In The Author Spotlight Today: Mell Eight
Contest: Winner will win a copy of The Oracle’s Flame. To enter please leave a comment and a email address or other method of contacting you. That’s it. Contest closes Saturday, April 5th.
Melanie very kindly asked me to stop by her blog, ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords, to talk a little bit about The Oracle Series. I’m so happy to have this opportunity to share more about the stories I love, so thank you very much to Melanie and her blog for the invite!
One of the most difficult things for me when I start writing a new book is figuring out how to make it completely unique from every other book I’ve written. This was especially true when I began writing The Oracle Series. At the time, I had just finished The Dragon’s Hoard series in which my dragons had a very specific type of society and their magic was tied to their hoarding instinct. I knew I had to go in the exact opposite direction for my new adventure in The Oracle’s Flame. I eventually chose to work inside a Monastery and with the elements of Fire, Water, Air, and Earth for the magic.
Every single person born in the Monastery has the ability to use each of those elements, called Castes. As children they’re trained in all the basics. I think of it like primary school children who study everything there is to know at an elementary level, but they eventually graduate and go off to college where they specialize in just one degree. When the children in the Monastery turn eighteen they’re eligible to approach the Oracle to ask for permission to take the test that will determine their future. The Oracle is an all-seeing and all-knowing being. She looks into the future of each child and determines if they’re ready for the test. Dragon (Kindle), from The Oracle’s Flame, did not test until he was twenty while Ling, from The Oracle’s Hatchling, tested when he was still eighteen. To continue my metaphor, each student in the U.S. has to pass their SATs in order to get into college and their final grade often indicates what level college they’re able to get into. In a way this is also true in my Oracle Series. The children are tested and they receive power based on their need in the future.
The testing itself is a mysterious process that only the Oracle really understands. The child enters a dark, magical room where they are imbued with power that takes the form of a tattoo on their back. The tattoo will belong to only one specific Caste—i.e. an Earth Caste tattoo might have a tree in it, but it won’t have a nearby stream or leaves rustling in the wind—and the child would only have the ability to use that Caste.
I can already hear readers of The Oracle’s Hatching asking me about Ling’s powers. He was able to use all four elements even after his testing! I don’t want to give away too many spoilers for future readers, but there is a very rare fifth Caste where the ability to use multiple elements is possible. Ling belongs to the Ether Caste, which is part of the strife he has to overcome in his story. Because the Ether Caste is so rare, it’s not included in the list of elements.
Which brings me to my dragons! As I said earlier, the amount of future need determines the amount of power each child receives during their testing. If Dragon’s future only included lighting candles to keep the night at bay, he might have been a Kindle in truth instead of disguise. Instead he had a mighty quest to accomplish and emerged from the testing chamber with a dragon emblazoned on his back. Each Caste has one Dragon who is always the strongest person in the entire Caste. They have the ability to manipulate their element to the highest degree, including transforming into a dragon shape during dire need. Despite their strength, the Dragons are not the leaders of their Castes. The Oracle sends her Dragons into the world to keep it safe, like Dragon’s quest to find the missing Prince of Altnoia. This leaves other high level Caste members, called Masters, to run the Caste from the Monastery.
Each book in The Oracle Series will focus on one Dragon and his or her Oracle derived quest to keep the world safe. There are five Castes which means I am planning on writing a total of five books for the series. The Oracle’s Flame was about the Dragon of Fire, The Oracle’s Hatchling was about the Dragon of Ether, and the upcoming The Oracle’s Golem will be about the Dragon of Earth. I have future books planned for the Dragon of Air and the Dragon of Water, which I am excited to write soon. Could there be more than five books in the series? Absolutely. I won’t know for certain until the very last word is written in book five and my muses close the door on the Monastery. There are two ways there could be more books: either a new type of Dragon emerges in the Monastery, which is very unlikely at this point, or I expand the world. I have mentioned in the stories that there is an entire world out there, but I have only gone into depth about the Monastery and the country of Altnoia. A sixth book would be a step sideways, a sort of new series connected to The Oracle because it’s set in the same world, but with a new setting and new characters. I won’t focus on the possibility of more books until after book five is completed, but the ideas are percolating!
I put a lot of thought into The Oracle Series as I was creating it and I hope I was able to unravel some of it for you today! Thanks again to Melanie and ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords for inviting me to stop by.
Purchasing information for The Oracle’s Flame and The Oracle’s Hatchling can be found at Less Than Three Press.
For more information about The Oracle Series, including published books and works in progress, please visit the series’ page on my website.
STRW: Thank you, Mell, for stopping by today! You can find the reviews for the first two books in the series on my website. And don’t forget to leave a comment and be entered into the contest!
Contact Mell Eight at: