Welcome to the blog tour of Aranya! Today you can find on my blog the book info, a guest post (Sooo where did the biggest inspiration came from for writing Aranya?) and read all about the amazing author! Go check it out!!
Aranya (Shapshifter Dragons #1) – Marc Secchia
Publication Date: June 12, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Chained to a rock and tossed off a cliff by her boyfriend, Aranya is executed for high treason against the Sylakian Empire. Falling a league into the deadly Cloudlands is not a fate she ever envisaged. But what if she did not die? What if she could spread her wings and fly?
Long ago, Dragons ruled the Island-World above the Cloudlands. But their Human slaves cast off the chains of Dragonish tyranny. Humans spread across the Islands in their flying Dragonships, colonising, building and warring. Now, the all-conquering Sylakians have defeated the last bastion of freedom–the Island-Kingdom of Immadia.
Evil has a new enemy. Aranya, Princess of Immadia. Dragon Shapeshifter.
Biggest inspiration for writing Aranya
The inspiration for my bestselling novel Aranya is a curious combination of a photograph I saw in my teen years, a bottle of oil, and a dream. The photograph was taken off a mountaintop, showing a vast canvas of cloud lapping against a mountain range and a man looking over the edge. From that, I imagined a world existing above the clouds. What lay beneath? Why could people not venture beneath the clouds? But it took over 20 years to find a story to set in that world.
The idea for the plot of Aranya came from a dream of a girl falling off such a cliff, but instead of dying, she transformed into a dragon and flew away. That was when I knew the story had to be written, and I sat down the next day and sketched out a powerful coming-of-age fable based on that dream. What if she did not die? What if she could spread her wings, and fly? As a dragon-lover, of course, I knew that meant dragons! I imagined an evil to confront, a unique world to explore, and friends to journey with – the setting of a volcanic island world above the toxic cloudlands, populated by humans, dragons and shapeshifters, was a perfect fit.
But I still needed a beautiful, evocative name for my heroine, and oddly enough, that came from a bottle of essential oil found on my shelf at home. Aranya is a popular girl’s name in India and, I felt, a perfect choice for a girl destined to be a princess, a criminal, a world-changer and a dragon shapeshifter.
She turned to face the Last Walk.
Yolathion put his hand on her shoulder. At the end of the walkway, Aranya saw a block of stone with a chain attached to it. They really wanted to be sure she’d drop straight into the Cloudlands, she thought. The old stories still held weight. No graceful dive off the edge for her. No enchantress transforming herself into a bird and flying away.
It should have been called the longest walk.
Ten Crimson Hammers processed with her and Yolathion. Perhaps they thought she’d make a break for the rajal pit. Her feet brought her alongside the block of stone. Her body and her mind seemed to belong on different Islands.
Yolathion knelt, clearly in some discomfort, to fit the manacle depending from the stone about her ankles, locking them together. “I’m sorry, Aranya,” he said, unexpectedly.
“Me too. I think I could have loved you, Yolathion. But your loyalty and your heart lie with Sylakia. I could never love that.”
Her words hurt him; she read it in his eyes. Just another regret she would shortly leave behind.
Yolathion lifted her in his arms. Two of his fellows hefted the block.
“On the count of three,” he said. “One … two … three.”
He tossed Aranya over the edge.
Don’t forget to enter the Giveaway!
Marc is a South African-born author who lives and works in Ethiopia with his wife and 4 children, 2 dogs, a rabbit, and a variable number of marabou storks that roost on the acacia trees out back. On a good night there are also hyenas patrolling the back fence.
When he’s not writing about Africa Marc can be found travelling to remote locations. He thinks there’s nothing better than standing on a mountaintop wondering what lies over the next horizon.