Thursday, March 15, 2012

Magic Thursday: One fantasy series, hold the steak

by Louise Cusack



I’d like to share a secret. Ten years ago when my fantasy romance trilogy Shadow Through Time was first published, I was convinced I wasn’t a fantasy author’s bootlace. I had no wizards, no spells, no goblins or elves in my books. In fact, the sepia world of Ennae, linked to our own by the Sacred Pool, didn’t even have animals or insects. Sure, the champions in the story did have magic in their blood. They could open the portal between the worlds and use their power to heal. Among other oddities there was sentient water, a forest that responded to sexual stimuli and a race of cliffdwellers with cloven hooves. But there was little of the sort of ‘magic’ and magical creatures popular in Harry Potter and Raymond E. Feist books.

Amazingly, publishers loved this ‘point of difference’, and the series was universally praised for its originality, as well as for the scorching-hot heroes and their feisty heroines. Doubleday Book Club made the series their ‘Editors Choice’ and said, “Cusack throws up surprise after surprise – guaranteeing you will be picking the up the next book, almost before you have finished the first. This is addictive storytelling.” Readers loved the series, and a decade after its print release with Simon & Schuster, the Shadow Through Time trilogy has recently been re-released as ebooks with Pan Macmillan’s digital imprint Momentum Books.


Still no goblins, but I’ve come to terms with that, and have discovered that there’s a different sort of magic at work when you create fantasy worlds ― the sort that’s at work inside the writer.

As a bit of background, I’ve been a vegetarian for thirty years. I never imagined that would influence my work, so when my heroine Khatrene left our world and stepped into the sepia world of Ennae, I was as surprised as she was it had no animals or insects. There were only people and plants. As a seat-of-the-pants writer I don’t question what I’m channelling. I just get on with the business of transcribing it into the clearest form I can. So I wrote the books and they sold. It wasn’t until the first book of the series Destiny of The Light was released that a girlfriend of mine pointed out the obvious: every brawny warrior hero I’d created came from a world where there was nothing to eat but plants. They were all vegetarian!

As it turned out, I’m not the only female reader who thought that vegetarian warriors were a fabulous fantasy, and now that the series is available Internationally as ebooks they’re growing in popularity. If you’d like to win an ebook copy of the first novel of the series, Destiny of the Light, just drop a comment below and share your favourite vegetarian dish with us. My current fave is potato and leek pie – delish!





12 comments:

  1. Um a vegetarian dish oh dear.
    Garlic lemon potatoes.
    Potatoes
    Chopped fresh garlic
    Lemon
    Spring Onion
    Salt

    Par boil some new potatoes then chop into pieces once coolish.
    Chop up spring onion and garlic (quanitities to your choice)
    Heat up frypan (I use a cast iron one), put in some garlic infused oil to heat.
    Put in onion and garlic and lightly heat through, add chopped potatoe, sprinkle with salt and lemon juice and cook until potato golden and heated through. I peroidically sprinkle with extra salt and lemon throughout cooking.

    Yummy

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  2. Totally off topic, but your covers look amazing on this black background.

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  3. Great recipe Emma! I'm going to try that. Thanks for popping by

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  4. Thanks for saying that Jenny. Those covers seem to look good on most backgrounds, which is lucky! The publishers did a great job with them.

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  5. A world with no animals or insects sounds fascinating.

    Lentil polenta pie is one of my favourite recipes (can also be made with kidney beans). My husband blogged it here: http://foodforduke.tumblr.com/post/16717632542/lentilpolentapie

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  6. Thanks Tsana. That looks awesome. I've bookmarked that recipe and will give it a go. Many thanks!

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  7. Hi Louise! I already have the books on my kindle so I'm off the hook to think of a veggie recipe (even though I know you like my cookng!) It's so great to see these awesome books available again. And Talis, hero in book one, totally rocks as a vegetarian :)

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  8. I don't really have a favorite vegetarian dish since any kind of good food could be considered a favorite! But, recently I decided I really wanted to try a cucumber sandwich since they seemed like fancy little finger sandwiches and I'd never really had one. I really like cucumbers though, so I looked up a recipe online and tried it. It was a pretty nice snack, so I'm glad I decided to try it.

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  9. Hey Serix! Thanks for dropping by. I can't remember the last time I had cucumber sandwiches and cues are such a summer staple. You've inspired me to make some. A nice nostalgia trip. Thanks!

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  10. I can't find your books let alone ebooks on Amazon.com

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  11. Sorry to hear that Mikey. What country are you in? They should be available anywhere? This is the Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Destiny-Light-Shadow-Through-ebook/dp/B0071JEU8Q/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328010723&sr=1-6

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