threads that entwine her life not only to the fate of the kingdom, but also to Willem himself?
“Thief of Hope is NOT written like a typical debut novel. The world is written perfectly, the scenery is beautiful, the characters are vivid and fresh, and the battle scenes had me holding my breath with anticipation and worry!”—justagirlgeek, 5 stars
“A lot of fantasies sort of gloss over some of the more unpleasant truths, but "Thief of Hope" told it like it really could be, and provided a great adventure in the process.”—K. Sozaeva, 5 stars
Cindy Young-Turner has always been an avid reader and became fascinated by mythology and Arthurian legends at an early age. She quickly decided she enjoyed creating her own worlds and characters and set to work writing her own stories. She believes genre fiction can be just as well written and valuable as literature. The universal themes of love, hate, revenge, and redemption are present regardless of whether our characters live in the distant future, on other planets, or in fantastical realms.