Philippa Ballantine’s story, Weather Child, started out as a podcast novel, but a digital version will be available through Smashwords on March 1, 2014. To help spread the word about the new version, she’s doing a virtual book tour with Bewitching Book Tours. At the end of the tour, she’s giving away 3 copies of the book (print or digital, winner’s choice). Welcome, Pip!
Faith and Ruth
Finding inspiration for characters is sometimes hard for writers, especially in the fantasy field. For Weather Child, set in New Zealand of the 1920s and 1930s it was actually very easy for me to do. I only had to look back into my past, and my family’s stories to find a spark that ignited the novel, Weather Child.
Faith is an expression of love for my great-Aunt Ruth. When my grandmother died I was about seven years old, and I knew even then that the large Ballantine family might well have spun apart. My Dad had seven brothers and a sister, and all of them were starting to build their own families. Family gatherings were a way for all those siblings to stay in touch in the time before Facebook. Into this gap however stepped my grandmother’s sister, Ruth Cromb. She had never married, but had spent her life helping others. She was a vibrant, cheerful character, who had friends of all ages wherever she spent time.
I know that the usual sort of female character that appears in most fantasy books is the arse kicking heroine, but this time I wanted to write a character that was strong, but not in that sort of way. I wanted to show the kindness and care that Aunt Ruth had, and show how that is a kind of strength too. Her belief in family, and her gentle determination to protect those she loved was her power.
However, I imagined what she would do if she had the powers of a Weather Witch like Faith has, and I knew immediately that she would use it for the betterment of those around her. So Faith become a government agent working to prevent those who might use seraph power to evil intent.
Aunt Ruth had a beautiful younger sister, so Faith got one too. While lovely in her own right, Faith grows up knowing most of the male attention around her is directed at Jean. While some people might be twisted by that, Faith still loves Jean, and the bond between the sisters is a strong one.
Faith’s magic is something that she earned when she had a horrible farm accident as a child. The seraph within her awakens and now she has power she is afraid to use. The accident depicted in the novel is the exact same one that Ruth endured. I still remember her telling it to me as a young child, and I was fascinated by her missing finger. To me it made her special and yes…magical.
Ruth passed away many years ago, and I still miss her strength and kindness. Yet when I was writing Faith, I found myself smiling as I was able to put that onto the page. I gave Ruth new powers, and a different story, but her soul remains intact in my words.
I hope as people read about her, they get just a little hint of what this special woman was to me and those who knew her.
More about Weather Child
Never alone. Never apart.
They are the Awakened, a unique breed of people in a remote corner of the world. Faith is one of these gifted carriers of the Seraphim; and in return of her unconditional love, her Seraphim grants her powers of incredible potential.
But not all carriers embrace their blessing.
Jack loathes being an Awakened. He never asked for it, his Seraphim keeping him alive even in spite of his desire to die. Not even a great war could rid him of this curse.
Now a magician of incredible ability and a walking dead man must find a way to work together to save the Seraphim. Someone covets the power of the Awakened, and will not stop until that power belongs to him.
More about Philippa Ballantine
New Zealand born fantasy writer and podcaster Philippa (Pip) Ballantine is the author of the Books of the Order and the Shifted World series. She is also the co-author with her husband Tee Morris of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novels. Her awards include an Airship, a Parsec, the Steampunk Chronicle Reader’s Choice, and a Sir Julius Vogel. She currently resides in Manassas, Virginia with her husband, daughter, and a furry clowder of cats.
Pip can be found online here:
To enter to win one of the giveaway copies of Weather Child, click here. Thanks for guest blogging today, Pip!