Monday, July 23, 2012

Interview with Fantasy Author Janalyn Voigt

Whether Janalyn Voigt’s novels have you flying on a winged horse into a fantasy land, facing down a buffalo stampede in the Wild West, or hunting for treasure on a mysterious island, her writing will transport you into breathtaking creative worlds. Janalyn serves as a literary judge for several national contests and is an active book reviewer.  She is represented by Barbara Scott of Wordserve Literary. Janalyn lives in a quiet corner of the Pacific Northwest, where she discovers worlds of adventure in the great outdoors.
Visit Janalyn's website:

“In DawnSinger, Janalyn Voigt has penned a novel full of surprises. With adventure, mystery, and an unlikely romance, this beautiful, epic fantasy will leave you scrambling for the next book in the trilogy.” ~ Jill Williamson

Hello Janalyn! DawnSinger is book one of a fantasy trilogy, “Tales of Faeraven.” Please tell us about your novel.

DawnSinger and the rest of the Tales of Faeraven started as a story I invented for my young daughter to while away the time on a car trip. That story grabbed hold of me and wouldn’t let go, even during the years when I gave up on writing. Finally, out of a kind of self-defense, I decided to write this story that wouldn’t leave me alone, whether or not it ever saw the light of publication. DawnSinger is the first installment in a story that affirms the power of honor, self-sacrifice, and forgiveness to heal a broken nation.

The High Queen is dying... At the royal summons, Shae mounts a wingabeast and soars through the air to the high hold of Faeraven, where all is not as it seems. Visions warn her of danger, and a dark soul touches hers in the night. When she encounters an attractive but disturbing musician, her wayward heart awakens. But then there is Kai, a guardian of Faeraven and of Shae. Secrets bind him to her, and her safety lies at the center of every decision he makes. On a desperate journey fraught with peril and the unknown, they battle warlike garns, waevens, ferocious raptors, and the wraiths of their own regrets. Yet, they must endure the campaign long enough to release the DawnKing—and the salvation he offers—into a divided land. To prevail, each must learn that sometimes victory comes only through surrender.

Where did you get your inspiration for this series?

My father was a half-breed Native American, and when I was small he told me of his encounters with prejudice. The conflict within Tales of Faeraven centers on racial strife between the Elder and the Kindren, the two human races within Elderland. Later in the story, in DawnKing, the third book of the series, a half-cast daughter ascends to the throne of Faeraven and forces the nations to decide between love and hate. The presence of winged horses in all three novels stems from my lifelong love of horses.   

What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?

DawnSinger is based on 13th-Century Europe. I filled a thick binder with historical notes. One of the hardest things for me to research has been siege warfare. I find it difficult to read about other people’s sufferings, whether they lived a year or a century ago.

I understand what you mean because your heart tends to go out to them, no matter how long ago it was. Okay, it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

I trained for five years in vocal music and performed in musical theater productions and several operas. My aim was to go into opera, but the need to eat intervened. Starving artists are only glamorous in theory. I became an insurance agent, and then an assistant underwriter instead. I’ve given up my dream of an opera career, but music still informs my writing. Many people describe my writing as “lyrical” or “musical.”

Wow! An operatic writer! I bet anything that you make at least one of your characters musically inclined. Ha! Thanks for being a guest on my blog, Janalyn.


Janalyn Voigt, creating worlds of beauty and danger said...

Linda, thanks for the opportunity to meet your readers. I enjoyed the interview. I look forward to awarding a free copy of DawnSinger.

Anonymous said...

How enchanting! I love the undertone of politicism and racial concerns in your fantasy--it makes it more real. I also loved that the story began as a way to amuse your daughter and just stuck with you enough to make it through hours upon hours of research and writing. As a fellow former opera singer turned author, good balance of chiaroscuro!

--Lizi Clawson

thebigguyinSF said...

Sounds like a good series there Jan.

TraciB said...

Terrific interview, Linda and Janalyn. Every time I read about Dawnsinger, it intrigues me all the more.

Janalyn Voigt, creating worlds of beauty and danger said...

Lizi, chiaroscuro exactly describes the particular flavor of Tales of Faeraven. I'm amazed you caught onto that, assuming you haven't read it yet. Thanks for the comment.

Big Guy, thanks for the vote of confidence.

Traci, I'm pleased to hear that. DawnSinger and Tales of Faeraven grew on me much the same way. :)

daysease said...

Wow! How different! I really hope I win this one... Between the facts that the idea came from stories she invented for her kids, that the thought to write it "plagued" her, that the story line is so intriguing and heart-and-mind capturing, and that she has an inclination towards "operatic writing"... Oh, you have my interest thoroughly pinned.

I have an address stateside, though I reside overseas. Hope that is okay. By the way, I have so enjoyed your interviews. The books all yell out to be read, and I wish I could read them all. I love hearing direct info from the authors about themselves and about where they garnered their ideas. Thank you for sharing, for the giveaways, and for the work you put into informing us! It is appreciated!


mrsdayseye at tiscali dot it

Darlene Keith said...

The review left me wanting to know more about this author and indeed to have this book in my hand or in my Kindle. It facinates me. Thank you for the opportunity to enter this drawing.

I do not care which format if I should have my name drawn. my email is

Darlene Keith said...

I did just now enter this on my FB page so hopefully you will enter my name a second time to be drawn.

Gail Pallotta said...

What an interesting interview. I enjoyed reading about Dawn Singer and learning more about Janalyn. Best wishes for many sales on the new book, and for many hours of using your wonderful operatic voice to enchance choirs and entertain love you love.

Gail Pallotta said...

Ooops! I meant to entertain "those you love." Fingers not keeping up with the brain this morning.

gail said...

thanks for this giveaway!

Janalyn Voigt, creating worlds of beauty and danger said...

Darlene, thanks for your interest in DawnSinger and for helping Linda and I get the word out about this giveaway.

Gail, thanks for the well wishes.

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations, Darlene Keith! You are the winner of this awesome fantasy. I know you'll enjoy it very much.