Title: Children of Lightning
Author: Annie K Wong
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Release Date: September 27, 2014
Secrets beget secrets. The curse that befell the Hollows clan has left them incapable of producing male offspring. To extend their bloodline, they have formed a covenant with the serpentine Ophidians, who give them children. In return, the Hollows must keep these monstrous creatures well fed, though the details of the procurement are so abominable that the truth is never revealed to the other clans. In their homeland of Matikki, they live like outcasts.
Through a series of chance discoveries, the secrets of the ancient curse unfold before a warrior named Writhren Hollow. Is her purely female clan the result of a lapse of divine providence, or are the Hollows themselves victims of an enslavement scheme?
If Writhren frees her clan from the covenant, she risks the wrath of the Ophidians and the future of her bloodline. If she keeps the truth of the curse to herself, she is a traitor to her own kind. Either way, she will suffer for what she must do.
This is not a story of redemption, but regret. This is Writhren’s story.
About ten years ago, when I was struggling to figure out my ability and identity as a writer, I ended up having a late night bizarre conversation with my friend Amanda and became very emotional.
I wailed in my car and told her how I would never make it as a literary writer, that I hadn’t read enough books, didn’t have the academic qualifications to write anything intelligent or relevant.
Amanda said, “But why do you want to be a literary writer? You don’t even like literary fiction that much.”
I said, “But what other kind of writer could I be?”
“I think you should be a genre writer. All your story ideas involve some kind of time travel or magical transformation, and these are the common themes in fantasy stories. You are not a literary writer, Annie. You are a fantasy writer.”
I heaved until I stopped crying. From that night on, I have been a fantasy writer.
Later, when I began developing the story for my current book series, the prequel of which is Children of Lightning, I told my friend Sid that my new story would have strong female characters. He has been a fantasy bookworm all his life, and he recommended to me, Garth Nix’s Sabriel and China Mieville’s Un Lun Dun. I have since become a fan of these authors and the fantasy genre.
TGFF! (Thank God for friends)!
2. When writing a book, what is your favorite part of the creative process (outline, plot, character names, editing, etc)?
Every part of the writing process is enjoyable in different ways. Since I write to explore (ideas, otherworldly worlds, for example), I find each moment of discovery exciting. This happens when I come up with a new twist to the plot, or a character’s brilliant comeback when writing a scene. As an author, I am my book’s first reader, and I have the double pleasure of writing and reading the story at the same time. It’s the best thing in the world.
3. When reading a book, what genre do you find most interesting/intriguing?
I have read literary fiction, weird fiction, fantasy and non-fiction, and any book that is well-written, has ideas that are original, exciting and resonate with the readers is a good book regardless of its genre.
4. If you could co-author with any author, past or present, who would you choose?
If I could, I would collaborate with China Mieville on a story based in China. His book, Perdido Street Station, blows my mind.
5. Have you always wanted to write or did it come to you "later in life"?
I discovered my talent in storytelling in college, but I did not pursuit writing as a career then because I was lazy and afraid. Writing is not for the faint of heart. The writing process can be grueling, the rate of failure very high. I was not ready for the challenge as an undergrad.
Unbeknownst to me, this urge to write had remained dormant in me for more than a decade after I left college and reared its (ugly) head in my mid-thirties when I was older, more matured and perhaps more capable of tackling the difficulties of a writing life. Being the fighter that I am, I battled against this inner voice that beckoned me to be a writer. I did that for a year and lost.
I was reluctant at first, but once I put my fingers to the keyboard, I discovered a new me, an explorer of brand new worlds and dangerous, complex situations. I became hooked onto the adrenaline of every story twist and turn unfolding before my eyes. Yes, writing continues to be difficult, but the difficulty is what makes it so, very rewarding.
Annie K. Wong was born in Hong Kong and lives in Canada, in the west coast city of Vancouver, BC. She has a BA in Business Administration and Creative Writing from Houghton College as well as a Diploma in Film Studies from the University of British Columbia. Although she explored careers in advertising, television and office administration, the desire to write overtook her at the turn of the new millennium. In 2003 she earned a Post-Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing from Humber College and has been crafting stories ever since.
Her current project is a fantasy series, the prequel of which is Children of Lightning.
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