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Monday, July 28, 2014

Reflections on the future of the Awakeners

Spoiler alert!

I am immensely happy to hear that  my writing was associated with the Game of Thrones phenomenon, though. It gives me hope that the target audience will, too.

You asked about Valaya being inspired by Valyria. Contrary to the obvious similarity to Valyria, it is actually a reference to Valahia. In the Middle Ages, the domains that now form the core of Romania, were called the Principality of Valahia. Transylvania, now part of #Romania, was an autonomy within the Hungarian Kingdom back then. Valahia is pronounced [vah-‘lah-khee-ya], but if the “h” were mute, it would be pronounced like… correct! Valaya.

By the way, I intend to create a domain of vampires within the realm of Transarcane – it will be called Zebenbergen or a variation of this word. It is a reference to #Transylvania – it had several names in the Middle Ages, including Siebenb├╝rgen, which is German for The Seven Cities.

No, seriously, can we omit #vampires? And lose such a precious keyword? What urban fantasy/paranormal romance would do without vampires today? We can badmouth Twilight all we like, but Twilight was a historical threshold for UF/PR, just like Harry Potter was for magus fantasy. Only I do not intend to make my vampires glamorous stock-character hotties (like Edwardella or Beldward – this is my response to those who created Robsten). I’m open to suggestions here...

Thanks for calling my twin-identity idea “fantastic”. This is extravagant praise from someone with your expertise in literature. Actually, I went a bit further: every single Transarcaner has dual nature – #Faerie self and human self. Also, their caste system is built on their Faerie distinctions:

- Dragons are royalty and lords; they are mostly cheerful folk who like their pleasures and don’t meddle too much in politics; kings are as democratic as is humanly/dragonly possible in the situation, except the Seadune Qalifate, which is a caricature of the Muslim world.

- Elves are Artists – and mostly the bad guys in the Awakeners series, because they are the only ones who suffer of severe racial superiority and imperialistic complexes, hate the current ruling caste, discriminate the other castes, and want to gain domination by treason, deception, and other unsavory methods. My Elves are some sort of “white sahibs” of the pre-1947 era, only sans the power et avec pointy ears;

- Pixies are lawyers (figures, right?);
- Leprechauns are traders and merchants;
- Greenmen are healers and medicine workers (tongue-in-cheek, naturally – I wonder how I don’t have a dent in my mouth yet);

- Brownies are servants – I hope no one will seek innuendos in the name of a legit faerie creature and its derivation from a color. Indeed, #tolerance is a serious and important subject, but linguistics much? Let’s all call black-and-white TV African-American-Non-Hispanic-Caucasian TV and resurrect Michael Jackson to rewrite the song! I only wonder how this monstrous but perfectly politically correct construction will fit into the upbeat rhythm of the immortal hit, BlackorWhite...

Incidentally, Brownies [Russian: do-mo-vy-ye] come from Celtic folklore and evidently serve as inspiration for Dobby - they were supposed to be given clothes in order to leave a house.

Trolls are caretakers; they are very docile and positively cute if not beautiful – after Edwardella being called beautiful on every page, the word if not the concept kinda makes me cringe.

Etc. Again, the above list is for Transarcane.

The rigid caste system is the explanation why they are frozen in the Middle Ages for millennia and millennia – after all, creatures who live long lives and are not stupid or exceedingly malign could have figured their way to iPad and spaceship era. But when the caste system is strong, #social #evolution is hardly possible, especially when they can’t intermarry on the most primal level - no children. Dragons and Trolls are not genetically compatible and cannot procreate, not even in fantasy, right? Well, I’m talking about well-researched writing, not a pile of words that seem just right right now (repetition intended).

In The #Awakeners series, the only way out from the caste is either priesthood (the Redmen caste) or the military (the Blackmen caste). This is in tribute to Stendhal’s "Le Rouge et le Noir" where Julien Sorel, young parvenu et gigolo, has only these two ways to choose from in his strive for greatness. He ends up on the guillotine, by, the way, which is dire warning to all unscrupulous social climbers of all ages and lands 

Ah, I forgot the Wizards caste that subdivides into 4 categories. More details will follow – I’m approaching “too much info alert” limit.

Finally, I gotta do this: 2014, Anastasia Stratu, boilerplate, blah-blah, copyright, yadda-yadda, all rights reserved, nah-nah. What else do I have to say to make you understand that if you want to reprint this in #official #media, you gotta ask me first. If you read it down to this point, of course.

Otherwise, you can Like, Share, Repost, Retweet, Pin, and otherwise make love to this article in every possible way you can imagine. Of course, I meant the F-word. After all, we're all adults here, even the late teens who read PN/YA to learn making-out techniques and watch Game of Thrones because everybody does, even suckling babes  Seriously, the only way you've never seen GoT is that you're Martian. Because Tibet villages and tree monasteries in the Amazon forest all have WiFi now.

Sincerely yours etc.