Monday, December 10, 2012

Rahima Warren, Dark Innocence, Book One of the Star-Seer's Prophecy





AUTHOR: Rahima Warren
BOOK TITLE: Dark Innocence: Book One of the Star-Seer’s Prophecy
PUBLISHER: Rose Press

Please tell us about yourself?
I’m a third-generation native of California and reside with my husband in Northern California, where I periodically chase squirrels off the wild bird feeders, and deer away from my roses. I blame my life-long love of fantasy on my parents. They left sci-fi & fantasy magazines with fascinating cover art lying around the house, which I started reading as soon as I could read. I haven’t quit yet, though my taste has been refined over the years.  I now prefer what I call true fantasy, such as Ursula LeGuin or Charles De Lint, who write with a deep understanding of human nature. 

This early interest in the enchanting realms of fantasy led me to explore the mysteries of inner life, human nature, and spirituality, and thus to my 20-year career as a psychotherapist, specializing in working with dreams, symbols, and expressive arts. My own healing journey and my work with my clients inform my trilogy, The Star-Seer’s Prophecy, a story of the healing journey in fantasy form.  In 2006, I retired to focus on my writing, expressive painting, and spiritual studies.

Tell us your latest news?
 Dark Innocence: Book One of the Star-Seer’s Prophecy was finally published in 2012! I’m currently doing outreach for my book, which received a wonderful review in July of this year, comparing it to Tolkien and LeGuin, two of the best fantasy writers ever! And it has received six 5-star reviews on Amazon.com, and one 4-star, so far.

I’ve started a blog, called Inner Views, posted on both of my websites.  My next task is to get my book into e-book formats, which will happen very soon.  I hope to get back to editing Difficult Blessings: Book Two of The Star-Seer's Prophecy next year.

When and why did you begin writing?
I began keeping a journal in about 1972, writing down my experiences, dreams, imaginative dialogs with dream characters, and poems.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
For years, I thought of “writers” as exotic creatures in a world far, far away, called New York.  Then I got my first laptop. Unable to sleep one night in 1986 or so, I experimented with writing in the dark on my new laptop, and just let myself write whatever came.  I ended up having so much fun, I kept on writing. There’s a draft of that first unfinished fantasy novel around here somewhere.  I realized then that I was one of those exotic creatures called writers, except that I lived in a mysterious place named California. 

What inspired you to write your first book?
For many years, a certain type of male character lived in my imagination. One day in 1999, I wrote a short story to try to ‘exorcise’ him.  Turned out this was a big mistake! Instead of going away, that character took over my life and insisted I write his whole story, which resulted, about 3 years later, in the raw first draft of my trilogy, The Star-Seer’s Prophecy. I thought I would never show it to anyone! But then I realized two things. The first is that the story is powerful, deep and rich, and worth sharing. The second is that I had to learn how to write fiction! So I hired an editor and studied fiction-writing. Many revisions later, Book One: Dark Innocence was finally published in 2012.

Are experiences in your book based on someone you know, or events in your own life? 
Not directly. The hero, Kyr, goes on an intense healing journey, and what he goes through is based on what I know from my own and my clients’ healing process, but the story is his own. Nothing in the story is similar to anyone’s real life, especially since this is written as a fantasy, and both harmful and healing magic play a central role in the story.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Dark Innocence is a story of mystery and intrigue, courage and endurance, secrets and forbidden love, set in an ancient world of blood sorcery and ritual magic. As one recent Amazon reviewer says, “Dark Innocence is a beautifully written and richly woven tale of the archetypal themes of wounding and redemption. …but this is no dry textbook...it is a gripping and inspiring page-turner! The story has stayed with me and continues to amaze--Highly recommended (for adults only!)”

This story portrays Kyr’s challenging journey of healing and transformation. It also explores the question, “After good triumphs over evil, then what?” Most stories end with this triumph, but life is not so easy on heroes, witness the difficulties our veterans face when returning home from war with dire physical, mental and spiritual wounds. 

I invite readers to join Kyr on his arduous and poignant journey from the torments of evil, pain, and remorse to the blessings of healing, love, and enlightenment, and allow themselves to be touched by his plight and his bravery; to discover what resonates with their own journeys; and perhaps to be healed and inspired by his story.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I hope readers will be inspired by what Kyr portrays: the undaunted courage to face, accept and heal his inner wounds and darkness, which so many of my psychotherapy clients displayed in real life. I hope my readers will stop judging, criticizing and punishing others, and especially themselves; that they will become more forgiving and compassionate; and that they will be more understanding of the “hard path toward healing” that we humans are all on.

 If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Ursula LeGuin, for her deep understanding of human nature and society, her fierce dedication to what is best in us humans, and her on-going creativity and skill as a writer.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
From my POV, it’s best to start with the question: “What wants to be written through me?”  In other words, write from a deep passion, joy or love. Let the characters take you where they want to go. You’ll be surprised, over and over. When you are riding the wave of passionate creativity without trying to fit into the box of a “sure-fire success,” you'll have a heck of a lot of fun. I sure did! And you’ll create something that is unique.

I’d also suggest that you never edit while writing the first draft: just write through until the end. Once you get there and know what the story is about, only then start to edit. And keep on rewriting, revising, and polishing your story into a shining gem. That’s what I have tried to do.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
These days, I do social media outreach for Dark Innocence, on Facebook, Twitter and with my Inner Views blog. I also take care of my 94 year old mother; hang out with my husband and with friends. I meditate, do expressive painting, go for walks, watch good fantasy shows on TV, and play FreeCell.  I continue on with my own healing journey, and with my exploration of the mysteries of life, human nature, and spirit.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?
That’s a bit complicated. I worked through a third draft of my trilogy with my editor, Naomi Rose. Later, she became a small “indie” publisher, and offered to publish my novel, which she believes in at least as strongly as I do!  We did this in association with Epigraph Publishing Services.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links.
 Twitter: @Rahima9


www.starseersprophecy.com – includes my Inner Views blog




Brief Excerpt from Dark Innocence

“Kyr’s heart hummed as if it were a harp and Tenaiya’s words had strummed an unknown chord upon it. Blinking away mystifying tears, he knelt beside her.

To their left, the setting Sun flooded the meadow with rose-amber light, gilding the Great Tree’s vast trunk and branches. The warm air of evening was enlivened by rich smells of earth and new growth. Elusive perfumes wafted from white and yellow flowers, carried by gentle breezes rippling through the grasses of the meadow and the leaves of the Tree. Calls of countless birds filled the air with sounds sweet or raucous, unadorned or intricate, weaving a complex tapestry of sound.

The Tree’s vast serenity went beyond anything he had ever known, opening door after door in his mind to unknown and marvelous potentialities. He had learned of the existence of love at the cabin, though he understood little of it. Now the Tree spoke to him―in the cooing of the birds and the rustling of its leaves; in its own deep-rooted silence and abiding strength―of wondrous mysteries and unfathomable depths of love and beauty in the world. A feeling stole over him that if such a Tree could exist, anything might be possible, even being freed from the craving and the vileness of his life as the Soul-Drinker’s Slave.”



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