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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Interview with Karin Rita Gastreich Author of Eolyn





Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.

My full name is Karin Rita Gastreich, and this is also the name I use as an author.  By day, I am an ecologist who teaches biology at Avila University.  At night and on weekends, I am a fantasy fiction author and a flamenco dancer.  I live part of the year in my home town of Kansas City, and part of the year in my husband’s hometown of Heredia, Costa Rica.

Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.

My first novel, the epic fantasy Eolyn¸ was released in 2011 by Hadley Rille Books. It begins in the brutal aftermath of a civil war between the Mage King Kedehen and the Magas, women of magic, who opposed his reign. 

Fleeing the wrath of the Mage King, Eolyn, daughter of the last of the Magas and sole heiress to their forbidden tradition, seeks refuge in the South Woods. There she meets the mysterious boy Akmael, and forms a friendship that thrives on shared magic. 
Destiny leads them down a tortuous path of love, betrayal, and war, until one day the Maga Eolyn takes up arms against the new Mage King, Akmael.

Must Eolyn slay the man she loves in order to free herself and her people?

The answer lies in the extraordinary magic she commands, and in the hidden power of a Maga’s heart.

Are you a mom (or parent)?

A series of life events and circumstances have led me not to have children, and I’ve come to appreciate this path I’ve been given.
 
That’s not to say I don’t like children; I love children, and I am very grateful for the many nieces and nephews that have blessed both my family and my husband’s family.  (It’s fun to be an aunt!) Nonetheless, I’ve learned that life can be joyous and fulfilling without children of my own, and this has been an important lesson for me. 

I often suspect that Eolyn would not have been written if I had had children. Certainly, it would not have been written at this stage of my life. The novel came into being precisely during the period when I was coming to terms with the fact that I might never be a mother.  In many ways, Eolyn is the daughter I never had – which can be hard sometimes, because all good authors have to make their protagonists suffer, and I hate to see Eolyn suffer!

Is there a theme or message in your work that you would like readers to connect to?

It’s hard to pick just one theme – there are so many important threads in the book.  Essentially, Eolyn is a woman struggling to define her own path in the face of prejudice and oppression, and in a world largely ruled by men.  This a theme I think a lot of people can relate to. 

My message, then, is that it is possible to define your own path, to be the person you want to be, no matter how difficult the obstacles are that you face.  But your success depends not only your own effort and determination, it depends also on the friends and allies you make along the way.  None of us live in this world alone, and in learning to understand each other, we learn about – and liberate – ourselves.

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

My surname Gastreich originated in the 14th century, and in medieval German it meant “taster of wines”.  So, the first Gastreich was a wine taster, and this is a proud family tradition that we continue to this day.

Mind you, I’m not picky about the wines I taste.  I will taste and enjoy pretty much any wine you put in front of me, no matter what its price or origin!

Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet?

I would love to write historical fiction.  If I can ever become a full time author, with time to dedicate to doing the necessary research, I will try my hand at this genre and write about some of the women in history who have inspired me.

If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share?

Oh, I’d love to share!  Eolyn was actually written as a stand-alone novel.  It wasn’t until after I signed that first contract with Hadley Rille Books that ideas started coming together for a companion novel.  That companion, entitled High Maga, is almost done. If everything goes according to plan, it will be released early in 2014. 

High Maga is a darker tale, more entrenched in the terrible realities of war and the malevolent use of magic.  The story picks up a few years after the end of the first book.  Eolyn, the last of the High Magas, founds a new coven in the isolated province of Moehn. The young girls she trains will, she hopes, revive a millennial tradition of women's magic.

Akmael, the new Mage King of Moisehén and Eolyn's erstwhile love, must defend his land against invasion by the Syrnte, whose witch-queen has summoned long-banished creatures of the netherworld to aid her conquest.

When the Syrnte army descends upon Moehn, Eolyn's school is burned and her students killed, captured or scattered. Aided by Borten, a loyal knight of the king to whom she is increasingly drawn, and the devious and untrustworthy Mage Corey, Eolyn must escape the occupied province and deliver to Akmael the weapon that might secure his victory. 

Their collective journey will test the limits of love and endurance, until Eolyn comes to understand -- perhaps too late -- that she also carries the shadow that could unleash Akmael’s doom.



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Eolyn


Karin Rita Gastreich

Genre:  Fantasy

Publisher:  Hadley Rille Books
ISBN:  978-0-9829467-4-9

Number of pages:  325
Word Count:  approximately 118,000


Book Description:

In a land ravaged by civil war, the Mage King Kedehen initiates a brutal purge of the Magas.

Fleeing his wrath, Eolyn, daughter of the last of the Magas and sole heiress to their forbidden tradition, seeks refuge in the South Woods.  There she meets the mysterious boy Akmael, and forms a friendship that thrives on shared magic.  Destiny leads them down a tortuous path of love, betrayal and war, until one day the Maga Eolyn takes up arms against the new Mage King.

Must Eolyn slay the man she loves in order to free herself and her people? 

The answer lies in the extraordinary magic she commands, and in the hidden power of a Maga’s heart. 

“Vigorously told deceptions and battle scenes. . . with a romantic thread." – Publishers Weekly

About the Author

KARIN RITA GASTREICH was born near Kansas City, Missouri. After living and working for ten years as a tropical ecologist in Costa Rica, she recently returned to her home town and is now a Professor of Biology at Avila University. Her past times include camping, hiking, music and flamenco dance.  Karin's fantasy novel EOLYN was released by Hadley Rille Books in May, 2011.  The companion novel, HIGH MAGA, is scheduled for release in 2013. Karin’s short stories have appeared in Zahir, Adventures for the Average Woman, 69 Flavors of Paranoia, and A Visitor to Sandahl.   She is a recipient of the Spring 2011 Andrews Forest Writer’s Residency.

Visit her at the blog for Eolyn, http://eolynchronicles.blogspot.com  and at Heroines of Fantasy, co-authored with Terri-Lynne DeFino and Kim 


Blog Heroines of Fantasy:  http://heroinesoffantasy.blogspot.com


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2 comments:

Karin Rita Gastreich said...

Wenona, thank you so much for hosting me today. Your blog is awesome! :)

Breana M. said...

The story sounds interesting, thanks for hosting the giveaway! :)