Everyone I am SO excited that today I am hosting MEDICINE FOR THE DEAD by Author Arianne “Tex” Thompson!! Check out the awesome excerpt and interview below!
BIO: Arianne “Tex” Thompson is a home-grown Texas success story. A relentless fantasy enthusiast dual-wielding a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in literature, Tex has since channeled her interests into an epic fantasy Western series, which kicked off in 2014 with the release of ONE NIGHT IN SIXES and its 2015 sequel, MEDICINE FOR THE DEAD. In addition to writing cowboys-and-fishmen fantasy, she is an active member of SFWA, and currently serves as editor for the DFW Writers Conference. Find her online at http://www.thetexfiles.com and on Twitter as @tex_maam!
Medicine for the Dead
Children of the Drought, Book Two
BLURB: Two years ago, the crow-god Marhuk sent his grandson to Sixes.
Two nights ago, a stranger picked up his gun and shot him.
Two hours ago, the funeral party set out for the holy city of Atali’Krah, braving the wastelands to bring home the body of Dulei Marhuk.
Out in the wastes, one more corpse should hardly make a difference. But the blighted landscape has been ravaged by drought, twisted by violence, and warped by magic – and no-one is immune. Vuchak struggles to keep the party safe from monsters, marauders, and his own troubled mind. Weisei is being eaten alive by a strange illness. And fearful, guilt-wracked Elim hopes he’s only imagining the sounds coming from Dulei’s coffin.
As their supplies dwindle and tensions mount, the desert exacts a terrible price from its pilgrims – one that will be paid with the blood of the living, and the peace of the dead.
On an arid plain under a blistering bright sky, someone dressed as an Ara-Naure woman walked east towards the sun, carrying a fur-swaddled infant.
And swearing at it.
“Can’t you be still, you nasty little parasite,” she said over its tireless screams. “I’m thirsty as well, but you don’t see me having fits over it, do you?”
The plume of black smoke behind them was now scarcely a wisp on the horizon. In the heat of the day, nothing else moved but one idle rat snake, its tongue flicking in tandem with the darting of the caretaker’s eyes as she clutched her disagreeable prize.
Then she felt the front of her deerskin dress feebly accosted, and looked down in loathsome surprise. “What? Do you think there is anything there for you? Here, if it will shut you up, have your udder…”
She pushed her false hair out of the child’s reach, put the tip of one gaunt finger to its mouth, and relished a few moments of desperately-suckling silence. Then it turned its face away and shrieked with fresh, frustrated outrage.
She withdrew her hand, her cracked lips curling back over small, sharp teeth. “Well, scream all you want! You are a damned ungrateful child, you miserable ugly runt, and when we get to the river I will drown you and leave you for the fishmen!”
But although the child carried on unabated, assuring their mutual misery, her hurried steps and hunted eyes suggested that she did not intend to surrender it to anyone.
Guys check out my chat with Author Arianne “Tex” Thompson!
Hello Arianne, I’m so happy to chat with you today! Let’s jump right in:)
Please tell us about your current release:)
Well, Medicine for the Dead is basically Lord of the Rings, if Frodo and Sam were Native Americans, and the One Ring was a corpse getting riper by the day, and the quest involved getting said corpse through Mordor and home for burial without getting killed by demons, drought, or those peculiar noises coming from inside the coffin… (We could have just as easily called it The Road Trip From Hell, but that seemed too easy. 🙂
What inspired you to write this book?:)
Chronic egotism, creative desperation, and an insatiable craving for authorial legitimacy 🙂
No, but really – this is the middle book in a trilogy, and even though it’s part of a larger arc, it’s also its own story. To me, this is a book about the struggle to do the right thing – to figure out what the right thing is, first of all, and try to hold to it even when things feel hopeless, and the world seems to be falling apart around you. It took me years to find the heart of this story, but it’s one that I’m incredibly passionate about.
What exciting story are you working on next?:)
Well, this book is basically The Empire Strikes Back, so of course I have to get to work on Return of the Jedi! I’m thinking more fishmen, fewer Ewoks, and maybe a James Earl Jones voiceover 🙂
Greatest experience since being published:)
Okay, so this is personal and kind of sappy, but I think the best moment of this whole ride happened after my first book came out, when my dad told me he was proud of me. It wasn’t a big dramatic Lifetime movie moment or anything – my dad’s an awesome guy, and we have a great relationship – but we’re much better at talking about politics and Star Trek episodes than anything with feelings in it. Hearing him say that so casually and suddenly was such a surprise, and a huge, huge affirmation.
What do you wish readers to take from the experience of reading your works?:)
Y’know, if you ask me, the worst part about the human experience (well, aside from the whole suffering-and-death thing) is that we have to spend our whole lives being just one person. And the best part about books is that – more than any other medium – they let you live someone else’s life. More than anything else, I want people to finish mine thinking about ‘the other point of view’. About how we are – all of us – struggling, feeling, vulnerable, imperfect human beings… even and especially when we act irrationally or make bad choices.
Advice for new writers:)
Personally, I get a lot of mileage out of listening. When you listen to the way people talk, you write better dialogue. When you listen to people’s experiences, you write better characters. And when you listen to readers’ feedback, you write better stories. Sometimes that’s much harder than it sounds – I think half the game is just being able to set your own emotions aside long enough to really hear what’s being said – but as both a writer and a person, it’s an incredibly valuable skill.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
At the moment, I’m really excited to be partnering with Rachel Caine to help raise money for Con or Bust, a non-profit initiative that provides financial support for people of color to attend fan conventions. It’s a cause I’m hugely passionate about, and from now until May 3rd, we’re auctioning off some wonderful rare and limited-edition goodies (including autographed books, a manuscript critique, and a pair of vampire bunny slippers!) If you’re in the market to treat yourself or someone else, or just want to support a terrific cause, please check it out!
Thanks SO much Arianne for stopping by!:)