The Chronicles of Xannia, Part One
By: M. J. Moores
1. Can you tell us a bit about your newest release, Time’s Tempest, and how The Chronicles of Xannia are different, and similar, to the Lost Chapter series?
First off, The Lost Chapters are a part of The Chronicles of Xannia. Effectively the Lost Chapters are a collection of short stories that take place before the action of the book Time’s Tempest. These lost chapters are stories that have been mentioned in passing that deal with a time in either Taya or Dezmind’s past that influence who they have become when we meet them in the main book. It’s not necessary to have read the Lost Chapters in order to understand Time’s Tempest, they are simply meant as added enjoyment to the tale.
2. What can you tell us about the main character, Taya, and her best friend, Zaith?
Taya is a bit of an anomaly. What I mean by that is there really is no one quite like her. She’s fierce, determined, tenacious, stubborn and a bit bitchy when she doesn’t get her own way. On the other hand, she’s loyal, has a huge heart and can’t stand when innocent people get hurt. She is a Contractor with the Training Facility directly linked to the Kronik. Taya met her best friend Zaith on the first non-probationary assignment she was allowed to choose as a Contractor. Zaith’s a top reporter for National News Now, a title due in part by her own tenacity and stubbornness but also in part due to Taya’s help breaking an important story during their first assignment together. Zaith not only challenges Taya’s beliefs (in a good way) but tries her patience as well – she tends to be late and is a massive girly-girl to Taya’s tom-boy tendencies. They work like yin and yang.
3. Please explain ‘verrin’ and ‘coliths’.
Coliths are the tattoo-like markings which cover all Xannians. They are s-shaped and cover the body randomly, like freckles. Some people have a lot, like red-heads here on earth and some people have a few but no one is without them. Generally there are less of them on the face and palms but there’s always an exception to the rule. There is a different colour of colitsh to represent each of the races of Xannia (along with various refractive skin-tones…think of the way a bronzed beach-body looks with tanning lotion almost totally absorbed into the skin). Only the elite race of the Talian’s have hollow coliths. Everyone else’s are solid or coloured-in.
Verrin is to the people of Xannia as Water is to Humans; without it they will die. There is water on the planet Xannia and it serves its purpose in the cosmic chain of life but when it all comes down to it, the thick orangey-pink liquid verrin tops everything.
4. What can you tell us about the Contractor Training Facility – CTF, the ‘Spoken Truth’ concept, and the mission of ‘A Guide into the Deserts’?
The CTF is an elite facility operated by a distant branch of the government. The Contractors they train are of the fastest, strongest, and brightest among the general population. They are respected and revered just as a Supreme Court judge or navy seal might be. The only difference is that they are contracted to do any number of long-term or temporary jobs required in the generalpopulous – it’s a glorified temp agency, lol! But they’re the best of the best.
The Spoken Truth is a relatively new movement based on the idea that the past can inform the present about the future. Think Nostradamus. Different Speakers who have studied, reviewed, or researched oldXannian documents make connection with what is presented in those pages to what is or is likely to happen now. These Speakersthen hold public Rallies to spread the word and ultimately try to convince the citizenry of some forgotten Truth and alter the course of destiny.
‘A Guide into the Deserts’ is a contracted job that becomes available in theCTF database of potential assignments. At first glance, it’s a joke job – no one would ever willingly accept it. The Deserts onXannia span a large portion of the equator and are known as a kind of Bermuda Triangle on this planet. Technology doesn’t work properly, if at all, out there so if cell phones existed you’d be screwed (what they have are watch-communicators that act very similarly to our existing cell phone technology). In addition to the fact that you wouldn’t be able to use a compass to know which way you were going or some kind of communicator to call for help, there are numerous creatures that inhabit the various Deserts, most of which are deadly. So the fact that a contract would come up requesting a trainedCTF agent to guide someone into this death zone, means that if the job isn’t a joke at the very least it’s a death sentence to think you could casually wander into the midst of this chaotic place and come back home in one piece.
5. Who are the ‘Kronik’ and who are the ‘Talians’?
Talians are the only race on Xannia who can be a part of the Kronik – they run the known world. They live in a self-imposed exile of sorts behind large Compound walls near the sea. The only time a common citizen ever sees one in public, in person, is when something goes terribly wrong (like the Nine Seas Massacre) and there’s need of an infusion of confidence in those being ruled by those doing the ruling. Otherwise only those in the governing body of the Kronik are seen on the wire (a TV/radio device) and the rest of the Talians are not seen at all. They live as a separate society completely apart from the rest of the world.
The title “Kronik” has dual meaning: it represents both the man who leads the government (like the President) and the twelve Advisory Councilors who make up the governing body (the Parliament). The reason behind the interchangeability of the honorarium is that while the man has the final say, he would be nothing without his advisors and so they are literally an extension of the man.
6. Tell us about the role ‘Jadis’ the pet lynx plays in the story.
Jadis is the perfect pet for Taya: she’s like a dog and a cat – loyal, cuddly, independent and yet reliant upon Taya. Jadis is the one outlet for Taya’s affection that can’t be taken from her or tainted in any way. Without Jadis I truly believe that Taya would be dangerous-crazy. Jadis is one of the few abandoned wild cats rescued each year who need a loving home to thrive in. Essentially, by Taya rescuing this lynx she is metaphorically rescuing herself – or trying to.
7. Can you tell us about the ‘Ancients’?
The Ancients are the first Xannians who travelled out of the Deserts over 2000 years ago and into the fertile and lush lands present-day Xannian’s live in. They were forced to migrate from their city when the Deserts encroached on their land making it unlivable. Their beliefs became the foundation for all modern Xannia.
8. What background inspired the creation of The Chronicles of Xannia?
I briefly mentioned Nostradamus above when describing the Spoken Truth. I’ve seen enough specials on the History Chanel and discussed his work in philosophy classes to know that interpretation is everything. The idea that one man’s writings can tell of future happenings always boggled my mind and I’ve never quite come to terms with how I feel about it. I wanted to explore my skepticism and contradictory need to believe in something almost mystical; Time’s Tempest became a vehicle for that.
9. What was the easiest and hardest part about writing Time’s Tempest?
The easiest part was the writing. The hardest part was finding the time to write, although revising the book from front to back three times in the span of a dozen or more years comes a close second. I’m a vomit on the page kind of gal; I like to set myself up with a horde of research and a solid structural plan and then just dive in and see where the waterslide takes me – and it’s always a fun ride (puke aside). Finding the time to write has always been a bane of mine. My studies came first, then getting a job, then keeping my job, and what began as this cool idea back in college lengthened into a marathon I was determined to finish but never could. Finally when my life seemed to balance itself out for a quince of years (before I decided to have a child), I found the time.
10. Are you happy with the direction Time’s Tempest is going?
Yes, most definitely. The version published today is 100 times better than the scrawlings I did as a naïve 18 year old. My craft and my understanding of life has grown to the point where I can now say with pride that I am an Author. Book two is fully outlined and 1/5th of the first draft is written as of the launch of book one. I have carved out time each week to devote to this story and it pains me every time I have to leave it again. I’m excited to know that book two will take less than a year to get to the same place it took book one to be in.
Barnes & Noble – Print Edition – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/times-tempest-mj-moores/1120362149?ean=9780992883683
Amazon – Print Edition – http://www.amazon.com/Times-Tempest-Chronicles-Xannia-Volume/dp/0992883687%3FSubscriptionId%3D0BZQ5SJTYZCHFG60RT02%26tag%3Dnosearch-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3D0992883687
Amazon – Ebook Edition (kindle) – http://www.amazon.ca/Times-Tempest-Chronicles-Xannia-Book-ebook/dp/B00NLM7ERG/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411082703&sr=1-1