Today we are lucky enough to have two Friday Features and both are Australian Authors which I feel is very apt after yesterday was ANZAC day. 

This book is by Ellen Mae Franklin and she has sent me a wonderful guest post for us to talk about the wonderful world she created for 'The Unseen Promise' as well as a little about what inspires her. 

Take it away Ellen Mae:- 

Tarkeenia is a world I created for my first book, The Unseen Promise. It is a wonderful place to write in. I have wandered its many paths for years now and still to this day I am learning more about its inhabitants and its alien beauty. I love conversing with The Unseen Promise’s characters and marvel each time I sit to write, at the story as it has over the years, unfolded into a complex journey with many shades of light and dark.

The Unseen Promise is the first book in what has become the Tarkeenia Sagas. I found as I took to writing, like a duck does to water, that I am a Panster by nature. This series will more than likely take on the shape of three separate books.

I did not choose to become a writer, since raising a family and working was my world before words. But, I will say that like everyone who writes, I wish I had done this all my life. It all started with a single character, his dream and a message that I wanted to convey. From there, The Unseen Promise took shape and colour. I believe, that I have achieved a complex weave of fascinating scenarios, with characters who, bicker and love, scheme and delight, offering you, the reader an insight to a world on the brink of chaos. As part of my introduction, here is the opening of my story.

'In the beginning

What is curiosity? Is it a beginning or is it an ending? Should you embrace it or do you shut your eyes and pray for the love of whatever god you hold close that it disappears? It is a thing without limitations and restraints, for it carries no conscience, other than what its bearer holds. So I ask, should it be valued or feared? For it begs to be heard and it never, ever, no matter how much you should wish it, offers even the smallest measure of mercies.

Even the gods feel the tug of its call, its alluring charm. All except for one, he believed that he alone held its secrets, and valued curiosity as a favorite trinket to be kept close until such time, as it was needed.

So, be warned friend, for to answer its call - curiosity’s enticing song - it must be with wide eyes and a steady heart, for trouble always follows.'

I am currently doing my best to keep my head above water. Working hard on three different projects, the second book in the Tarkeenia Sagas. It is called - It’s not the Bite that kills you. I am also, co-writing with a very talented UK Author, Pete Emmerson on a fantasy series. We have not given our project a name it is still a work in progress.

My other project is a group effort. I am co-founder of an Australian group of writers and authors, 34 in total and we are working on writing short stories for Australian themed anthologies. We are called Terra Australis and the anthologies we are producing will be published late August this year.

Reading have, always been a very important part of my life and one that I carry with great pride today. The worlds that Enid Blyton created for me, had me reading long after I heard, lights out! From there on in the power of words captured my heart and mind. I progressed to other authors and more complex storylines. The love, I have for this genre shows in my writing and the endless meanderings I put to paper. Authors that have inspired and influenced my writing style are many, but to name a few that stand out as giants are in order, Joe Abercrombie - for me this author has taken fantasy to a new level. The story he creates, are complex, gritty, violent and colourful. I have learnt a great deal from his books, character development and dialogue.

George RR Martin, Fiona McIntosh, Ian Irvine, Guy Gavriel Kay, Julian May, Stephen Donaldson, Robert Jordon, Robin Hobb, Sara Douglass are to name a few that have given me years of enjoyment.

I have from my many years of Field Merchandising come to understand, that all book covers must be visually compelling. All humans are visual creatures, so the artwork must stop a reader mid stride. I used the website Odesk to find a graphic artist I believed capable of illustrating quality fantasy. I chose Cristian Popa. He had an artistic eye, the creative ability and technique to portray my characters, as I visualized them.

To close this wonderful interview, I would like to offer in eight words, my top tip for aspiring authors -

Listen, believe, ask questions and live the dream.


Thank you so much Ellen Mae for that wonderful post! 

Here is the synopsis for 'The Unseen Promise'

Set on the world Tarkeenia, the story marks the struggle between God and man, magic and indefinable evil.

Roedanth wants his brother back, it doesn’t matter that the boy is dead; the young copper apprentice can’t seem to stop wishing. Tainted by the magic of the Dark God – Drakite, tragedy and pain follows Roedanth, from Crows Nest to the Halls of Coowic, where the Magi live.

Tarkeenia is awash with life - man and beast live side by side. Monsters hunt the shadows looking for a bite to eat. The tip of balance between dark and light, good and evil is tenuous, even on a good day. Flesh eating Specks turn the living into dust, and the world is no longer safe. Murrdocks, are a child’s story, woven tales told to enchant and incite fear. Their King lays dying, and Prince Pec having no choice, must turn myth into reality.

Strangers become friends, out of necessity more than compatibility for survival takes on the order of the day. Uneasy alliances are tainted by betrayal and self gain, and unlikely heroes emerge to salvage what they can from a world on the brink of chaos.

Everyone strives to make do in a world bubbling with wild magic, working to remain true to their Calling, as the lives of man and monster hang in the balance, subject to the whims of Gods. Can Tarkeenia survive the tug and pull of the very spoilt, and the very wicked? Can those lost to the dark find a way back to the light? Is it possible to forget, or to forgive and begin again? All these questions and more are answered as the reader walks Tarkeenia’s many paths.


Born in Adelaide, South Australia, this mother of three is following her passion for Fantasy writing. She published The Unseen Promise in 2013, after revitalizing the urge to complete the first book in the Tarkeenia Sagas. She is currently working on subsequent manuscripts and is involved in various writing and creative communities. In her free time, she spends it reveling in the activities she loves: Gardening, Cooking, Traveling, Reading, Singing and spending time with those she loves.

She is writing under the pseudonym of her children’s middle name - Ellen Mae Franklin.


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