An excellent fantasy novel, I found it entertaining and engrossing and loved it.” —Annarellix Book Blog
About The Rite of Abnegation: When a dangerous unidentified foe begins to attack residents of the kingdom of Vandolay, young warlock, Mierta McKinnon must use his newly acquired knowledge and skills from apprenticeship to save them. But the people of Vandolay aren’t the only ones he must save, especially when his younger brother comes face-to-face with the foe.
Describe Mierta McKinnon, the main character of the series and his brother, Lochlann? Mierta’s like a mix of the Eleventh Doctor from Doctor Who and Harry Potter’s Snape. Brilliant, yet arrogant as heck! Lochlann represents the person who doesn’t know who they are, why they’re here or where they’re going.
What have been some of your biggest writing influences? The Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling and, the longest running British sci-fi television show, Doctor Who.
Tell us a little about your writing process and how you approached writing the characters and the world in the series.
Writing Style: I’m a plantser, which means I use a mix of outlining and writing by the seat of my pants (i.e. pantser). I like to give my characters flexibility, so it permits them to surprise me. I wrote this series following a similar writing style that is found in soap opera writing—character driven plots, multiple shifting perspectives and lots of quick paced scenes.
The World: I’ve honestly had a fascination with Ireland and medieval times since I was a young child. Though I’ve yet to actually visit there myself, the country has always seemed magical to me with its numerous myths and legends. Iverna is actually a Latin word meaning ‘from Ireland,’ so, it only seemed right to base my world off that beautiful country and its history.
The Spells: The spells I wanted to do something original and avoid using Latin like most fantasy authors. I have studied several years of Spanish and have always thought its linguistics were magical sounding, so, I decided to base the spells off of the Spanish alphabet.
Mortain McKinnon: He’s the court physician to the kingdom of Vandolay, who is also carrying a big secret. He is a single, overprotective, parent who is simply looking out for the best for his sons.
Mierta McKinnon: I honestly had nothing to do with his design! He was a character that came to me fully developed with the face, voice and mannerisms belonging to British actor, Matt Smith. The Rite of Wands series is Mierta’s story! His character is full of loss; however, it is through his pain that he finds his purpose.
Lochlann McKinnon: Mierta’s younger brother. He doesn’t feel like he fits in this universe. He isn’t intelligent nor able to compound concoctions in the way his older brother can. However, one may argue, he’s the most important character in the entire series!
Tiberius O’Brien: Orlynd’s father. He’s a bit of a mysterious character whose story and motivations are not fully revealed until much later in the series, which is why I’m not going to talk a lot about his design. He offers his son Orlynd to the king of Vandolay in hope to receive forgiveness for a terrible sin he has committed. He, in a way, represents the religious conflict that went on in Ireland.
“A strong fantasy novel that builds an intriguing world from the first line to the last.” — J.D. DeHart, Dr J Reads Book Blog
Orlynd O’Brien: I designed him like the legendary characters Merlin and Obi-Wan Kenobi. He’s a soothsayer, though he doesn’t always trust his visions, nor do people always listen to him. He shares the dual role of the main character of the series with Mierta. Readers tend to often connect with Orlynd because he is treated like an outcast and bullied, but eventually becomes a someone people look up to.
King Déor: I always imagined him to be like a mix of Joffrey from Game of Thrones and Malfoy from Harry Potter. As a teen, he’s a spoiled brat who thinks he’s better than other people simply because he’s the crowned prince. I wanted a character who was unlikeable at first, yet, grows into someone people learn to love, partially in thanks to Orlynd.
Queen Anya: Her character was inspired by the character Marquise de Merteuil in Dangerous Liaisons. Like Merteuil, Anya is a power player, who will do whatever is necessary to get what she wants, especially when it comes to the opposite sex.
Was there any part that was difficult to write in the book, and if so, what was it? There is a conversation in the book that takes place between Mierta and his mother. Unlike the actor I wrote the Mierta character for, Mierta lost his mum at a young age, yet has managed to keep this close connection to her even after her death. I wanted to depict that closeness his counterpart actually has with his mother, which I found to be challenging because I had to use my intuitions. I daresay I managed to portray that relationship…notably.
Besides Mierta, who is your favorite character to write and why? Orlynd because I love the challenge of having to force myself to write his speech out phonetically. (Fun fact: the same speech pattern you’ll find in Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh.)
What would be the one thing you most would want a reader to take away after reading the book? Sometimes we allow fear and other emotions to permit us to make some pretty bad decisions. Like Lochlann, we self-sabotage ourselves, in order to avoid the stage of life. The stage doesn’t ruin you. It reveals you.
What’s up next for this series? How many books are planned for this series? There are seven books in total planned. The next book is when things are really going to get interesting. The Shreya is continuing to spread in Iverna and the Ambassador of Edesia’s son abruptly becomes deathly ill. When Mierta fails to show after being summoned, Lochlann decides to take on more than he can chew in attempt to cure the child himself with a stash of medicines his father left in the castle. Only things go quickly from bad to worse. Someone is going to end up having to pay the price…with their life.
In addition to the Rite of Wands series, do you have more fiction planned? What is it and is it also for the YA reader or is it more adult oriented? Yes! I am currently working on a science fiction short story collection that pays homage to Star Trek Voyager. The main character of this collection, in fact, is inspired by Captain Janeway. The book will be more adult oriented since Voyager’s audience was, too.
Read an Excerpt of The Rite of Abnegation
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Visit Mackenzie’s blog for information on her blog tour, including exclusive content and a fun giveaway!
About Mackenzie Flohr:
Mackenzie Flohr is the multi-award-winning author of the popular middle grade/young adult fantasy series The Rite of Wands. A storyteller at heart, she loves to inspire the imagination. She makes her home in Mount Morris, Michigan, where she is currently penning her next adventure.
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