Through the Oracle’s Mist
by Aedan Byrnes
Cyrenna thought she died the day she watched Tynan and his brothers jump through the banishment portal in an act of solidarity with Rigor. Little did she know, it would be the first of many deaths she would experience in her quest to claim his heart. She would surrender not only her immortal soul, but a mortal one repeatedly. Through a deal with the great Oracle, she has multiple mortal lifetimes to change the direction of her future and have a chance with Tynan.
Her journey spans the ages from the GenPei War in Japan and the Silk Road west, to Cromwell, the Three Kingdoms and modern times, bringing her one step closer to forever until she makes a misstep. Then, the burden falls to Tynan. The only thing that is absolute is her fervent hope that he will come, but there’s one big problem.
Through it all, he doesn’t so much as know her name.
How many times can a man be broken? How many times can a man die and never have it be final? How many lost loves or lost chances at love will it take to undo any chance of ever becoming whole? In the purest sense…only one. Nothing I could imagine or ever endure would compete for the absolute punishing agony of her folding me into her arms to comfort me and hearing her whisper…
Two words. Who knew that two words would be all that it would take to loose the storm? Hardly two words really, only five letters. Five little letters with extreme power. Five little letters to rob Zeus of his most lethal bolt, focus the strike, and rend me in pieces. The surge had pushed past my pride and leaves me sobbing for the loss I had yet to experience. A loss I knew would take my breath, but I cannot die. How cruelly ironic that death has become my sole wish now?
My internal emotional upheaval is a flash storm out of place beneath the cloudless sky. The cacophony of my noisy tears and transition scatter the small creatures for miles. I have no control and shift without grace. Rage and pain coalesce to an explosion, angst roaring as the internal battle is waged and the war lost before the call to arms is done sounding. My thunderous eruption screaming against the fading light, with a rising silvery moon and shimmering stars to bear witness to my destruction. The metamorphosis from man to beast is abrupt. I shift, not with the flexing of bone and the stretching of skin, but with the crack of a gun blast and a single pull to form. It is razor wire across my senses and I am bloodied raw without a trace to be found.
A testament to her, she stands still. Not frozen, but placated to let me render the fury that must come out as I cannot hold it in. The beast from within is enormous, but not big enough to hold so much. I warned her. I told her. I had made her aware almost cruelly that first time I let my inner wild out that this day might come…could come…would come and that it would be ushered in on an unseen tide that would sweep our perfect world away. I had wanted her to be afraid. She wasn’t. She had believed, but had also naively assured me that the day would be long into the future and we would enjoy the time until then.
She had been wrong. There was nothing to say now. ‘I’m sorry’ would be a hollow sentiment and ‘I was wrong’ would do nothing as the last thing I would want to hear and know about this was that I had been right.
It is my pleasure to interview Aedan Byrnes, author of Through the Oracle’s Mist.
First let me give you a little background on Mr. Byrnes.
There is no simple description for Aedan Byrnes. Obsessive, dreamer, reclusive, compulsive, outdoorsman and wordsmith would be among the list if one were started. The displaced Gael lives in the upper Midwest with family between jaunts wherever the road takes him. A frequent traveler, he is as likely to be found rock climbing or spelunking as sitting fireside dreaming or aimlessly floating away.
A lifelong lover of words and writing, he claims a diverse reading appetite and his writing reflects the myriad influences. A self-proclaimed ‘reader’s writer’, he looks for the emotional and the sensory in word combinations, not just the visceral comprehension of phrases in the stories he crafts and his love of all things literary shines through.
Mr. Byrnes, please tell us a little about your book, Through the Oracle’s Mist, and what inspired you to write it?
Through the Oracle’s Mist is the first book of the Vengelys Series. It is a tale of choices, and the decisions we make to reach a goal. In this case, the sacrifices made to gain forever, or at least a chance of forever. This story started as a filler idea for something else. It grew and developed into something that could no longer be called filler or relevant to the other work, so it had to come out.
When you start writing a new novel, do you outline the story or do your characters dictate what will happen?
I cannot claim to actually consciously make that decision. Most often, I feel like that the characters start bugging me. My favorite question is “And then what?” to which the answers are never simple, and so begets the tale. I do, however, know the entire tale before I write. I’ve heard it in my head and refined the language of it before I ever sit down. The longest part is organizing the telling so it makes sense to anyone but me.
Do you ever have arguments with your characters and, if you do, who usually wins?
I think my characters have arguments, but with each other, not with me. It’s sort of like ‘show and tell’ for me…I may know what it is they are showing me, but I wait for the telling anyway because that’s polite and proper. The other characters will usually jab in with their rendition and so we begin with the refining and waiting to see whose tale gets sway on paper. Through the Oracle’s Mist changed a great deal near the end and it threw the next books for a loop as well, so I’m quietly watching some things still in my mind’s eye to know where they fit.
What is something about you your readers would be surprised to know?
Technology wise I am dumb as a box of rocks. I am SO THANKFUL for my editor and my street team members who tell me how to do things and fix things because I just have no idea. My desk is a mess of sticky notes with directions on them how to do indents, or change spacing, or things like that. Poor, but wonderful gals have had a dickens of a time teaching me about the Twitter and something new called Instagram. One day I will have a permanent helper for those things.
If you could write with any other author who would it be any why?
That is such a mammoth question…there are so many and for just as many reasons. I think at the top of the list, I would love to work with John Grisham. His ability to throw me every time makes him a wonderful read. I have not once been able to get an ending correctly. I truly enjoy the history that Nelson DeMille weaves into his work and would love to sit near his table, too. I could go on and on with the greats.
When you were little what did you dream of becoming when you grew up and why?
I think that may have changed with the weather. My mum said I could be anything I wanted to be and I tried so many things, always excited to see the next thing. As an adult, too, I’m always looking for a new adventure.
When did you decide to write and what prompted you to start?
I don’t think I decided. I’ve written for years in one way or another and just did because I could. Traditional publication was a decision, but writing itself has always been one of my escapes.
What music inspires your writing?
It really doesn’t. I cannot tell you anyone who is on the radio any more than who is on the tele or in a film. I grew up playing classical, so that would likely be my fallback, but writing for me is truly a journey elsewhere and I don’t have or use other things to go. I write in complete silence except for me talking out loud as I sound out bits.
What is your favorite breakfast? Biscuits & gravy with strangled eggs.
What is your favorite color? Green.
What is your favorite movie? I don’t think I have one.
What is your dream car? Black on Black 1969 Chevy Nova SS (there’s a pic on me Facebook)
How can our readers find you?
Other website: http://www.cafepress.com/AuthorAedanByrnes
Aedan will be awarding to one randomly drawn commenter a journal from his CafePress storefront, a charm and leather bracelet made for the story and a custom cover shepherd hook style bookmark made by Stone Soup Designs for Through the Oracle’s Mist. The bracelet leather colors and the journal cover may differ from the photo.
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