Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Back to Pressed Leaf Publishing is Philippa Ballantine, 
Author of the Historical Fanstasy,Weather Child.  
We introduced the cover several weeks ago. 
Since then I was lucky enough to have an 
interview with Philippa, I believe you'll appreciate it as much as I did.
The Author has left you a list of perks today,
 make sure you check them out after the interview 
and enter your name to receive a copy of Weather Child.
Please enjoy your visit here today, courtesy of Bewitching Book Tours,
and don't forget, we just love comments…PLP.

Weather Child
The Awakened Epoch
Book One
Philippa Ballantine
Genre: Historical Fantasy                                  
Publisher: Imagine That! Studios
Date of Publication:  1st March 2014
ISBN: 978-0615953489
Word Count: 105,000
Cover Artist: Alex White

Book Description:
Never alone. Never apart.
They are the Awakened, a unique breed of people in a remote corner of the world. Faith is one of these gifted carriers of the Seraphim; and in return of her unconditional love, her Seraphim grants her powers of incredible potential.
But not all carriers embrace their blessing.
Jack loathes being an Awakened. He never asked for it, his Seraphim keeping him alive even in spite of his desire to die. Not even a great war could rid him of this curse.
Now a magician of incredible ability and a walking dead man must find a way to work together to save the Seraphim. Someone covets the power of the Awakened, and will not stop until that power belongs to him.

Author Interview

This was a fun interview to do…I found Philippa's blog interesting to roam around and that led me to know more about her, which brought up some questions.  She has a very unique life, this author from New Zealand…you should take a look for yourself.

  1. To begin with, the cover of The Weather Child is very artistic, it makes me want to pick up the book and begin reading.   How do you get the image or idea you have in your head to become a reality?  How much freedom did you give the artist, Alex White, to explore from his side?

Alex is a long time friend, writer, musician…and just all around talented guy. He worked with my husband and I on our independently published Ministry Protocol, giving us a wonderful steampunk shot which he made into a beautiful covers. However, when I went to him and said, I would love to see Faith in a storm, hovering…but I don’t know how you would do that…’ he said immediately, ‘I know exactly how to do that weightless effect.’
I laughed when he told me his plan. Alex and his team did a fantastic job. They had a model sprayed with water to simulate the ‘being in a storm’ bit, and then she jumped on a trampoline in front of a green screen. Some of the outtakes were hilarious I can tell you. Alex and I agreed on one perfect shot, and then he went away and worked his Photoshop magic. His wife Renee Chantel White, did the beautiful font work of the title to match the Art Deco of the period the story is set in. To say I was please would be an understatement!

2.  This book is the first in the new series that you have categorized as Historical Fantasywhat exactly is historical fantasy?

Historical fantasy is urban fantasy in a historic timeframe. It is a great way to play with my favorite subject of the past, and yet still fill it with wonderful paranormal goings on.

3.  I know you have a BA in English Lit and Political Science and that you spent a great deal of your life working in “the magical world of libraries”.  With all that literature surrounding you for so many years you must have soaked yourself in what a good story was all about.  How did this background set you up to become the writer that you are?  Were there specific books along your journey that truly inspired you?

I never knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had a tremendous love of words, but back then the idea of being a fantasy writer in New Zealand was a pipedream. I fell into the world of libraries completely by mistake, but it felt like a natural home. It made me realize that what I had been looking for was right in front of me…and maybe that other dream of being a writer wasn’t as unattainable as I thought.  My inspiration came from my father’s book shelves. I adored CJ Cherryh, Anne McCaffrey, and Andre Norton. I loved their worlds and their characters, and I decided that I wanted to follow their path.

4.  Why fantasy and more to the point, I’m very curious about your other work, what is it about steampunk?

Fantasy is my first literary love. I read it from being a teenager, and it is the boundless possibilities of the imagination it provides. Dragons, magic, unicorns…you can have whatever you want.
Steampunk is many things, but for me it is just fun. Much like while I was working with Weather Child, it tickles my love of history, while allowing me to play in a rich world of gadgets and corsets. The aesthetic is so wonderful as well. The Victorian age was one of enthusiasm for technology and exploration that I think we have lost some of in our modern age.

5.  So how does a native New Zealander, weaned on Lord of the Rings, end up in Virgina?

Well, it is all about love really. As much as I love New Zealand, I ended up falling madly for my fellow author Tee Morris. Tee and I had been friends and colleagues for years, but that eventually became something far more. I realized about the same time, that my career as a writer could be furthered by living in the States, so it all worked out in the end. New Zealand is still a place we love to visit, and we imagine that is where we will retire to eventually, but for now Virginia is home.

6.  Your work has merited some tremendous acclaim for you with an Airship Award for best written steampunk and top listed Scifi books on Goodreads, the Steampunk Chronicles Readers Choice Award for best fiction, as well as interesting unique categories such as the Parsec and Sir Julius Vogel Awards for your podcasts in New Zealand.  This must be very satisfying as an author to receive such accolades from your peers.  Does it add a certain sense of freedom to your writing, knowing you’re on the right path, or do you feel more pressure to produce?

Oh awards don’t really soothe the nagging doubt inside an author’s head. You still need to produce, still worry about every little detail as you put it down. They are nice to look at in moments of doubt, and Tee and I do have a shelf of them in our office, but they certainly are not an excuse to rest on our laurels. There is always a new achievement, and a new goal to strive for.

7. Typically my seventh question is dedicated to, well, the dedication in your book.  Unfortunately, I only have an ARC so I do not know if there was a dedication or not so I cannot ask a personal question about, would you care to either share your dedication or leave us with a fresh one now?

In the ARC I was still struggling with how best to encompass all the people that inspired Weather Child, but in the end it came down to three. My two grandmothers and by beloved great aunt. Weather Child draws from all the stories that they told me and their lives. They are gone now, but I like to think that they would enjoy the story, and hopefully see how much I listened to them while they were here. So it reads, For Ruth, Jean and Dorothy, Formidable, kind, and dearly missed.  I like to think all of them would have made an excellent Weather Child.

About the Author:

New Zealand born fantasy writer and podcaster Philippa (Pip) Ballantine is the author of the Books of the Order and the Shifted World series. She is also the co-author with her husband Tee Morris of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novels. Her awards include an Airship, a Parsec, the Steampunk Chronicle Reader’s Choice, and a Sir Julius Vogel. She currently resides in Manassas, Virginia with her husband, daughter, and a furry clowder of cats.

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  1. I would love to read this book. Historical Fantasy, I'm not sure that I've ever read any of that genre. Thanks

  2. Hey Gayle thx for stopping by…I think it sounds like a really interesting read…hope you get lucky!

  3. I love books that combine genres. They tend to be more intense, pay more attention to detail, and far more fun to read (in my opinion).

    1. Hi Michelle, thx for stopping by and leaving a comment…oh, and hope you're enjoying the book by the way,,,would love to hear what you the meantime, good luck with winning a book from this tour,,I think it should be a good read…june

  4. Thanks for having me on your blog June. I love genre mashups, and the more history I can get in the better :)

    1. Hey, it was my pleasure…I'm looking forward to reading your book…good luck with the tour!