Lark has foreseen two things—she will fall for a young man with sage green eyes, and he will kill her.
Sixteen-year-old Lark Carew is happiest close to home, tending her garden and gathering herbs for medicines. But when her Sight warns her that monsters called Troths will soon invade her village, Lark is summoned on a journey to seek help from the legendary Riders of Tarnec. Little does she suspect that one of the Riders, Gharain, is the very man who has haunted her visions. Or that the people of Tarnec have called her there for another reason: Lark is the Guardian of Life, the first of four Guardians who must awaken their powers to recover four stolen amulets. Together, the amulets—Life, Death, Dark, and Light—keep the world in Balance. To take back the Life amulet, Lark will have to discover her true inner strength and give in to a love that she swears will be her downfall. (From Goodreads)
And now, it is my great pleasure to introduce my fellow inkpot member, the immensely talented Sandra Waugh!
As you know, I loved LARK RISING! How did you come up with such an interesting and fresh premise?
That a hawk stopped by on my porch one morning is old news by now, but truly—that was what that tied together loose threads of a story I’d been trying to understand. I sat down and wrote the first pages based on that brief moment and the rest followed, fleshed out over many, many lawnmowings (I think it’s also old news that I work out my stories while mowing the lawn!). I followed a classic fantasy trajectory but hopefully (as you say!) from a fresh perspective. It follows from all that mowing that so much of the story is about Nature and the fragility of Balance.
I work out most of my stories walking my dog, so I totally understand that! Your fantasy world is so unique. I loved Lark’s connection to the earth and all of her creatures. The world was both achingly beautiful, and at times, terrifying. Can you describe your world building for us?
It’s just past my doorstep. I live in an old house with about four acres of grass and garden and woods—it’s my job (beyond just lawnmowing) to try and hold back the wilderness. It’s basically impossible. But even so, I kind of love the challenge because it has brought me up close and personal with my surroundings on a daily basis. I’ve watched Nature struggle and thrive, and some of the most beautiful moments—the first spring crocus, the fattest wild autumn raspberries; discovering a hummingbird moth (who KNEW there are such things as hummingbird moths!) or watching a crowd of fireflies dancing above the back field. There are, too, the dark things (hearing the coyotes at night closing in for a kill, or finding too late a vine has sucked the life from a tree) But… the magic is right there in all of it.
Well, you’ve certainly woven those elements of danger and beauty into LARK RISING. I love that your magical world is really just a version of the one out your window! One of my favorite parts of LARK RISING was the heart pounding climax. I could not stop reading! Lark, who begins her journey as a timid girl who loves to toil in the garden and spend her time with her cousin, Evie, and her grandmother, must dig deep within herself and find the courage to face her fate, and the dangers that come with it. Was the climax hard to write?
Actually, I think it was my favorite part! I love action, and heart-in-mouth threat. I also love that Lark had grown enough to face such threat. And I loved her bravery in those moments. But… there are some very sad moments as well and so admittedly I was often choked up while working.
I shed a few tears while reading it, too! Which is your favorite character from this book, and why? They are all favorites—after all, good or bad, you have to love your characters! But today I’ll choose the Bog Hag. I had the best time writing her—all knobs, and sticks, and rage, and glee. She flew onto the page.
Which character are you most like? Or who would you like to be friends with?
There are pieces of me in every character, but I am probably closest to Lark, and so I would love to have as my friends her best friends: Evie and Quin. They are free where she is not. They can cajole her out of her timidity as well as shield in difficult situations. And best—they are true of heart.
I would love to have all three of them as friends! I can’t wait to read the sequel (hand raised to interview you again!), which focuses on Lark’s cousin, Evie, who must take back the amulet of Death. Can you give us a hint of what we can expect from SILVER EVE?
Well… here’s a bit of blurb: A Healer without home or purpose Evie Carew has found the perfect place to disappear: Rood Marsh. She can easily fade into the vast wilderness of reeds and leave behind the violence now claiming her innocent world; leave behind the tragedy that broke her heart. But the girl is not alone in the marsh. A Rider, a seer, and Breeders of Chaos all seek her, for they know something she does not—Evie is one of the Guardians, one who can help save the world from the coming destruction by reclaiming the amulet of Death. But fulfilling her destiny, meeting true love or a brutal death, is a matter of who finds her first.
And now, a few questions for our readers to get to know you better!
Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
Favorite Quote: ‘I say there is no darkness but ignorance.’ Twelfth Night, IV, ii
Favorite Ice Cream: Rum Raisin
Favorite Place: England. All of it.
Thanks so much, Sandra!
You can find Sandra on her website (http://sandrawaugh.com/) and on Facebook,Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest or Tumblr.