Today, I welcome Jenna Burtenshaw to my blog for the last day of her blog tour, for the release of Blackwatch the second of her Wintercraft trilogy. This is the second time Jenna has stopped by Bart’s Bookshelf, and you can read our first chat by clicking on this link!
Thanks, Darren. It is a pleasure to be here!
The past year has definitely been a rollercoaster. I don’t think I realised how strange it would be to have a book actually out there on the shelves. Every time I wander around a bookshop and spot it there, it is as if there is a doorway into my imagination sitting there for everyone to wander through. It’s exciting, but very strange!
During the past year I’ve finished off book two in the series – Wintercraft:Blackwatch – which was published just last week, and written book three, which has definitely kept me busy.
I’ve visited libraries and schools and met lots of wonderful people. It has been quite odd to go from sitting behind a desk all day to talking in front of groups of people, but it is all great fun. It has been lovely to see people’s reactions to the first two books in the series and I couldn’t be happier with their journey so far.
Blackwatch begins just a few weeks after the events of Wintercraft. The first book only spanned a few days in Kate and Silas’s lives, so there was very little time for Kate in particular to really absorb what was actually happening to her. Blackwatch gives her the chance to take more control over the direction of her life before it is thrown into turmoil once again.
Blackwatch continues the themes of book one – family, friendship, honour and trust – and twists them a little. Silas and Kate thought their time together was over at the end of Wintercraft, but they are connected far more deeply than either of them expect. People Kate should have been able to trust reveal themselves to be more of a threat than she could have known, and there is a new enemy to be discovered across the water on the Continent, who has already affected the course of Kate and Silas’s lives without them being aware of it. Blackwatch takes everyone into much darker places than they have been before, forcing them to face the realities of their lives before the dramatic events of book three.
Book three has been a real challenge because I wanted to do all of the characters true justice. I have had the ending planned for a long time, so it is wonderful to finally see it typed out and ready to go. I think the greatest surprise has been how much more of Kate’s world there is still to share. Book three completes the arc that I originally began in book one, but the world spreads far beyond that and I’m starting to discover what happens next, after the final page of book three is turned…
Revelations about one character that are hinted about earlier in the series come fully into the light. Kate’s new enemy, Dalliah Grey, puts an ambitious plan into action, and the war between Albion and the Continent reaches new heights. The main characters find themselves in the middle of two battles: one in the living world and one in the veil. It has been a very exciting story to write!
Thrilling and exhausting! I will be very proud to see a completed trilogy lined up with my name on it, and it has filled me with even more excitement about going on to write new books. There are many more worlds out there to discover. I’m looking forward to pulling on my fictional hiking boots and wandering through a few of them.
I think the characters will always be with me. I won’t have a chance to miss them! I know the direction each of their futures will take and I will walk those roads with them, either in my imagination, or in future stories. If I had to say goodbye permanently, I think I would miss Edgar the most. I know Kate and Silas are strong enough to look after themselves. Edgar always feels more vulnerable to me and I would miss his sense of humour.
I have lots of plans. I just need more time to write everything! I am in middle of researching a new book set in a different world that has dystopian elements to it, and I have plans for another fantasy book, which I’m partway through writing. Also, if readers would like to read more about the world of Wintercraft, I have ideas for two further books beyond the original trilogy. There is plenty to keep me busy!
Books could not survive without readers, so I’d like to say thank you everyone who has read the Wintercraft series so far, and thank you, Darren, for having me back here on Bart’s Bookshelf.
I hope everyone has a wonderful summer!
You can also find Jenna on twitter:@jennaburtenshaw, her blog & the Wintercraft website.