An Oasis in the Wasteland

Posted by on Mar 20, 2015 in Book News, Book Review, Guest Posts, Musings, Reader Fun, Uncategorized | 0 comments

An Oasis in the Wasteland

I am honored to have my first guest post by the brilliant and amazing Selah J. Tay-Song. Like most Northwest days in October, it rained. October 2013, when I met Selah, was no different. We both were at a brewery where she was selling books — outside no less — and I was sipping beer. I picked up her novel, read the back synopsis and just knew I had happened upon a beautiful connection. And, I was right! There are so many reasons I adore Selah. She really has the best laugh, a rather witty sense of humor, she is a kind and attentive listener, and she is an incredibly talented epic fantasy writer. I could gush about Selah all day. Instead, I’ll share pictures from the 2014 Chanticleer Author’s Conference back in September. Yeah, we’re nerds. Adorable ones, though, right? *grins comically*  Today, I celebrate Selah’s achievement: the publication of her second novel in the award winning Dreams of QaiMaj series. SO EXCITED!!!  Without further ado, I give you Selah J. Tay-Song. And…ahem…just for the record, Selah, I found your wasteland riveting. Love. Your. World.  *** One of my favorite things about Jesikah Sundin’s LEGACY is the lushness of her settings. When you look at the front page of this site, with the falling leaves and the beckoning forest lane, it’s a place you want to be swept away to. Who wouldn’t want to spend hours exploring the many regions of the Biodomes? The settings in my Dreams of QaiMaj series are quite the opposite. In a land still recovering from a three-thousand year old apocalyptic event, the settings are stark, sparse, barren. The caves of Sholaen are teeming with life, but scarcity is a large theme underground. Khell is an arctic wasteland, but it is a paradise compared to the deadland that is most of QaiMaj, or the sprawling ruins of SoJing. So why would a reader want to spend hours in these harsh settings? And why am I, as a writer, drawn to them? When I was conceiving the idea for this series, I was also rereading The Secret Garden. Rereading it as an adult, I was struck by the symbolism of the secret garden as an oasis for the children in the stark moors of England, and a refuge from the tragedy that marred the main character’s childhood. I knew that I wanted to incorporate this idea of an oasis of life and a refuge from tragedy into Dreams of QaiMaj. But first I had to imagine the tragic wasteland surrounding the oasis. It was from that imagining that the settings for the series germinated. Even though they aren’t exactly a place you’d want to vacation, the post-apocalyptic landscapes of Qaimaj reflect the modern societal wasteland, where people are looking for an oasis of meaning and a refuge from the tragedy surrounding us. Like a lot of people...

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