Dark Innocence: Book One of the Star-Seer’s Prophecy by Rahima Warren
Long ago an ancient, peaceful land was blessed and guided by the Goddess. Then, an all-powerful sorcerer called the Soul-Drinker conquered the land, banished the Goddess, and turned Her sacred Temple into a dark maze of suffering and evil. Keeping himself alive for six generations through orgies of human sacrifice, the Soul-Drinker has cowed the people, and is draining the very essence of life and spirit from the land.
The Circle, a dedicated group working covertly to end his horrific reign, is led by Rajani, a Warrior-Mage oath-bound to ensure that the Star-Seer’s Prophecy is fulfilled. The Prophecy foretells that the only one who can destroy the Soul-Drinker, bring back the Goddess, and restore the sacred balance of the earthly and divine realms is the “twin-souled dark innocent.”
But that dark innocent is an unlikely savior: Kyr, a youth born and raised as a slave of the Soul-Drinker, who blindly carries out the sorcerer’s brutal commands. How can an abject slave overcome the Soul-Drinker’s unbreachable sorcerous defenses? Even more impossible, how can he overcome his vicious upbringing, and become a man of courage and compassion who is willing to fulfill the demands of the Prophecy? In Book One of this trilogy: Dark Innocence, Kyr begins an astonishing and arduous journey beyond the darkness that is all he has ever known.
Q&A with Author Rahima Warren
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a third generation native of California. I’ve gone off on adventures to exotic places, like Egypt, Chicago, Ethiopia, and weirdest of all, Washington, D.C. But home is Northern California. I’ve been happily married for 30 years. I had a practice as a psychotherapist for 20 years, but now I am “retired.” Ha! I am a writer, expressive artist, and eldercare-giver for my 95-year-old Mom.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
One day, I wrote a short story in my journal about a dream/fantasy character who would not stop bugging me. That was all he needed! He took over my life and turned me into a writer so he could go on his journey. I’ve written more about that amazing process here. His name, by the way, is Kyr.
How do you create your characters?
Me? Create them? LOL! They emerge from the unknown or my unconscious mind or somewhere, and evolve as I write. Or I should say, they come more into focus as I get to know them and the story better. It’s an organic, intuitive process, not very linear or logical at all. It’s a matter of my becoming more open and able to listen to, and then write, their stories.
What inspires you and what got you started in writing?
My major focus in life is the inner journey of healing and transformation, and that is what I know from my own journey to wholeness and my clients’ journeys. What inspires me is the amazing ability of people to overcome trauma or abuse, hopefully with some compassionate, wise help. That is the main theme of Dark Innocence.
What got me started writing? There are many threads to this one. I grew up in a family where reading was a major activity. I was a bookworm from the get-go, and started reading fantasy and sci-fi as soon as I could read. My parents left F & SF magazines all over the house. Due to being a bookworm, I was good at writing in school and enjoyed it (unlike math or PE!) I was always amazed at how writers could create such wonderful stories. I thought they were all special creatures who lived in a strange land called New York. Never imagined being one myself.
However, as I began my own healing journey, I started keeping journals, where I wrote my experiences, thoughts, feelings (sometimes in LARGE RED LETTERS!!). I wrote down my dreams, dialogs with dream characters, and even some poems. So I’ve actually been writing for a long time. Then one sleepless night, I wondered if I could write in the dark on my new laptop. I let myself write whatever emerged from the darkness. It was a lot of fun, and I was having a lot of sleepless nights (thanks, menopause!) so I kept writing. That half-written fantasy novel is languishing on disc somewhere. But this story showed me that I am a one of those strange creatures called writers, after all.
In my practice as a psychotherapist, I specialized in dreamwork, sandplay and expressive arts therapies. From this, I had learned that tapping into the unconscious, or as I call it, the dreaming mind, through the act of free creative expression in any art form is a powerful and trust-worthy healing experience in itself.
When my character, Kyr, took over my life, I welcomed the experience. I knew to simply go ahead and let his story flow however it wanted to, no matter how dark or disturbing. This it did, in a creative, juicy passionate torrent for about three years. That was the first draft. Then I had to learn how to write fiction, revise and edit – a lot! Thankfully, I found a wise, kind editor to guide me. Finally, in 2011, Dark Innocence was published.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
I have my writing den at home. I get a cup of tea or a glass of iced tea, and turn on my writing music playlist,with moody, flowing instrumental music such as David Parson’s Ngaio Gamelan, or Phillip Glass’s The Hours. Then, I light a candle for the Goddess of Creativity, and I’m off!
How do you get your ideas for writing?
As I’ve said, they sort of come and get me. It’s a process of listening and tuning in to what is emerging from the dreaming mind. And there is also a kind of inner “seeing” too. It’s a bit hard to describe!
What do you like to read?
Primarily, I read fantasy novels by writers such as Charles de Lint, Carol Berg, Sheri S. Tepper, Ursula LeGuin, Patricia McKillip, and Robin McKinley to name a few.
What would your advice be for authors or aspiring authors in regards to writing?
Write what you have a fiery passion for! Write the first draft with no thought of editing. Then find someone who loves your book as much as you do to help you keep the faith in it. For me, that person was my editor. It’s very important to have outside help in editing your book into its best shape. Hire a professional editor if you can. Get critiques from a writers’ group or other sources. I spent twice as much time on editing and revising my book as I did on writing it.
If you are attached to instant success, fame and fortune, you are probably setting yourself up for disappointment. I suggest you get clear on your motives and expectations. Ask yourself what your motivation for writing a book is, and how much time and money you actually can invest in your book. Be realistic. Expect the publicity and promotion to take a lot of time and effort – years, perhaps. And even then, you may not get the results you wish for.
I wrote my trilogy, The Star-Seer’s Prophecy, as a sort of secret passion, thinking I’d never show it to anyone. When it turned out to be a story that is a powerful gift of healing to its readers, I dedicated myself to getting it published and sharing it with the world to the best of my ability and resources—not as my ticket to fame and fortune, but as an offering of guidance toward healing and forgiveness.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Readers have called DARK INNOCENCE: BOOK ONE OF THE STAR-SEER’S PROPHECY an enthralling and sensuous adventure of the soul. It’s the story of Kyr’s arduous journey of healing and transformation from the evil and pain of the Soul-Drinker’s hell to redemption and love. Readers say it is a gripping, intense and yet inspiring story of mystery and intrigue, inner courage and endurance, secrets and forbidden love, set in an ancient world of blood sorcery and ritual magic. In the most recent five-star review, the reviewer wrote:
“I could not stop reading this book. Not only was the story fantastic, but you could see each little step of self-healing, discovery, acceptance, etc. It made you think about … all of the children who have horrific childhoods and how they, too, need this journey to be able to live fulfilling lives as adults later on. It’s beautiful and sad and hopeful and inspiring. Can you imagine a world where we face our fears, take responsibility, and forgive not only ourselves but one another?”
ABOUT Dark Innocence: Book One of the Star-Seer’s Prophecy by Rahima Warren
The “twin-souled dark innocent,” Kyr, is a youth born and raised to blindly carry out the Soul-Drinker’s brutal commands. At first, Kyr’s one desire is death, the only escape from the Soul-Drinker’s hellish rule. Just when he is about to get his wish, the secret Circle rescues him. Now he has to choose between the familiar easy path of despair and death, or the hard path of healing, living, and a greater destiny, about which he knows nothing. How can a slave who has known only evil, pain and obedience choose to become a man of courage and compassion, and fulfill the Star Seer’s Prophecy?
Rahima is giving away prizes, including an e-copy of her book at each blog stop on her tour AND a Grand Prize Giveaway of a Custom Jumbo Tote Bag with your choice of fan art, chosen from here: http://www.starseersprophecy.com/fan-art/, plus other goodies, including a signed copy of Dark Innocence for one lucky winner, shipped to anywhere in the world!
1) To win a book: Leave a comment on what you like about reading fantasy to be entered to win a book. Be sure to leave your email address in the comments so we can contact you if you’re the lucky winner. This giveaway ends five days after the post goes live.
2) To win the Custom Jumbo Tote Bag with Rahima’s fan art of your choice, or a signed copy of Dark Innocence, or other goodies, click the link to go to Rahima’s website here: http://www.starseersprophecy.com/blog-tour/ and enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of the page. A winner will be selected on June 21st.
Enter for the Grand Prize on Rahima’s website here: http://www.starseersprophecy.com/blog-tour/
Rahima Warren’s Bio:
Rahima Warren is the author of Dark Innocence: Book One of the Star-Seer’s Prophecy, a deep, rich novel of the healing journey. With Master’s degrees in Clinical and Transpersonal Psychology, she was in private practice as a licensed psychotherapist for over 20 years. In 2006, Rahima retired to focus on her expressive painting, creative writing, and spiritual studies.
In her work with clients recovering from abuse, she was awed by the human capacity to heal, and to reach new levels of forgiveness, wholeness and happiness. She also learned to trust the psyche’s own process. This enabled her to allow a dark and mysterious story to flood forth unhindered: Dark Innocence: Book One of the Star-Seer’s Prophecy.
Rahima is a third-generation native of California and resides with her husband in Northern California, where she periodically chases squirrels off the wild bird feeders, and deer away from her roses. Her life-long love of fantasy is her parents’ fault: they left sci-fi & fantasy magazines with fascinating cover art lying around the house.
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