Book Title: The Space Between: The Prophesy of Faeries
Author: Susan Rooke
Total Number of Pages: 452
Category: Adult Fiction
Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tale
Publisher: Holynok Press
Release date: September 12, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (For some violence. There is no sex or bad language)
Mellis, a courageous and resourceful young woman, is kidnapped from the human world and taken to the Space Between by a tribe of faeries called the Penitents. Because of guilt over an ancient sin committed by their angel ancestors against the Maker, the Penitents have cursed themselves with grotesque physical disfigurements. Mellis can help them reunite with the Maker and find their way back to redemption, but she would need to give up the life she’s always known to remain in the Space Between.
As she struggles with this heart-wrenching decision, one of the Penitents, bent on revenge, commits a gruesome attack against the tribe, and they learn he has taken Satan–the Maker’s greatest enemy–as his ally. All in the Space Between are facing grave danger. Will a long-awaited act of vengeance save them?
Susan Rooke builds a rich and fantastical world of angels and demons, monsters, faeries and dragons. Abounding with spirituality and humanity, this faery tale for adults has a cast of vivid characters you won’t soon forget.
Susan Rooke: My writing career has been a series of fits and starts. At about age 7, I wrote a haunted house story, which I’m sure was quite terrible. In the following years, I dabbled mostly in poetry, but I didn’t get more serious about either poetry or fiction until my early 20s, gaining a bit of recognition for both. Then when I married my husband Glen, I put writing mostly aside for a time, not fully returning to it until around 2004.
Poesy In Chrysalis: We writers always start off with something terrible but then with time, our ideas grow as we mature. The first story which I wrote was that of an ant and an elephant 😛 and now when I look at my diary, I think to myself, “I really was a kiddo back then!” Okay, so moving on to the next question. When did “The Space Between” happen? How did the story strike you? Were you always plotting it, putting pieces together in your head or did it happen suddenly, like “whoa girl, I need to write that down!”?
Susan Rooke: It was a bit of both! I’d mapped out a schedule for writing a novel to force myself to carry through. I was closing in on my start date, with no idea for a plot, when I had the thought, “A young woman is taken by faeries.” A few days later I was on the treadmill, reading a book describing all the physical abnormalities scientists have documented in human beings, when it hit me that my faery tribe, the Penitents, have challenged themselves in just such ways. So the story began with a “whoa girl!” and the other pieces came together over the next couple of years.
Poesy In Chrysalis: Ahaan! That’s quite interesting!! Ideas can strike you anytime, anywhere! So, watch out fellas! You can’t be always writing, what do you do when you are not writing?
Susan Rooke: To some degree I’m always writing, because even when I’m not actually doing it I’m thinking about it. (I blog fortnightly, too, so that factors into it.) But I also enjoy reading, playing a cutthroat game of Cards Against Humanity with family and friends, baking bread, birdwatching and fishing. And though I don’t especially enjoy it, I spend quite a bit of time driving. We moved to the country a couple of years ago and almost everything we need, from banks to grocery stores to pet care, is an hour away in the city.
Poesy In Chrysalis: Birdwatching is fun. I am not really good with cards, I really need to up my game! So, is there anything you think you missed out while drafting your final script? Perhaps, you had it shaped in your head a certain way, but, when you looked at the final draft, it was something else altogether! Did something like this happen?
Susan Rooke: In regard to my characters, definitely. They surprised me frequently, doing and saying things I didn’t expect. Especially Lugo, whom I came by the end to adore. They became such flesh and blood people that before I was halfway through, I knew one book wouldn’t be enough to finish telling their story!
Poesy In Chrysalis: Yay! Looks like we are getting a sequel! If you had to choose an alternative ending for your book “The Space Between”, how would you have ended it?
Susan Rooke: What an interesting question! I ended the book at what seemed like a natural place. There’s more to come, but this part of the story had concluded. However, if I’d wanted a major cliffhanger at the end I think I would have ended it with my heroine Mellis still trapped in the grim corridors and cell-like rooms of Satan’s mind.
Poesy In Chrysalis: That sure would have left the readers on the edge! Cliffhangers are torturous and a weapon for the authors. Good thing that you had mercy on us!! Publishing isn’t an easy task and we are all aware of that. Did you face any challenges while publishing your first book which you would like to share with us? Anything which you would keep in mind while you publish you next book?
Susan Rooke: I wasted far too much time querying agents, and after that, small publishers (a couple of whom commented favourably on the book, but it wasn’t the sort they published). There was such a stigma about self-publishing when I first began seeking publication that I didn’t see it as an option. I decided to keep working on the book, and during that time self-publishing became a huge industry and a very viable choice for authors like me. I’m happy I ended up doing that, and for the next book I won’t waste a second deciding which path I’ll take.
Poesy In Chrysalis: I had second thoughts for self-publishing because there’s people who talk against it mostly rather than supporting it. Thank you for shedding a light on this, will keep in mind. And here comes the next question, what would be your favourite place where you can’t stop your creative juices from flowing?!
Susan Rooke: I think I’m living in it! Yes, it’s true I drive a lot, which can be tiresome, but living in the country is a balm to my soul. It’s not for everyone. Years ago it probably wouldn’t have suited me, either. But the trees, the ponds, the birdlife, the cows (my husband runs a small cattle operation) . . . Seeing all that out my windows every day frees my mind and allows it room to roam.
Poesy In Chrysalis: I can visualise that. *Sigh* it feels so good. Country sides are so serene and peaceful. We all consider a genre as not our cup of tea. Is there any particular genre which you consider as difficult and think of approaching that genre someday?
Susan Rooke: Science fiction would be very hard for me to write. I’m okay with all the speculative elements except the “science” part. I’d be so afraid to get it wrong, and then get called out by science-minded readers. It might be fun to try an SF story using only biology as the science, though, leaving out anything the least bit nerve-racking, like mathematics, physics and bio-engineering!
Poesy In Chrysalis: Oh boy, mathematics and physics used to give me exam fevers! Not always; I used to achieve top grades in those two subjects in my early days of schooling but then things changed gradually and I somehow ended up fearing their names! I steered clear out of their way and thankfully they didn’t follow me! Enough talk about me. So, are you currently working on anything? Any new releases we are about to hear soon?
Susan Rooke: The second book in the Space Between series is well underway; I hope to have it out before the end of 2018. The working title is The Realm Below: The Rise of Tanipestis, and I’m about 100,00 words in. It resumes the story not long after the end of The Space Between. The Titan Tanipestis takes advantage of the power vacuum left by Satan’s absence from the Realm Below, so Satan decides to busy himself elsewhere!
Poesy In Chrysalis: Sadly, we have reached our last and final question. What would be your advice to our aspiring authors?
Susan Rooke: Don’t do what I did. If I couldn’t make time to write on any particular day, I’d think, “That’s okay, there’s always tomorrow.” Too often the result is that you wake up one day and realize you’ve frittered away years. Don’t procrastinate like I did. If you’re a writer, write.
REVIEW BY SOHINEE DEY
People who have been following my blog would know that I am not really a fan of adult fantasy. But, I had this urge to go for this book. Don’t know why, maybe it was the word “faeries”. Yeah, I am somewhat fascinated by them.
Reading this book was a challenge for me as fantasy is not my genre. But before you go ahead and put a cross mark against it, let me tell you that this book is really good. The story structured within the pages is somewhat fascinating and the way the author has structured the scenes; the descriptions were so vivid that I could actually visualise them. Hey, you in for a talking cat?!
Mellis’s struggle was real. Being kidnapped from the human world and then left with the faerie tribe, well that isn’t easy. Not when you find a reason to stay there and suddenly you are burdened with responsibilities that can help the tribe reunite with their Maker. Mellis has to face numerous hurdles and some which leaves her at the face of danger. It’s for you to find whether or not she makes it. I am not going to disclose much of the story because it’s really difficult to sum up the whole story in a review. The plot has many sub-plots stitched to it which helped to progress the story further.
Okay, so there were minor grammatical and punctuation errors here and there but the flow of the words was really good. What I didn’t like was the clumsy ending…not exactly the ending but what conspired a few pages before the ending.
If you are a fantasy lover or you want to challenge yourself by trying out the genre, then for starters you can definitely give this a read before you move on to some more complicated stories with demons, angels, flying saucers, talking closets and what not.
The story doesn’t end here. It has got a sequel which will be releasing soon. Keep your eyes on the release date 😉.
Susan Rooke is a Pushcart-nominated poet and author of the forthcoming The Space Between Series. Her short stories and poems have appeared in publications such as The Christian Science Monitor and The Twilight Zone Magazine, among many others. She resides on a square of green, peaceful country not far from Austin, Texas, with her husband Glen, who runs a small cattle operation while Rooke writes fiction about angels and demons, monsters, faeries and dragons. Look for her fantasy novel, The Space Between: The Prophecy of Faeries on Amazon.
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