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Friday, January 24, 2014

A FLIGHT OF MAREWINGS by Kristen S. Walker

Welcome to A Flight of Marewings by Kristen S. Walker! Don't miss the Rafflecopter giveaway below! I wanted to interview one of Kristen's characters right off the bat -- Galenos is a mercenary and the leader of his own company, but he's not your usual bloodthirsty cutthroat...

Normally, mercenaries are just in it for the money and sometimes the glory... but you want to bring peace? Why?
My original reason for becoming a mercenary was the money, because there were few alternatives for me to support myself at the time. I guess that I also wanted some of the glory that my father earned during his years of service. But since then, I’ve spent years fighting in battles. I’ve seen friends and soldiers under my command die for a politician’s greed. I’ve see innocent civilians killed and their livelihood destroyed. I think that all but the most blood-thirsty soldiers come to long for peace sooner or later. In peace, I believe that our city can thrive and become known for more than just our military strength.

Are there personal reasons involved in this?
There is a sense of guilt for my own actions, but I know that I can’t make up for what I’ve done. More importantly, I want my children to grow up having choices other than priest or soldier. If a child of mine could have the opportunity to get a good education, or own a trading company, or whatever they were passionate about, then my own sacrifices might be worth it.

What will become of your mercenary company if you succeed?
Recruitment numbers would definitely go down, because we would need fewer fighters. Monster hunting is also worth less pay than warfare, so I think many soldiers would quit the company to seek other opportunities. I think there would be some demand for peacekeeping exercises. The Storm Petrels would probably not be disbanded even in peacetime, but I think that the company’s approach would have to adjust to the change in market. This would obviously be disappointing to some of our members, but I hope for a better future for many of them, when they can retire from fighting and find a less-dangerous profession.

Why do you feel qualified for the political responsibilities of a dukedom?
I worked closely with the lake duke, Basileos, during the last ten years of his life, and I learned a lot about the unique demands of Kyratia City during that time. I also have working relationships with some of the other neighboring cities and their rulers, and I hope to use those political alliances to my advantage. It’s my belief that this city has been torn apart by rival factions for too long and the wants of these special interest groups have been prioritized over the needs of the average citizen. My strategy is an overhaul of our government system to eliminate as much of this misappropriation of resources as we can, and achieve a more equal society.

And a question for you, Kristen: What are you working on next?
While I do have lots of ideas for more books in the Wyld Magic series involving Galenos and many other characters, I’m returning to my first series, YA Urban Fantasy, for a sequel to Small Town Witch. I’m hoping to release Witch Hunt this spring and follow up with the last part of the trilogy, Witch Gate, in the summer or fall.

A Flight of Marewings
Korinna's life gets turned upside down when the ghost of her father suddenly appears. Her father was duke of Kyratia City and he wanted Korinna to marry his warlord, the foreign mercenary Galenos, and inherit his title--but the city's Council has other plans. When the Council denies Korinna's right to rule, she decides to join Galenos's mercenary company and tame a wild marewing in order to take the city by force. But people whisper that the late duke's untimely death was murder, an induced madness that forced him to dance himself to death--and now that madness is spreading. Can Korinna become a marewing rider and conquer Kyratia in time to save everyone?

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