Knight of Wands is book 2 of the Devices of War Trilogy. Synn El’Asim finds himself captured by the Hands of Tarot yet again, only this time, it’s by the Queen of Swords, Dyna. She has a plan to take down her sister, Queen Nix. In order for them to do that, Synn has to be Nix’s Knight of Wands.
Through the course of the book, Synn finds himself played by Nix, Dyna, and his mother as they all position him for their own powerful benefit. Frustrated with all of them, he tells them to go pound dirt and calls all the tribes of their world into a council of peace.
What happens when the voiceless find their power? Or when the already mighty discover a power they haven’t tapped into yet? And what happens when the one that everyone thinks they can control slips his leash, and works to better the world and not himself?
Do you have a favorite character?
I have two. Synn is my top favorite. That’s not always the case with main characters. Sometimes, you’re writing the story and going, “I can’t wait to get this scene because this character’s going to be in it.” I had that every time I picked up this book. I’m not looking forward to the end of this trilogy. I was initially excited because we’d be delving into the rest of the world with the other books. I’m feeling a bit sad that I won’t be with Synn in each scene of the other books, though.
My other favorite character is Nix. Oh my word! I loooooooooove this woman! She makes such an excellent villain. Writing this book, I wished more than once that I hadn’t chosen first person for the narrative. She does so much stuff in the background! You won’t see all of it in this book, though, if you’re onto her, you’ll be like, “Yo, woman! What the heck are you up to? No! No. There ain’t no way!” She is deliciously evil. Love her!
Are you currently under a traditional publishing contract for future books or do you have manuscripts that you will self-publish?
I actually have two other series under contract with publishers. The latest one is my Dreamland Stories series which you should be seeing in the early part of 2014. I was very excited when that contract came in! I’m excited about the team, Just Ink Press. I think it’s going to be a great experience.
I do have one other series that I will be self-publishing. You should be seeing one episode releasing next month, with the other five launching in 2014. The Dream Killers is to Dreamland Stories what The Agents of Shield is to the Marvel movies. I’m very excited about it and can’t wait to share!
If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
I used Ravven’s Glass. She’s absolutely amazing! She has such an eye for detail and color! AND she has this gift of being able reach inside my head and come up with something that’s so very, very my world.
Working with her is easy. You just tell her about your character(s), your world, the genre and a few ideas of what you’d like to see. Then she does her magick and sends you three proofs. You choose the one you want, make whatever corrections you want, and it’s done. It’s so painless, and so easy! I looooooove her!
What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I discovered Spotify. There so much music at my fingertips, it’s amazing! I now have playlists for each series per mood. It’s funny, I understand. If you’re ever curious, you can find my profile on Spotify. I can’t give you a link because I haven’t figured that out yet, but you should be able to search for “Blooding” and that should get you to me.
I, however, can write anywhere! In a loud coffee shop, in my office at work, to the sound of the fan, to the sound of traffic or screaming kids. I can write to silence. Okay. The only thing I can’t write to is the sound of the TV. Yeah. No. No. Other than that? Just give me my computer and say, “Frankie, I’m not going to talk to you for a few. Entertain yourself!” You got it!
Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I outline! Holy Hades! There were a few books where I outlined, and then the characters decided to throw it out the door. Fall of Sky City was that way. I had a completely different idea of how that book was going to go. Synn said, “Nope,” and ran with it. It was the most exhilarating and mildly terrifying writing event I’ve experienced since I started writing for publishing.
He threw out the outline for Knight of Wands, as well. That should give you an idea of the kind of character he is. But my other books? Oh, yeah. I outline and I stick to them. Well, mostly. Sometimes, I do have to tweak them as new events occur that I didn’t foresee.
Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
Oh, yes! I hire a whole team of them. AND I enlist my sister and besties. I learned that lesson the hard way. I’m not doing that again! I want reviews that focus on the story, not my grammar. I mean, I’m pretty good. I’ve been at this a long time.
However, I’ve lost the ability to tell the difference between past and passed. I’m pretty sure I knew that once a long time ago. I’ve also mixed up a few comma rules because they’re not the same in different industries. Contracting law grammar is much different from fiction grammar. Also, reading outside of the U.S.A., you realize there are even more differences in grammar rules. I’ve fallen into that trap of, “The more you know, the less you master.”
What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
Perseverance. Oh, yes. I’ve whined and complained and threatened to quit. Many times.
The one thing I’ve learned through this entire journey so far is to not quit.
What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
The norm. Twitter compaigns (which reminds me, I need to schedule those for tomorrow.). Facebook, this tour.
For this book, I decided to create banners that can be shared on FB. They’re like meme’s (I’m still learning the lingo), and I got the idea from Mortal Instruments when the movie launched. It was a great idea! People shared them, and were talking about the book. It was a great way to get readers involved in the book before it was launched.
What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
If you’re thinking of self-publishing, just know that it will be the hardest thing you ever do. Ask yourself if you’re willing to give birth to a baby without any drugs. Or if you’re willing to go to a typhoon hit part of the world and help them rebuild. Those things will be easier and more rewarding than publishing your own book. There are more disappointments down this road than there are accomplishments. The only thing you might get out of this journey is the fact that you can say, “I’m an author.”
Book 2 of the Devices of War TrilogyBook Description:
Return to a world of mind blowing visuals, heart stopping action, and ships that sail the skies. Nix, Queen of Wands, has exactly what she wants—Synn El’Asim, the greatest Mark the world has ever seen. Even though she bound his soul to hers, he is not easily controlled. If she wants him, she must do the one thing that pains her most. Let him go, and give him what he desires. Peace.
Armed with a treaty bearing Nix’s seal, Synn sets off to bridge the gap between the world’s two reigning tyrants—the Hands of Tarot and the Great Families. He struggles to trust Nix as he fights for control of his soul. He’s going to need every ounce of restraint when dealing with his mother, leader of the Great Families. She will not give up her power without a fight. Nix will honor her treaty only if Synn agrees to become her knight. His mother refuses to sign the peace agreement if he falls into the queen’s control. Frustrated, Synn does the one thing neither woman saw coming. He invites all the tribes, currently voiceless in the war between these two ruling tyrants, to partake in the treaty negotiations. All they have to do is prove their worth in his Peace Games. As Synn’s influence and subsequent power grows, a new fight begins. Who will control Synn’s League of Cities? Can he protect more people as a leader of the Great Families, or as the Knight of Wands?
Find on Goodreads
Fall of Sky City Book 1 : Amazon – Kindle| Amazon – Paperback| Goodreads
Praise for Fall of Sky CityWow! What did I just read?? The story was deliciously complex, full of fear, wonder, magic, gadgets, gizmos, one heck of a psycho Queen and wonderful friends. Every character brought something to the story, each with a unique personality that came to life through the book, each with their own fears to overcome. Victoria Limbert
I love the world Blooding has created. She managed to create it in a way that it combines specs of all my favorite movies, books, etc. It’s a mixture of young adult fantasy, steam punk, dystopia, sci-fi, paranormal and even some tiny bit of romance. Fall of Sky City is a diverse book that is intense, a little bit violent, and a whole lot of awesome! I look forward to reading the next book of the series! Unputdownable Books
SM Blooding is a new author to me, but this is definitely not the last book I’ll read by her. Synn El’Asim is a powerful character–the reader sees him grow from a young man who has not yet come into his power to a strong man who is courageous enough to fight for what he believes in–his family and his people. The world building Ms. Blooding does is nothing short of remarkable. A world composed of flying ships, ice worlds, danger, and intrigue. My World of Dreams
This book is action-packed and intense. You feel like you’re part of the drama. This story is intense. The action is perfectly paced. I had trouble putting the book down. I really felt for Synn from the very beginning. He goes through so much. As soon as he gets his mark, he is plunged into one situation after another. Queen Nix, who is horrifying by the way, pushes Synn to new levels, in more and more diabolical ways. With the help of friends and family, Synn becomes a strong leader. Waiting on Sunday to Drown
I’m amazed of the world Blooding has created and built. It has Sky, Land, and Water Cities. These cities each has its own technologies, language, and a whole different way of life. These worlds remind me a lot of Avatar the Last Airbender and Star Wars, which I both loved wholeheartedly. Bahrain Newspaper Article Review!
Meet the Author:SM “Frankie” Blooding lives in Colorado with her pet rock, Rockie, and Jack the Bird. Jack has refused to let her to take up the piano again, but is warming to the guitar. It might help that Frankie has learned more than two strings. She’s added a few more Arabic words to her vocabulary, but don’t invite her into conversation yet—unless, of course, you’re willing to have a very . . . slow . . . conversation. She’s dated vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, weapons smugglers and US Government assassins. Yes. She has stories.
She’s also an investigator with a local paranormal investigation group, Colorado Paranormal Rescue!