Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Fighter of Aldea by Kira Weston

The Fighter of Aldea
Kira Weston
Publication date: October 15th 2018
Genres: YA Fantasy
It’s the year 2216, and ever since Lydia Humsworth was little, she’s heard stories about electricity that used to light up skylines and planes that soared through the sky like birds. There were also stories about The Shift, which plunged the world into darkness nearly two hundred years ago and gave some people magical abilities. These people came to call themselves sorcerers.
Now, in the small village of Aldea, sixteen-year-old Lydia is training to be a Fighter in hopes of one day protecting her village. Her best friend, Daniel, spends his days working long hard hours on the farm. Humans and sorcerers have always seemed to coincide peacefully, but when Leonardo Kinch–a deranged sorcerer who blames humans for the death of his family–starts a war against humans, nothing is as they believed.

When war rages across the country, Lydia and Daniel must do everything they can to stop the war and stay alive, or risk the human race falling into extinction.

I jump up and before I’m even back on the ground, I swing out at his face. I nearly get a tap, but Joshua manages to duck away. He groans angrily and jabs at my stomach. I suck it in and jump backward, but I’m closer to the edge than I’d thought and my back slams into the rope.
Joshua smirks. He knows he’s got the upper-hand.
He goes for my stomach again, but I slip out of the way, dive into a roll that takes me behind him, and spin around to face him.
He whirls around and slices his stick down toward the top of my head. I grab my stick with both hands and hold it above me. Block.
I realize he’s holding his vertically like a sword, as opposed to holding it horizontally above his head. Bad form. I push my stick against his, forcing it toward his body. A look of confusion crosses Joshua’s face. Then I give his stick a good shove with my own, thrusting him backward enough that he loses his balance and falls down onto the mat, flat on his back.
While he’s down, I jab my stick toward his neck and tap his throat. The fight is over.
Joshua looks up at me with wide eyes, probably realizing what the result of a full force hit like that would be, and I suddenly become very aware of the fact that I’m glaring down at him. Had I wanted to fight again for revenge? What if I had lost my cool? Then I wouldn’t have been any better than he was.
Except, I didn’t hit him, whether a part of me wanted to or not. And I certainly didn’t cheat. That’s not who I am, or ever want to be.
Finally, the blood from my scratches runs all the way down my face, and just as a single drop of blood falls onto the mat, I hear the whistle.
“Winner! Lydia Humsworth!”
The crowd cheers. I’m brought back to reality. During the fight, it was as if everything and everyone had melted away and become silent. Nothing existed but me, my opponent, and the ring. I look up at the crowd who’s roaring for me. Daniel, Lucas, and my mom are cheering louder than anyone else. It hits me: I won.
I put my stick down and look up at the audience, letting my victory sink in before turning back to help Joshua up. I hold out my hand, but he shoves it away and gets up on his own.
We bow. He looks mad again. So many remarks run through my head. I told you so. Sorry to burst your bubble. Apologies for deflating your ego… But I leave it alone. He’s probably punishing himself enough.
Instead, I bow my head and say, “Good fight, Joshua.”
He seems a little surprised at my humility, but he doesn’t return it. All he does is sneer and bow his head in return. Then we separate to have quick words with our instructors before the final winners are announced.
“Well done, Lydia,” Mr. Neil tells me, handing me a towel to wipe my face with. “You had the upper hand for most of the fight and you did some quick thinking with that final move. It was different, unexpected, and intelligent.”
“Thank you, sir,” I say politely. I’m surprised by his kind words, but I can also tell that he’s holding something back. I sigh. “What is it?”
He shifts his eyes to the side, then looks back at me. “You’re still too slow.” I purse my lips. Of course…

Author Bio:
Kira Weston writes Young Adult fiction, often day-dreaming the what-ifs of magic and science fiction, and how they might affect the world. Her debut novel, The Fighter of Aldea, comes out October 15th, 2018. Kira grew up in Las Vegas, NV under the hot sun and the distant lights of the famous Las Vegas Strip, and now resides in Colorado, which is much cooler—most of the time.
Kira currently works in retail, but hopes to put her main focus on storytelling in the near future, whether it be through books, movies, or something in between. When she’s not writing, she spends her time befriending cats, hoping for rain, drinking mochas, and listening to music.

Author Q&A with Kira Weston

The Fighter of Aldea takes place in the future, but feels like it’s in the past. How did you come up with that setting? I’m a big fan of science fiction, which usually takes place in the future, but course I’m also a big fan of fantasy, which usually takes place in the past or in a world that feels similar to ours in the medieval ages. When I was writing TFoA, I thought it would be a lot of fun to pull from both. What if it took place in the future, but felt like the past? If modern day society lost power, how would that effect the human race and our future? What if magic, instead of being a lore of the past, was the evolution of our future? The concept was very intriguing to me, and it ended up being one of the biggest foundations for the story, which I think added so much depth to the world and its history. 

Why did you choose to become a writer? I’m not sure I chose to be a writer as much as writing chose me. I wrote stories and scripts off and on throughout my childhood, not really labeling myself as a writer, but rather just doing something that I enjoyed. Some were short stories or beginnings of novels I never finished, others were short screenplays that I wrote with the intention of filming with my friends. I started writing more seriously in my teens, and nowadays, if I’m not writing, I’m usually thinking about my stories or listening to a story playlist or watching a tv show that inspires me with the world they’ve created. I love collaborating and exploring stories that ask what-if’s that could change how we see the world and how the world works, while learning about myself and the world as I go. I hope to explore a lot of stories in the future, whether it be through novels or film format. 

What is your favorite part about being a writer? It's pretty amazing how you can create a world and people out of your head. It's like creating something out of nothing, which is generally considered impossible. So, in a way, writers accomplish the impossible, they make... magic. And this thing that you and only you can create can bring laughter and tears to those you share it with. It can even change someone's life or give them a new outlook on something. It's pretty amazing what writers can do, and there's so much beauty in it, too. And if you're able to bring down your walls and write from your heart, the feeling of expressing yourself and the relief that it brings is like no other. So... Maybe it's a combination of all those reasons as to why I write. I will probably find new reasons for many years to come as I learn more about writing and more about myself and about life, but for now, I think that may be why I write. 

Why YA? I wasn’t a huge reader growing up. I read The Magic Tree House series when I was little, and got into Warriors when I was a bit older, but when I stumbled onto YA I was hooked. YA opened my eyes to a lot of things I hadn’t discovered in books before. It was the first time I read firstperson and duel-narrative, first trilogy, first romance. I love the stories that can be told through teenagers eyes, old enough that they can take on some intense things on their own (probably for the first time), but young enough that they’re not quite an adult either. It’s the age when someone’s life starts to open up to all kinds of new possibilities, so why not through in some fantastical possibilities too? 

Without giving away spoilers, what was your favorite part of writing The Fighter of Aldea? The whole process of writing the first draft of TFoA was so much fun. I didn’t have any kind of outline and I wasn’t entirely sure where I was taking it, but I just let myself have fun with it and the story flowed easier than anything I’ve ever written. Now that it’s finally finished, after many rounds of editing and polishing, there are definitely some parts that are my favorites. Lydia has this sort of sarcastic humor that’s always a blast to write, and I’m a sucker for any gushy or sweet moments that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. But I always come back to Chapter 31, because there are so many elements that I love, there’s a lot of raw emotion and the events that unfold bring us to a twist that I hope readers will love as much as I do! 

What’s next? The second book of The Fighter of Aldea trilogy! It’s called The Sorcerer of Vantana , and I don’t have a set release date yet, but the first draft is written and I’m looking forward to diving into those edits! I’m really excited to release TSoV out into the world, and after you read The Fighter of Aldea, I hope you are too!

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