Happy Monday all, it’s wet and snow-covered here in New England, but my current read is a thrillingly dark adventure and today’s stop on the Whispers from the Depths blog tour!
Joyful and blessed are Voice-bearers, for the Heavens have set them apart.
As Whisperers gifted with the Voice, Betka and her people are enslaved. Only they can control the dangerous spirits that haunt the waters, but they are forced to serve under cruel taskmasters. Betka has little hope of freedom from her service or her own bitterness.
They toil for the goodness of others.
A powerful water spirit terrorizes the castle where Betka’s sister is serving. Betka is assigned to the crew sailing to face the foe, and she fears for the only family she has left.
Rage is found nowhere in them.
In the beleaguered, flooded castle, a new threat awaits—a magic more powerful and horrifying than anything they have ever seen. Loyalties will be tested, and enemies will become desperate allies.
Betka is their only hope of escape—if she can subdue the wrath that endangers them all.
She who wields the waters for revenge drowns herself tenfold.
Check it out on:
Who is CW Briar?
C.W. Briar writes fantasy that’s dark but hopeful, filled with wonder and humor along with the suspense and creepiness. His favorite stories are the ones that make him both smile and perch on the edge of his seat. By day, he works as a systems engineer, testing or even riding on trains, airplanes, and helicopters. At night, when not writing, he prepares fancy dinners and shows off his awesome corgis. He’s a graduate of Binghamton University and lives in Upstate NY with his wife, three kids, and secret stashes of chocolate.
Sign up for newsletter exclusives through his website: http://www.cwbriar.com
Let CW tell you more about Whispers from the Depths and his process in this interview we did for his blog tour!
How did you come up with the idea for Whispers From The Depths?
I wanted a story where water is a sentient threat that invades a castle. I paired that with the exploration of how love can overcome evil, and the story grew from there.
Which books or authors have influenced you the most?
Beowulf was a huge influence on this story. Anyone familiar with that poem will see it in the conflict, the warrior culture, and the gritty tone. Beyond that, I drew inspirations from Michael Crichton and a variety of horror authors in portraying the suspense and action. I don’t know if I can say Brandon Sanderson is an inspiration for the magic, but his portrayal of magic is something I consider a benchmark to measure up to.
What is your writing process like?
(slower than I like)
I’m not a 100% plotter, but I do have to know the themes and major moments in the story before I write. Once that’s settled, I write toward whatever major moment is ahead of me. I have to squeeze in writing time around other demands in life, so my time is heavily broken up.
Part of the reason I’m slow is that I’m a sculptor rather than a painter. I can’t slap words on a page, see what comes up, and overhaul it later. I prefer to explore and plan away from the computer, then make real progress once writing. That’s why I don’t make a lot of major story changes once a first draft done (but I do polish the prose quite a bit).
What gave you the most difficulty when writing Whispers From The Depths?
The story grew after initial edits came in. I expanded a few scenes and character arcs. That required me to reassess everything to make sure it flowed smoothly. That was probably the biggest headache.
What is your favorite writing fuel?
Physically, coffee, even though I’m not a big fan of it. I drink caffeine, including tea and energy drinks, but mostly coffee.
Mentally, I’m fueled by topics that make me think. Articles, sermons, heavy discussions: those things inspire the themes.
I keep mentioning themes because they really are the bones on which I build story. I have something I want to explore and discuss, and I weave a narrative that represents it. When someone says something that makes me think, by brain starts recreating it in story form.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from this book?
I like to write stories with subtext, but it’s not critical to pick up on it. It’s okay if someone reads the book at a surface level and simply has a fun time. I hope I leave them breathless. Beyond that, I hope the story makes them think. I hope they reconsider how they interact with other people, especially those they don’t get along with.
What’s your next project?
I have two short stories coming out in anthologies this year and a couple more out for consideration. As for novels, I have two underway. One is a gothic horror/comedy/mystery. The other is a very different kind of project, but I’m keeping it under wraps for now.
Whispers from the Depths just released on February 19th; check out Briar’s tale for yourself, and look for my review coming soon!