Fable of the Swan. I haven't read this book myself, but Jenna was kind enough to agree to guest blog about their book to any readers who might be interested in the subject. Jenna, how would you describe your book to your prospective readers? In broad terms, what is your book about?
Fable of the Swan is a YA urban fantasy.
It’s about ... hm. Three things!
It's about objectification. If you know how, you can pull out somebody’s soul and turn their flesh into a reconfigurable weapon.
It’s about the source of value. A long time ago, one of the Jotun stole “being good” from Death’s dominion. As a species, they never quite managed to take advantage of that themselves, but at least the world itself was worth something after that.
It’s about a girl growing up in a kind of broken town surrounded by the multicolored void and how she makes and loses friends, achieves enlightenment, and eventually turns into a brass cephalopodan war machine and wrestles Death.
Trigger warnings: depersonalization and objectification, both self- and other-caused; abbreviated but graphic depiction of self-harm; emotional abuse within a relationship; realistic but tangential depiction of OCD; isolation and loss of family; non-consensual and physical-interaction grounded alteration of people's souls/minds; mild use of weightist language by characters; occasional references to "mad science" and similar uses of language by author and characters.
Ana: What themes does your book explore and what do you hope the reader will take away from the experience? Is there a particular feeling or experience that you hope to evoke in the reader? Essentially, do you hope your book will mean to a reader?
Jenna: Oh, man!
I feel so pompous when I try to talk about possible lessons or messages or themes, and then I feel like I’m dodging your question if I don’t.
I mean---mostly, it’s a book. It’s for reading. For fun!
I’d like to think that it might stir up the reader’s thoughts on being an embodied mind, or on what it means to be good or bad, but I didn’t even feel comfortable pushing non-controversial stuff like “acceptance is better than denial” all-out, much less any of the book's subtler messages.
I'd like to imagine that some of my thoughts on the persistence of personhood and the need for care with one's moral authorities will be useful to someone at some point? Except that that would imply that they're in the situation where that could be useful, and I don't really want anyone to be in a situation to need anything I might have said there, so I don't actually like to imagine that at all! Sorry for the false information at the start of this paragraph. ^_^
Mostly it is for fun.
Ana: What prompted you to write this book and did you have a specific inspiration in mind? Were you influenced by a certain author or work that inspired you to add your voice to this genre? Besides the boatloads of money and rockstar fame, what motivated you to write this book?
Jenna: I’m writing a variant setting for my RPG, Nobilis, and wanted to kick it off with a novel. Mostly!
Ana: If you could compare your book to any other existing works, which ones would it be and why? If the one thing you could say to a prospective reader was, "If you like X, you'll love my book!", which work would be invoked so that a reader could judge whether or not your book is their cup of tea?
There’s a lot of Zelazny in this, a little bit of Barker, a bit of Vance, and some Revolutionary Girl Utena.
If you love those things then you might like Fable of the Swan.
Ana: Is this your first or only published work, or have you published other books? If you have published other books, how do they compare to this one? Do you have any more books planned, either as a follow-up to this one, or as a completely different book or genre?
Jenna: Most of my previous work was in RPGs---Nobilis, the Weapons of the Gods RPG, some stuff for Exalted. Most of that was under the name R. or Rebecca Sean Borgstrom. (Names are a trouble!)
I have a currently disorganized fiction blog, Hitherby Dragons, and another couple of books out there on Amazon/Smashwords: An Unclean Legacy, which is about family drama and redemption in Ye Standarde Faux-Medieval fantasy world* and Invasion, which is a picture book with illustrations by Elizabeth Sherry.
An Unclean Legacy is more chaotic, so there’s more jewels and a bit more fun in it but it’s also a little more demanding---I think? I don’t know! I can’t read them through someone else’s eyes!
Elizabeth Sherry’s work on Invasion is simply astounding; I think it deserves to be a modern classic, and I don’t mean because of my contribution but because of hers. The art. The ART!
On the other hand, I can see why not everyone would want to read a picture book that handles extremely innocuous content (Puppy, Kitten, and Lamb vs. ordinary things like lamps and blankets) under horror genre rules, so there is that.
I absolutely have more books planned!
I have one in my back pocket to cover me if health gets in the way of a steady release schedule, two in progress, and will be continuing the series that this particular book is in . . . hopefully, this year. ^_^
* unashamedly so.
Ana: Where can readers obtain a copy of your book for them to enjoy? How can they contact you with any thoughts or questions? And do you have a means by which they can "sign up" to be notified when your next book comes available?
Jenna: My books are available at Amazon, Smashwords, and DriveThruFiction/Comics/RPG.
I’m available on gplus as Jenna Katerin Moran (here), and people can generally catch my attention by commenting on my blog. That’s probably also the best place to check to find out when my next book will appear.
To find the book, hm! Here’s a Smashwords link, since it’s a nice simple link and Smashwords has practically all possible ePub formats: Fable of the Swan, at Smashwords.
Ana: Thank you. I understand you have the first chapter of your book available as an excerpt for interested readers? Is there anything else you wish to add for our readers?
Jenna: No, thank you! I appreciate your offering this opportunity.
As for the excerpt, you can find that on Smashwords too (in HTML or ePub; I’ve set it to make the first 40% of it readable for free).
As for adding something for our readers---thanks for your interest! I hope that if you buy my book it brings you some happiness. ^_^ I guess I also hope that you find happiness even if you don't buy my book, but that seems a little stingy of you in your magical castle of happiness. Think of . . . of . . . um, me!
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