Tuesday 16 January 2024

Release Day Spotlight & Author Interview - The Quelling: A Trilogy by C.L. Lauder

The Quelling: A Trilogy
Series: Book 1
Author: C.L. Lauder
Genre: Speculative / Fantasy
ISBN: 9781632997654
Publication Date: 16 January 2024

Book Description:

Befriend your enemy, save your friend...

When Kyjta accidentally brands herself with an alien fluid while plotting revenge, she knows her fate is sealed. As one of the Stained, her skin glistens star-bright, and the creatures sent by the Rhemans to scavenge for bodies will have no trouble finding her. One night, while sheltering during a raid, Kyjta forms an unexpected pact with a Rheman rebel to protect a young girl, Calipsie, who’s fallen into her care. Days later, when Calipsie is taken, Kyjta abandons precaution to go after her. Facing impossible odds and allied by a Rheman she’s not sure she can trust, Kyjta must not only rescue Calipsie, but also face the Rheman overlord who’s taken a disturbing interest in her.


Perfect for fans of Divergent and The Hunger Games! The Quelling is a captivating, dystopian fantasy about loss and love, oppression and rebellion, and delves into the power of the individual against a dominant evil.

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1. Tell a little about yourself. What you do when you're not writing? What are your aspirations for the future? 
One of my character quirks is that I’m happiest when achieving two objectives simultaneously. For example, I love listening to audiobooks when exercising, watching TV in the bathtub, and reading while writing. This last one might seem tricky, and I’ll grant you it’s not exactly simultaneous, but I find it’s a great way to mood-set a scene and conquer writer’s block. Some people listen to music; I read other people’s stories. There’s something about being in the flow of a narrative that keeps my writing moving.  
2. When and why did you start writing? 
I started writing in junior school. I had a battered clipboard with the tattered pages of a novel clipped beneath its rusty hinges before I was twelve. I remember the storyline, and it was far too mature for a tween. I read too many of my stepfather’s adult books growing up. I’d hate to find it blowing around somewhere, but I might revive the idea if the fancy strikes me. 
3. Have any particular novels or writers influenced your writing? 
The Secret History is the book that really rocked my reading world. It was so vivid—I recall everything as though it were me attending Hampden College and delving into the dark arts. Another author I truly admire is Laini Taylor. When I meet someone who hasn’t read her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, I’m instantly empathetic to the point of running out and buying it for them and then sitting next to them while they read.  
4. Give us some backstory behind The Quelling. Where and when did you write it? 
My best days are when I have enough time to run up my neighbourhood mountain and sit at a small table overlooking the sea to write. Most of the Quelling was written during COVID; I would be up the mountain before six am and back at my desk before nine.    
5. What was your favourite part of writing The Quelling?  
The Quelling wasn’t supposed to be part of the series initially. I wrote what are now Book Two and Book Three first, thinking they’d be Books One and Two. I was daunted to find that I needed to go back in time to understand the circumstances of my premise. The best part about writing The Quelling was having it all fall neatly into place. It’s like the story was already formed, just waiting to be told.   
6. What does your writing schedule look like? 
I’m a morning person—on weekdays, I’m out of bed at five and usually kick off with some light exercise before diving into a two-hour writing stint. On the weekends, I’ll do four hours on Saturday if my kids have a playdate, and sometimes I’ll do a weekend away if there’s something I want to storm through.  
7.  Which fictional character would you like to take to dinner and why? 
I recently read Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo and loved it. I think I’d like to meet Alex Stern. I liked her grit. I’m not sure we’d bother with dinner. We’d probably hit the Slow Club from Blue Velvet before taking a tour of popular fictional scenes from Dark Academia’s best sellers through the ages.  
8. Besides your lead, do you have a favourite character in the story? 
Kranik, since he’s loosely based on one of my best friends: just, protective and deeply loyal. The second book sees him drastically reimagined, though. It’s set in a future where he’s jaded, aggressive and brutally uncaring. I like him even more for this juxtaposition.   
9. What is one of the most surprising things you've learned as a writer? 
That it’s perfectly possible to write, publish and market your novel well without an agent and traditional publisher.   
10. Any advice for aspiring authors? 
The best way to speed up the writing process is to outline first. It’s not sexy, especially when the writing is begging to get done, but you have to learn to ignore the call to write prose until you have a detailed plot. Without the outline, you’ll write reams of useless paragraphs that will only clutter your trash can and plunder your time.


About the Author
Carla Lauder grew up in South Africa before immigrating to the United Kingdom, where she attended the University of London to complete an MA in Creative Writing. She now lives at the foot of a lush mountain in Hong Kong with her husband and two rapidly lengthening sons, who enjoy their newfound proximity to nature, especially the sea.

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"The simplest reaction to reading a good book, is you cannot put that book down!And I could not put this book down, simple!" -Reader Review

"I absolutely LOVED The Quelling and highly recommend this book. From the first page, you'll be captivated by this out of world journey into the lives of Kyjta and Kranik." -Reader Review

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