Today on The Tattooed Book Geek I am pleased to be part of the blog tour for Second Skin (Bridge of Fire #1) by Sue Bentley with a fantastic guest post courtesy of the author herself.
My thanks to Anne Cater for the tour invite, Sue Bentley and Endeavour Venture.
Second Skin (Bridge of Fire #1).
- Format: Kindle Edition
- Publisher: Endeavour Venture (18 July 2019)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07SLLJMW4
- Amazon UK
The moon was being devoured.
Estranged from birth and raised on tales of the great mountain castle of Idrith-Core, where her distant father serves as Lord Commander and confidante of the King, Aledra Jewel-Wing was now going there to court.
As one of the Drakkoni, a race of powerful shape-shifters and conquerors of a wild land, she joins her stepmother at the festival for all peoples. But when in attempting to save a life, Aledra shifts into her Drakkoni Secondskin – her beautiful second soul: a giant flighted lizard with flaming breath – she breaks an ancient oath, and the tremulous peace between the Drakkoni and Esrans is shattered.
Branded a fugitive, hunted by her father, and aided in escape by the master-mancer who raised her, Aledra begins a journey for survival across a war-torn continent.
When at work on a novel I have to live it, to bring it to life. By this I mean it’s constantly on my mind. I like to feel I’m walking alongside my characters. They accompany me throughout the day and sometimes haunt my dreams. If I’m not thinking about them I’m researching for backgrounds and other details, jotting down notes at odd moments, or sitting quietly and letting ideas rise from my subconscious. I find writing a meditative process. When a book’s going well, the words flow and sometimes after a break for the book, I don’t recognise what I’ve written.
In ‘Second-Skin’ my main character, Aledra – or to give her full title – Young-Lady Aledra Jewel-Wing is Drakkoni, a shape-changer. The Drakkoni are fierce conquerors of a wild and beautiful continent, named Esra, and hated and feared by the indigenous tribal people.
Aledra, and all Drakkoni, have two personas. Their human-like physical body and their soul-double, which morphs into a fearsome and glorious being. The creation of the Drakkoni happened by degrees. As the story-line expanded and the characters began talking to me I gradually discovered more about them. They are proud, complex and at first seemed all powerful. How could anyone stand against them? They had to have a flaw. So another plot strand was developed. Something is gradually wearing away at them. It’s secret that must be kept.
Another main character is Jubal Craw a young warrior of the Yupek people, who has seen many of his people slaughtered by the Drakkoni. Building this character was also fascinating. I felt his presence especially when out walking in nature. Aledra and Jubal are opposites in every way. The dynamics between them are at the centre of ‘Second Skin’ – each of them serving to represent the world view of their respective races. I love them both to bits.
‘Second-Skin’ is told through different viewpoints, which is something I enjoy. All of my novels for YA/Adults have this format. I find that getting under the skin of a character drives a plot forward. Introducing a new character often helps me to get over a sticking point in any novel. Much as I’d like to think I’ve learned enough after writing so many novels for YA/Adults and children (around 80 so far) that sticking points come less often, it isn’t so. Each novel-in-progress throws up new challenges and demands more of me. But writing is what I do, and who I am. I couldn’t stop if I wanted to.
It’s true to say ‘Second-skin’ feels like my own soul-double. It has lived within me for around two years and the creature it became has now morphed fully-formed into life. Make of it what you will…
Many Thanks to The Tattooed Book Geek @SarcasticEnigma for being part of my ‘Second Skin’ blog tour. I enjoyed writing this original guest post.
About Sue Bentley.
Sue lives in a house surrounded by a wildlife hedge so she can pretend she lives in the countryside. She enjoys reading, walking, cinema, researching her books, and painting and printmaking, when she’s not writing – which isn’t very often!
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