I’m so pleased to have Annabelle Jacobs here today to talk about her new release, The Choosing. I’ve been hearing about it behind the scenes for months, and I’m so excited to read it. The cover is gorgeous.
I recently told a friend of mine that I’d written a book and it was being published, and she naturally asked me what it was about. When I told her it was a m/m romantic fantasy, she didn’t ask me why I’d chosen to write m/m, like I was expecting, she asked me why I’d chosen to write a romantic fantasy.
I’ve always loved reading fantasy and paranormal stories. The first thing that always grabs me is the cover. Without fail, if I love the cover, I’ll buy the book, and fantasy covers are nearly always exciting and eye-catching. It’s so easy to get drawn into imaginary worlds filled with dark elves and wizards, and become invest in stories with action packed plots. So when it came to writing my own book, it wasn’t a big surprise when the very first idea I cameup with was a shifter story in a fantasy setting.
It was so much fun creating not just my own characters for The Choosing, but my own world as well. Where everything in it is exactly as you want it, and anything goes. I love the freedom that comes with writing in a fantasy setting. You can use magic, invent mythical creatures, and—as in my book—invent a rite of passage that the main character must go through. As I see it, the only limit to what you can put in a fantasy story, is your imagination.
In The Choosing, Jerath lives in Eladir—a village full of feline shifters. The females in the village are all born knowing which animal they will change into, but the males have to go through the ancient rite of the Choosing to find theirs. Although I wanted to write a shifter story, I also wanted to try
something a little different, which is why I chose to make them change into big cats as opposed to wolves. It’s like having two characters in one, because you get to describe their shifter form as well, and all the characteristics that go with it.
There’s a lot of world building involved in fantasy books. In The Choosing, raiders attack Jerath village, taking most of the young men prisoner. He andhis best friend Serim then travel through the northern forests of Eladir, and out over the grasslands as they head towards the Southern lands, and a village called Kelasaan. It’s here they hope to find the hunters who will help them rescue the people of their village.
Here’s a little excerpt from chapter 2 of The Choosing.
The village of Eladir is nestled at the foot of the Arachia Mountains. The four peaks tower over the village and protect it from being attacked from behind. It’s a beautiful sight; the tops are covered in snow for most of the year, only thawing briefly during the summer months.
Jerath’s village is the largest in the surrounding area, with over three hundred people. The houses spread far out from the center, and each year they have to chop down a bit more forest to accommodate new families or new arrivals. The neighboring villages of Westril and Lakesh only number four
The girls, fully dressed and more or less respectable now, walk alongside Jerath as they enter the village. Jerath spots Ghaneth and some of the others chopping wood outside one of the smaller barns, and he pokes Serim in the ribs and points over at them. “Look.”hundred between them, so the Choosing ritual and many of the other rituals involve all three villages.
Ghaneth has his shirt off again, and Jerath has to admit he’s a good-looking boy. He can definitely see why Serim likes him so much. Serim, Mahli, and Jerath all stop to watch as Ghaneth hauls the axe high and swings it down in one easy movement, splitting the piece of wood cleanly in two. He piles the pieces next to him and then starts all over again.
“Wow,” Mahli whispers in awe. “He’s very strong.”
They all stare at the play of muscle across Ghaneth’s back, at the way he pauses and wipes the sweat from his forehead. Jerath grins widely when Serim’s breath catches and she licks her lips.
Jerath is facing the biggest problem of his life. When boys in his shapeshifter village Eladir get their fangs, they must endure a coming-of-age rite called the Choosing, so they can take on their animal form. The rite is performed on the full moon, but trouble is, the Choosing involves having sex with a girl, and Jerath’s only interested in boys. Even if he manages to somehow get through the rite, he doesn’t know if he’ll ever find a mate in his village, where opposite-sex couples are the norm.
Even worse, he may miss the rite altogether after raiders attack his home and take several young men prisoner. Jerath will need the help of warriors if he’s to free the captive shapeshifters, so with his best friend, Serim, he flees south to find aid. Along the way, they meet Meren, a handsome warrior whose attraction to Jerath is instant and very much returned. But with the next full moon approaching and available time for the prisoners to undergo the Choosing running out, Jerath’s love life is far from his only worry.
Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with her husband, three rowdy children, and two cats.
An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.
Read more at http://annabellejacobs.com/