I’m delighted to be taking part in the Blog Tour of Suzanne Rogerson’s debut novel, Visions of Zarua.
This is the last stop on her tour. You’ll find out more about the novel and the author below. You’ll also be able to take part in a Goodreads Giveaway. Tour schedule:
Blurb: Visions of Zarua
Two wizards, 350 years apart.
Together they must save the realm of Paltria from Zarua’s dark past.
An ancient darkness haunts the realm of Paltria.
Apprentice wizard Paddren is plagued by visions of a city on the brink of annihilation. When his master Kalesh dies in mysterious circumstances, the Royal Order of Wizards refuses to investigate.
Helped by his childhood friend, the skilled tracker Varnia, and her lover Leyoch, Paddren vows to find the killer.
The investigation leads Paddren down a sinister path of assassins, secret sects and creatures conjured by blood magic. But he is guided by a connection with a wizard from centuries ago – a wizard whose history holds the key to the horror at the heart of the abandoned city of Zarua. Can Paddren decipher his visions in time to save the Paltrian people from the dark menace of Zarua’s past?
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Getting Visions of Zarua published has been a long process – 10 years +, though my journey started way before that. I wrote a teen novel when I was 12 and had written two fantasy novels by my early twenties. Since then I’ve completed several fiction home study courses and attended creative writing classes. These helped me become a better writer, but it was the professional critiques and editorial services I paid for that really shaped this book and gave me the confidence to self-publish it.
Over the years I’ve contacted agents and entered many competitions, but looking back the books and short stories I submitted weren’t ready.
When Visions of Zarua was finally finished, I decided not to wait on an agent or publisher’s decision, but to take charge myself and let the reading public decide. Seeing the wonderful comments from readers and reviewers on Amazon and Goodreads, I’m so happy I took that chance. If I hadn’t, I could still be waiting now.
The author that most influenced me is David Gemmell. Apart from being a master storyteller, he had a way to make you care about every single character no matter how small a part they played. That’s something I love about his books and still keep in mind as I write.
More recently I’ve been influenced by the success of a self-published author Anthony Ryan. He started out like me, before being snapped up by publishers and is now a bestselling author. When I read his first book, Blood Song, I knew I’d found someone worthy of stepping into David Gemmell’s shoes.
Fantasy is about so much more than just magic and wizards, that’s what attracts me to the genre. Visions of Zarua has elements of other genres that I love to read; mystery, adventure and a sprinkling of romance.
A recent reviewer called Visions a fantasy detective story, and many others have commented on the mystery side of the story. It’s still a fantasy, but it’s accessible to everyone, not just fans of the genre.
I’ve created characters readers seem to love or hate, and another big plus for this book is that it’s a standalone – no need to wait a year or more to find how things turn out.
Many of the reviews for Visions of Zarua have said it’s a book anyone can enjoy even if you don’t normally read fantasy, and that it’s the perfect introduction to the genre.
4- Can you tell us something about your main character?
There are several main characters in this book. Paddren is the reluctant hero, forced at every turn by events out of his control, but he’s also guided by a sense of duty and determination to see his master’s killers brought to justice.
Varnia is strong-willed and stubborn, but she’s caring and determined to do what she thinks is right for everyone.
Leyoch’s need to be accepted by society drives him into difficult situations, though he always puts the welfare of others above his own needs.
A fantasy trilogy ‘Bloodlines’ which has a similar mix of fantasy, mystery and romance. The first book, The Lost Sentinel, will hopefully be published later this year or early 2017.
I also hope to develop a short story into a novella. It’s about a woman whose husband doesn’t return from war, though his body is never found. She has nightmares about him reaching out to her from the battlefield and becomes convinced he’s trying to contact her. Certain he isn’t dead, she enlists the help of a local mystic to find him.
I have several other novels in various stages of planning and first draft, and I’m hoping to reach a point where I can publish a book a year. That means I really should get back to writing now.
Suzanne Rogerson. Author Profile
Suzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her hugely encouraging husband and two children.
She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.
Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.
She collects books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography.
Suzanne is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of she likes to escape with a great film, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.
Suzanne Rogerson’s Social Media links:
If you’d like to win a copy of Visons of Zarua, you can take part in the following Goodreads Giveaway (Click on the banner below):