I first met Tee through a mutual friend who recommended one of her books to read. It was Dead Radiance, and I loved it, couldn’t get enough of it. So I read the second one. I contacted Tee to let her know how much I enjoyed the story. When she was looking for Advance readers for her new story, I volunteered, because this NZ writer is writing new, fresh stories. No vampires, no were wolves, no Zombies.
Tee graciously agreed to do an interview with me, and I have delayed putting it up until now, as part of NZ Book Month.
So here it is – an interview with T G Ayer:
I have read and loved the two current books available in the Valkyrie series, Dead Radiance and Dead Embers. How did you come up with the idea for such a unique storyline?
Well, I was watching NatGeo doco of a discovery of a tomb. They were interviewing DNA specialists and I laughed to myself saying DNA Specialists, as if they would actually try to clone the mummy itself. As you know that’s sort of where the Prologue of Dead Radiance burst to life.
Valkyries were the winged creature of choice because I wanted to write something with an angelic lien but not the average overdone fallen angel story.
In fact, I’d fully intended on writing supernatural horror but with teen daughters who thought I was crazy to suggest writing something they wouldn’t read, I was stuck with YA. And I’ve had so much fun I’ve never looked back…
What research did you do to find out more about Valhalla and the Norse Gods?
Oodles of research. I used everything, textbooks, art websites, history buff websites, even Wikipedia. I trolled the net, reading tonnes. But the one thing I never did was read another book that uses Norse mythology as a strong story arc. I refused to allow myself to read them in case I unconsciously borrowed from them.
Bryn is a strong female character, even though she has had some setbacks in life. How did you develop her character?
I have to confess with Bryn, she told me who she was as I wrote. I never consciously developed her character to be a particular way until I began editing. And by that time I was dealing with a developed character that just needed polishing. The only thing I can say is that I wanted to write about a strong female character, not some wilting, damsel in distress whose love interest was meant to save her and define her life.
When I am writing, often a character will manifest themselves in my head and tell me what to write, or what they don’t want written – do you have a similar experience with your characters?
Yup pretty much how it happens for me. A little bit of planning and mostly channeling the characters gets me through the story.
Out of the gods and goddesses, which one is your favourite to write about?
Loki. Loki is mercurial, the trickster. He follows his heart and instinct first. Some readers don’t like that I’ve portrayed him almost as a bad guy. But he’s not really a bad guy at all. To me he’s sometimes more real, and more human than the other gods are.
Aiden went from being a good guy to a bad guy to a good guy. Why did you chose to write him this way?
Aidan really wrote himself the part. I was just the poor scribe writing stuff down as fast as she could while she wiped her own tears away or gasped at every shocking turned.
Ok, seriously, Aidan is your regular hot dude. Always nice to have one of those, and Bryn’s alone, she wants love, and she finds it in Aidan. Sort of. Their romance goes up an down in the story, they don’t have much of an opportunity to date, everything is always topsy turvy in their lives, Aidan blows hot and cold and so do Bryn’s feelings for Aidan. Is she really in love with him, or was it just attraction and the idea of being In love? Who knows? How much do we really know when it’s first love, right? Will Aidan redeem himself? Will Bryn realise how she truly feels? You will have to read Dead Chaos to find out..
The ending of the second book was quite shocking, what made you decide to take the course of action you did with Bryn?
Oh, now I had little control over that ending. I wrote it and skyped a friend and said ‘I just wrote the end of Dead Embers and I cried’ so sorry, no idea how that happened…
Is this a trilogy or do you have more books planned in the Valkyrie series?
The Valkyrie series has never been a trilogy. It’s always just been a series in my head only because I have no idea how long it will be. At the moment it’s three, maybe four books and who knows it may be more than that in the end. Just depends on the characters and the story I guess.
To purchase Dead Radiance or Dead Embers click on the images above, and they will take you to Amazon.