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Book Interview with Debra Mauldin: Demon Hunt

This Book Interview for Demon Hunt was originally posted by Debra Mauldin on her blog, Mama Bear Musings.

Demon HuntAuren looks forward to her summer camping trips with her foster father, Kado. What is different about the camping trip the two take in Demon Hunt?

Usually things run pretty smoothly, but in Demon Hunt, Auren accidentally releases a demon into the world. The demons are guardians of the shadow world, and because of this, they are very territorial. They don’t see a difference between being in the shadow world and being in the real world. Basically, if they can see it, they will defend it from invaders (anyone who is alive and not a shadow person). The thing that makes it more difficult is that they are not mindless beasts. They are intelligent problem solvers and know when they are being hunted. So they are not easy to capture if they get away. Auren and Kado have to try and find the demon and send it back to the shadow world before it can cause too much destruction.

What compelled you to write a Prequel to your Shadow Stalker Series?

I wanted to write something for the New Year that I could give away to my readers as a thank you for reading. I had briefly mentioned in the first episode that Auren and Kado had taken a trip to Luten Isle the previous year, and Auren wanted to share some of that experience with her friends, which was why they had decided on Luten Isle as their graduation celebration camping trip. I thought it would be fun to write about what Auren experienced during that particular trip.

Kado surprises Auren with a few facts about her life. Can you tell us about these surprises?

Well, she learns that she is a shadow stalker, which is a shock to her because most people believe that the shadow stalkers were all killed during the first war with the Galvadi Empire. She also learns that she is the delohi-saqu, one of the prophecy. Drevin, the emperor of the Galvadi, believes she is destined to enslave the people of the Serpent Isles and has decided the only way to stop her from doing so is to kill her. Learning that someone is determined to end your life would be a sobering experience for anyone.

How is Auren a Shadow Stalker?

People are born shadow stalkers. It’s not something you can just become. The shadow stalkers were created by the shadow people for a specific purpose (which has not yet been disclosed, but will be later in the Shadow Stalker series). Auren is a shadow stalker because both of her parents were shadow stalkers.

Training for a Shadow Stalker is intense. Can you tell us why?

The shadow stalkers’ power is derived from the shadow world, which is essentially the world of the dead. The shadow world is a very dangerous place for the living. First, there is the demons who guard the shadow world from intruders. Plus, humans were not meant to be there, so the more connected you become, the closer you get to your own death. As time goes on, it gets harder and harder for a shadow stalker to maintain their foot in the physical world, so to speak. It takes a lot of training to be able to deal with the demons and not become trapped within the shadow world.

Please explain the veil.

The veil is the intangible gateway between the shadow world and the physical world. It exists everywhere; there’s no set entry or exit point. It’s sometimes referred to as going into the mist because that’s how it appears to someone watching another enter the shadow world. Only shadow stalkers have the ability to actually see (other than seeing a shadow stalker disappear into the mist) or access the veil.

Who are the Shadow People?

There are three different types of shadow people. The first are the demons, the guardians. The second are the spirits of humans. Even the spirits of living people dwell in the shadow world, but they don’t know they’re there. The third are the spirits of animals, who naturally dwell in the shadow world as well as the physical world, just as the shadow stalkers do and they can do it without risk to themselves.

Kado and Auren have to live in secret from the Galvadi Empire. Tell us some ways they accomplish this.

There are very few people within the Coalition that know the shadow stalkers still exist. Most people believe they are all dead. Although they had been known for their darker skin, there are people who originate from the southern islands who have dark skin. So even though they stand out in Appolia, which is in the far north with fair skinned and light haired people, no one would really think there was anything odd about them because of the differences in their appearance. The shadow stalkers on the Dark Isle do not know that Kado is fostering a child, and they believe that Zain and Frai’s child died, so they don’t know of her existence. Also, those on Appolia who know Kado is a shadow stalker don’t think anything odd of Kado having a foster child because they’re aware that it is common practice with the shadow stalkers. Kado is the only one who has contact with the shadow stalkers on the Dark Isle and has been acting as a liaison. So he can control who knows what.

Tell us a bit of what happens when Auren is practicing ‘calling the veil’ 

Essentially, calling the veil is how the shadow stalkers access the shadow world. The first part of being able to work within the shadow world is being able to see or “call” the veil. The veil is always there, so it’s a matter of teaching your mind to sense it and visualize it.

Auren is simply attuning herself to the veil so she can easily recognize it in the future, but it takes a lot of practice. Once it’s mastered, a shadow stalker can call the veil and access the shadow world in less than a second.

The cover of Demon Hunt is different to the covers of the Shadow Stalker Series. Did you use the same designer?

No, it was a different designer. A friend of mine volunteered to do the cover for Part 1 of the Shadow Stalker series, which is Episodes 1 – 6. She is also doing the cover for Part 2, Episodes 7 – 12. The cover for Demon Hunt was designed by Kathryn Jenkins at DKC.

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Book Interview by Kathryn Jenkins

This interview was done by Kathryn Jenkins and originally posted on Mama Bear Musings.

Shadow Stalker: The Hidden Truth (Episode 1) Book Interview

Q: Your first publication, Shadow Stalker: The Hidden Truth is being released August 30, 2014. What can you tell us about your book without giving anything away?

A: Without giving anything away, all I can say is that it’s about a girl who learns a startling truth about her past, which ultimately puts her life in danger. As the series progresses, she learns that she has more enemies than friends, and finds that she has to rely on herself for survival.

Q: Shadow Stalker: The Hidden Truth, is a part of an interesting publishing design that has begun to become popular for young writers. Can you tell us about the process of doing a serialized book over the traditional route?

A: It took me a little over a year to work out how I would be able to do the serialization of the series effectively. I was in a ‘novel’ mindset, and these types of stories can’t be written in the same way. They are much shorter than a novel, and each one not only has to be part of the larger story, but has to contain a story within itself. It’s much like the episodes of a TV series, which is how I came up with the idea of writing episodes. I had to plan the overall storyline first, and then start coming up with subplots that I could put into each episode that would drive the main plot. I’m only planning about 3 or 4 episodes ahead at any given time, though. I want to leave the story open to evolve on its own, as long as that evolution doesn’t deviate from the main plot.

Q: Who are your main characters that will be featured throughout episode one? Can you also tell us about each?

A: The main character is Auren. She is raised in the Serpent Isle to believe that she is as normal as any other person, but then she has to cope with the reality of who she is and what that might mean. She is a good person and doesn’t like hurting people, but she is often easily influenced to do the wrong thing. She has a bit of a stubborn streak as well.

Another important character is Kado. He is Auren’s guardian and has raised her since she was a baby, but he is much more than just a father figure to her. He’s very reserved and doesn’t really show much affection at all. He likes to just get right to the point, and is very logical in how he solves issues. It’s not often that he lets emotions dictate his actions, but on very rare occasion it does happen, which is not a good thing for the person who angers him.

Q: How is your book important to your readers? And what type of entertainment will it provide for them?

A: I believe it’s important for my readers because it’s really going to get them to look at people and situations from a different perspective. Not everyone who is good does the right thing, and not everyone who is bad does the wrong thing. In many stories the lines between good and evil are clearly drawn, but in Shadow Stalker, that will not always be the case. It will be an exciting and sometimes very suspenseful story, though. I think people who love fantasy mixed with a bit of thrill and suspense will get a lot of enjoyment from the series.

Q: What are shadow stalkers and what are their purpose throughout your serialized novel?

A: Shadow stalkers are a very shamanic-like race of people. They come from an island that is far from the Serpent Isles, but they have a tie with the people of the Serpent Isles and that as well as their true purpose will become clearer as the series progresses. They are very powerful, but their power and their purpose is governed by beings that exist in their version of the afterlife, known as shadow people. There are rules and codes that they have to follow or they can lose their power and/or be banished from the shadow stalker’s society. They are very feared by the people of the Serpent Isles who tend to shun the shadow stalkers until they need their help for something.

Q: Does Shadow Stalkers: The Hidden Truth, have an interesting background in its creation?

A: I have actually wanted to write a story with a shamanic type of race for a long time, but I wanted the story to be something that might change the way a person looks at the world. I was actually inspired to write Shadow Stalker after reading The Celestine Prophecy back in 2007, but all I had was a concept. It took a few years for the characters and the story to start developing.

I had an entire novel completed where the main character was a guy, but a friend of mine, who is a published author, encouraged me to change it to a female. I’m glad I took her advice. It was also originally written in the 3rd person, but I decided it would be better told from the main character’s point of view, as though she was telling the story herself. The serialized version that I’m writing now is actually the start of my third rewrite of the series.

Q: Who designed your cover and how did you come up with its concept?

A: My cover was designed by a friend of mine (who wishes to remain anonymous). At first I wanted to design a simple cover that had the symbol of the shadow world on it. Then I decided I wanted some kind of image of what it might look like in the shadow world. I attempted some of my own graphic design work for it (which really wasn’t all that bad for someone who knows nothing about graphic design), and showed it to my friend. She asked if she could play around with it, so I told her to go ahead, and she came back with a similar version to what the cover is now. I loved it because it represented what it looks like in my mind for a shadow stalker to enter the shadow world, leaving the physical world behind.

Q: Would you say that each episode of Shadow Stalker, can be a stand alone book? Or is it depended on the whole work to make sense?

A: No, I thought about doing this, but it would have been too difficult. So it will need to be read from start to finish to make sense.

Q: After finishing your first episode are you happy with the direction you took?

A: I am extremely happy with how it is going. As I said, this is my third attempt at writing the series, so I’m definitely ready for the story to be told. I think I’ve been very successful in working out all of the kinks, and even after all these years I’m still coming up with ideas. If the series does well, I’m considering writing a prequel novel that explains the events leading up to the series. Also, at my daughter’s request, I’m considering a series of chapter books for junior readers that will be based on the world, but with new characters and new adventures.

Q: What is the hardest part about writing Shadow Stalker: The Hidden Truth, in a serialized book? What advice would you give other writers that wish to use this publishing model?

A: The hardest part is being consistent. I think this is an issue for any writer, but once one of the episodes is published, I can’t deviate from the concepts and storyline I’ve already established. So even if I come up with a great idea in the future, if it contradicts what I’ve already written, I can’t use it. So making sure you know the story well enough before you start publishing each segment is very important. I’ve been writing and planning this story for about seven years, so it is firmly imprinted on my brain by now. Planning is very important for serialized fiction.

Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6)

Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6)

eBook: Free
Auren learns she is destined to enslave the people of her world, and Drevin, emperor of the Galvadi Empire is determined to end her life before it happens. Her foster father, Kado, has sworn to protect her and trains her as a shadow stalker. But her training is cut short, when their people are overrun by the Galvadi Empire. Now she has to find a way to help her people without succumbing to the prophecy. *** This book may or may not be listed as free on Amazon. They will sometimes mark it up to $1 for price testing purposes, so if it's not free, try Smashwords. Smashwords has the Mobi edition, which can be read on Kindle readers and apps. Sorry about the hassle, but it's out of my control. *** More info →
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