Hannah Heath is back! From the author who ripped our collective hearts out with Skies of Dripping Gold comes a new short story which serves as a prequel to her much-anticipated upcoming novel The Stump of the Terebinth Tree. I am unashamedly jumping up and down in fangirl anticipation and you should be too!
Her story, Colors of Fear comes out February 2nd. I know that is desperately far away. The good news is that we get to ask the author some questions. And one of the things I love about Hannah is that she plays along with any crazy question I throw at her. So, without further ado:
First things first. Have you developed any superpowers since we last saw you?
Are there any superpowers in this story? Or at least fantastical elements?
Give us one of your favorite lines from the story!
What is the general tone of this story? Should we get the tissues ready? Or will the snark send us into laughing fits? Or will there be a little bit of both?
What is unique about this story?
Introduce a character to us and tell us what they would be doing at a party.
If you wanted readers to take away one thing from this story, what would it be?
I hope readers walk away thinking about how they handle the fear in their own lives. Do they control it or does it control them? We see Wanderer acting out of fear throughout the entire story, though it comes in different forms: Anger, cowardice, shame, cynicism, panic, hatred. He is controlled by fear, but he doesn’t have to be. I want readers to think about the impact fear has on them and hopefully find a way to deal with it in a healthy, non-Wanderer-like way.
(Awesome!! I love this story already)
Is there anything strange and wonderful about the setting? If we were traveling there as tourists, please give us a packing list to ensure our survival!
Tip #1: Don’t go. Seriously. This story takes place in a very, very hot desert. We’re talking an average of 140 degrees Fahrenheit (if the natives used units of temperature, which they don’t). This works out alright for desert elves, but not for us. If you must go, bring a lot of water and stay on the western outskirts of the desert where there’s some shade. And if you bring food you’ll also need to bring weapons and fighting skills, otherwise scavenger elves will kill you to get your supplies. Like I said: Probably best that you just stay home.
(Hmm…maybe I’ll plan my vacation somewhere else.)
Lastly, in order to guarantee our reading experience is sensational, please recommend music, food, and drink to pair with your story.
The elves and the desert where this story is set was originally inspired by various Native American desert tribes, though since then it has morphed to include some middle eastern influences and large chunks of my weird imagination. With that in mind I’d recommend candied cactus fruit (yes, that’s a real thing and really good if you can find it) and iced Navajo tea (sometimes called Hopi or Indian tea…the base herb is Greenthread). As for music? That’s hard. The Hidalgo soundtrack matches the setting well, though it isn’t quite edgy enough. Your second best shot is The Dark Knight soundtrack, which captures the mood of the story, but not the setting. I suppose you could try listening to Hidalgo and The Dark Knight music at the same time. Be sure to let me know how that goes.
Thanks so much, Hannah!
Can’t get enough of Hannah Heath? Me neither. Let’s go stalk her on her: