Monday, January 25, 2016

F.T. McKinstry's Outpost Fantasy Blitz & Giveaway

Immortal warriors who live by the sword. 
A gate between the worlds.
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Enter to win one of three eCopies
Outpost
by F.T. McKinstry

My rating: 4 stars

Series: The Fylking - Book 1
Publication Date: November 1, 2015
Publisher: F.T. McKinstry
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Print Length: 370 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads
 
In a war-torn realm occupied by a race of immortal warlords called the Fylking, trouble comes with a price. Using the realm as a backwater outpost from which to fight an ancient war, the Fylking protect the portals between the worlds by the sword. Their enemies, without pity, are bent on annihilation.

Arcmael is a seer with a tormented past. A servant of the Fylking, his solitary life takes a turn when he’s set upon by a warlock gathering an army of warriors that cannot die. Othin, a seasoned ranger who defends the realm, is snared in a political trap that forces him to choose between love and honor. A knitter touched by the gods catches the eye of a dark immortal with no name and the power to summon storms.

Bound by synchronicity, these three mortals are caught on a wave of rising darkness, murder, treachery, sorcery and war. Finding allies in unlikely places, they must rally to protect the boundaries of the Otherworld against a plot that will violate the balance of cosmos, destroy the Fylking and plunge the world into ruins.

The god they serve is as fickle as a crow.
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 http://tometender.blogspot.com/2016/01/outpost-by-ft-mckinstry-fylking-1.html

Outpost (The Fylking, #1)

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1. Tell us about F.T. McKinstry, the person, not the author.

My first name is Faith. I’m a textbook empath, an artist, have a green thumb, and eclectic tastes in books and music. I worship cats.

I always tried to fit in, but every time I got on the bus it crashed into a ditch somewhere. I once had a respectable high tech career, a house, nice things, debts and all my dreams in little graves by the garden hedge—publishing included. But I never cared much for cultural expectations and eventually my soul rose up and smashed my life apart. After two decades, I finally ended up where my heart was: way north, in the mountain woods with long winters and a nearby stream I can hear when the water is high.

In 2006, my partner, who’s in the Vermont National Guard, was deployed to Iraq. That’s when things got real. Over several years he was deployed twice, leaving me here with my cats, fishes and books, really scared, my innocence shattered. Fifteen years of writing fantasy in the shadows became a do-or-die scenario. I became more and more reclusive, studied Northern European shamanism and fought my demons with desperate resolve. I published my books and stories, drew, painted, and bled until I began to emerge in a new skin.

Needless to say, this process is by no means done with me. But that’s ok. It keeps me out of trouble.


2. Tell us THREE things about you that most people wouldn't know or cannot be found online.


- About that high tech career I shamelessly abandoned to become a suffering artist... I was restless and easily bored. I worked as an electronics technician, technical writer, illustrator, and software engineer at companies that made image processing systems, scanning electron microscopes and robotic equipment for semiconductor cleanrooms. I converted hardcopy mechanical drawings to digital for a nuclear power plant. In night school I took a course in programming language compilers. For my final exam, I wrote the front end of a compiler (called a parser generator) in the AWK programming language (a Unix utility). The instructor told me it was the weirdest thing he’d ever seen anyone do and gave me an A-.

- In the 90s, I shaved off half my hair, died the other half jet black and wore a nose ring. Then I remembered that one time when I was a kid when my grandfather gave me a pixie haircut and it took a third of my freaking childhood to grow it back. So I got to repeat that. And never did it again.

- I love my aquarium. A while back, I thought adding live plants would be a cool idea. How hard could it be? Huh. There’s a delicate balance between plants and fish and it’s governed by countless variables. It took me months to get it right so that everything lived and thrived, and it still requires vigilance. Moral of the story: Nature knows what she’s doing.


3. If you were going to spend a month on a primitive island what one person and three things would you take?

- People stress me out; I’d bring a cat.
- A wooden flute
- A high-powered telescope
- A large box of books (duh) including grimdark fantasy novels, an illustrated guide to identifying flora and fauna on primitive islands, and a manual on star constellations.

4. When will your next release be? Any idea?

No clear idea. The next book in The Fylking is taking shape in my mind, but I haven’t started writing it down yet. I’m brooding on it. (I like to brood.)


Connect with F.T. McKinstry
Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest
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Ready for a chance to win some great fantasy?
F.T. McKinstry is giving away THREE eCopies of 
OUTPOST
International where allowed
Ends 11:59PM February 8, 2016

22 comments:

  1. I want to know what F.T. believes is essential to a book to call it epic fantasy :)

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    1. Hi Claudette! Awesome question. I’ll confess that putting subgenre tags on my work like “epic,” “dark,” or “heroic” gives me impostor syndrome. I often let my readers help me with it. There are many articles around on what defines “epic” fantasy, but my general take involves a level of detail, the complexity of a world, the scope of things; what’s at stake and how far it reaches; and dynamic range — how high and low it brings the reader. It’s not all about length, either. A story doesn’t have to be 800 pages to be epic.

      To me, it’s more about feel. Does it feel like my favorite metal album or an EA Games soundtrack? Does it put me in Middle Earth or a Viking saga? Does it tear chasms in my heart and make me question reality? Then it qualifies. But I also think this is pretty subjective. :)

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  2. I'm looking for a new fantasy book to read and this one definitely sounds like it will be a good one. thanks!

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  3. What a great interview. I love hearing about the person behind the art. In case you haven't already made this live plants plus fish mistake in your aquarium, here's a warning: silver dollar fish DEVOUR plants, eat them down to the nubs. Frustrating to the extreme. Good luck to you, looking forward to reading your book.

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    1. Hi Sarah, thanks for the visit! Funny you mention silver dollar fishes. I tried this many years ago, before I embarked on the plant thing seriously. I just bought a couple of plants and stuck them into the gravel to see what would happen...and I had silver dollars...so you can guess what happened. lol Plastic plants, that's what.

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  4. New Author for me.
    Thanks for the chance.

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  5. I love that the author left the hum-drum of a normal life and took a chance to do what she loves. Heading to the mountains and living an adventurous life. I'm a little envious!

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    1. Hello! Thanks for stopping by. For the record, most of my "adventures" happen in my mind with a keyboard. lol That whole "do what you love" thing is certainly worth striving for, but I learned quickly that the romance is overrated. Life came along and happened anyway. :o

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  6. I think this has what a good fantasy should have by the sounds of it.

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  7. Epic fantasy should have fascinating characters running amok within an amazing world.

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    1. I like that. It brings up a good visual, like Glen Cook's Black Company novels.

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  8. I think a good epic fantasy needs scope. It needs to make you feel like there's something big at stake and more important than yourself when you become immersed in the story. Landscape/setting is important too. You need to not just picture your environment, but be enveloped in the environment. Plenty of action and intrigue can't hurt either. :)

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    1. Hello Kaela. That's a spot-on description...I agree. Thanks for sharing. :)

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  9. as an avid fan of fantasy works by authors like Tolkien and Terry Brooks an 'epic' fantasy for me has to have a plotl-ine that keeps the reader hooked, good strong, well thought out characters and most important of all for me is a good geography that I can visualise as I read

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    1. Hello, and thanks for commenting! I originally read Tolkien in the 70s when I was a kid, re-read LOTR every year for many years and to this day it doesn't fail to inspire me. I could say Tolkien pretty much created epic fantasy as we know it; but I think his inspiration, things like the Norse sagas, were the original epics. They have the same feel.

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  10. Best of luck to you, F.T., with your new novel!

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