Today's Darklight On is ... Donna Maree Hanson
When you have a lot of interests, you can have many favourite things. This helps with the moods. For example, if I’m in the mood to make something I pick up the weaving, or the sewing etc. More recently hand spinning with a drop spindle which is very relaxing. Then there’s reading and books. Oh wow. That’s daunting. Having so many means I get to choose from within the selection that fits my mood but thoughts of reading all the books! Ah well let’s not think of that. I get depressed thinking about the book I may never read.
I’m currently studying a PhD looking at Feminism in Popular Romance Fiction and that’s like combining the skills of my day job with something that is really interesting to me so that’s a new favourite thing. I waved the day job away so that’s a new favourite thing too. The Phd studies are allowing me to get up close and personal with romance books and I get to read academic papers and books that talk about romance. I have a massive collection of Mills & Boon books to play with!
In tune with favourite things and romance, recently I decided to self-publish a book of mine that I started way back in 2001. I’d come close to getting this traditionally published a couple of times but it just wasn’t happening in this climate in the Australia market. This book has some of my favourite things in it. It has a great magic system! Well I think so! And a great hero in Oakheart and a wonderful heroine in Sophy. I like their story and when I start reading it I can’t stop. I figured why don’t I share this favourite thing with others. Maybe it will be other people’s favourite thing. So I did.
Argenterra is the first book in a trilogy. The second book is The Crystal Gate, which is waiting for final revisions before going to the editor and the last book, The Ungiven Land, is nearly half written. The story follows three heroines, the main one is Sophy, then Aria and then Rae and their relationships. Romance is the underlying theme but there’s other stuff too.
I’m committed to getting this trilogy out. I want to see how Oakheart and Sophy end up. I want to see the other characters reach their destiny and I want to see what happens to the land of Argenterra. Meanwhile, I keep trying not to think of ideas for a prequel and a sequel.
You might wonder what it’s like in an author’s head. Mine is pretty messy. A churning mass of ideas and characters. Sometimes writing a story is like grabbing a thread and then following it to the end. This is why I chose to do a Phd I guess. To keep my head busy so it doesn’t explode.
Every one hundred years a woman comes to Argenterra through the Crystal Tree Woods. This time two women came…
While on a ghost tour in Castle Crioch, Sophy and her best friend and foster sister, Aria, are sucked into the world of Argenterra, where they encounter a strange Crystal Tree. Two leaves fall from it, one of which Aria catches and the other mysteriously delves into Sophy’s chest.
Met by Dellbright, the prince of Valley Keep, and Oakheart, the high king’s ambassador, the girls learn they are expected. Aria has beauty and talent with the given, the land’s native magic. She finds a home and a husband in Prince Dellbright and is revered as the legendary Gift of Crystal Tree Woods.
Sophy is out of place as anything made with the given makes her ill.
Sophy accompanies Oakheart to the capital to find out why the crystal leaf is in her chest. A sinister force is tracking her—trying to snatch her away or kill her. Only Oakheart suspects her importance: she is the talisman that can cause great harm to the world of Argenterra if she falls into the wrong hands.
Thank you, Donna