Friday, December 21, 2018

Ilyon & Acktar Blog Tour Author Interview

Hey'a, everyone! Sorry for the general silence of late; final projects and Christmas preparations have been taking up most of my time. I do have something fun for today, though! I'm joining up with Jaye L. Knight and Tricia Mingerink's awesome double tour for Bitter Winter and Decree! I love the Ilyon Chronicles, and I really want to read the Blades of Acktar series, so I'm really excited to be here. I got to interview the authors for this tour, and we'll get to that in a minute . . . but first, a little about the books and authors.

Ilyon Chronicles

About Bitter Winter

Already struggling with a harsh winter and the threat of food shortage, a catastrophic event leaves those in the Landale camps reeling. Just when things couldn’t get much worse, camp members fall ill with the same devastating sickness that’s sweeping across the country.

Determined to gain the cure, Jace sets off to Valcré. However, there are only two sources—the queen, or a powerful gang of smugglers who have made the dangerous city their home. When Jace gains audience with the gang leader, he finds the price of the cure is steeper than any of them imagined, forcing him to make an impossible choice—betray his conscience or let those he loves die.

Find it on: Amazon || Goodreads







About Lacy

The last thing Aaron ever envisioned was falling for a prostitute. Everything about it spells trouble. However, he can’t help noticing the way her smile lights up when she sees him and how much brokenness she hides behind it. Neither can he ignore how desperately she needs rescue and protection.

When Lacy shares a life or death secret with him, Aaron is willing to risk everything to help her and to show her Elôm’s love. Yet, such a choice could destroy his reputation and maybe even cost him his freedom.

An Ilyon Chronicles Novella

Find it on: Amazon || Goodreads

Learn more about all the world of Ilyon on the official Ilyon Chronicles website!  





About Jaye L. Knight

Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Etsy.


Blades of Acktar

About Decree

The Adventure Continues.

Discover more of The Blades of Acktar in this collection of novellas and short stories.

The Blades as They Should’ve Been
A test and the Gathering of Nobles will decide Leith and Martyn’s futures. Can they fight to become more than the Blades they were? Will Keevan accept the man who attempted to kill him as family?

The First Mission
When Martyn visits Surgis, his past seems determined to haunt him. Can he figure out how to forgive, especially when confronted with an enemy in need of his help?

To the Far Great Mountains
A death sends Leith and Martyn far beyond the borders of Acktar. Will they be able to arrest their quarry before they are caught themselves?

From the story of how Leith and Martyn met to Ranson’s search for a life outside of the Blades, these stories will answer plaguing questions and expand the world of Acktar.

Find it on: Amazon || Goodreads

Learn more about the whole series on the official Blades of Acktar page!   

About Tricia Mingerink

Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn't writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country.

You can connect with Tricia on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.



Interview with Jaye and Tricia

Hello, and welcome to Dreams and Dragons! To start off, can you tell us a little about yourselves? Who you are, hobbies, favorite books (other than your own), anything else you’d like to share?

Tricia: Hobbies? People have time for those? Besides writing and working my full time job, my only other hobby would be renovating my 100-year-old farmhouse. My favorite books besides my own would be the Ilyon Chronicles (duh) and a list of favorite authors and books that would be too long to mention here, unless you want this blog post to end up huge.

Jaye: I like to sum myself up as a shameless tea addict, country girl, crazy awesome cat lady, and hopeless romantic. Lately, if I’m not writing or managing my Etsy shops, I’m helping out with my new twin nephews (they are SO CUTE). Either that or hanging out with friends from church. Obviously I adore Tricia’s books, and am also a big fan of Tolkien, Brandon Sanderson, Karen Witemeyer, and too many others to list. Like Tricia, time for hobbies is almost non-existent, but I am very into historical reenactment, cosplay, TV series, and cats, obviously. Cats are life. LOL

Awesome! So, both of you are well into your book series at this point. Do you have any advice for how to effectively write series? Did you have the whole series planned when you started, or are you figuring it out from one book to another?

Tricia: Um, considering I have now done the whole “Surprise! The last book was NOT the last book like everyone thought it was!” thing twice now, I’m not sure I’m the best person to ask about planning a series. I had the first three books planned before I started writing The Blades of Acktar. After that, every time I try to end the series, the characters cross their arms and say, “Nope, there’s more to the story.”

Jaye: I had the whole main plotline for Ilyon mostly planned when I started. Or at least within a short time after I started. (I started writing it literally the day after the first ideas came to me.) It’s probably a good idea to know all of your major plot points early on so that everything fits together nicely and you don’t have to go back and re-write to make something work. Especially if you start publishing the books before you’re actually done writing the series like Ilyon Chronicles.

My only other advice is not to try to write a series just for the sake of writing a series. I never planned for Ilyon to be six books. It started out as three, jumped up to seven, and then settled at six. Just write what it takes to tell the story.

So it sounds like you had very different series experiences. Interesting. What was the best part of writing your newly-releasing books? The hardest part?

Tricia: The best part of writing Decree was getting back to the world of Acktar. I only took a break from Acktar for about a year and a half, and it already felt too long. While I love the world in my new series, Beyond the Tales, there is something special about Acktar.

The worst part was formatting the paperback. It is always my least favorite part of indie publishing. Someday I hope they come up with a program like Vellum that is affordable and works on a PC, lol.

Jaye: I want Vellum too!!!

Without giving too much away, I’d say the best part was Jace and Kyrin’s progression in their relationship. The final chapter in Bitter Winter was one of the few scenes I’ve ever written that came out almost exactly like I pictured it in my head.

The worst part was having to do a lot of re-writing and being on a deadline. My personal life has been crazy busy for the last year, and trying to write during it has been a real struggle.

As someone who has just discovered the struggles of paperback formatting and who has also been very busy of late, I sympathize. So, as I understand it, you two are key authors in the kingdom adventure subgenre. What made you decide to write these types of books, and what suggestions do you have for other authors who might want to do the same?

Tricia: Well, if you want to get technical about genres, Jaye’s books, while they are non-magical fantasy, aren’t kingdom adventure because they still have dragons and races of people that couldn’t exist in our world. But they are similar enough that there isn’t much difference.

I stumbled into writing kingdom adventure by accident. I have several unpublished books I wrote in my teens that are all full-on, magical fantasy. But when I got the idea for The Blades of Acktar, I just started writing it as it wanted to be written. It wasn’t historical fiction and refused to fit into any historical time period, yet it didn’t feel right for the story to try to turn it more fantasy (I actually considered it at one point and decided not to go that route).

I guess, if I had any tips, it would be to carefully consider your marketing. Kingdom Adventure books are interesting to market because they are neither fully historical fiction nor fully fantasy. I marketed mine as fantasy because I knew that future books I write would be fantasy. But if you, as an author, plan to write historical fiction or something along those lines eventually, marketing more toward historical fiction readers would be a good plan.

Jaye: I honestly don’t know much about different subgenres. I just write what comes to me and fit it in wherever it seems to work best. I’d say Tricia has very good suggestions.

Tricia: *laughs* And Jaye manages to say the exact same thing I said in a paragraph in 1 sentence, lol. I’m apparently too wordy when it comes to answering these interview questions.

Thanks for the advice! Finally, if you could introduce one food from our world to your main characters and try one food from their worlds yourself, which foods would you pick and why?

Tricia: I would dearly love to introduce my characters to pizza. They would love it. Especially Brandi.

I have actually had maple sugar cookies (a local fan once made them for me since I’m not good at baking myself), and they are actually as good as my characters say they are in the books.

Jaye: I’m stealing Tricia’s answer and also saying pizza. Kaden would LOVE pizza.

As far as food from Ilyon . . . something that the cretes make. I like the idea of their food. It’s simple and good, but a little bit exotic.

Tricia: Kaden would love pizza, lol. And now you’re making me hungry for a crete prepared dish.

I feel like everyone wants their characters to try pizza. It's interesting. Thanks for answering my questions!

All right! Thanks, everyone who's read this far! And now, we have a giveaway! Jaye and Tricia are giving away a full signed set of the Ilyon Chronicles and the Blades of Acktar series . . . which is pretty awesome. I want that prize now. The giveaway is open to US residents only (because shipping, sorry). Here's the giveaway direct link, because Blogger is already mad at me for having so much formatting in this post and I don't feel like arguing with it more right now.

In addition, there will be additional giveaways in each character chat, so make sure you check out those as well! And please tell me in the comments: are you excited for these books? What are you most looking forward to!
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)   

Blog Posts for Friday – December 21
Book Reviews at Smyling Girl
Author Interview at Dreams and Dragons <-- you are here.
Book Review by Faith Blum
Author Interview & Book Reviews at Allison Grace Writes
Book Spotlight by Hannah Gaudette
Character Chat #4 by TriciaMingerink
Or find a complete list of blog tour stops at the main tour page!  


  1. Great interview! I really need to read these books!

    1. Same! I've read all of Ilyon except Bitter Winter and Lacy, but I still need to start Acktar.


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