*Author Interview: Heather Morag Sealey*

Hello Heather 🙂
Tell us a bit about your book
I’ve written a series of 11, so far, with another, stand alone book that, although follows directly on from book ten, was designed to be another way of introducing new readers to the series.
It’s called Kingdom Rising. The series charts a forty year period (with certain parts reaching back to the beginning of creation) in the lives of a small group of people who are set apart for the King.
The King is everything. He is the beginning and the end, the reason the world turns on its axis, he is yesterday, today and tomorrow and the universe is the work of His hands.
But His greatest creation is mankind, made in His image and designed to be creative, compassionate, loving, thoughtful and full of joy and peace in their beautiful world. 
Yet the human race is no longer the King’s. The human race has chosen the way of the demonic Kingdom and the King is all but rejected from the lives of those He loves most.
There are several important storylines within the book, the two most important being the continuing story of four Jewish brothers who are cursed by a Celtic slave at the time of the crucifixion to never find rest, loosely based on the legend of the Wandering Jew. And the tale of a girl who accidentally creates an entire other universe which seems to take on a reality of its own and bleeds into the real world, causing horrific problems which involve both the British and American governments. Throw in the second King Arthur and a lot of demons, just for fun. 

What would say is the genre for your book
I’m not a hundred percent certain they fit into one genre, although there are elements of low fantasy. I tend to say “fantasy with a spiritual edge.”
The later books I’ve dubbed “jigsaw stories” because they’re told from numerous points of view, with the stories intwined together, because no story ever belongs to just one person.

Where did the inspiration come from?
Several places. Firstly, the Kingdom Rising series was conceived as a way of revealing some of the perfection and wonder of the King, Jesus Christ, while stripping away religion. There’s so much power and Glory in the King, but so many people are turned off by the way the church has behaved over the centuries.
The other universe was definitely inspired by my own childhood stories. By the time I was sixteen I had files and files full of other worlds, political situations, languages, characters and cultures that it was only natural some of them would squirm into my later writing.

How did you come up with the title for your book?
Kingdom Rising? The King’s Kingdom rises within people, always. The battle for new territory is always within the human heart. That’s where the war is.
Each individual story is then entitled “something” Rising. Warrior Rising, Eternity Rising, Deva Rising etc.
The stand-alone story is “The King’s Story,” which fictionalises the bible as part of the narrative.

How long did it take you to finish writing the book before the first edit? How many drafts were there in total?
Phew, well, most first drafts take me around seven months, some of the books have gone through more drafts than others. For example, Deva Rising is book three, but it was actually the first book written and I wrote it around fifteen years ago. My goodness has it gone through some changes.

Are there any characters in the book based on people you know?
I genuinely don’t know where I get character inspiration from, but no, no character is based on anyone I know although there will be bits of me in all of them.
The only character that I can say for sure had an inspiration is the bombastic, African-American CIA agent Sam King who becomes an essential character from “Pentecost Rising” onwards. I remember watching James Bond, Live and Let Die, where there is a deeply ineffectual female CIA agent who is utterly useless and is only there to look pretty. This annoys me, nobody would become a CIA agent unless they were very skilled indeed. Therefore Samuel King is bloody effective at his job.

How did you celebrate being published? Did you have a launch party?
No, I just quietly publish them with no fanfare and move on to the next.

Would you care to give us an extract?
This is from “The King’s Story” when Sam King is tortured by Hasar, a demon.
Hasar drew in a long sigh and ran the blade along Sam’s arm until it reached his shoulder, then he allowed the knife to hover against Sam’s throat.
     “I’ve been on earth a very long time. You wouldn’t believe how long, and I watched humanity fall. I watched you devolve into little more than cave-dwelling beasts when you were first separated from the King, and then I helped drag you up from the slime to become what you are today.”
     “Good for you.”
     “That,” Hasar nodded to the symbol painted on Sam’s hand, “Is an offence. You have no right to bear the mark of the King.”
     “I guess the King chooses who he chooses, right?”
     “He does. But there are human beings more worthy than you.”
     “Yeah, you’re probably right.”
Hasar half closed his eyes. “Your race is so full of pride. It used to be that you at least knew your places. King and noble, knight and serf.” Hasar’s look darkened a little. “Master and slave.”
     “Times change.”
     “Indeed. People don’t. Tell me Mr, King, who was your father?”
It was a strange question and asked with peculiar intensity.
     “He was a cop.”
     “Hmm. And his father? And his father before him?”
     “Does it matter?”
     “It matters. Why do you think scripture provides endless genealogies? They matter. Who your ancestors were matter. So tell me about your great, great grandparents? Who were they? Were they respectable members of the community?”
Sam stared into Hasar’s eyes.
     “I’m not ashamed of my family.”
     “No? You should be?”
     “My grandpa washed dishes for a living and I’m damned proud of him. There wasn’t a whole lot else he was allowed to do.”
Hasar chuckled. “Go further back Mr. King. Let’s start with your borrowed name? Because it isn’t yours, is it?”
      Sam set his jaw. “It was the name of the plantation owner, yeah. Samuel J King. I’m told he was a good man. Better than most.”
Hasar found this extremely amusing. “There’s slavery in your blood Mr, King. You can wear all the fancy suits you like, but it doesn’t change the fact your place is serving those better than you.”
     “You know something? This is getting boring.”
     “Don’t you like being reminded of where you come from? Is it a sore point? Does it make you angry?”
This time Sam laughed, and it wasn’t the laugh of an angry man, but the laugh of a man who was comfortable in his own skin.
     “I was an angry kid, sure, but I had a grandpa who was waaay more than just the guy who washed the dishes for white folks. I had a grandpa who remembered the stories of life before emancipation. He taught me that freedom was worth fighting for and that freedom came with the responsibility not to treat other folks the way they treat you.”
Hasar pressed the knife against the soft flesh at Sam’s throat.
     “Three hundred years ago I owned a dozen slaves just like you.” He hissed. “You’re no better than they were.”
Sam held himself still, he could feel the cold sharp metal.
     “I think they were probably a whole lot better than I am. They had to put up with dicks like you calling the shots.”

How do you beat writers block? Any tips?
 Take a break, get fresh air, do something else and try to relax. The words usually start to flow again when I’m least expecting them.
Do you have any hobbies apart from writing?
I enjoyed long-distance running until I ruptured my calf, now I try to get out for long walks whenever possible, and I love spending time with my husband and children.
When you write, do you consider yourself to be a plotter or a pantser?
 A pantser without a doubt. When I begin a novel I’m excited, I have no idea how the plot will grow, what characters will turn up and where it will go. Somehow, it always comes together, but sometimes I have no idea how it will.
Do you have any advice for fellow writers?
Nothing that probably hasn’t been said a thousand times. Read everything, every genre, especially classics. Write, write, write. Even if the first ten books you write are awful, you’ll still improve. It’s like running, you can only learn by doing.
If your book became a film- who would you pick to play the main characters?
I really don’t think my books could ever be films, each one is more like an entire season of a television programme. There are too many plot lines.
I see you have new work in progress- care to tell us about it?
I’m half working on a new stand-alone book and also book 12, Freedom Rising. I have a lot of loose ends to tie up. Sam King has to be rescued from Hades where he’s just spent the last five centuries, another character, a man with the mantle of King Arthur, is trapped in Avalon, a realm controlled entirely by HaSatan (Satan) and his wife is pregnant by HaSatan (although doesn’t remember) and I have a hundred other plotlines I need to pick up on.
I’m always torn between continuing my series or trying to find new ways to help new readers jump aboard. I have no idea how many books the series will run.
Lastly, where can readers find you and your book on the internet?

I have an author page on Amazon, both UK and USA, and my own website.

41r76sgcdkl Cover of the first in the series.
Thankyou so much for participating 🙂

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