EONA is the sequel to EON /The Two Pearls of Wisdom (depending on where you live). How come there are so many titles for the same two books?My original titles for the books were EON and EONA. However, my UK and Australian publishers decided to market the books for a mainstream adult market and felt that these two titles were too fantasy genre specific, so they asked me to re-title. I came up with The Two Pearls of Wisdom and The Necklace of the Gods, which I think work well as titles for the novels, but confused some readers as they thought these were other books in the EON/EONA series. Now only my UK adult fiction publisher is going to release the sequel as The Necklace of the Gods. My Australian publishers have decided to return to the EON and EONA pairing, and recently re-released The Two Pearls of Wisdom as EON. Phew! No wonder some of my fans are a bit confused
What first gave you the idea for writing EON (aka The Two Pearls of Wisdom) and EONA (aka The Necklace of the Gods)?
I was reading a book about Feng Shui as research for my second novel, a modern crime thriller, when I came across a very short paragraph about an early Emperor who ordered all his Feng Shui masters to build him a palace stronghold of power and good luck. As soon as the masters had finished the palace, the Emperor had them all executed, just in case they used their magic in the service of another King. As soon as I read that, the idea for EON, and its sequel EONA, just exploded in my mind. I grabbed a pen and paper and, in ten minutes, wrote the storyline. It was one of those rare moments when a story just arrives: a true gift.
How did you develop your system of magic?
My magic system is based on Chinese astrology and Feng Shui. I did a lot of research into both lores and used them as a springboard to create a system of energy manipulation through twelve energy dragons. It was both great fun and a lot of hard work to develop a system that was both consistent and logical within the world, and still served the action of the story.
The magic is almost understated in the story, how intentional was that?
Very intentional. I am not a fan of huge info dumps in books and prefer to weave the information into the story, as the reader needs it.
How did your Tai Chi lessons help with writing the book?
Tai-chi was the inspiration behind the fighting and meditation technique in the novel; I developed a series of forms that are based on the idea of Tai-Chi but use the twelve animals in the Chinese horoscope. Personally, I really enjoy the elegance and flow of Tai-Chi and that feeling of power balance. I also took a few sword lessons to feel the heft of a Chinese sword – experiencing how the sword moved and how it stopped against a body (with lots of padding protection!) was invaluable for my action scenes.
Did you make up the war strategy of Xsu-Ree that features in EONA?
The strategy that is attributed to Xsu-Ree in my novels is mostly based on a real, ancient text called The Art of War by warrior/philosopher Sun Tzu. For my research, I used the Penguin Classic version of the text. I also found a very useful television documentary titled Art of War (produced by Four In Hand Entertainment Group, Inc) about the use of Sun Tzu's strategy in warfare across history.
Where did the interest in all things Eastern come from?
My aunt was Japanese and brought her culture into the family. When visiting her as a child, instead of lollies there would be seaweed sticks and Japanese food. There were different etiquettes that were observed. It piqued my interest, though not at the time as it all seemed very normal. But thinking about it now, it did influence me. It was something exotic in a very Anglo Australian life style and I felt very attracted to it.
What other research had a huge influence on the story?
I do two main types of research – book based and experience based - so the other research that had a huge influence on the story were my trips to Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. I had a great time experiencing those cultures – tasting different foods, seeing how they used space in public and private buildings, hearing the different everyday sounds, smelling new spices and perfumes, and touching rich fabrics. All the vivid sensory information that I collected during my trips was a great help when I sat down in front of my computer to create Eona’s world.
For more information about the research I did for EON and EONA, check out the Research page.
What's going to happen in Book Two, EONA?
EONA (also titled as The Necklace of the Gods in the UK) concludes the story. Like EON, it is a fast paced adventure, with our heroes on the run and desperately seeking a way to overcome Lord Sethon. Eona will be facing huge danger, not only from her enemies, but from the corruption of her own power and the betrayal by those she loves…
When will EONA be released?
EONA is now available in English in both print and e-book formats. German and French editions are also available, and other translations will follow soon.
Will you look at my writing?
Sorry, I don't review manuscripts. However, if you are looking for feedback about your writing, you may want to consider contacting your local writers' centre (if your area has one) or your local library who may be able to help you access a suitable writing group or reputable manuscript assessment agency.