Interview with Author Fiona Tarr

My guest today is Fiona Tarr.  Hello, Fiona!  Welcome back to Writing in the Modern Age!  It’s such a pleasure to have you again.

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book? When did it come out? Where can we get it?

My latest book is my debut novel and it was released in May this year. It has been launched as an e-book on Amazon and Smashwords and is in paperback on Amazon and CreateSpace. The story is an historical fantasy re-telling of the life of King David with a fair helping of magic, intrigue and drama.
Is there anything that prompted your latest book?  Something that inspired you?

The main idea which inspired the story is my personal frustration with the lack of tolerance towards all understandings of faith. Although the story tells an old biblical tale, it uses fiction to highlight different spiritual understandings from many perspectives. I thought the novel would be a great way to show so many varying yet similar ideas of faith. There are so many similarities, if we are willing to look for them.
So, when did you know you wanted to write?  Or has it always been a pastime of yours?
I used to write poetry as a teenager. My teacher encouraged me, but I didn’t really write very much else creatively until about seven years ago. I just suddenly decided I wanted to write a book. At first, I considered some sort of self-help book, but quickly decided I wasn’t really comfortable telling other people how to fix their lives. Instead I started on this historical fantasy and the subject of King David just seemed right. Now I am a compulsive writer with a number of blogs and the sequel to Destiny of Kings already over half written.
Do you have any favorite authors?

I love reading heroic or historical fantasy and my favourite author would have to be David Gemmell. I loved the way he always found the grey areas that blended good and evil. His stories are quick paced and suck you in from the very first chapter.

Do you write in a specific place? Time of day?

I am a mum and wife and run a number of small businesses so I squeeze my writing in-between other work. I write in my living room or on my deck, but I don’t like to be away from other activity. Background noise actually makes me feel relaxed. I usually write after dark, but not always. I am not an early morning person that is for sure. 
So, are there any words you'd like to impart to fellow writers? Any advice?
Write to be read, but most of all write for you. Work hard and be proactive in your marketing, but don’t get so caught up in it that you don’t have time to write. Have faith in yourself, but always listen to others, even if you don’t believe everything they tell you there is always something new to learn.

Thank you for stopping by, Fiona!  :)

Readers, here is the blurb for Destiny of Kings.

The King is going slowly mad, bewitched by the dark magic and seductive powers of the Egyptian Princess Jezebel.

Martinez, the King’s general, must choose between the life of a young shepherd boy who is like the son he never had or the man who is his King and lifelong friend.

The One True God has shared a prophecy with the old seer Samuel, while the little Holy man Narayana claims the Universe has called him out of meditation to restore balance.

Francesca, the Priestess carries the burden of responsibility until her faith is rocked, her heart opened and her resolve challenged.

Here is an excerpt.

It had been a long time since he had enjoyed the splendor of his soft bed and the refinements of his status, including his beautiful palace. Just as his mind was drifting to beauty, Jezebel walked into the tent and radiated her usual elegance and astonishing beauty for all to see. Seasoned soldiers would blush in her presence, a response shared by the King himself. She had been his mistress for only a matter of months, but there was nothing he would not do to please her. He had begged her to marry him however she had refused, saying she would not be one of many. As his mistress she would not be lost in his tribe of wives which numbered in the hundreds now. Even though she had only been his lover for such a short time, without her constant presence he would slip into terrible dark moods. It made no sense at all as an anointed leader of his nation. He did not expect to experience such depressing moments. He often meditated to try and overcome the moods and to reach out in communion with his God, but lately he felt God had abandoned him. The mad old seer had visited only a month ago, tracking Saul down on his way to meet the Philistine army on this very battlefield. He had raved on crazily, saying Saul had offended God by not obeying his commands. He had recently returned from a successful campaign against the Amorites and had taken their King and some choice livestock. What had he done wrong? He had killed every man, woman and child as the prophet had requested, all except their King. Martinez had asked him to spare the women and children, claiming God could not possibly wish them dead, however Samuel had been very clear. The King he had taken as a prisoner was to be a reminder to everyone just how great the power of his reign was. He had commissioned a statue of himself to be erected in honor of the victory in the main gathering area just outside his palace. Saul had even set aside some of the best livestock to be a holy sacrifice to the Lord for the great victory. 

The old man had been indignant, 'The Lord does not want your sacrifices He wants your obedience. You were told to kill every living thing, including the livestock. The Lord has chosen another to take your place as we speak. If you cannot lead the people as God intended, then you will not lead them at all.' 
It did not matter. The old man was past his days of prophecy. The Lord would be pleased with his victories and the lack of his presence was simply due to the workload and the stress of his reign. Besides, the absence of God’s presence was tolerable with Jezebel at his side. When she was with him, everything else faded into oblivion. He realized he was, at that very moment, lost in the wonder of her body. He needed to tear his eyes from her curves and back to his officers. He scolded himself for allowing the distraction. It was difficult to return to the matters at hand, her ample bosom and cleavage beckoned to him. He was a mature man, why she warmed his groin so much left him puzzled. He decided that later he would take her to his bed and the puzzlement would matter not, it would cease to exist. 

Martinez felt the familiar chill down his spine which always accompanied Jezebel. The rest of the officers had that usual lap dog look on their faces which she invariably inspired. The King had lost all sense of time once again. Ever since she had arrived at the palace accompanied by merchants and visiting officials of Egypt, Martinez had felt uneasy. She never covered her womanly shape as was customary in Israeli culture. Instead she flaunted her body, wearing costumes which left very little to the imagination. It was common among the Egyptian people to paint the bodies of royal women with ornate patterns so that it could be seen if anyone had touched them. At the same time, they wore no other garments except tight-fitting, or sheer see-through clothing. This seemed bizarre to Martinez. To display a woman almost naked except for paint and then kill any man who touches her. It was a pointless exercise. It was only a matter of time before some poor fool died. It was human nature for men to lust after a woman’s body. Jezebel was related to Egyptian royalty and so probably believed that what she wore was more than enough covering. Thankfully she never wandered out amongst the men. If she did Martinez would have had a rebellion on his hands. Most of his men had not had the pleasure of a woman for months.

Author Bio

I am a multiple small business owner, married for 26 years and have two boys, 14 and 22. I grew up in regional South Australia and still enjoy my space. I now live in Queensland where I kite-surf and Stand up Paddle surf for fun; Australia has some awesome beaches. I love writing so much that I have a number of blogs and along with writing fiction, I also run a small business consulting blog where I share loads of free tips for small business owners. One day I will write that self-help book, but it will be about small business development, not how to raise your kids or anything like that. 

I have studied community development, theology and I am still trying to finish a communications degree in my spare time. It always amazes me how fate offers us all the tools we need to do what we were always meant to do.  
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