A Little About
Warriors of Virtue: Episodes 1-9
When war with the dragon-people once more threatens the Land of Ardan, Lauraliee Lumijer, a reluctant princess and future Queen, joins her cousin and sister in becoming a Warrior of Virtue. Bonded to the elemental spirits of Water, Fire, and Air, they must undertake a dangerous journey and retrieve the Blood Ruby, before Dragon-Lord Malachite discovers its whereabouts and uses it to regain full power
Can three pampered teenagers, who have never spent a moment of their lives without servants, manage to survive in the wilderness of Ardan long enough to reach their goal? More importantly, will they be able to keep the journey a secret from Lauraliee’s overprotective mother
Prince Diamond Pendragon refused to take the crown and rule as king at the apparent death and imprisonment of his father. He kept his people safe in a hermit kingdom for almost 150 years. Now, his father returns to the throne determined to destroy every human in the Land of Ardan.
Is war the only answer? Are humans truly the pests his father believes they are?
Author's Rating: PG — Warriors of Virtue Epic YA Fantasy Series contains non-graphic fantasy violence and mature themes. It is not recommended for children under the age of twelve.
Warriors of Virtue Artwork Covers
Ten Things You Should Know
About Mili Fay
Warriors of Virtue Epic YA Fantasy Series grew out of a comic I created placing myself, my sister, and my cousin in the world of The Lord of the Rings. I always wanted to honour and immortalise the people in my family, and as an author I cannot think of a greater honour than having characters based on the people that I love. Therefore, the entire Royal Family of Ardan in my series is in fact my family. I have changed some names, and I have altered their characters to suit the story, but they retain most of my family’s personality and their looks. Fantasy fans may also notice that I’ve borrowed Tolkien’s names for his rings of power and used them to name the Elemental Spirits. This was consciously done, and it is my way of thanking the author for leading me to a fantasy world all my own.
2. What is one of your favorite/go-to writing resources?
I’m a true Libra. I have a problem placing anything in a favourite box. However, the one resource I cannot do without is Google — not just Google Search, but Google Translator, Google Dictionary, Google Images... I also use Pinterest to find my characters. The Firefly: English/French Visual Dictionary is essential when I need to figure out names for types of furniture, plants, etc.
3. Do you write using a keyboard, pen and paper, or both?
English is my second language. When I first started writing this series, I wrote on paper or in a notebook first, then as I typed I made my first corrections. These days, I’m confident enough in my writing to go straight to the computer. I had a Dell laptop before, but now I use a Cintiq Companion and MS Word. I recently got Scrivener, which I may use to continue writing the series. I love MS Word’s Text-To-Speech feature, which helps me during editing. I also use pen and paper. I often jot down notes, then forget where I’ve placed them. (Chuckles.) Instead of writing, I sometimes sketch out scenes to help me visualise what the characters or settings may look like.
4. What projects are you working on now?
I always have more than one project on the go. My greatest focus is on Warriors of Virtue Epic YA Fantasy Series, but I also decided to create a series of sketchbooks featuring Princesses. I intend to create my own version of princesses inspired by Disney’s Animation and Maria Pascual (my favourite illustrator). I have a few picture books in my head, but those are on hold for now.
5. What fictional character would you like to have as a best friend (could be your own)?
Vert Swiftwing. He is one of my characters. He is loyal, brave, kind, brimming with energy and good humour. It’s strange, but since coming to Canada I never had a close guy friend. I really miss having one.
Hermione Granger (Harry Potter Series) and I would have been best friends. I would have been in Gryffindor, too (per all the online quizzes I came across). I’m a bit of a nerd, I love studying. I can see us trying to best each other during test, and kicking intellectual butt, while fighting for House Elf rights. I had a few best friends like her. The only thing Hermione and I would disagree on is flying. I would be with Harry on that one.
6. Do you write/read every single day?
Yes. Though more often than not, I write blog posts and SM posts. Fortunately, since graduating I only read what I want (actually I listen to audiobooks since I do not have time to read). My favourite thing to do when I have free time (and I’m alone) is to swing in a hammock and escape into a great book.
7. Describe your writing space as it is right now. What would be your ideal writing space (if it's different from this)?
I write on my bed, propped up with pillows, with my Cintiq Companion resting on my knees, and iPad and other resource books on the bed beside me. I need to be completely alone when I’m creating. It’s easier to step into my world if there are no distracting noises.
I also sometimes write on the living-room couch. I like to sit in a corner. I do this when I’m alone, since the couch is more comfortable and, in winter, the living-room feels ten degrees warmer than my bedroom.
My ideal writing space would be a solarium, filled with lightly-scented, mostly leafy plants. There would be plenty of light, balanced by shadows so my computer screen is clearly visible. I would be comfortably half-reclining and would have a sturdy wooden bed-desk I can place over my knees, so the computer can be elevated and would not be resting on my knees.
If the weather is nice, I like writing in the garden.
8. Do you have any other creative outlets besides writing?
I’m an artist. I’m an artist first and a writer second. I trained as a classical animator at Sheridan College, and I continue to study art to this day. I illustrate my own work, but I also like working with other like-minded authors. I’ve been a portrait painter since I was fourteen. If the well of ideas in my head ever dries up, I can happily spend the rest of my life painting portraits. I find people fascinating, and there is nothing like capturing their special moments in a medium that can last centuries.
Though I do not have formal training, I like to sing. My dad (who can sing, play a guitar, a piano, or violin) and I wrote an original song from a melody I dreamed. In the dream, I remember a refrain “there’s a chance for misfits on earth”, but since I could not remember the lyrics, I wrote a song that is a metaphor for escaping the horrors of war and finding a new home.
9. Who are your 3 favorite characters in your book(s)?
I love all my characters. This is like asking a parent to pick between his children — even worse, because as a parent you cannot choose your children, while as an author you create your characters the way you want them to be. If I concentrate on Warriors of Virtue Epic YA Fantasy Series, though I cannot pick my favourite characters, I can talk about a few that have a special significance to me and my writing.
First is Artemis, the intelligent owl, wizard Cornelian’s best friend and companion, and the son of Athena’s Little Owl, Sophie. When I was asked to create a logo for my brand, I picked Artemis to represent me as an artist, and later Mili Fay Art. I always loved owls, and I loved an idea of having a tiny owl companion ever since I first read Greek Mythology as a child. It turns out that my animal spirit is an owl — an owl that can change shape, from a huge spirit to a tiny brown owl. Artemis has also been modelled a bit after Archimedes from Disney’s Sword in the Stone. I love him because he is bright, stubborn, a fighter, but is also vain and ridiculous at times. We both love tea.
Vert Swiftwing is who I wish to be. Other than the fact that he can transform into a beautiful green dragon and can fly, he is breathtakingly handsome, kind, clever, loyal, brave, and a true friend. He also has a wonderful sense of humour and a talent for magic.
Lord Malachite Pendragon was once a handsome, generous, perfect King. Then Fates destroyed his life and instead of working through his grief, he became so emotionally twisted that he believes destroying all the humans in Ardan is the only way to save the world. He is what I fear. I fear that if I am hurt enough, I may completely lose myself and never find a way back; that I may lose objectivity and would blame others for my misery. I have read a lot of fantasy and there are so many villains who are just evil and out there to destroy the world. I never liked those villains, the villains that act out of greed and lust for power. The villains that frighten me are the ones who believe they are saving the world and do not see that they are destroying it instead.
10. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself or your writing?
There is a traditional way of writing and publishing, but with the tools available to us, I believe there may be a way to improve upon writing/publishing as well. Warriors of Virtue Epic YA Fantasy Series is my experiment. Instead of me, the author, writing a novel and setting it loose on the world, I invite my readers to participate in its creation. I’m publishing the series digitally — a fluid format — and the readers are invited to review and comment on the work as I’m creating the series. I am the captain, but everyone who is interested can become the crew. Instead of having one editor, I am opening the door to everyone. I did this, because I often wished I could have spoken to some of my favourite authors before their books went to print. There are sometimes little things and tweaks I feel they could have made that would have made the story stronger. As an author, I know that no matter how perfect I think my story is, I’m too close to it to be truly objective. I know what’s happening, things that have happened, and are yet to happen. What I write makes sense to me; however, I am open to the possibility that I might not have expressed my vision well enough for the reader to understand something. Let me illustrate my point using a famous book: In Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix by J. K. Rowling, one of the characters dies in a mysterious way. I did not understand the object of his destruction at all. Instead of feeling the full horror of the event, my brain was trying to figure out what happened. Though I’ve created my own theory, this could have been avoided if the author added a few lines of text to explain what the thing was.
You may also notice that I’m publishing a Text Edition and an Artist's Edition. An Artist's Edition allows the reader to download the cover art from the book in full resolution. As an artist, I wish other publishers to follow my lead, because there are some stunning covers that are just a joy to view.
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