Monday, August 27, 2012

Interview with a Mind-Scribe

Please welcome our guest today, Anne Brooke, who comes to us through Goddess Fish Promotions. Anne Brooke’s fiction has been shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Novel Award, the Royal Literary Fund Awards and the Asham Award for Women Writers. She has also twice been the winner of the national DSJT Charitable Trust Open Poetry Competition.

She is the author of six published novels, including her fantasy series, The Gathandrian Trilogy, published by Bluewood Publishing and featuring scribe and mind-reader Simon Hartstongue. More information on the trilogy is available at: and the first of these novels is The Gifting. In addition, her short stories are regularly published by Riptide Publishing, Amber Allure Press and Untreed Reads.

Anne has a secret passion for theatre and chocolate, preferably at the same time, and is currently working on a fantasy novella, The Taming of the Hawk. More information can be found at and she regularly blogs at:

The Gifting Blurb:

The mind-dwellers of Gathandria are under deadly siege. For two year-cycles they have suffered: their people decimated, their beautiful city in ruins. Their once peaceful life has descended into chaos and misery. Legends tell of the Lost One who will return at such a time to save them from their mortal enemy – the mind-executioner. This enemy knows their ways well, for he was once an elder of the city. Time is running out.

Johan and Isabella take up the quest, journeying to the Lammas Lands searching for their distant cousin and lowly scribe, Simon Hartstongue. The elders dare to hope that he is whom they seek. Not everyone shares this hope; there is one amongst them who is bound to the enemy, shielding their secret thoughts from mind links while seeking to betray Simon.

Powerful lessons are learned as they travel through the mystical kingdoms of the Mountains, the Air, the Desert and the Waters. Deadly attacks threaten total annihilation and devastating sorrow strikes. Story-telling weaves a tenuous net of protection around them, but the enemy has absolute power with the stolen mind-cane in his possession. To his surprise Simon hears its song. Desperately he tries to understand and embrace his gifting, as he struggles to comprehend his inheritance.

A strong and pure mind is needed in the battle to defeat the enemy. If you are branded a coward, a murderer and an outcast, how can you be a saviour? Doubt creeps into the Gathandrians' minds. Is Simon truly the One?

You can read an excerpt and purchase The Gifting in eBook and in paperback.

Interview with a Mind-Scribe by Anne Brooke
Anne: Today I’m interviewing one of the main characters in my fantasy novel, The Gifting, which is the first book in my Gathandrian Trilogy. Simon Hartstongue is an itinerant scribe, originally from the White Lands. He has the ability to read minds but keeps this talent as secret as possible because of the laws of the Lammas Lands, where he is currently serving as scribe and companion to the Overlord, Ralph Tregannon. Simon, thank you for coming, and please tell us more about your mind-reading skills.
Simon: [Leans forward, frowning] It’s hard for me to talk about. The ability to know people’s thoughts, their deepest fears and loves, isn’t something I’m proud of. It’s not something I’ve ever sought out. On the whole, it brings nothing but pain.
Anne: Surely that can’t be true? I’d have thought there’d be a lot of advantages in having such a close connection with people. It would certainly give you early warning of danger, which can only be a good thing, especially in these tense times in the Lammas Lands. And having a closer relationship and really understanding people you love would, I imagine be a wonderful gift.
Simon: Yes, it should be, but that’s not my experience, I’m afraid. I don’t know anyone else who has the same kind of abilities, not since …not since I was young. I don’t think I’m supposed to be like this and, in the end, it only drives everyone away.
Anne: Everyone?...
Simon: [Speaking softly] No, not everyone. Some people in the Lammas Lands find it useful.
Anne: Yes, that’s true. Your answer brings me nicely to the subject of Ralph Tregannon, the Lammas Overlord. He’s been the instigator of a lot of changes in Lammas recently, which have caused a great deal of pain and difficulty across the region. Your name’s also been closely linked with the mock-trials and death-sentences of many villagers who have no previous record of dissent or crime. Can you tell me anything about this?
Simon: Ralph isn’t a murderer. He’s many things, but he’s not that. If he says there is a spirit of rebellion and fear in his country, and we have to fight to save the Lammas people, then I believe him. He’s no liar.
Anne: Even though his actions have caused the death of so many Lammassers you say he wants to save? How can you justify that, Simon the Scribe, and how can you justify your own involvement in this massacre?
Simon: [Runs hands through hair and looks away briefly. There’s a pause before his answer] I can’t, by the gods and stars. Not if you ask me for the truth. I never wanted anyone to die, but for me to refuse Lord Tregannon would be like a drop of river water refusing to flow with the current. Impossible to imagine. But I swear to you I wish these deaths had never begun.
Anne: But you can leave the region, and help end these murders. You have run all your life. What’s so different now?
Simon: [Smiles but it doesn’t reach his eyes] You’re saying that as well as being a murderer, I’m also a coward? You’re right, I know it. Only a fool would say otherwise. Escape hasn’t been far from my thoughts, but the Lammas Lands have given me the first taste of a home and another man’s trust that I have ever known, and leaving it – even under these circumstances – is beyond me. I have to see the story through. Still, something in my mind tells me the life I know is about to change, but I don’t know in what way that could be.
Anne: And if it does change, what will you do then?
Simon: My past is against me, but I hope I’ll learn to be brave …
Anne: I hope so too. Thank you for talking to me today, Simon.
To discover if Simon finds his hidden supply of courage, and to enter the competition to win a Kindle (see below), pick up a copy of The Gifting today!
Giveaway competition details:
The giveaway competition: the prize is ONE Kindle ereader worth £89 ($89 US) if these three questions about The Gifting are answered correctly:
1. In the beginning of Chapter Four, what sound is Simon first aware of when he wakes up?
2. At the start of the Third Gathandrian Interlude, who knocks Annyeke down in his desperation to reach her?
3. What happens to Simon at the end of Chapter Six?
Answers should be sent to albrookeATmeDOTcom (and NOT left on the post), and winners will be notified as soon as possible after the tour ends.
There is also a Runner-Up Prize of THREE eBooks from my backlist (not including The Gifting) to one lucky commenter from the whole blog tour. Good luck!
Please follow Anne's tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

Contact Information for Anne Brooke: