Ashes of Aldyr
Ashes of Aldyr
by Russell Archey
The world of Alda is broken, destroyed by an event the survivors call "The Rupture." The aldyrs, magical trees connected to the soul of the world and once grew in breathtaking groves, are dead. Elf-kind, who shared a close bond with these trees, are dying off due to shortened life-spans as a result. The dwarves have retreated into their mountain homes. Humans gather in crumbling settlements. Sinister, god-like beings, each uniquely horrific, exert their influences over the world. Each story is a different thread forming a larger tapestry that shows the scope of the horror and insanity brought by the elusive and mind-numbing entity known as the Obscured Throne. The world was once saved from this threat and Alda was hidden and sealed away. Now, an ancient and shadowy cult called the Black Gnarl have broken enough seals to expose Alda to the Obscured Throne...and It's coming.
He looked over his shoulder, and his mouth fell agape in a silent scream. A face, a dark-as-midnight face with soulless, shark-black eyes and no mouth stared back at him. The smooth skin had a wet gleam; the limbs were too long for the shoulders they were attached to. The fingers ended in sharp, vicious claws and Edwin began to feel their sting as they flexed against his skin. The creature gripped effortlessly onto his ankle. Another one of them appeared from the roiling edge of the tear in reality and grabbed him with its hooked, elongated fingers. Edwin howled in pain and terror as they dragged him up into the inky blackness with the strange, out-of-sight glow.
About the Author
Fantasy and horror have always been Russell’s preferred genres. Some of his favorite stories often combine them–and the grittier the better. His eclectic tastes in this genre originated when he discovered Lovecraft’s stories of beings so vast and incomprehensible that just thinking about them will melt your brain. Later, he would discover the more sinister but equally unfathomable creations of Laird Barron and, combined, these two influences would create Russell’s desire to fashion his own story of cosmic horrors, but with a fantasy flair. Fantasy often holds many horrific aspects of its own, but Russell enjoys finding ways to take those facets and run with them.
Q&A With the Author
When did you first consider yourself to be a writer?
All the way back in elementary school when I was writing stories on notebook paper and drawing my own (not too great) illustrations. I realized early on that I loved stories and narratives, even in my video games and board games. When it came to the “what do you want to be when you grow up” questions, I was never sure what to answer, but my mind always went to “author.”
What advice do you have for a new writer?
Keep writing, no matter what! Sometimes it can feel like a job. Sometimes you don’t know what to write next or where your current story should go, but I find that just sitting down and writing will get your creativity fired up again. The good thing about writing is you can always edit out those warm-up sessions.
What is the easiest part of the writing process for you?
Coming up with my next story is usually the easiest. I always have ideas for settings and characters and just have to it down and put them on paper. As a pantser (someone who doesn’t map out their entire story beforehand), I feel I run into roadblocks a lot, but the organic nature of my writing often leads to fantastic surprises and character development that I’m very happy with in the end.
What is your favorite part of this story?
Creating the eldritch, sinister beings and creatures of the Obscured Throne. I get to toss away any preconceptions of fantasy for the most part and use the cosmic horror tropes to their fullest. I have a blast combining fantasy creatures and tropes into something I think will be truly horrifying or even disturbing.
Which Character was the most fun to write about? Why?
Probably Annica. Poor, poor Annica. This trilogy, just like the first book, will have stories from different characters in different places that reference similar events and locations building a larger perspective on the world as a whole. Some of these characters will return and you’ll know you’re going to find out some core details about what’s going on as well as building toward the ultimate fate of Alda. Annica is one of those characters…and she’s a tragic one.
Which Character was the hardest to write about? Why?
I think the Lady of the Tower, Countess Tamora, was a little difficult to write. I had to get in the frame of mind of a noble with a superiority complex slowly breaking down while trying to find out what was going on with their predicament while keeping the story short. Writing a jerk character is easy enough, but focusing on a crisis of character while keeping it short and scary was a definite challenge.
Russell Archey will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway