Today I have the pleasure of having lovely Marie Godley here with me for a little Q&A and chat about her brand new book. So let's get right to it. Marie is a very talented writer who is a champion of all Indies. She is a true giver and is a wonderful person.
Janalya is an air elemental, searching for others of her kind.
Katsuo is Shatara, a shape-shifting panther.
History decrees that they are enemies, but fate seems to be handing them different roles. What is Janalya’s true destiny, and is it more complex than even she knew?
Age Level: 12 - 18
Grade Level: 7 - 12
(BP) Please tell us a little bit about yourself, Marie.
(MG) I'm married with a teenage son and a daughter who is about to head off for university, so switching between excitement for her and feeling the loss of my best friend. Christchurch, where we live, is beautiful with ancient ruins, the sea and, practically on our doorstep, the New Forest, with its free roaming, horses, donkeys, cows and sometimes pigs.
(BP) Congratulations. I am sure you are so proud of your children. Where you live sounds glorious! So why Janalya? What was your inspiration?
(MG) Janalya came about because I wanted to write about an elemental. I love the wind. I like nothing better than standing with my face in the breeze, even if it’s in the middle of my garden on the way to get my washing in – I bet the neighbours think I’m nuts when I stand there for no reason; so Janalya became an air elemental. Now shape shifters – I like wolves but there are a lot of werewolves – shape shifting wolves about and I’ve always loved panthers, so it made sense to have my shifter become a panther.
(BP) I am certain you will make friends with tons of animal lovers from this book. Panthers are wonderful mysterious creatures and shape shifters have quite the following. Please tell us about your writing background.
(MG) I started writing children’s books but each time I wrote I found myself writing for an older audience until I started writing Young Adult. Although I may sometimes work on a short story or special project in other age groups I think YA is where I shall remain.
(BP) Nice Marie. I give you credit for going with your passion and writng for the correct audience. Is there a message that you want people to take away from reading Janalya?
(MG) Janalya isn’t about sending any particular message but if there was one it would be of friendship. When you strip away all the action and romance from the story, the characters - all with different backgrounds, powers, or species – are friends. Mainly though, I would just like people to enjoy the book.
(BP) I am excited to see people's reaction to this story. I know it is very dear to your heart. If you could choose to be any character out of any book, who would you choose? And why? (I stole this question from Georgia Rose. It’s a good one.)
(MG) It would be Kate Daniels from the books by Ilona Andrews. I like a kick butt, sassy, female who can wield a sword, take down the baddies and be herself.
(BP) So you like strong females too!!! We are in agreement. Would you share an excerpt with us?
(MG) She thought she’d made it across the fields undetected; the forest was so near she could smell the pine needles. Then she felt a prickling sensation down her left side, and the hairs on her head felt taut, as if each individual strand was standing up leaving room for ice-cold points of pain to dig into her scalp. She turned and there, running towards her with an effortless gait, even flat out, was a panther. Even from a distance she could see that his size was bigger than normal for a panther. His black fur was in sharp contrast to the stubbly yellow grass which he was ploughing through, and his penetrating eyes were fixed on her.
Her flight-or-fight reflex cut in, but which was the best option? Looking at the speed of the panther, she knew she would never outrun him. She dropped her things and stood feet apart, ready to face him. She conjured up a ball of air and poised for attack, waited for him to get closer.
(BP) Thank you! So what does Marie like to do for fun?
(MG) I love to read, as clichéd as that may sound. I read constantly as a child and that hasn’t changed much, although with a family, constantly is long gone.
Other than that, walking along the beach or in the forest and I do cross stitch. They take a long time to complete though because they’re usually at the bottom of the pile with everything else that I like (or have) to do.
(BP) Really good! Okay, almost done. What song would you pick to go with your book?
(MG) There isn’t a song that stands out for me but it would have to have a rock beat to it. I can hear drums and guitar riffs (although that could just be my love of Bon Jovi coming through) because both the elementals and my shape shifter have wild strength in the characters.
(BP) Thank you for playing with me today Marie. It was nice getting to know more about you and to share your enticing new story, Janalya with friends of this page. Did I say friends? I meant associates. ;-)
Marie Godley’s “Janalya" is a YA fantasy with shape-shifters and panthers. You watch them as they change from animal to man and back again. It's a great adventure where twists and turns keep me guessing from start to finish. This is a magical escape that people of all ages can enjoy, not just the younger generation even though this is geared towards them. As an adult I really enjoyed. It is a sweet coming of age story with a fantasy paranormal twist. I loved the characters right away and connected to the unusual story line.
This is an adventurous tale that was not at all predictable. A nice escape into an unknown world. A sweet story that is reminder to us to appreciate the earth. The wind is just one element that is so nicely explored.
Miss Godley delivers a well-written book that is done with a real life force. Powerfully moving, full of heart and humanity. Maybe now I will pay more attention to the air. I Look forward to reading more.
The wind began to play with Janalya’s hair, tossing it around her head and shoulders. She laughed out loud as happiness bubbled into her chest. Fighting the urge to run across the rest of the field, she did quicken her pace, and before long she emerged onto a track that led her to the top of the cliff. Janalya stood arms stretched out, being buffeted by the wind, as she had done so often in the past, her stance automatically changing so that she was balanced against any sudden gusts. She remained standing on the edge with her eyes closed, breathing in a lungful of fresh air, feeling very much alive.
Marie Godley resides in Christchurch, Dorset with her family. Luckily enough to live in a town with historical buildings to roam around, as well as having the sea and the New Forest National Park nearby, she has plenty to do when taking a break from writing.
Janalya on Amazon