TIGER BORN will be the first title in the Demon Age series. set in a new world where Demonlords rule and humans are little more than cattle for their dining tables.
Melanie makes her first stop in this blog tour here at the Outhouse.
She has given us a a little insight in to what it is like to break the barriers of a fantasy setting. With further ado lets hear what she has to say!
How many GBHF* novels have you picked up that sound the same—mighty overlord/darklord/super ebul taking over a world that seems to come from medieval Europe? (Okay, I'm guilty of doing that my first time out…ahem, Legend of the White Dragon?) I think we all emulate what's familiar and seems accepted, especially when we're new to something, whether storytelling in general or a new genre.
Now, let's go a step beyond that. Hopefully a writer grows comfortable in their authorial role and expands beyond the familiar. Hopefully her skills expand and her imagination blossoms to create something new and fantastic or takes the familiar and flips it on its head.
I did that with TIGER BORN. This time around, I wanted to create something that wasn't a romantic story and wasn't the typical medieval European setting. Sure, there are elements of a potential romance that emerge, but the main story focuses on a tormented main character out of place on a world where humans are not the highest power. Inspired by several anime shows, it draws on elements of the Asian culture that inspired it, and it shows in the setting of the world of Derandria.
My husband sucked me into watching anime when we first met. I had always been curious about the animated shows I saw in stores long ago with their particular style but never dared to try them. He started me on some lighter shows and I was hooked. Some go too far, but you learn to accept some fan service and oddities, because some of the stories are so intriguing and different that they push the boundaries of what we're accustomed to seeing in American entertainment.
Those new places I saw explored in Japanese animation are what have pushed me to go farther in my own writing. My young adult series Starfire Angels was heavily influenced by a couple anime shows I like. Tiger Born is another, but it's darker with ideas and subjects I wouldn't touch in my young adult books.
When I sat down to write Tiger Born, I wanted to write something far different than anything else I'd done. I had always loved a certain anime about a half-blood with superhuman abilities but I didn't like the way the story dragged on without any resolution to the relationships between characters (sadly, a bane of many anime series), and I liked the ideas in many shows that monsters are referred to as demons and some can change form. But there was something intriguing about the character and what the show could have been. Fan fiction has never been my thing, but I couldn't help wondering about the prospects that could have been, so I set out to create my own world and a deeper, more complicated character.
The world that developed became Derandria. The demonlords who rule are shapeshifters with the most powerful magic, but because they are predators in their natural forms (human forms are secondary), they preyed upon anything, including humans. That twisted the dynamic of an ordinary fantasy story into something that captivated me. I had to go further and developed a culture based on humans being secondary in rank but wanting to destroy their masters. However, because the demonlords also can become human, they can mate with humans; thus the half-bloods. It couldn't be that easy, though, so I crippled half-bloods in my world with a weakness that would eventually kill them at a younger age than any human. Thus Je'Rol and his search for a legendary object to control the demon side was born. Unlike the anime character that influenced his creation, he wants to live in peace as a normal human, to understand what life really is, while everyone else wants him dead.
The setting of the world is influenced by Asian culture but also blends together many others to the exclusion of the typical medieval European favored in so much fantasy. I hope you enjoy Tiger Born as much as I do.
*Great Big Honking Fantasy aka doorstoppers.
Where to get your copy
Stalk the Author
The first five commentators will receive a E-Book copy of this book from Melanie herself