Brain to Books Blog Tour

Fast Facts:

Author: Ed Ireland
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Book: A New Dawning from the Chronicles of the Free People Series

BIO

Ed IrelandEd Ireland is a very proud product of the streets of South Philadelphia. He draws on his memories of people, places and events from his life there as well as the rest of the world he has known.
His list of home territories includes Pennsylvania, Nevada, Texas, California, Colorado, New Jersey New York, North Carolina and currently, Florida. He has been a sometimes frequent visitor of Virginia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Arizona, and Maryland. Every one of these locations has provided him with people and places that inspire his work. Countless memories from them, some good and some bad, fuel his passion for building people, not just characters in his tales.
Confucius once said. “Wherever you go, go with all your heart”. It has become his mantra and an ideology he embraces fully. His age has not diminished his urge for wandering, although he promises his move to Miami, Fl is the last. He claims he will settle down for good in Florida. Maybe the spirit of Hemingway is calling…
Perhaps the people are drawing him. He has always been a people-person for the wealth of opportunity they provide. He says that “a good variety of people in one’s life is like a rich tapestry of inspiration to a writer. People come equipped with personalities, quirks and tales that keep writers in material for a lifetime.”
Ed was born in 1954 in Philadelphia. He is a doting father of two and is fiercely loyal to the Philadelphia Eagles, The Beatles and classic horror films. He enjoys time in the kitchen as of late, saying that cooking is fun for him now that he understands that it too, is an art. He enjoys photography, playing in Photoshop and he freely admits to his vice of being addicted to World of Warcraft. His passion is animal rights and he campaigns to end the persecution of wolves. His religious and political views are private; nevertheless, they make themselves known throughout his work.
So, that is the author, for all it’s worth. He explains that his sarcasm is described as epic, but also that he is a caring and good man. He says that he’s not sure of that. He says this on the subject…
“I think a good man treats others well no matter what. I treat others as I want them to treat me, but if they don’t then I treat them as they treat me. I prefer to think of myself as a just man. Nevertheless, when we reach our end, what we think of ourselves is worthless. In the end all that matters is what our judges, whoever or whatever they may be think of us. In the meantime, I’ll live life the way I enjoy, I’ll write what I enjoy and I’ll be a smartass for as long as I like.”

Accomplishments

Mr. Ireland is very active in helping promote other Indie authors via his website. Also through #Indiebooksbeseen, a great group dedicated to bringing indie works into the light. He will also offer free copies of his books in exchange for donations to Autism Awareness and Runningwiththewolves.org.

Book Blurb:

NewDawning2bFor twenty years the Clans have kept the peace. They have spent their days and nights away from the boundaries imposed by the Goddess. They kept true to her word and allowed the years to pass without incident.
In Rahz Ahmoon, the old order is about to pass and the greatest threat the Clans ever faced returns, bringing depravity and terror to the destruction. Along the tranquil shores of the Shimmering Seas, another threat looms. A threat the Clans have been dreading for twenty years. These two incidents will return them to the most savage days they have ever seen.
In Bandashar, rebellion and plague rise to defeat the loyal. Hol stands ready to defend the fair lands of Dagor as Bandashar dies amid flames of prejudice and hate while purgatory fills the world with flames of tyranny and betrayal. In Wraithwood the Queen is abducted as a mysterious journal in Var Libra hints at both the creation of the world so long ago and the destruction of it so close to the present.
Hellion and Fire must do the best they can amid all of these waves that are about to crash onto the Clans. As the climax draws closer, they both wonder many things. They wonder, that when the last secrets of Var Libra are exposed, when the last cities have scattered their ashes, when the last echoes of a world at war are silenced and when the last breaths of the Clans are drawn…
Who will remember their story? Who will insure that the world will know what happened? Who will keep them alive in story and song so that the world does not forget? Or will the world cease to exist as well?


Interview with Ed Ireland

Tell us a little about yourself. (How did you get started writing? What do you do when you’re not writing?
Well, I’m not too complicated. I have a touch of the Gypsy in me but I think my rambling days are behind me for good now. Writing for me was a pleasant surprise. I started really late in life and am still honing this gift for storytelling. When I’m not writing, I love cooking, exploring new places and I have an unhealthy addiction to World of Warcraft.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?) List other titles if applicable.
This is actually my eighth book. Ninth if you count the release of the full trilogy in one book.
For this tale, we started the series with Fire At Dawn, shifted into The Stormrider and now finish with A New Dawning.
What genre do you enjoy writing the most and what is this book about?
I enjoy bringing new worlds to life, so fantasy is my favorite genre. A New Dawning is the final book in a trilogy started so long ago. The entire series was designed to mirror societies woes and place them in a fantasy setting. This book continues that trend. The story spans more than 20 years in the lives of Hellion, Fire and their clan. Some people might say it’s a war story with a good amount of romance in it while others might see a romance with a war setting. There’s no getting around it, the Chronicles of the Free People is filled with interesting characters, villains you’ll love to hate and a storyline that brings you across a lifetime of love, hate, romance, honor and betrayal.
What inspired you to write this book?
The original concept was a glance at a picture entitled “Spirithunter” by artist Christy Grandjean. As soon as I saw it, I knew this character had a tremendous story behind him. My wife also was an inspiration for the co-protagonist. She’s unlike any other woman I have ever known and I felt she needed to be immortalized in some way.
How did you come up with the title of your book or series?
The first book, Fire At Dawn was just a play on the character’s name. The series title was difference. I looked at the characters and tried to fnd the one thing they prized above everything else. It was their freedom, hence the title Free People. Like all freedoms, it’s never guaranteed and often very costly.
Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
The cover is all me. My concept, my work, my design. I spent hours in Photoshop transforming a tiger’s eyes to a woman’s eyes. When I was satisfied, I used that as the
background for all 3 books. I recently put them up for critique and they don’t trend favorably.
Oh well, I wanted the uniform look to the series so maybe I’ll dabble with them in the future.
If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?
Maybe it’s a writer thing or maybe I’m just nuts, but as I write, I can “hear” the character’s voices. From his frst syllable, Titan has always been Sean Connery. Fire has always been Jane Seymour and Hellion was Harrison Ford. Thankfully, these characters would be CGI so there would just be voice actors.
Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?
Of course, J.R.R. Tolkien was the first serious writer I read. The Hobbit and LOTR books were almost required in the late sixties, and he taught me to stretch my imagination to the limits.
Among today’s writers, I’m a big fan of Gregory Maguire. His Oz books have taught me to always look at both sides of the story.
Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
I do have my ritual. I like to wake at the crack of dawn when the rest of the world is still asleep. I put on the water and make my Bigelow’s Earl Gray tea and eat 3 Chips Ahoy cookies. At that time, my muse is satisfed and we get to work.
Are you a plotter or do you write by the seat of your pants?
Oh, I am a pantser all the way. I start the story and let the characters take over and drag me through whatever fun they can think of. I am quite fond of saying I’m not so much a writer as I am a stenographer.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
Names are definitely important. Who’s going to read a book where the protagonist is called “that guy”? Sometimes I like a name based on how it rolls around in my mouth. Other times I’ll search for a name through international baby name data mines to find an exotic name with meaning.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
There are no bad reviews. Well, except the ones that say “Your book sucks! You suck!” If it looks and sounds as if a lesser ape wrote it, I simply toss it. Other than that, there are no bad reviews. People are either telling you why they loved your work, or they are offering suggestions as to how to improve your work. Either way, you don’t walk away empty handed.
Do you see writing as a career?
No, I’m fond of eating and sleeping indoors. There are certain sacred cows in the author field and no matter what, they will never be replaced. Even though self-published indie writers are making their way at a much better rate, I think the majority of people still hold on to their cows. I watch book clubs on Goodreads rehashing Sherlock Holmes and books like East of Eden. Until that changes, I don’t see this as anything but a passionate hobby.
Which of your books was the most fun to write and why?
No need to think on it. For pure fun it was Crime Scene. It was a subject I enjoy going over (the Kennedy assassination) set in a city I love (Philadelphia) featuring characters I grew up around. I got to talk like I normally do, foul-mouthed and angry and I got to bring out all the stops. Memories of when I was a kid, of my Uncles and the way they did things…despite my last name, I’m Italian. Ireland is my step-father’s name. Plus I got to research 3 different cities and I’m a sucker for research work.
What is your favorite snack food?
The aforementioned Chips Ahoy are a favorite. Potato chips are another vice. At the other end of the spectrum, I can sit and eat a bucketful of ripe strawberries.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
“Go Away! You Had Your Chance!” I have this feeling that after I kick it, some asshat publisher will read one of my books and declare me to be “a genius wordsmith” and every scrap I ever wrote will go on to be a best seller. My heirs will live a great life and eventually, my daughter will write a tell-all book and I’ll be vilified.
What is your favorite Halloween costume you’ve ever worn? Provide photos if available!
Wish I had photos. We were doing a haunted house to raise funds for my son’s little league. I found a werewolf mask that came in 4 pieces. Each piece had to be set with spirit gum and then make up across the face and all four pieces. Took me almost 4 hours to get everything perfect including the teeth, hair, hands and the rest of the costume. Drove like that from Philly to Jersey and scared the crap out of the toll collector on the bridge. Well, I was on the 2nd floor with a breakaway chain holding me and a strobe light. About an hour into the event, I get a yell from the hallway…”Police…we’re coming in.” The police came in, complimented me on the makeup and then told me I had to stop. Their reasons made sense…outside, the front lawn was filled with very angry mothers and their crying children. I had to apologize and show all the kids it was makeup.
Do you have an embarrassing moment you’d like to share?
I was sick, let me make that perfectly clear. The medicine was making me gassy. I was in WalMart with my wife, daughter and my wife’s aunt. Well, at one point I sneezed and lets just say the gas leak was louder than the sneeze. About 6 people all snapped their head around to look at me. Embarrassed, I looked for the comfort of family and all I saw was the 3 of them ducking into an aisle laughing their asses of.
What makes you laugh/cry?
In my post-menopausal state, I find almost anything can get me to cry now. I have this weird empathy now where thinking about Dumbo’s mother singing “Baby Mine” gets the eyes watery. Forget watching “Old Yeller” or “Marley”. Hell, a good Hallmark card can get me there. Conversely, things that shouldn’t be that funny have me in stitches. Watching a zombie catch a victim is always good for a chortle. Traditionally, if you want to hear my best laughs, just slip the Honeymooners or the Three Stooges into the Blue Ray.

Character Interview

Our interview today is with an enchanting lady with a heart as big as the world and the ability to take down a squad of angry Repticans in minutes. Please welcome Fire, Mistress of the White Tiger Clan and wife to Hellion. How would you describe your Clan?
My clan is the center of my world. Filled with good people who would do anything for each other. My clan is the life work of Hellion and the other clan members. It is what the model of a caring and well balanced society should be. Everyone is responsible for their lives and actions.
Your bravery at Kre’een has been described as legendary. How would you describe it?
I would not describe it as legendary. I get no joy out of fighting. No one wins in a war, both sides lose. I fought because I was backed up against a wall and I was not going to see more of my people die. Given the option I would always want to try to resolve things peacefully, but here there was no peaceful solution.
You have been linked to the Goddesses Bastet and Sekhemet. How close are you?
I view them as my mother figures. I get strength from them. They are my guides on how I will live my life. They have taught me balance. I once struggled with how to live my life, wanting only to have peace and only see the goodness in people. I came to realize through them, that in this life there must always be dark and light, good and evil to keep a balance.
Describe Hellion and don’t leave out any of the good parts.
Hellion is the other part of my soul. They say that in the beginning we all had one body with two heads, four arms and four legs. The Gods began to fear the potential of our power and split us in two condemning us to spend our lives looking for the other half….My search ended many years ago the day I met Hellion. His heart, his  bravery and his selflessness know no bounds. Any one who calls him friend or family is lucky.
What were your early days in the Clan like?
I was scared. I was very young and felt out of place. I had a fear that no one would accept me because I was not born into the clan. I felt afraid to get close to anyone
because I thought they would be taken away. Lucky for me all the clan members opened their hearts to me. And Hellion was never far from me, he made himself the
one constant I could always count on.
Tell us about your relationship with Lavrine.
Lavrine has been many things to me. She’s been a teacher foremost, insuring that I learned as much from her as possible. She taught me everything from the basics as in how to perform ritual to the more complex healing arts. She taught me which herbs treat which symptoms and how to prepare them. She was also a second mother to me when the situation needed a mother’s gentle touch. I think her wisdom and kindness helped shape me into the person I am today.
Tell us about your elemental power. What is it like to wield such a power?
I have the power of fire. I have markings on my hands that begin to smolder and then fire will form. It was scary at first to have that happen. At first I could not control it, and sometimes even now I think it is still beyond my control. I feared that I would accidentally hurt someone. As time went by I learned to manipulate it. I realized that the Goddess had given me this power so that I might be able to help my people and others.
Of all the assets you bring to the Clan, what do you think is your best?
I think my best asset is my nature. My nature is to be the voice of balance. I feel I instill that balance in others. I want there to always be peace, I want others to see the good in themselves and everyone else. I also understand that there will be times when peace is not attainable with out a fight.
How was raising Luna different from raising Ember and Firestorm?
It was no different in my eyes. She is my child just as if I had given birth to her. I always made her understand that. I treat her no differently than I treat Ember and
Firestorm. She is loved equally and disciplined equally. I never allowed anyone to treat her as anything other than the daughter of Hellion and Fire.
Things change in life. Where do you see your life in ten years?
In 10 years I see myself and Hellion still blissfully in love, surrounded by our friends and family. I can see myself living out the rest of my days in peace with my love. There will be adventures, of that I am sure because when your husband is the great Hellion, adventures are never far off. In this life or the next, Hellion and I will be together and doing the things we love together.

LINKS:

Giveaways

  • Everybody can grab a free copy of Fire At Dawn, the first book of the series. Just visit https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/398349 and use the code QT36N for a free copy.
  • Everyone that visits my website and signs up for my mailing list will get a copy of The Stormrider, the second book of the series for free. I’ll send the code via the first newsletter after the tour ends.
  • Finally, the first three people that can tell me the names of the original five clans will receive The Chronicles of the Free People Trilogy Box Set, containing the entire story of Hellion and Fire. Mail your answers to me via the member’s area on my website. To help, there will be a map of the Freelands that shows the locations of the five clans on the website for 1 day only. You can see it on August 6th.

Good luck and have fun.

Click here for additional giveaways on the Brain to Books Blog Tour.

 


Post info courtesy of Brain to Books and Angela B Chrysler

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