NOBLE - A Faerie Tale
Book 1 - The Noble Saga
By Shea Ballard
Twelve-year-old Alex Noble is locked in the library. Finding a dusty old book that appears to be written just for him, Alex escapes to a time of sword and sorcery.
In the world of the story, a peasant boy named Lucas falls in love with a princess named Stefanie. To win her heart, he receives magical help from a talking oak tree and its tree faeries. They disguise the young serf as a knight named Sir Luke the Noble, and it's off to the royal palace to ask the king for Stefanie's hand in marriage. Once there, the peasant-boy-turned-knight finds he's in way over his head.
Can Lucas navigate royal politics, an arrogant prince, magic lessons, and a dangerous quest; all while finding true love?
A reverse-Cinderella meets traditional fantasy-adventure story, Noble, will answer what happened "once upon a time" in a way quite unlike your childhood faerie tales.
About the Author:
Shea grew up with a library card and an early love of reading. He enjoys stories which are fantastical, weird, dark, creepy, and fun. His own writing has been described as fast-paced and cinematic. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
Available for Purchase in January 2020:
Who is your favourite character in Noble - A Faerie Tale? Why?
Definitely, Lucas, because he's essentially me with magical powers. I modeled him quite a bit on myself.
How did you go about making your characters believable?
For Lucas and Stefanie, I paid close attention to language. Lucas is a peasant, so he uses more colloquial language, and doesn't always have perfect grammar. Stefanie, on the other hand, is much more formal and proper in the way she speaks. For the gypsies, I gave them each different weapons proficiencies: Tatiana, her daggers; Sasha, the sword; Nicolai, bow and arrow; and Dmitri is best at roughing people up with his bare hands. And when you read the book, you'll find they have different personalities, as well.
What method/s do you use for world building?
Early in my research, I learned that the church was the center of medieval life, so the first thing I had to do was build a new religion to stand-in for the catholic church. That faith is called Mannism. Manna is their Jesus, and his story is combination of the myths of Dionysus and Isis. It is not actually a part of the story, but it is ever-present in the background. Frequent references to the religion are made throughout the book. Characters are thanking "the Allfather," making "the sign of the noose," and referring to "the Horned One," and "the Father, the Son, and the Holy Soul," for example. In addition, I've really tried to be historically accurate as much as I can, given the constraints of my story. My hope is that this makes for a realistic-feeling world.
What value do you see in social connection for authors?
Great value, actually! Since I joined the Twitter #WritingCommunity, I've made friends with other authors, and gotten to talk to and learn from them. In addition to that, I've also gotten several opportunities, like this one, that would not have otherwise. So I would definitely encourage other writers to make connections with their writing peers. You never know where those connections will take you.
Who are some of your favourite authors? Why?
As a YA writer, I've read quite a bit of it, myself. A few favorites are: JK Rowling (of course!), Herbie Brennan, Eoin Colfer, Jonathan Stroud, Obert Skye, Rick Riordin, Scott Westerfeld, and Suzanne Collins, among others. Outside the YA genre, I like Neil Gaiman, the late, great, Sir Terry Pratchett, Chuck Wendig, and Bernard Cornwell, among others. I love these authors because they connect me to their characters and tell amazing stories that stay with me. When I finish their books, I'm left with a 'wow' on my mind, goosebumps on my arms, and quite a few feels.