Please welcome Kia Garriques, author of 'Innovera Yakov: The Journey of a Thousand Lives' to the blog today!
1: What was the inspiration for 'Innovera Yakov'?
The concept of Innovera Yakov originated from my dreams. I used to dream about these Beings in some other world. At first, it was scary but then I learned to overcome that fear and started looking forward to them. At one point, I became so enthusiastic about science, evolution and the possibility of realities and forms of life that might exist outside of what we know that I wanted to absorb anything in relation to that. Innovera Yakov addresses many of the questions I have about our earth and the universe in general. It’s my attempt to understand life.2: Which character spoke to you the most?
I love Ayana, in Innovera Yakov. She is the underdog and it takes her a long time to discover her strengths. It took me a long time to start to believe in myself. The day I started doing that, I realised that I had the power to transform my life and be the person I hope to be. I can relate to her because she has scars, both inner and outer scares that she has to learn to live with and it’s only once she has embraced them that she truly begins to find herself.3: What was your favourite scene?
I prefer the emotional scenes where the reader gets to know the heart, the inner feelings of the characters better. There is a scene where Ayana who is seen as the weakest amongst them and who does not believe in herself really begins to get a sense of her own powers. The scene I really like is where she discovers that the scars that mark her face and leaves her feeling 'ugly' are the key to their survival on the dangerous Journey.4: Will there be follow-up books to this story?
Yes there will be a second book in the series. However, right now, my aim is to introduce Innovera Yakov to the world. I want people to read it, talk about it and above all, enjoy the book. That’s my goal this year - to introduce it to as many people as possible.5: If you had the opportunity to visit your fantasy world in real life, would you go?
Yes! I would love to visit Innovera Yakov. I really would. It’s the kind of world I wish to live in and sometimes it does feel real to me.6: You are a prolific short story writer, just now publishing novels. Other than the obvious length, how is the writing experience different for you with each style?
Whenever I am going through a sad moment I would close my eyes and imagine that I am right there, immersed in a world of light and crystals and absolute splendour!
I often think of a scene where my main protagonist is looking down at Innnovera Yakov as she glides through the air on her Sylva: It was wonderful beneath her – all shimmering blue grass and great Golkan trees with their mysterious blue leaves and beating hearts. Starbirds flew past her like bright daggers, heading for the high air of the Ishu Mountains. The Great River of a Thousand Eyes flowed quietly beneath, reflecting the glorious multi-tinted sky.’ That is my idea of sanctuary.
Writing a novel takes a lot of planning and preparation. The first draft takes a couple of months, and then there is the whole refining process – cutting out things here, fleshing out other bits there - it’s a long process.7: Do you have any other projects in the works?
I am working on the second book in the series and I already have ideas for the third and fourth novel.8: How does writing fulfill you?
I love the idea of creating new and exciting worlds and writing gives me the flexibility and opportunity to stretch my imagination to the extreme and to push boundaries. My favourite and easiest part is visualising the world that my characters live in. I love mind-mapping that world.9: If you had to describe your book or writing style in just one sentence, what would you say?
Imaginative and original10: What is something readers may be surprised to learn about you?
I have a phobia of standing on grass and I hate having to explain this to people. Going to a park is an unpleasant experience, because while other people simply run across it, I tend to walk the long way around. If anyone notices, the questions begin: ‘What are you doing? Why would you do that?’ Then I would have to explain my dislike of grass and I'm feel annoyed and embarrassed when I have to do that.11: Anything else you wish to share?
I'd like people to read it and tell me what they think. If you're at that place in your life where relationships are important, then Ayana's confusion about who she really loves will speak to you. If not, Krave's and Gamma's longing to be with each other at the risk of endangering their existence. There is also the rivalry between Gamma and her sister, Blu Tara, where we have the idea of selfish, destructive love.
If you are more interested in drama and conflict, there is more than enough to satisfy even the most enthusiastic thrill-seeker: the stand-off between males and males; females and females and males and females - who are every bit as powerful as the males. I haven't even mentioned the natural disasters like firestorms and floods they have to deal with and the big showdown between the Innoverans and their enemies from the waterworld of Verheer.
So there is something in there for everyone, I believe.
Kia Garriques studied writing and English literature at University and has been a published short story writer since 2009. Her first story “The Invisible Alien Watcher” was published by Micro Horror in 2009 and reprinted by Pill Hill Press in 2011. Innovera Yakov: The Journey of a Thousand Eyes – is her first novel in the ‘Worlds’ series and will be out on amazon mid February. visit www.kiagarriques.com/books to read the first chapter.
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Date Published: 2/14/13
Innovera Yakov is a beautiful world of crystals that turns under five moons and two brilliant suns that never set. Flitters take care of domestic chores while Starbirds and Starflies soar through the never-ending sunlight of this crystalline world. The Circle of Knowing decides their fate; the forbidden forests of the Dimmer Zone swallow trespassers. And at the very edges of Innovera Yakov there is the terrifying watery darkness of Verheer.
We meet Ayana, the healer and lonely outcast with her scarred face; Vinton, her protector (or is he her imaginary friend?); Gamma and Blu Tara, the beautiful, fiery twins who can kill with one look. These twins are important characters in the book. They could hardly be more different from each other. Krave, beloved by Gamma, hated by Blu Tara, ‘tall and upright as a polished spear with a beautiful crop of golden hair that cascaded down his back in waves’; his ‘brother’ Skylar, pure trouble with ‘muscles on his arms and legs that stood out in lumps’; Ryder with his crystal spear, forever seeking Ayana’s approval although she, refusing to believe she's worth it, can only wonder, ‘What does he see in me?’ And Ice, mysterious, dangerous, murderous with eyes like bright furnaces who feeds on Innoverans. These young Innoverans are often haunted by a forgotten past recalled only in strange dreams. They form friendships, make enemies and face constant physical and emotional challenges that test them to their limits. They have amazing powers; they can fly, they can communicate through 'thought-words', their minds can travel to other worlds. They harbour secrets.
But life is not easy on Innovera Yakov and the young Beings must live in constant fear of Blu Tara; ‘What I want, I have. What I can’t have, I destroy.’ They find that the great powers they are gifted with are nothing compared to the dangers they face. They must shelter from Solar-storms. To fall in love is dangerous. Lovers long to combine to become stronger, better Beings but it can go terribly wrong and when that happens they perish. Their survival is further threatened by Ice, who consumes Innoverans and holds both Blu Tara and Ayana in his control.
Everyone seeks a partner with whom they can ‘merge.’ This desire to ease the passage through life by joining forces with a true companion, is one of the main themes of the story. Love for Blu Tara, is a terrible thing. She tells her sister, ‘It is a curse. You will scoop out your core and abandon it just to have the Being that you love... You will steal another person’s life force if it makes it easier to get it. You will kill or die for it. And you’ll hate yourself for the weakness that it brings on you.'
They are told that they must embark on 'The Journey', this journey will be more terrifying than any of them could imagine and a strong leader must be elected from their midst. They are shocked to discover who that leader is, none more so than the chosen one herself. Many of them will perish as they make their way through the watery darkness of Verheer while battling the army of underworld warriors bent on destroying and consuming them.
Finally, diminished in strength and numbers, they reach their journey’s end only to learn the final brutal truth.
Audio Link to listen to the first chapter of the book.
Read the first chapter of the book here
Blu Tara stared her sister in the face. ‘Let me tell you what you don't know about love, Gamma. It is a curse. You will scoop out your core and abandon it just to have the Being that you love. You will steal another person's life force if it makes it easier to get it. You will abandon the world you have been cradled in, betray everything and everyone you care for. You’ll give up your name for it.’
Blu Tara's voice went soft and dreamy. ‘You will gladly close your eyes and embrace the world of darkness. You will kill or die for it. And you will hate yourself for the weakness that it brings on you. So don’t talk to me about love.’
Gamma shook her head. ‘You're not making sense,’ Blu Tara. ‘You talk as if... I’m the one who should be upset about all this.’
Blu Tara lifted her hand dismissively. She pointed a hot finger at Gamma. ‘Anyway don’t forget what we are.’
'And what are we?’ Gamma glared at her..
'Different. Strange. Something to be frightened of. Two Beings that can fuse and burn everything to ashes. That's the way they all see us down there. That's what the Stardog wants from you - the powers you possess.
‘I hate them all. With their suspicious, shiny faces and their empty games. I hate that Voice which drones on and on at us in the Learning Dome as soon as we've finished resting.
Innoverans! All those perfect, pretty Beings; they remember nothing — it’s the curse of this shallow, shining world. Tell me, Gamma - what do you remember of the world we come from before your Odors Apeno dumped us here?’
Gamma swung around to face her sister fully. ‘Blu Tara! What's got into you? Where’s all that coming from? I've never heard you speak like that before. This is about Krave and I- not you!’
Krave and you - don't make me laugh. And, oh! Here’s a big difference — between you and I this time, Twin Sister. It’s the answer to your question that you brought me up here to ask.’ Blu Tara mimicked Gamma's soft and musical voice, Why do you want to kill Krave?
Here's the answer, Gamma. I will do whatever I have to do to save myself. I'm the half of you that's not like you. I don't have a weeping heart. Now I'm out of here. I need my Rest.