Friday, June 20, 2014

Interview with Fantasy Author Amehana Ishtari About "Castle and Wells Selkie Skins"

By Grease Coakes

On my seventh Second Life birthday I wasn't completely lazy I talked to a friend of mine Amehana Ishtari and asked to meet with her and ask her about her new book, "Castle and Wells Selkie Skins: Volume 1." The next day I met with Amehana the pony at From what I saw the previous night it was an action packed pony party. I met her at a little before 8AM SLT, and here's what she had to say. Her new book involves a girl named Kristy who uses paste to change into a seal. She hasn't earned her seal quite yet however.

 Grease Coakes, "What you told me before that your character came about from roleplaying with Vadise, how did that work out?"

Amehana Ishtari, "The roleplay? That's still ongoing. We are working on wrapping up their last year of school and getting them set to begin further training for their future occupations. Or are you referring to Raikou and my RPs for Nisa?"

Grease Coakes, "I'm not sure. You have lots of Roleplays I just roleplayed with you the one time with my dragon Bubbles. So your roleplay with Vadise Reikaz is a continuation of what's going in the book with the various characters in a way?"

Amehana Ishtari, "Yes. The book actually resulted because of wanting to tell him the full story of how Kristy got her sealskin and full selkiehood. Her biggest part of that quest happened over the summer without David. That part of her quest is in the second book of the Selkies' series, which is the manuscript I'm working on now."

Grease Coakes, "It's kind of how characters write themselves and grow a life of their own, and they just aren't words on a page."

Amehana Ishtari, "Yes. The story was supposed to be one small book, but it grew."

Grease Coakes, "But it turned out to be something much larger? I guess so if a second book is in the works."

Amehana Ishtari, "After she earns her skin in this next book, the book after that I expect to cover David's contribution to solving her family's problems. I have had some comments about werewolves being over the top, but there is a reason that Mara is intrigued by Herne and his Hounds, a particular type of werewolf."

Grease Coakes, "Werewolves can never be over the top. They are tortured souls not able to live a normal life. They must not like full moons. When I’m reading the book, I get a feel of Harry Potter is that what you're intending? Not that it's a bad thing a world of magic is a popular genre to read for most people."

Amehana Ishtari, "It is a bit Harry Potter, and our RP is a lot more Potter than what I write for the book. I had wanted to do a story about magic schools before Rowling did hers, but I was working on Dragon Shaman. I'd intended that to tie into magic schools anyway. There is a third series that will also tie in with Dragon Shaman and Selkies' Skins, that I actually started work on in the 90's, that lead to both of these. But I'm not ready to show Flightesa and Angelina yet."

Grease Coakes, "That's right you did write a different books series what can tell the SL Newser's readers about your dragon shaman series? The first in the series is sitting on my desk, "Book One Taming the Blowing wind." That sounds enticing, mixing your Selkie skins characters in with Blowing wind and Ryu."

Amehana Ishtari, "I'm working on the third book in that series. My plan is to go between that and Selkies so that I'm not letting one stagnate. The next book in the Dragon Shaman series introduces Jewel O'Drake, BlowingWind's cousin, and Huetziatl, a South American dragon of the coatl persuasion. Jewel is an archaeologist, and like most O'Drakes avoided going to magical schooling."

Grease Coakes, "Oh? I would think a magic school would be fun to go to. Yeah going to a magic school,sounds better than being lost in pyramid. But characters don't always make good decisions."

Amehana Ishtari, "She might have benefited from going though considering getting lost in a pyramid ...
With shifting creatures!" (big grin)

Grease Coakes, "Shifting creatures? you mean like shapeshifters that turn into werewolves?"

Amehana Ishtari, "No. Jewel will be meeting snakes, the coatl, jaguars, bats... jungle creatures."

Grease Coakes, "Oooo snakes and jaguars, sounds dangerous."

Amehana Ishtari, "Much more Meso-American."

Grease Coakes, "Ahhh neat."

Amehana Arashi, "The O'Drakes started avoiding the schools way back in the past because of the disdain prevalent in the magically endowed community that cropped up so often. The O'Drakes are bound to Brigit in the way the Makay's are bound to Mara and the Lady."

Grease Coakes, "They are magically bound to serve their gods? Gotcha."

Amehana Ishtari, "They are, and Jewel will learn the reason that the 'young' river god destroyed his people and got sealed into his pyramid."

Grease Coakes, "Ohhh sounds interesting so she might awaken a Pandora’s box?"

Amehana Ishtari, *nods* "She might. The meeting between the two is being orchestrated by the family's curse, the same as BlowingWind and Ryu's was."

Grease Coakes, "Lots of curses. Sounds like quite a challenge, your characters don't have it easy, hahaha."

Amehana Ishtari, "Between the two sides the cruse might manage to be broken, or it might not. But there is also trouble that they aren't aware of that is pointed at in Kristy's tale. ... No, they don't. I have been beaten up a few times in meta writing. When I do that trying to figure out how to unblock myself when my characters get obstinate."

Grease Coakes, "Oooo, so the two curses are connected by what Kristy is going through in your newest book Castle and Wells Selkie Skins."

Amehana Ishtari, "There's only one curse, on the O'Drake line. Remember, Marie, the mother, was an O'Drake."

Grease Coakes, "And the O Drakes are from South America right? That's right. So the curse of the O Drakes goes to Kristy her daughter?"

Amehana Ishtari, "No. The O'Drakes are from Ireland, like Kristy. At one time before the clan moved to Draganpairc Brigid's forge was walking distance from the remains of the Makay village. Jewel is in South America because she became an archaeologist and was always fascinated by Meso-American cultures. Kristy has a different geas on her. Though I suppose that yes, maybe there are two curses if you count the one that the Lilitu family put on the Makays many generations before Kristy's birth."

Grease Coakes, "So Jewel is going on an Indiana Jones kind of adventure. Instead of going to a magic school."

Amehana Ishtari, "Well, there is magic involved in Jewel's adventure, so maybe a combination of Jones in some fashions with magic. She's not trained though. But, she is ripe for a coatl to take as a priestess, like what Ryu is doing with Wind. I don't expect Jewel to be too thrilled."

Grease Coakes, "But Wind is being very stubborn with Ryu. Even when Ryu cares deeply for Wind, she's not giving him any ground romantically. And he does go out of his way for her."

The Dragon Shaman series characters are Blowing Wind and Ryu. Blowing Wind is a spiritual woman and Ryu is the dragon who loves and cares for her.

Amehana Ishtari, *chuckles* "There will be reason for that to change. BlowingWind won't remain locked up and grieving inside forever."

Grease Coakes, "That's good. So is it true then for your newest book Selkie Skins that to have it published on Amazon, you had to have a kickstarter campaign? Why not tell me about that? The Veronica Mars movie was funded the same way."

For readers who may not know, kickstarter is a website for people to contribute to for something they greatly believe in.

Amehana Ishtari, "I still have to send out the larger rewards for that kickstarter. I intend to get those sent out later today in fact. I was introduced to using kickstarter when I saw M.C.A. Hogarth, who I greatly respect the work of, having success with it. A kickstarter is a lot of work though. You have to decide what rewards you can afford to give, set a goal that will cover your needs...then the hardest part is getting backers. I didn't get many backers, but I got enough pledges to cover the editing costs. Even enough to pay the cover artist, who is my niece."

Grease Coakes, "So it was a few large pledges to cover your editing and artwork costs. Your niece did a great job with the cover the artwork is very pretty."

Amehana Ishtari, "She will actually be releasing a comic/manga fairly soon."

Grease Coakes, "Oh? what will her comic Manga be about?"

Amehana Ishtari, "Pirates."

Grease Coakes, "That sounds fun."

Amehana Ishtari, " This is her deviant art actually. She does a wide range. Not all her work is there though."

Looking at her deviant art page the artwork looks really good.

Amehana Ishtari, "Yes, a few large pledges to cover paying the editor. I may run another Kickstarter later to help with the other projects. It is a lot of advertising though to get the word out."

Grease Coakes, "I'm sure you can pull through and when the same people who kickstarted you before when they see your first Selkie Skins book complete they would want to kickstart you again and perhaps you can also gain new fans with your writing."

Amehana Ishtari, "I had a few setbacks while working on it, and shortly after publishing which has delayed getting things shipped out. Personal issues."

Grease Coakes, "Apparently those setbacks didn't hold you back as my copy of Selkie Skins Castle and Wells is on my bookcase. Is there anything else you want to add about Selkie Skins Castle and Wells? It seems like (a) Harry Potter kind of world and the main character is torn between many responsibilities, oh and she lost her voice. And she's also a shapeshifter who changes into a seal when she touches water."

Amehana corrected me and said, "Not when she touches water. She has to take a paste to make the change, until she earns her skin. Then she will have to wear her skin. Touching water is too easy and would reveal her far too quickly." (big grin)

Grease Coakes, "Gotcha so she hasn't earned it quite yet. Oh yeah if she took a shower or bath she'd instantly turn into a seal and someone walks in on her or swims with her."

Amehana Ishtari, "I do have to add that there are three genders of dieties in the book."

Grease Coakes, "Oh right I remember that the moon is a shi, so it's just not men and women dieties."

Amehana Ishtari, "Mara and the Lady for example are female and denoted with the usual labels. Herne is very very male. The Moon though... he/she gets shi and hir when written about. Yes. I've had a few people think that those were typos. They aren't. Morgan Freepony (AKA Illya Leonov) is also narrating the audiobook version. He just recently sent me chapter 29, so there isn't much more to go before he finishes. And he sounds AMAZING!"

Grease Coakes, "Ahhh so the audio book is in the works.You mentioned there might be a release party when the audio book comes out."

Amehana Ishtari, "I do want a party when it's released, yes (and a serving of plum sake or raspberry wine I think would be in order too). Illya only records in the mornings, and his work has been keeping him pretty busy, so I don't know when he'll be finished so that picking a date can be done. I can say though that when he finishes this book, he wants to voice the Dragon Shaman books."

Grease Coakes, "Oh that sounds pretty cool so he wants to keep doing voice work for you. ... rumors mention that Grease Coakes may be the DJ for that part- do you deny or confirm these rumors?" (big grin)

Amehana Ishtari, "Oh yes, I intend to have Grease DJ for the party, of course. He DJ'd for the Dragon Shaman release you know. That would be greatly appreciated, you know with how many balls I've got in the air sometimes I have a hard time communicating or remembering to say 'hey! Guess what?' You should go to the Trotsdale library and hear his stories. Generally they get played Thursdays at 7PM SLT, so long as someone can stream them. The LM to the trotsdale library is here," 

Grease Coakes, "If someone wanted to buy a copy of your books Selkie Skins or the Dragon Shaman Books where would he or she go to order the books?"

Amehana Ishtari, "Amazon is where they can be ordered in all formats. Smashwords has them in several ebook formats. Or they can go to the publishing website and send an order request using the contact info there, ."

Grease Coakes: Btw you look more like a diva today, not pimped out.

Amehana Ishtari: Thank you (laughs out loud).

The previous day when I turned 7 I had mistakenly called Amehana pimped out.

If any readers have any questions Amehana's twitter account is @AmehanaArashi and they could also go to her facebook page as well.

Amehana Arashi, "Ah. 'A World of Verse" not poetry. I've not finished my first cup of coffee yet (laughing out loud) Right here."

Grease Coakes,"Lawl ^-^ Haha I feel that way at work I get free coffee at work so I milk that instead of soda."

Amehana is a busy lady in Second Life and an even busier writer. Look for her books under her real life name Teresa Garcia. All her books are good as she's also an excellent poet as I have heard her audio book “Call of the Kami” As I won through one of her contests.

She also does Tarot readings as I mentioned in an earlier article: Please keep in mind however that Amehana is a busy woman and that her readings are by appointment only. She does excellent readings though.

If you get the chance and if you're looking for something fresh to read check out one of her books.

Grease Coakes

1 comment:

  1. Thank you again for the interview, and I'm glad that you've enjoyed my work so far.

    A couple notes... Kirsty spells her name Kirsty, not Kristy. The pronunciation is a bit different. Also the book is titled "Selkies' Skins: Castle and Well." Now and then one might be able to find Kirsty sitting at a shrine which can be found through my SL profile.