Look at that cover…
Curse of the Blacknoc Witch by Tori V. Rainn released a few days back in the Fantasy genre.
Samuel dreamed of being a lot of things, but a monster trapped in a forest realm never entered his mind. The Blacknoc Curse wasn’t supposed to be true, only a children’s story meant to persuade them away from evil. Yet, here he was tasked with hunting cursed kids. There’s nothing left for Samuel except the horror surrounding him.
Layla, a young girl tormented by the same curse, is dropped into the terrifying forest every night, running from the monsters intent on taking her life. She meets Samuel and vows to save all the children, especially Samuel, from their torment.
Working together can they defeat the Blacknoc Curse?
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I crouch down next to the girl, careful not to touch her. “Look. You’ll be okay as long as you stay with me.”
She sniffles and cups her face. “This can’t be happening.” She wipes a tear off her cheek. “The legend of the curse is really like what my great-aunt said.”
I stand and pace. My monster self cannot be still when on constant alert. “It’s all true. A real cesspool of teeth.”
“When I woke back in my room, the scratches on my skin from last night were still there. Grandfather thought I’d done it to myself. I told him what happened, and he didn’t believe me.”
“He won’t be able to help anyway.”
She moans, and I stifle a grunt. There I go again with my optimism. As long as I am cursed to this flesh, there just isn’t any room for the stuff. But I can’t avoid the truth of her fate.
I kneel to her level. “What’s your name?”
I smile. A fitting name for a gorgeous girl. “Layla,” I repeat, as if the name carries me back to a reality where humans live in harmony away from monsters. I hurriedly add, “Nice to meet you.” Then I remember our situation. My comment is inappropriate. There’s nothing nice about the forest. Social etiquette must have died along with my soul.
“And you?” She looks up at me with a curious gaze. “Do you have a name?”
It’s been so long since I’ve heard my name. Who said it last? Josh? Pa calling me to supper? I stop to think for a second and then allow it to roll off my tongue.
She hugs her knees, leaning forward, dangerously near my barbed hands. “What a keen name for a monster.”
An odd musk from between the trees reaches me. The stench of fear grows potent as low branches snap. Someone small and clumsy runs toward us.
I leap up. “We need to go now.”
About the Author
Tori V. Rainn is a Texas-based fantasy novelist who is on a lifelong mission to inspire her readers through the power of imaginative storytelling. During her creative journey, an array of her short stories have been showcased in various online zines. It all started when she took a writing course at Writer’s Village University, which earned her a Creative Writing Certificate. The moment she penned her first story, she knew writing was her ultimate calling and greatest passion.
When she isn’t crafting thrilling plots, you can find this avid video gamer watching her favorite shows, collecting unique knives, or going on meditative walks in the heart of nature. She is also a chocoholic and tea aficionada with an unquenchable sweet tooth. Above all else, Tori enjoys spending quality time with her loved ones.
Hi Tori, and thankyou for being with us today.
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’m the typical introvert who couldn’t contain her wild imagination. In my late teens, I started dabbling in writing. Since I didn’t really know much about writing I couldn’t really go too far until I took an online writing course that explained the basics of fiction writing. Once I understood the basics it was like something clicked within me. I wanted to learn more and write more. I wrote short stories, and then eventually took on bigger projects like novellas and novels.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Laid-back. Goofy. Loyal. Creative. Pensive.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think the first time I made it official was when I decided I wouldn’t treat it as a hobby anymore. I had to change my state of mind. I wanted to stop dreaming and make my dream of getting published a reality. I invested more time in reading about the craft of writing. I tried to write more, even when I didn’t feel like it. Another process was slowly coming out of my shell and letting others read my work for feedback. I think it’s the little steps taken that slowly start to define who I am as a writer.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
How about my current one? Curse of the Blacknoc Witch. I’m sure most know it’s every author’s dream to get their book adapted into a film. I wouldn’t mind seeing my book as a Netflix movie. Not as a series but a movie. How cool would that be, right? I’d imagine awesome CGI to portray the monsters and the magic. A real forest shot in the dark to show the setting. Ah, I could dream though.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Curse of the Blacknoc Witch?
The main characters of Curse of the Blacknoc Witch are Samuel Fawcett and Layla Marlowe. They’re teens who are both hunted by a wicked curse. Samuel was a teen at one time before transforming into a monster. He’s supposed to hunt and eat all the wicked kids but he was given a choice and uses that chance to protect the weak. Layla is under the protection of Samuel. She’s bent on breaking the curse for herself and the others who are tormented by the curse. Samuel may not have hope for a new day but Layla holds onto that hope for a day to come.
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
I google names for inspiration but I’m very picky about choosing the names of my characters. The name I pick usually reflects the personality of my character. If the name matches who the character is or symbolizes them or their circumstance in any way, that’s the one I’ll usually go with. For example, I could not decide between using Layla or Lilith. Both names can have a similar meaning. ‘Of the night’ or ‘beauty.’
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I enjoyed watching the interactions between my main characters, but really it was just a blast to see some of the action scenes unfold. Monsters fighting monsters. Kids fighting monsters. So much fun. I love action scenes!
Who designed your book covers?
I’m in love with the cover. Abigail Owen at The Wild Rose Press, Inc designed the cover. She did such a great job of capturing the feel of the book. The story takes place mostly at night in a forest. It has a witchy and fantasy feel all while setting that dark mood. My publisher lets you have a small say in the cover. I had the option of including one important element in the cover. The designer worked those awesome witch knots you can see at the corners of the book.
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
As a reader myself, I just like to sit back and enjoy the ride. So a note to the readers, I do hope my stories can be that escape for you like the way I enjoy books. My characters are to inspire and entertain and it is my wish that they are that influence for you.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
Eep, I really must sell it here, huh? Well, it’s filled with twists and turns, and if you don’t mind a little creepy in your story about two unlikely heroes filled with fantasy elements, romance, a sprinkle of humor, and action, then I do believe this is a must read for you.
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
It would probably be a scent that reminded me of herbs to match the witchy part and with a tinge of pine or forestry to match the setting.
What is your writing process? For instance, do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
Most of the time, I use an outline. An outline is like a map that helps me see where I’m going. I like to have a plan to follow. Depending on how much detail you put into the outline, you can only see as far as the light sprays. Without any light, I feel like I’m walking blindly and this can be chaotic. Now, sometimes chaos is good. It’s rare but I do like to write by the seat of my pants. The results can be positive if you’re in search of something spontaneous.
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