Thursday, October 12, 2017

HEIRS OF TIRRAGYL // Blog Tour & Guest Post


So I totally missed writing last Saturday's post (I've really not been great at keeping up with my blogging schedule, lately, have I?), and I deeply apologize! School™ (yaay) has been quite the emotional taxation time-snatcher as of late, but Lord willing, I'll work on loading my cargo back onto the railroad this weekend. 😉

Today, we're celebrating Heirs of Tirragyl -- Joan Campbell's new release, and the second book in The Poison Tree Path Chronicles! You can learn more about book one, Chains of Gwyndorr, on Goodreads. 🙂 Now, about book two...

Love live the queen...?
Since birth, Nyla has shared everything with her twin brother -- royal tutors, the right to the throne of Tirragyl... even their soul. Many believe it wholly belongs to Alexor and should be returned to him regardless of the sacrifice -- Nyla's death. However, her future isn't the only one in question.
A threat looms over the kingdom. The influential Lord Lucian intends to seize the Grotto, an underworld settlement known for harboring fugitives. And if legend is to be believed, it is also the hiding place of the most powerful of objects, the Guardian Rock. As Nyla fights for her life, she realizes she's not only a soul heir but also the sole hope for the kingdom's survival.


Joan Campbell is notoriously bad at finishing things but, ever since she found the key to the portal, she's been escaping into worlds far more intriguing than her own. In her word-spun worlds, magic can be harnessed, kings and queens rule supreme and ancient books contain coveted secrets. Her characters face division, danger, their own fallible natures and -- ultimately -- grace. While her husband and two daughters have learned to fend for themselves, a hungry whine or meow inevitably breaks the spell and brings Joan back to her everyday life in Johannesburg, South Africa. Here Joan wields a tennis racket instead of a longbow and trains writers instead of warriors, knowing full well that the pen is mightier than the sword. Chains of Gwyndorr was a gold medallist in the 2017 Illumination Book Awards.


Now, 'tis time to pass the mic o'er to Joan! 😃

"I jump into the river and see where it takes me."
This is my answer when people ask me how I write a book.
Usually their blank stares tell me I haven't enlightened them at all.
Writers understand, of course. They've even coined a term for it. We are "the pantsers" as opposed to "the plotters". We are the ones who "fly by the seat of our pants" and only have the bare bones of a story when we begin to write, making up the rest as we go along.
A little like life itself, I might add.
I don't like the word "pantser". It makes me feel like a jester or imposter. I much prefer the imagery of floating down a beautiful river, staring around in wonder, never sure what delightful -- or dangerous, or magical -- surprise awaits me at the next river bend.
The idea for a story begins to ferment in my mind long before I sit down to write. With The Poison Tree Path Chronicles trilogy, I knew only that I wanted to tell a story that would capture a journey from deception to truth, from loneliness to belonging, from shame to worth. As this theme grew in my mind, a character began to emerge -- Shara. Over time I gained a sense of her, where she lived, the situation she found herself in and where I would ultimately taker her. Everything in-between was a mystery but with those elements in place, I had just enough to go on.
I jumped into the river and let Shara's journey begin.
Initially the river made me nervous. Chains of Gwyndorr was my first novel and this "river floating" didn't feel like "the correct way" to write a book. I didn't trust the process. So I sat down and tried to write a more detailed plot. But for me it felt... contrived. It wasn't true to myself or the characters (who are in complete control in "river-floating"). Detailed plotting also took away the element of surprise -- the very thing that keeps me writing.
By my second book, Heirs of Tirragyl, I had begun not only to trust the process but to enjoy it, and I think that comes across in the story.
So much of our individual growth as writers is learning to trust ourselves. In this, social media -- with its wonderful wealth of teaching and information -- can sometimes be detrimental. We read an article that says most bestseller writers get their writing done in the morning. Our creative juices only start to flow late in the afternoon so we instantly feel like we’re doing something wrong. We watch all our writer buddies tackle NaNoWriMo and suddenly our five-hundred-words-three-times-a-week writing schedule (the way I wrote most of my trilogy) makes us feel like a failure.
Here's the thing. If you are crafting your words slowly but beautifully, steadily pouring yourself into your characters and their story, fifteen-hundred words a week amounts to nearly a full length novel in a year. So trust yourself. Whether you plot or pants. Write fast and furious or slow and steady. In the morning or at midnight.
Just write until you figure out what works for you.
This gift that we have as writers is a magical thing. It's meant to bring us as much joy as it does our readers. Let's not miss out on the wonder and delight of weaving together stories that only we can tell.
And let's do it our way!
Thank you so much for sharing these lovely words of wisdom, Joan! 💜


Care to dive into a glorious, new world of fantasy? Enter the giveaway for a chance to win an ebook copy of Heirs of Tirragyl! (Open internationally.)



A huge thanks to Joan for taking the time to write up a guest post for us! 💕

Dragons, have you read any of the books in The Poison Tree Path Chronicles? Do you have any writing tips to share?

Lord willing, I'll be back with a new post on Saturday!

Tally ho, m'dears!


Blog tour images
provided by Laura A. Grace.


  1. Oh my goodness, what such a powerful post about writing! What she shares is so true when it comes to comparing are writing habits with other writers. I'm thankful that we can do things OUR way and that it's totally okay. ;)

    Thanks so much for participating in the blog tour, Liv! :)

    1. YES, I LOVE what Joan has to say!

      Thanks so much for hosting the tour, Laura!


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