Author’s name: E. Kaiser Writes
Title of book and/or series: The Thaw: series, Winter’s Child, Winter Queen, & Prince of Demargen
Brief summary of the story:
Infused with a strong Christian ethic and a historical feel, they're set in a quasi-Victorian world where portals to fairyland show up every once in a while. Angels move unseen, doing their work, but sometimes in special cases the Master sends them to interject in a person's life, and change it forever.
Good vs. evil, patience vs. recklessness, and the undeserved gift of grace for those who pray for it; the Thaw: series begins with Winter's Child, (combining Snow Maiden/Schneekind/Snegurken with Anderson's Snow Queen) where a barren king and queen pray for a child, and when in their loneliness, they make one out of snow, their prayers are answered in a special, and unusual way.
Sometimes, when we get what we wish for, we don't know what to do with it.
The story continues with Winter Queen, when princess Ilise allows her avoidance behavior to isolate her from the world... and it's only when she takes the final step that she realizes the wall she's built in the name of safety is also the one that will hold her prisoner forever... unless she discovers how to destroy it.
The only one who can break a neurosis... is the one who has it.
Third in the series is Prince of Demargen, which finally settles the matter of the Devil's Mirror. The whole world knows his guilt, and is absolutely correct about it, but how far can a man go to regain respect so swiftly lost?
Or is an honorable death the best a fallen star can hope for?
The only person who can help him... is the one he most deeply wronged.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
I had a lot of fun setting the Thaw: books in a world that was much like Europe, but without all the wars. So if fairytales are often set in Middle Ages type feel, just imagine that being updated to a Victorian-style era, and going from there.
When planning this my brainstorming partner/sister and I definitely knew we didn’t want to be “in the real world” because it is definitely a fairy tale world. So we basically drew heavily from the map, cultures and customs, and changed anything we felt like. It was a lot of fun!
For one thing, we wanted to utilize the Norse cultures, but we wanted our Noran to be more towards the middle of the map. So we switched where Norway and Sweden are, Noran is interior and Svesser is on the outside.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Noran?
The North kingdoms use horses and carriages for land travel, sailing ships for sea voyages, and ferries for crossing rivers. Further north, into the Wild Lands, the folk up there use dog teams and reindeer hitches to pull sleds and sledges through the wintery months.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Noran that we don’t see on Earth?
The Thaw: books are set in a world pretty much like our own, although the Angels that orchestrate its seasons are sometimes sent on small missions to interject into the lives of mortals and carry out the will of the Master.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Noran? If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
Magic has been actively outlawed in the world of our main characters, and this ban has been so effectively maintained for over a thousand years has passed, years measured as the Age of Reason. For in this era inexplicable happenings have virtually disappeared. But the portals to fairyland are beginning to be unsealed, which can lead to the dangerous and rather more rampant effects that exist on the other side of that veil.
Items of prohibited power are leaking back into society, and people have become so used to their safe lives that the first incidents blindside everyone.
But certain individuals rise to the challenge, to keep the ways shut, and make sure the avarice of fairyland stays on its own turf.
Is there a particular religion practiced in Noran? Please describe what it involves.
There is only one religion in the Thaw: books, and that is so self evident to everyone involved that it ceases to deserve the term religion. It is universally acknowledged that the Great King of All is watching, and when death claims us we slip out to stand before Him in a judgment that will be final, and for which our mortal lives are simply a preparation.
We moved around a lot while I was growing up, but that most often seemed to end up in the northern states. I remember a winter in Minnesota that was so-o cold, and the way the frost covered the windows… looking out over the blue white hills with their trees all bare and gray against a sunrise… The Northern Rockies are no slouches either when it comes to winter weather… so I didn’t have to do much research to write the Cold North type of scenes! Since the kingdom of Noran is somewhat based off of Norway, I did get to do some fun research on traditional foods, etc. I found a list of Finnish dishes and based a lot of the meals in the books on those… and they made me hungry, I can tell you that! J
I don’t think there are any “hot button” topics, unless the use of Angels and having a massively Christian underlayment to a fairytale retelling is controversial. Perhaps a few might think so, but to me it is the most natural thing in the world!