Sometimes I like to mix things up a bit, and sometimes, I just get mixed up, period! As they say, I’m a day late and a dollar short with this post and review. Mea culpa, Megan! Please welcome, Megan O(‘Russell, by no means a stranger to Living the Dream. As you may remember, her first book, The Tethering is one of my favorites. The review for that book can be found here.
A month ago, I introduced Megan’s second book and, since I’m writing a series with recurring characters, albeit not the main ones, I asked her about some of the challenges involved with such a work. Here’s her answer.
Getting The Siren’s Realm ready for publication was very different in many ways. I knew a lot more about the editing and publication process this time around, which made a lot of things much less stressful. But there were things like cover design that were harder. When I first started talking to the designer about The Tethering, I pretty much knew what I wanted. The tree of life consumed in flames and the hands reaching toward each other. All of those things were important symbols in The Tethering, and I was lucky enough to have an artist who managed to bring all of those elements together.
For The Siren’s Realm I wanted to have a cover that complemented The Tethering, that continued the same theme and helped show the two books as a unit. I was lucky enough to be able to use the same artist, but finding what elements of the story should be portrayed was more difficult. I am thrilled with the result, but finding the continuity between the stories while making The Siren’s Realm cover intriguing in its own right was challenging.
And that challenge translated into the actual writing of The Siren’s Realm. All the primary players are the same, the world is the same, but everything else is different. The characters lives have changed. They’ve grown, learned, and been hurt. The Siren’s Realm finds them in a magical world embroiled in a magical war. The rules of safety and survival are changing for these characters on a daily basis.
Simple things like taking someone’s hand has a different meaning now. So, where do you draw the line between old habits and new realizations?
You can’t completely change the way characters interact. Then you’d be negating all the building you did in book one. The challenge comes in creating believable ways for your characters to evolve under changing circumstances that allow the essence of the characters to remain the same.
Jacob Evans is still Jacob Evans. He is scarred and changed. He joined a magical world that has begun to crumble. But he still loves Emilia Gray. And that is what he as a character has to hold onto. It is the thread that leads the reader from one book to another and turns two books into the beginning of a series.
Book Blurb for The Siren’s Realm
Jacob loves Emilia Gray, but things aren’t always that simple in the world of Magickind…
The war has begun.
The Dragons are gaining power, and the Gray Clan stands alone. Desperate to find a way to stop the Pendragon, Emilia is forced to seek answers from someone who hasn’t been seen in seventeen years… Her mother. Embarking on a magical journey filled with witches, wizards, centaurs and a dangerous and powerful Siren, Jacob and Emilia must take a leap of faith to a land neither could have ever imagined… and hope they can then find their way home.
Megan’s done it again. The Siren Realm continues the story of Jacob and Emilia, young wizards a la Harry Potter who must defend their world from evil magicians who would use their powers to destroy other magickind, as well as humans, and rule the world, but as is often the case in YA novels, the two must strike out on their own to accomplish the next step to end the danger. In Book 2, we see a more mature Jacob, still desperately in love with Emilia, the girl he’s bound to for life by the Tethering. As much as he’d like to undo the bond and release Emilia, knowing the pain she’s in, he can’t.
Since they are in danger, the young wizards are sent to stay with other magicking where they should be safe. The description of the centaurs and their rites is moving and well done,but instead of staying there safe, Emilia insists on going in search of her mother, and Jacob goes with her. The convoluted means by with they find her mother are well done and interesting. For me, the greatest challenge came in the way the siren realm and the lives of those lucky or unlucky enough to get there was described. Everyone has hopes and dreams and whatever you want can be your in the siren’s realm…for a price. Will the price be too high for Jacob and Emilia to pay? Read the book and find out, but if you haven’t read The Tethering, then do that first! Two incredible books that will keep you wanting more.
Loved Book 1, The Tethering, adored Book 2, The Siren’s Realm, can’t wait to read Book 3!
Megan O’Russell is thrilled to have her premier and second novel The Tethering and The Siren’s Realm published with Silence in the Library Publishing.Megan’s work can also be found the anthology Athena’s Daughter’s 2.
Originally from New York, Megan is a professional actress who spends her time traveling the country for different shows. When not on stage or writing, Megan spends time with her beloved ukulele and her wonderful husband. To follow Megan’s writing adventures, you can
visit her website at meganorussell.com.
The Tethering Buy links
The Siren’s Realm Buy Links