Inside the Book:
Title: In the Shadows
A breathtaking talent makes her debut with this first book in a dark epic fantasy trilogy, in which a mismatched band of mortals led by a violent, secretive man must stand against a pair of resentful gods to save their world.
Eons ago, a pair of gods known as the Twins grew powerful in the world of Fiatera, until the Divine Mother and Almighty Father exiled them, binding them deep in the earth. But the price of keeping the fire lands safe is steep. To prevent these young gods from rising again, all twins in the land must be killed at birth, a safeguard that has worked until now.
Trapped for centuries, the Twins are gathering their latent powers to break free and destroy the Parents for their tyranny—to set off a fight between two generations of gods for control of the world and the mortals who dwell in it.
When the gods make war, only one side can be victorious. Joros, a mysterious and cunning priest, has devised a dangerous plan to win. Over eight years, he gathers a team of disparate fighters—Scal, a lost and damaged swordsman from the North; Vatri, a scarred priestess who claims to see the future in her fires; Anddyr, a drug-addled mage wandering between sanity and madness; and Rora and Aro, a pair of twins who have secretly survived beyond the reach of the law.
These warriors must learn to stand together against the unfathomable power of vengeful gods, to stop them from tearing down the sun . . . and plunging their world into darkness.
Musical Points of View
Music is vital to my writing process—I can’t write if I don’t have some sort of music playing, but I use music as much more than background noise. For each of In the Shadow of the Gods’ four main point of view characters, I have a carefully curated playlist with a different style of music, and starting a specific playlist helps me immediately get into the head of whichever character I’m writing.
Below, I’ll share snippets of each of my playlists, as well as why they so perfectly fit each of my point of view characters.
Scal is a big, tough warrior, a man who can kill without thinking…but only because that’s the only way he knows how to live. At heart, he’s kind of a pacifist, and spends entirely too much time caught up in his own thoughts. His playlist is mostly songs that break my heart a little every time I hear them, heartfelt and sweet and sad…with, occasionally, a light and cheerful song thrown in, because that’s a pretty accurate mix of what makes Scal.
Rora grows up to be an assassin and a thief, and never lets her lack of height get in her way. Even though it’s totally anachronistic, I always picture Rora as a rocker. She’s spunky and full of fire and totally willing to kick anyone’s butt, but she’s also too responsible to ever rock out too hard. Her kind of rock is more indie: mostly fun and upbeat, but also with some pretty deep, underlying meaning if you’re willing to listen close.
Keiro, with his wandering heart and slow-and-steady-wins-the-race attitude, is pure indie folk. Slow and peaceful and thoughtful, his kind of music can wander just as much as he does but always hits the mark. This kind of music has always felt endlessly hopeful to me, even if it occasionally dips into melancholy—it still fits Keiro like a good old shoe.
Joros is the idea-man, the schemer, and will do whatever he has to as long as he can come out on top without dirtying his own hands. His music is powerful and swaggering, tough as nails and taking no prisoners, and more intense than any of the others’. Some of his music also makes me chuckle every once in a while, whether it’s intentional or not…just like Joros himself.
Meet the Author:
Living in the cold reaches of the upper Midwest with her great beast of a dog, Rachel Dunne has developed a great fondness for indoor activities. For as long as snow continues falling in Wisconsin, she promises to stay inside and keep writing.
Her first novel, In the Shadow of the Gods, was a semi-finalist for the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, and will be published by Harper Voyager in June of 2016. Its two sequels will follow.