Today, I'm very pleased to bring my readers a great interview with Philippa Ballantine, talking about her upcoming release Harbinger.
In your upcoming release, Harbinger, the Deacons of the Order are sworn to protect the innocent citizens of the Empire from wicked spirits of the Otherside. Are the Deacons human or another supernatural type? Describe their powers.
Deacons are humans, but ones born with the talent for magic and dealing with the supernatural. They work in pairs; one Sensitive and one Active. The Actives are the flashy ones who use runes of power to deal with the undead and the ghostly invaders trying to harm citizens. The Sensitive is however just as important, for they guide and watch over the Active.
After the Razing of the Order, your heroine, Sorcha Faris, one of the most powerful Deacons, is struggling to regain control of the runes she once wielded. Who brought about the Razing of the Order? Why was that necessary?
The original Order of the Circle of Stars was thought destroyed when Sorcha’s Order of the Eye and the Fist arrived. However, they were not, and spent three books trying to get the interlopers out. Finally, they succeeded, but turning the Emperor against them, and destroying the runes. Now the Circle of Stars have a clear path to controlling the whole Empire.
The Deacons are needed more desperately than ever because the barrier between the world of the living and the world of the dead is weakening. The Emperor has abandoned his throne, seeking to destroy those he feels have betrayed him. Why is the barrier weakening?
It is all part of the Circle of Stars plan. If they can bring through more geists then they can gain more power, since their version of the runes feeds off geists. However, they may well have bitten off more than they can chew.
Sorcha must lead the charge against the gathering hordes of geists seeking to cross into the Empire. But to do so, she will need to manipulate powers beyond her understanding—powers that may prove to be her undoing. Do the Deacons have specific abilities/powers they favor or have been appointed to use? What might happen if Sorcha uses powers that are unfamiliar to her?
The Deacons have access and are trained with only a set number of runes; ten for the Actives and seven for the Actives. Control of these runes is learned over years of study. Sorcha has now ventured beyond that. With her partial Wrayth heritage, she is capable of more, but without training she is opening herself up to madness, death, or total loss of power altogether.
Briefly describe the magical systems of your world. How do those who are empowered, the Deacons and geists, gain their abilities?
Geists are by their very nature, supernatural creatures. Some are rather innocuous, but others are hungry to possess human beings. They can walk through walls, terrify to the point of death, and suck the soul from a person.
Deacons are born with innate abilities, but must be trained. The runes they learn give shape to their power, but are actually based on geist powers.
There is one manifestation of power; wild talent, such as Merrick displays. This can crop up in any human, and it connected to a person bearing a touch of the Ancients blood in their heritage. It can take many kinds of form. Merrick can influence the emotions of people, while Garil has premonitions of future events. It is however far less reliable than the power of the Deacons.
Philippa (Pip) Ballantine
Release date July 30th
cover artist Jason Chan
The Deacons of the Order are all that stand between the wicked spirits of the Otherside and the innocent citizens of the Empire. They are sworn to protect humanity, even when they cannot protect themselves…
After the Razing of the Order, Sorcha Faris, one of the most powerful Deacons, is struggling to regain control of the runes she once wielded. The Deacons are needed more desperately than ever. The barrier between the world of the living and the world of the dead is weakening, and the Emperor has abandoned his throne, seeking to destroy those he feels have betrayed him.
Though she is haunted by the terrible truth of her past, Sorcha must lead the charge against the gathering hordes of geists seeking to cross into the Empire. But to do so, she will need to manipulate powers beyond her understanding—powers that may prove to be her undoing…
About the Author:
Born in Wellington, New Zealand, Philippa has always had her head in a book. For this she blames her father who thought Lord of the Rings was suitable bedtime reading for an eight year old. At the age of thirteen she began writing fantasy stories for herself.
She first earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Political Science and then a Bachelor of Applied Science in Library and Information Science. So soon enough she found herself working in the magical world of libraries where she stayed for over a decade.
Her first professional sale was in 1997, and since then she has gone on to produce mostly novel length fiction. In 2006 she became New Zealand’s first podcast novelist, and she has voiced and produced Weaver’s Web, Chasing the Bard, Weather Child and Digital Magic as podiobooks. Her podcasts have won both a Parsec Award and a Sir Julius Vogel award.
Philippa is the author of the Books of the Order series with Ace- Geist, Spectyr, Wrayth and Harbinger coming in July 2013.
She is also the co-author of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series with Tee Morris. Phoenix Rising debuted in May 2011 and The Janus Affair came out in May 2012. Phoenix Rising won the Airship Award for best written steampunk, and was the number eight best Science Fiction book of 2011 according to Goodreads.com. The Janus Affair was the seventh most popular science fiction book of 2012 on Goodreads.com. The series continues with Dawn’s Early Light in December 2013.
In addition she is also the author of the Shifted World series with Pyr Books, with the first book Hunter and Fox released in June 2012, and the second Kindred and Wings scheduled for August 2013.
When not writing or podcasting, Philippa loves reading, gardening, and whenever possible traveling. With her husband Tee and her daughter, she is looked after by a mighty clowder of five cats in Manassas, Virginia.