Feel free to share a little about yourself in your own words.
Hi, I’m Jackie Castle. I write fantasy and romance stories. I’ve worked as a hairstylist, pre-school teacher, elementary teacher’s aide and a seller in a bookstore. I love variety and challenges which is why I love writing so much.
How did you get into writing?
I’ve wanted to be an author since I wrote my first story in the 6th grade and my teacher read it in front of the whole class. During my early 20s, I started writing again, but then stopped once I had kids. Now that they are grown, I’m back at it and now write full time.
What can you tell us about your daily routines that help you focus and your creative habits? So, for example, how do you come up with some of your ideas and inspiration for your book?
The ideas just come and when they do, I jot down notes until my mind settles back down. If I don’t have time to write them at that time, I file them away.
The way I stay focused is by keeping routines. I write in the mornings with a goal of at least 2000 words. My first priority is to create something new. After lunch, I edit something finished. And in the late afternoons, I work on marketing and business. I do this M-F every week.
Is this book very personal for you? If so, how?
I’m not sure about it being very personal. Some of my experiences flow into my work, but the stories stand on their own.
How did you come up with the book title?
It started off “The Journey” but that didn’t quite fit. The story is about Alyra’s journey from the dark lands, (where she knows nothing about who she is, including her real name), and her adventures on the white path that eventually leads her home, and to the truth of who she is. Thus, I came up with Illuminated because she was in darkness until one even that shed light on the lies that were controlling her and keeping her captive.
Plot and Synopsis
Can you describe the plot and give a detailed synopsis of the book, of course without any spoilers.
Illuminated: Book One- begins with a girl in search of the truth.
Alyra, mockingly known as Princess, was captured at an early age by the evil ruler, Darnel, and brought up in the dark land of Racah. Now, at the age of seventeen, she considers herself nothing special. She has no recollection of who she is or where she came from. Her hope of ever finding freedom dims.
Until the messenger arrives. Until he brings to light the meaning behind the medallion she’s kept hidden. Until she accepts the blinding truth.
Now she flees for her life.
Alyra’s journey leads her down a narrow road with strange traveling companions. Together, they encounter a kingdom where nothing is what it first seems.
Is there any movie, book, or television series that you can somewhat liken your story to? So for example, some books you can say are like Game of Thrones or Star Wars, what mainstream and popular movie do you think your book somewhat “feels” like? Did you want this to be the case?
The White Road Chronicles series is a The Wizard of Oz meets Narnia type of story.
No, I didn’t intend this when I first started, but I love these stories, so I guess my love for them just came out in my own story.
Themes or Messages
What themes and deeper meanings or messages can we expect to find in this book if any? Is there any deep meanings or philosophical questions being explored in the book?
I suppose the overall message is about finding your life path and staying on it because that’s where you’ll find true happiness, provision, and safety.
Off the wall question, but would some of the issues being explored in the book relate to us here in the real world?
Maybe that things aren’t always what they seem and we shouldn’t be quick to judge people and circumstances.
What can you tell us about the setting that we will be seeing in this book?
It’s an alternate world in an alternate time. I suppose it has a medieval feel to it, but it’s not specifically set in medieval times.
What cultures or societies can we expect to see and can you tell us about how you came up with creating these societies? Was it difficult to get deep into how the societies function?
There are creatures, fae, human, immortal beings and other things. Some people will recognize like dragons and centaurs and others they won’t like Okbolds and Logorians.
Tell us about the history of the land or world or worlds that we will be exploring through out the book?
There’s a long, rich history about Alburnium. Which is what I’m tackling in the new series I’m about to publish. The Alburnium Chronicles takes place in the same land as the White Road stories, but during an earlier time. I’ll be able to explore some of what caused the division in the land and the antagonist’s rise to power.
What can you tell us about some of the main characters and villains in this book?
Illuminated is told only in Alyra’s point of view and shows the journey she takes to find her home, and the friends she makes along the way. The next books go into the viewpoints of all five friends, and a few extra in later books. But the five main characters (who each have their own thread weaving through the main story) are first, Jerin of Yarholm who wants to be a warrior. Next, we’ll meet Lotari the reclusive centaur who ends up traveling with Alyra. He and Jerin do not get along at all. These three end up meeting Katrina who has a mysterious heritage and we add one more centaur, a mischievous fellow named Stitch who is a big favorite with my readers.
That is the basic group, but a few more join the gang as the overall story progresses.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/JackieCastleAuthor
Misc Items: (If applicable)
How to buy
(I may insert an amazon link here but feel free to add any other means of how to purchase or download the book. )