Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Warlord Cain Dath... Giveaway & Character Interview

He's exotic, he's powerful, he's loyal and misunderstood, what's not to love about my Lao Warlord?

The reviews and mail for 'A Warlord's Lady' have been coming in thick and fast  and I'd like to thank all my readers who've spent the time reviewing and commenting on my latest release.

So at the suggestion of a friend, I've decided to post an interview with the hero of the book... and will give away one e-copy of the book to a commenter.

* * *

Interviewer: 'Good Morning.'
Dath: 'Good morning.'

Interviewer: 'First thing first, how do you pronounce your name?'
Dath: *smiles* 'Cain - as in the biblical character and Dath as in Dat. The 'th' in Lao is pronounced 't'.
Interviewer: 'I bet a lot of people get that wrong,'
Dath: *shrugs*

Interveiwer: 'What do you think of the book cover?'
Dath:*blushes*  'Err, I like the book cover.'

Interviewer: 'Is it strange seeing books written about you?'
Dath: 'I'm getting used to it, I suppose.'
Interviewer: 'You don't sound very convincing.'
Dath: 'That's a shame, I meant to be.'

Interviewer: *laughs* 'OK then, you are a Warlord from Laos, what exactly does that mean?'
Dath: 'The title Warlord has historically been used in Laos to describe individuals who fight against the central power systems. It is something people call me, rather than what I call myself.'

Interviewer: 'In your position as 'warlord' what do you do?'
Dath: 'I work to help protect the interests of magical beings with the ultimate aim of lessening unfair government restrictions and impositions on them.'
Interviewer: 'How do you protect them?'
Dath: 'Sometimes it simply requires talking to the right people, other times it requires guns and bullets,' *shrugs* 'Governments can be stubborn and deaf to common sense - particularly when it comes to things they don't understand. I'm here to make them listen any which way I can.'

Interviewer: 'Would you like to tell the readers a little about yourself, and your childhood?'
Dath: *visibly stiffens* 'I grew up in Vientiane in a tumultuous time, the Lao Civil War and its aftermaths had left the country in a difficult place, it was not an idyllic childhood.'

Interviewer: 'The question everyone is dying to hear is what is so special about Sabra Westwood?'
Dath: 'What isn't special about her? She is strong but still vulnerable, funny, down to earth and amazing with people. She's the most lovable person I've ever met. She makes me feel like I'm a man not just a misconstrued public identity. No one ever made me feel like that until I met her.
Interviewer: 'You have a beautiful love story with Sabra, what went through your head the first time you saw her?'
Dath: 'I was worried that she was in the company of a very dangerous individual. Her skin blushed rainbow, and, well, it's hard to explain, but I simply had to do something. She looked so vulnerable, I wanted to help her - I'm glad I did.'

Interviewer: 'We've all heard about the Laos Prophecy, what do think of it now that the excitement of the past few months is over?'
Dath: 'I don't know I suppose it's a part of my cultural history and that's what it should remain. If I have learned anything, it is to follow your instinct rather than words on paper.'

Interviewer: 'Where will you and Sabra settle? Laos or Australia?'
Dath: There is much work still to be done in Laos, but Sabra still likes Australia so I am happy to divide our time between both.'
Interviewer: 'Will their be children in the future?'
Dath: 'I certainly hope so.'

Interviewer: Jurgen had a lot of chemistry with both Mags and Christy, so I have to ask, who will he end up with?
Dath: *laughs* 'You'd have to ask him.'

Interviewer: 'You seem to have a great number of mythical and magical beings in residence at your compound. Do you have a favourite type?'
Dath: *raises an eyebrow* 'That would be like asking do I have a favourite race of people. The answer is no, I don't. Whether aufhocker, thriae, rakshasa or naga, every one has their good side and bad - it's not up to me to judge them. If they come to me in good faith and friendship, that's what I will give them in return.'
Interviewer: 'What about Shadow Men, does that opinion apply to them as well?'
Dath: *hesitates* 'I am yet to meet a Shadow Man who isn't out to harm someone, however, if one came to me asking for my help or protection, I would not turn my back.'
Interviewer: 'You're a better man than many.'
Dath: *shrugs* 'I try.'

Interviewer: 'Thank you Mr Cain Dath, good luck in your future endeavours - and for coming today.'
Dath: *smiles* 'It was my pleasure.'

I hope you enjoyed that little look into Laos' sexiest Warlord, if you've got other questions you just need to know the answer to, or just want to go into the running for a copy of the book leave a comment below.

A Warlord's Lady, is on sale now at all good e-book retailers.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Tough Mudder - so much more than just an obstacle course.

Shona Husk & Nicola E. Sheridan, two tough mudders.

You may (or may not) be aware that recently I completed Tough Mudder with my friend and fellow author Shona Husk. Tough Mudder is a gruelling 20 km course filled with difficult obstacles and it was quite frankly, one of the most inspiring and empowering things I have ever done for myself.

It has also given me countless scenes, scenarios, experiences, feelings, sensations and human interactions that I am bursting to weave in to my writing.  

Yet, there was one particular experience I had during Tough Mudder, that I feel has been most poignant for me personally.

This was one of the final obstacles, known as Everest. A hideous 1/4 pipe that you need to run up, and miraculously get over, for someone of my modest height, there was no way on this goodly earth that I could reach the top without some serious help. Enter the chivalrous gentlemen. The top of Everest was lined with (usually) guys hanging half over, so they can help people get over.  Those guys are there purely to help, they could have finished, and be drinking beer  in the beer tent by that stage, and yet they stay simply to help other people, people they do not even know, conquer this obstacle - and they do so in the most elemental way.

 By the time you have got to Everest you have run nearly 20 km, so you're tired and sore.
It took me six attempts before I finally made it.

At every failure, I skidded / fell / slid back down the 1/4 and landed arse in the mud. At every failure I got back up, wiped off my hands and ran it again. I was literally missing the guy's hands by millimetres, and yet... I did not give up, and nor did the guys trying to catch me.

It was amazing.
Then finally, finally after five, knee and bum numbing failures, on my sixth attempt, the guy with the Mohawk caught me.

Even though I am a writer, and words are my art, I cannot find words sufficient to explain the sensation of having my hand caught by unknown guy - gratitude, exhilaration, joy, amazement all come to mind.

As Mr Mohawk tried to haul me up, I found my other hand clasped in another man's hand and together these two strangers worked together to hoist me to the summit. Alas, I was too heavy, so another chivalrous gentlemen joined the fray. 'Give me your leg!' he yelled. Though some incredible contortionist act of yoga I managed to swing my leg up for him to catch, which he did. Then all three of these guys lifted me to the top.

When I got to the top, I thanked the guys and headed down for the last run to the finish - thankful, exhilarated and ebullient.

In a world where the hardest thing I have to do is work in in an air-conditioned room and teach well loved, well cared for children, or mediate between my own children - this particular experience offered me a glimpse into the beautiful side of humanity we rarely get to see in daily life. People helping people with no sinister ulterior motive, just for the joy in helping someone else succeed. It was beautiful, just beautiful.

Below are some photos from the Tough Mudder Australia sight of other people conquering Everest. I don't know if anyone got of photo of me doing this obstacle (maybe I'm in a Tough Mudder Epic Fail video somewhere) an the official TM photos are not available yet.

If you'd like to know more about the Tough Mudder event, here's the Perth Tough Mudder Official video.

Have a great week.