Thursday, November 19, 2020

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: The Chimera's Apprentice by Roslyn Muir @rosmuir @RABTBookTours

Book One of a trilogy

(Upper) Middle Grade fantasy adventure

 Date Published: October 15, 2020

Publisher: Rainscape Media Inc.

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 Walking talking rats aren’t real, right? After Kyra, 13, is transported from Earth to another world, Antiica, she’s thrust into her father’s war with the rat people, the Raturro, and must save her kidnapped mother. Kyra sets out on a dangerous journey to rescue her and is aided by Coyne, a teen who deserted the army and Mercy, a teen rat girl who was once Kyra’s childhood friend. But it’s Kyra’s new bond with the Chimera, a magical creature that travels through stone, which changes her life completely. The Chimera’s Apprentice is the story of a girl and her monster—and a desperate search for her family.

Interview with Roslyn Muir

    For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start?

    There are several themes in The Chimera’s Apprentice, but a big part of the story is the mythical chimera. The chimera is a creature that was created over two thousand years ago in ancient Greece where monsters abounded and people believed in them. A local library should have additional stories about Greek myths and the creatures that inspired them.

    How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

    I was originally interested in writing a story about a courageous girl on an adventure to save her family. One day, I was at a yard sale and picked up a book on Greek myths. I paid a quarter for it and as I flipped through it, I got the idea to include one of the many fascinating creatures inside. I landed on the chimera. I loved the idea of a creature with three heads and immediately got the idea to have them speak as one—their thoughts would only be heard by my main character, Kyra. The chimera became a familiar, a friend, but Kyra also struggles to control it. The addition of the chimera opened up the entire world—the book was now in the fantasy realm!

    What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

    My goal was to create an entertaining story for girls in the middle grades. I wanted to normalize heroic female characters and have the reader relate to the family and friendship issues in the story. Kyra faces a big dilemma when she finds out her family has kept her in the dark about who she is and where she is from. As Kyra travels on her adventure, she has to use all her problem solving skills and figure out right from wrong. I hope that I’ve created a story that intrigues and entertains.

    Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

    I hope you enjoy reading The Chimera’s Apprentice as much as I enjoyed writing it.

    What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

    I enjoyed pretending that I was a kid again. As a writer you really need to embody your characters and learn to speak in their voice. It’s part acting, part writing, and I get to leave real life behind for a while and live in a fantasy world!

    Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future?

    I’m primarily a screenwriter, so I’m juggling TV and movie projects while trying to complete book two of The Chimera’s Apprentice. The plan is to have the book released in Spring 2021 and then start on book three. I’m also planning a prequel series about Kyra’s parents, Jaag and Aerikka, and their adventures when they were teenagers. I guess I’m sticking to this novel writing thing!

    How long have you been writing?

    I’ve always had stories in my head, but my younger self never realized she was a writer. It took years for me to actually move to writing as a career. I did a theatre degree in university and took playwriting. Then I became a high school drama teacher and often wrote scenes for the students to perform. After a while I migrated into writing screenplays and managed to have several of my movies produced (in Canada), and wrote on a TV series. Writing novels is a new thing. I had at first conceived of The Chimera’s Apprentice as a movie, but thought I’d get it down in prose first. It became a bit of a challenge for me to see if I could actually write a book—it’s all encompassing and way harder than it looks. But once you’re bitten by the writing bug, you can’t not write.

    Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in The Chimera’s Apprentice.

    Kyra is the main character and tells the story from her point of view. The strange new adventure begins on her thirteenth birthday when her mother gives her an odd stone bracelet, and she’s introduced to a mythical creature, the chimera. Kyra is floored when the bracelet automatically bonds her to the chimera and must deal with this new voice in her head. As she sets out on a perilous journey to find her mother, she meets Coyne, a farm boy who’s deserted from the army, and Mercy, a walking-talking rat girl. The trio must come together as friends, and use all their courage and strengths in order to break into the rebel rat’s stronghold.

    If you could spend the day with one of the characters from The Chimera’s Apprentice, who would it be? Please tell us why you chose this particular character, where you would go and what you would do.

    I really love the rat characters in my book. Mercy is my favourite, but I think I would pick Cheam to spend the day with. Cheam is introduced towards the end of the story. He’s an old rat who works in the garden at Thane’s Reach—a huge castle that is Kyra’s ancestral home and the rebel rat stronghold. I would have Cheam take me on a tour of the Reach. He knows the Reach inside and out and has an insider’s knowledge of the history of the place. Cheam’s funny, charismatic, and a bit hard of hearing. He’s always up for an adventure and is a bit of a trickster. It would be an entertaining day with Cheam, as long as he doesn’t miss naptime. 

About the Author

Roslyn Muir is new to middle grade fiction fantasy but feels she comes by it honestly—“I still feel like a ten year old making up elaborate adventure stories in my head.” Born in Scotland and now living in Vancouver, Canada, she often uses the similar landscapes of both countries in her stories. Roslyn has another life as an award winning screenwriter who writes YA stories, family drama and thrillers. She was a writer on the Global/CBS one-hour drama, Ransom, created by Frank Spotnitz (Man in the High Castle). Roslyn has also written several movies that have aired on TV around the world: Washed Away, Stranger in the House, and Reluctant Witness to name a few. Roslyn also wrote and produced the dramatic feature film, The Birdwatcher, directed by Siobhan Devine. Her half-hour YA comedy, The Tutors, is in development with the CBC.


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