Hello everyone! We're honored to share with you a short chat with the amazing indie author, Malina Douglas today as she tells us all about her upcoming release!
Red Panda Warrior, Jade Mountain has just been released and is available at these outlets:
Barnes and Noble: https://cutt.ly/7RzFTpf
Check out www.iridescentwords.com for updates and blog posts that delve into the world of the book!
Tang Dynasty, 637 AD. When dragons were revered and some women became warriors...
Xiu has never left her village and can barely make dumplings, yet she finds herself in a secret training academy on the slopes of the Jade Mountain. When her destiny, inscribed in oracle bones, is revealed to her, she refuses to believe it. Put through rigorous training, Xiu must become a warrior, but her movements are clumsy and she is plagued by self-doubts.
While Xiu flounders, Qiao seems to do everything with effortless grace. Xiu grows jealous until she is propelled to act in a way she will later regret. The girls around her develop talents, while Xiu searches for hers. Though she is not sure how, the red panda holds the key to developing her skills as a warrior.
As an army amasses to invade the Imperial city of Chang'An, Xiu and her elite corps of women warriors must ride into battle. Xiu will have to overcome her jealousy, face her fears and discover her unique strengths, or her enemy will bring the mighty Tang Dynasty to ruin.
An empowering story of friendship and courage in a lush historical setting with a splash of the speculative.
Malina Douglas spins stories that fuse the fantastic and the real, blending history and fantasy to conjure distant eras and worlds. She was nominated as the Gold Writer of the ArtAscent Bliss issue and made the Official Selection for the London Independent Story Prize, Fourth Quarter 2020. Her publications include Wyldblood, Opia, Typehouse, Back Story Journal, Sanitarium Vol. IV, Consequence Magazine, Sobotka Literary Magazine, Rhythm & Bone, Metamorphose V2, and the Antipodean.
Two of her stories were highly commended in the Michael Terence Summer Short Story Competition and published in their anthologies, When it is Time and All Those Things You Thought Never Mattered. Other anthologies include The Monsters We Forgot Vol. II, A Krampus Carol, The Lockdown Rhythm, Sea Glass Hearts, and Because That's Where Your Heart Is from Sans Press.
She was a finalist in the Blackwater Press Story Contest and published in their anthology in 2021. Find her at iridescentwords.com or on twitter @iridescentwords.
What was your favorite thing about writing this book?
I enjoyed the process of researching as I wrote. The Tang Dynasty is a fascinating era and I discovered so much in the process! Historical women warriors such as Princess Pinyang, who raised and led an army to help her father, are a great inspiration.
What part of this book are you most passionate about?
I'm most passionate about the characters. Each of the six women warriors in the book have different personalities and develop specific talents. The main character, Xiu, is plunged into an adventure she never expected. Sweet, gentle Chenhua becomes Xiu's best friend and is a great support for her along her journey. Qiao, flawless and graceful at everything she does, provokes Xiu's jealousy and becomes her nemesis. Xiu admires Feiyan's swiftness, Wei's maturity and Jian's humour.
I hope my characters can serve as positive role models to inspire young women to take charge of their lives as they overcome their own obstacles.
Which character resonates with you the most and why?
The protagonist, Xiu, because she has the farthest to go on her journey. She has the greatest depth and the most to overcome.
As you join Xiu on her journey of transformation and self-discovery, you can watch her make mistakes and grow from them as she develops. Xiu is loveable because she is flawed: she is clumsy, she messes up forms in martial arts and doubts herself as she searches for her talents. Her flaws make her an unlikely heroine, but not having everything figured out makes her easiest to relate to.
The events of the book force Xiu to change, and it will not be easy. But it is Xiu's struggle and ultimate change that makes for a satisfying read.
What do you find is the most difficult thing about being an indie author?
Though the whole publishing process, I overcame each challenge as I met it, but the hardest has been promotion. I've built a website, joined a bunch of author websites and shared announcements and updates on Twitter, but there is always more to do. I would still like to find more ways of reaching potential readers, especially the young women who would benefit most from reading this book. Hopefully this interview will be a step in that direction!
Thank you so much for sending this in Malina. I wish you all the best with your new release! If you'd like to be featured in a spotlight like this on this blog and you're a self-published or independently published author please click THIS LINK for submission guidelines.