Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Darkling Wind - Jamie Sedgwick


I’m a writer and musician, and I’m from northern California. I’ve been writing fantasy since 2nd grade when my teacher gave the class an assignment to write a one-page story. My story was awful, of course. It was 2nd grade. But it was the excitement of writing that grabbed me, and stayed with me for the rest of my life. I owe a lot to that teacher, and to the others who encouraged me along the way. I’ve even thought about going into teaching, but ultimately I don’t think I’d ever be happy doing anything else. I’m supposed to write. I’ve always known that.


Ben always thought his grandfather's bedtime stories about the darklings were make-believe, but now the darklings have invaded his hometown and only Ben can stop them. When a mysterious package arrives containing his grandfather's old journal and a crystal pendant, Ben knows he's found the way to stop the darklings. Unfortunately, the journal is encrypted and Ben is running out of time.
With the help of his best friend Sara, Ben must unlock the journal's secrets and find a way to banish the evil darklings before they destroy the town and kill everyone he loves. But does Ben have the strength to face his greatest fears? If he succeeds, Ben will have to sacrifice everything just to survive. If he fails, Ben will not only lose everything he loves, he will also become the thing he fears the most.

Q: What will e-readers like about your book?

The Darkling Wind is a whole different take on young adult fantasy. I’ve gotten fantastic reviews because Darkling delves into unexpected territory. It starts like a fairy tale but moves in some surprising directions. It’s still a great read for mid-grade and young adult audiences, but it explores uncommon themes. Readers also like the fact that Darkling is extremely fast-paced. It’s novella length, so most readers get through it in one sitting. When they’re done, they feel like they have truly experienced something. I’m proud of that. Darkling has a little bit of something for everyone. It’s got adventure and mystery, coming of age themes, and even a little bit of romance. But overall –like most fantasy- it’s really about the struggle between good and evil. And of course, magic.

Q: Why did you go indie?

My books just don’t fit into the mold. I write various types of fantasy, but none of it is categorical. That makes it a tough sell if you’re a literary agent or a big publisher. They look at a book like mine and wonder: How can I even describe this? Ironically, I have the same problem. When I publish my books, I have to find a blurb that will attract readers of the genre and yet clue them in to the fact that this experience is going to be a little different. That’s tough.

Name just about any fantasy writer and they’re probably on my list. I suppose I still feel strongest about Tolkien. I revisit Middle Earth often. No other writer I’ve found has his gift with building and revealing a world. That doesn’t mean other writers and styles are in any way inferior, but Tolkien’s work has a magic that speaks to me like nothing else. I look at The Hobbit and I can’t believe the difference between that book and more modern young adult literature, particularly in style and language. I first read The Hobbit at 9, and despite the fact that the language was sophisticated and the story is somewhat rambling in pace, I absolutely fell in love with it. That magic seems to be missing from a lot of genre fiction these days.


My books are available through all the usual places, and are also now available in paperback. The quickest way to find them is through my blog:


Q: Who are your favorite authors in your genre?

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