I’m happy to have author Terri Rochenski taking over my blog today as part of her blog tour for Eye of the Soul, her newly released adult fantasy novel. I’ve been pondering taboos in literature, so I asked Terri for her point of view. Take it away, Terri!
Are there taboos that should never be written about? I’m with the ‘no’ crowd. I think any subject / taboo can be used in a story and accepted if done tastefully. If I had been asked this question a year ago, I probably would have answered differently.
What changed my mind? The new, edgy NA genre that has emerged and become the latest rage.
Having read a handful of books in this genre over the last year, I realized there really isn’t much sacred these days. At first I was a bit unsettled by some stories, but after further thought I realized, hey … these stories are selling and have great reviews. Authors stepping out of the box and taking a chance are doing well. Some are doing extremely well.
I decided it was time to pull my head out of the sand and get with the program.
While my Pool of Souls isn’t edgy or even close to taboo, the story hits close to home for me – influenced by my own spiritual journey. Perhaps other authors use their writing as a means of expressing what they’ve experienced and endured.
Who’s to tell them no, we don’t want to hear about it?
Story telling isn’t all about amusement. It’s a means of healing for authors and readers alike. If a person can tactfully tackle a topic some might find offense, more power to them. Chances are they’ll touch a life somewhere at some time.
As an author, that’s what it’s truly all about. For me anyway.
Well said, and I agree wholeheartedly. Now, my favorite part. Let’s a look at the lovely!
That should be Hyla’s first thought as her people are chained and imprisoned for no imaginable reason.
Instead, Hyla finds herself traveling through a land void of Natives, with human soldiers pillaging in desperate pursuit of her, and in search of the mystical Pool of Souls—home to the one man who can save her people.
Or so she believes.
Led by her faith in the deity Fadir, Hyla is met along her journey by Jadon—a human male and fierce King’s warrior, and his childhood best friend Conlin—one of the few Natives aware of his Fadir-given Talents.
Protected by Jadon, guided by Conlin, and with an unfailing belief in the purpose of her pilgrimage, Hyla carries on.
Like her, though, another searches for the Pool, and should he gain access first, everyone she loves, and everything she knows, could be lost.
Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with the fantasy genre.
Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her two young daughters allow. When not potty training or kissing boo-boos, she can be found on her back patio in the boondocks of New Hampshire, book or pencil in hand.
Cursing her arthritic fingers, Miri squeezed out a rag and draped it over the human man’s hot forehead.
“I’ve seen a lot more harvests than you, old goat,” she muttered, lifting his eyelids. “I’m thinking you’ll never catch up either. Doubt you last another half-moon’s phase.”
Miri pushed to her feet and stretched her hunched back. A heavy sigh slipped past her wrinkled lips as she glanced around the sick house. Keeping the night watch wasn’t too bad—she’d volunteered often since her old bones wouldn’t allow much sleep.
“Joints wasted, hearing all but gone …” Miri yanked on the long white braid lying over her shoulder. “I’m the old goat.”
She shuffled down the aisle, woolen kirtle swishing in the silence. A cool, autumn breeze rustled the crimson leaves of the magnolia and palm fronds overhead, drawing her gaze upward. Violet streaks lit the pre-dawn sky.A dog barked, yipped, and fell silent.
Miri peered across the village green to the thatched buildings beyond. A shadow passed between two cottages. Another three hurried toward the neighboring dwelling.
“Sight fading or my mind, too?” Miri rubbed her watery eyes, blinked, and leaned forward. Light flickered through the palm trees behind the outlying homes.
The flames drew closer, weaving between the trunks.
Humans from the mainland? Miri’s hand clutched at her throat. Soldiers. Fadir have mercy.
The men crept through the village, taking up positions at every doorway. Two brutes, more horse-like in size than human, approached the sick house.
Sputtering torch held high, the first strode forward, dark eyes intent upon Miri. A green surcoat covered broad shoulders and fell to his thighs. The golden wheat sheaf of the city of Varosh adorned his chest.
Cold sweat beaded upon Miri’s brow. Breath burst from her lungs, and she moved back, clutching the door jam.
The second soldier stepped closer, chains and shackles clanking in his hand. He stopped two paces away from Miri, and a smile stretched his stubbled cheeks, revealing rotted teeth. “Good morning pointy-ears.”
Miri stared, heartbeat thundering in her ears. She’d been called worse in her eighty-three birth passings but never with such malice.
A single cry rang out across the village, and doors crashed inward. Screams rent the air.
“Don’t fight Native woman,” rotten-teeth sneered, shackles outstretched.
“W-why?” Miri whispered, taking a step backward.
A scowl narrowed his gaze, and his fist shot forward.
Bursts of light and pain exploded through Miri as she crumpled to the floor.
Miri’s people huddled on the village green as fall’s pale sun crested the trees. Cold metal had been clasped around their necks and ankles. Many trembled in the cool air, little more than night clothes covering their nakedness. Miri held to her braid with a white-knuckled grip, her head and its egg-sized bump throbbing in time with her pulse.
A handful of other battered Natives who had attempted flight were the last to join them, the soldiers tossing them forward like sacks of potatoes.