Monday, April 4, 2011

Guest Blogger: Hanging in There by Christopher Hoare, Author of Rast (Giveaway!)

Today's special guest is Christopher Hoare, author of the high fantasy novel, Rast.

In Rast, magic is not a convenient parlour trick, it’s a deadly force that takes no prisoners. Those who must wield it are doomed, for it never ceases to work within the mind and nerves until it destroys its master.

And now, the time of the interregnum is here; the reigning sorcerer king, the Drogar of Rast, is struggling for a last grasp on magic power while his heir, Prince Egon, must take up the deadly mantle. Egon is fearful but courageous in his duty. Not one peril threatens Rast, but many.

While he struggles to tame the magic to his command the mechanistic Offrang adventurers arrive to seize the land for their empire. The Offrangs don’t just disbelieve in magic, they treat any attempt to discuss it with withering scorn. Then, when the Drogar falters, the North Folk sweep out in their multitudes to cover the land of Rast at the behest of their depraved Casket of Scrolls. Deepning too, a creature of earth magic in its mountain pools, stirs to gain power enough to conquer Rast.

The Prince’s sweetheart Jady does her best to support him, but she is not strong enough in the power of the lineage to bear him a magic wielding heir. She sets out to meet the caravansi of the cousin princess who is sent to be his consort with duty and anger both warring in her mind. The crisis will reveal surprising enemies, surprising friends, and as the Drogar tells Jady, “Even a Drogar may not see a future not yet determined.” While Egon goes west to spy on the Offrangs and Jady makes her way east, the oracle provided by the Pythian that lives in a cavern beneath the palace reveals, “You have no high point to see the scattered threads but must trust to those who grasp them.”

Everyone, enemy and friend, has a part to play in the preservation of Rast.

Hanging in There by Christopher Hoare

This blog entry is about not giving up on a novel. The novel in question is my newest – the fantasy Rast - released this March. Rast features the young prince, Egon, who must take control of the dangerous magic that destroys his father, the sorcerer king. Jady, his sweetheart, offers a strong supporting role in her action as guide for the princess who is destined to replace her as Egon’s consort. The story is both about overcoming the dangers to the kingdom and the resolution of the couple’s forbidden desire to marry.

It is the fifth of my published novels, but in fact is my oldest. I had it half written in the summer of 2002, when I had to put it aside to prepare for my winter contracting in the oil fields. I picked it up again the following summer when I joined the online writing group NovelDoc. I worked on progressive drafts over the next few years as it went though their successive month-long complete novel critiques.

One of the members had her own publishing company. She left NovelDoc due to pressure of commitments but a year later contacted me to do a read through and help polish her latest fantasy novel. In return she said she’d take a look at Rast. The next message I received was that she’d liked Rast ... a lot, and offered me a contract for it. Wow, that was easy.

At least two years passed, and then her deadlines slipped another year past release date – she had accepted more novels than she could now handle. I believe she’d lost a partner in the business. I hung on, because I was engaged in a long wrangle with the IRS for their potential pound of flesh – the ITIN I needed so they could tax my earnings as a non-American. Eventually, I gave up on the IRS, I had heard so many Americans express so much hate for the outfit I began to think that perhaps I didn’t want anything to do with them: not if I could avoid it. So I asked for and received a release of contract and started looking for a new home for Rast.

Rast then started on a long trek through publishers who would accept the un-agented submission. It spent more years in in-trays and in piles on editors’ desks than were sufficient to glean responses like, “not for us”, or “we no longer accept fantasy” – or perhaps - “oh, did we forget we had this?” that I would have found more honest. The submission before the last, garnered scathing criticism of the first few pages.

So, when Lea Schizas at MuseItUp said everyone liked it I was quick to accept her contract offer. I think that Rast, after all its tribulations has at last come home – and now we are sending it out to the readers who will decide whether the long journey has been worthwhile. Never give up!

CONTEST! Christopher Hoare is giving away two e-Copies of Rast during his virtual book tour. You can find his entire tour schedule at   Leave a comment (including your email address) at any of his blog stops during the tour. He will select two winners from all comments received. The more blogs you visit and comment at, the greater your chances of winning a copy of the book.

Christopher Hoare lives with his wife, Shirley, and two shelter dogs, Coco and Emmie, in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. As a lad he lived, breathed, and dreamed aeroplanes, won a place at RAE Farnborough learning to engineer them, but found the reality didn’t fit the dream. Did a stint in the army and then away to Libya to join the oil circus. Flying objects only appear as tools when they now appear in his writing.

His stories never take place next door to the lives most people live; the less charitable find similarity in characters who tend to be stubborn, independent, and contrarian. Perhaps there’s a connection between the worlds he portrays in fiction, and his working life in oil exploration in the Libyan Desert, the Canadian Arctic, and the mountains and forests of Western Canada.

He has written stories set in Anglo-Saxon Britain, in modern industrial projects, in the alternate world of Gaia, and the fantasy world of Rast. Sometimes known to satirize jobs and organizations he knows. Likes to write central characters who are smart, beautiful, and dangerous women who lead their male counterparts to fulfill dangerous duties they'd rather avoid. Gisel Matah in the Iskander series is perhaps the most Bond-like of these, but Jady in Rast can match her in many aspects.

Visit his website at  to learn much more, and download the free novella “Gisel Matah and the Slave Ship”. You can find his blog at His novels are at  and at


Karen Cioffi said...

Wow, what a publishing process for Rast. It's a good example of "hanging in there" though.

Best wishes for a successful tour.


Christopher Hoare said...

Thanks Karen, I really don't want to have another epic submission history again, but I hope this one will encourage other writers who feel they're on the same kind of trail.

Chris H.

V.R. Leavitt said...

Hi Christopher, the story of how "Rast" came to be is great. Thanks for sharing it! I have one I've been working on for about that long too, so it's nice to know it's never too late. Good luck with all of your endeavors.

Nancy Bell said...

Hi Chris,
I'm glad Rast found a home at MuseItUp. :~) The mention of Farnborough made me think of K.M. Peytons Flambards series which is one of my favorites.
When will we see more of the denizens of Rast? Do Egon and his country get to live happily ever after or.... and what happens to the Pythian? Now he is certainly one of my favorites. Honey toasted roaches anyone?


Cheryl said...

Thanks for the comments everyone. Chris, it's always great to have you here.

I look forward to reading Rast.

Rebecca said...

wow Chris what a long way to publication. glad you found a home at Muse It Up. Lea is super nice. Best of luck on the book tour.

Rebecca said...

Cheryl, a very pretty background. I like visiting your blog because you are always adding new backgrounds, well, and you have a lot of good material.

Christopher Hoare said...

Thanks everyone for the comments, and thank you, Cheryl, for hosting my tale of ... well, not actually woe, although it did seem that way during the process.

K.M Peytons, Nancy? I must have missed that series. If it's not about aeroplanes it must be a different Farnborough -- I believe there's another one besides the one in Hants.

Chris H.