Monday, 21 December 2009

Readers Favorite Awards finalist!

Curse of the Tahiéra is among the finalists of the Readers Favorites Awards contest 2009!
Category: Fiction - Fantasy/ Sci-fi.

The winners are announced on January 15, 2010.
Visit Readers Favorite

Thursday, 17 December 2009

5 star review by Reader Views: "You will truly not be able to put this book down."

"When I finished this book, I was so happy to find out that there will be another book by the same author continuing this story about the Einache and Tzanatzi people. Wendy Gillissen is a very skilled writer, and she has created a wonderful, fantastic world with characters that are relatable on many levels. This novel is, on the surface, a wonderfully written and entertaining fantasy novel, but it has depth. It teaches us all a lesson about war, and how there are always two sides to every story.

This story captures your interest from the first few pages. You might be wary at first because there are over 400 pages, and relatively small type, but you will be thankful that there is more to the story. There are so many details, you really begin to feel like you are in this story and you know the characters, and become worried about their fates. Rom is a young boy of the Tzanatzi race, a race that has been feared and therefore ostracized by others. He meets a Yaever (a dream-walker, one who is able to visit other worlds and influence them) named Yldich, who has had a prophetic dream about Rom. Rom discovers that he is both a key participant in starting and ending the war that is going on between the people of his world, and he is not sure which side he wants to fight on.

You will truly not be able to put this book down. It contains elements of fantasy, adventure, magic, war, and romance. I highly recommend Curse of the Tahiera by Wendy Gillissen to young adults and adults that enjoy a well-written and well-imagined fantasy. This book is complete, and has a satisfying ending. So I was surprised to see that there would be another book, but I am looking forward to Gillissen's next book set many years later, and finding out what happens to this world that she has created."
Reader Views, Victoria Gonzales

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Interview by Perpetual Prose

Wendy, how and when did your love for fantasy begin?

I think it really started a long time ago. I am from the Netherlands and my parents were in love with the United Kingdom. They even named me after the Welsh Moon Goddess. We travelled to the hills of England, Scotland and Wales each year since I was five years old. I loved the lonely moors, the ancient trees and the crumbling castles where, if I really concentrated I see the medieval knights and ladies walking around.

My love of reading fantasy started with reading Lord of the Rings in English at age 15 or so. It was a library book in three volumes, and you can imagine my chagrin when I had finished part two, The Two Towers, and part three, The Return of the King was checked out and not available for a week. Talk about a cliff hanger!

What can we expect from your debut novel, Curse of the Tahiéra?

“Curse of the Tahiéra” is not a typical fantasy: it’s more like a semi-historical novel set in an early medieval setting that will remind some readers of the Celtic and Anglo-Saxon world. I suppose it is really three books rolled into one: it’s a quest adventure, a coming of age tale, and a story of healing the wounds of war.

The story revolves around Rom, a young man shunned for his Tzanatzi ancestry. When he crosses paths with Yldich, a mysterious Einache Shaman, they embark on a journey which will change their lives and that of their people forever.

Faced with power-hungry Southern nobles, rowdy Northern Einache warriors, shamans and Yldich’s spirited daughter Maetis, Rom has to grow up fast if he is to fulfil Yldich’s prophecy and free his people from a curse that has haunted them for five hundred years.

Tell us about your association with OBOD (Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids).

I have always been a very spiritual person, though I never gravitated towards organized religion. From a very young age on, I was convinced of the sacredness of all life. Nature-based spirituality like druidry is a way to study and celebrate the sacredness of life and the earth. I enrolled in the OBOD bardic training course (the first stage of becoming a druid, where the emphasis is on music, story-telling, and other forms of creativity) when I had first started writing, and I must admit I have been a very lazy bard as far as studying the gwersu (Welsh for lessons) is concerned. But I have been into so many bardic activities: writing, playing the Celtic harp, jewellery making… so though I am not a very conscientious student, I am living the bardic way, so to speak ;-)

Does your knowledge of Clinical Psychology, dreamwork and past life therapy ever seep into your writing?

Yes, I suppose it’s inevitable! I think my experience as a psychologist and past life therapist really helps me get into the minds and hearts of my characters and manifest them as three-dimensional beings. Healing the wounds of the past, which is what I do as a therapist, is also very much the focus of my first book. (In part two, “The Search for Tzanáta” the focus is more on power – finding your own power, and the consequences of denying or misusing your true power.)

Dreams as a reality underlying daily life has also made its way into my book – as Yldich, my shaman character explains, there are different kinds of dreams – nonsensical dreams, dreams in which you learn something important about the world or yourself, and: dreams in which you are free to explore the different worlds parallel to our own, including the Underworld. Of course you need to be very careful when entering the underworld. You might meet your darkest fears there, or your own shadow!

Dreams, when used skilfully can also serve as a great flashback device; in the novel they help Rom discover his roots and true past.

If you could collaborate with 2 authors, Wendy, who would they be and why?

Well, of course I would have loved to collaborate with professor Tolkien, but I would need a really good time machine to do that. Another author I would love to collaborate with one day is a fellow writer I just met online, Derek Hart. I just finished reading the first in his dragon novel series, a story set in World War II Britain starring sir Thaddeus Osbert, a 1500 your old dragon. Thaddeus shares some uncanny similarities with my character Yldich, a 500 year old shaman. They both have great power, great heart and a dry, British sense of humour. It would be great fun to get them together one day! What stories they could tell one another…

If I may, I would like to add a third author: one of my readers recently introduced me to an online comic called “The Abominable Charles Christopher”, a bittersweet tale about the adventures of a naïve abominable Snowman, by Karl Kerschl. What fun it would be to see him turn “Curse of the Tahiéra” into a comic!

To learn more about Wendy Gillissen, visit:

Read the interview on perpetual Prose

Sunday, 6 December 2009

New review by "One Person's Journey through a World of Books"

Sheila de Chantal, coffee lover (like me) and prolific book blogger added a lovely review of Curse of the Tahiéra on her blog One Person's Journey through a World of Books!

"I like a good fantasy adventure. Following Rom and Yldich through the pages of this book looking for an ancient curse was a wild adventure that I slowly picked up on the rhythm of the book. Sometimes language can throw me off and words such as erstwae and Daydach proved to be stumbling blocks for me and in the beginning of the book I had a hard time with these words. Thank goodness author Wendy Gillissen put the definitions (any many more words like them) in the back of the book for reference!

As our two characters travel North together there are a series of dreams that deeply trouble Rom and cause quite a plot for this read. I found it interesting how Wendy wove a deeper meaning into these dreams and how a troubled past can truly effect your present if not dealt with. For what I would call a YA read, this book was a bit deeper than I had anticipated."

Visit Sheila's Blog

In case you're wondering: Curse of the Tahiéra is not officially classified as YA, though I imagine readers from ages 12 and up should enjoy the book depending on their taste.
Wendy Gillissen

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Past life dreams... did you ever have any?

Dreams are a big part of Curse of the Tahiéra. Dreams telling of the past, dreams foreshadowing the future...

Past life dreams are often vivid and linger long after you wake up. You experience yourself being someone else, possibly even of different gender, in another time and place - but the feelings and thoughts are real and immediate.

Did you ever have a past life dream?

In the course of my life I've had several, including a dream of a life as a medieval crusader, a young man in Cornwall who was killed by pirates (my own fault mind you, by trying to cheat them!), a pirate, a female druid... and many more!

Which cover for the sequel?

I have two choices for the cover of The Search for Tzanáta, the sequel to Curse of the Tahiéra.
As you can see, the one on the right features the lovely artwork of Michèlle Ross, a black-and-white pencil drawing of Ayra, a new character, playing a moonlight harp for the Woodland Elven King. The one on the left features my favourite tree on Kefalonia, the island where my novels were conceived. They are equally beautiful in their own way, so I am having a hard time choosing.

Which cover should I choose? Comments are more than welcome!