Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Toru: Wayfarer Return by Stephanie R. Sorensen @goddessfish @SassaMargot

Welcome!! I am so pleased to have been selected to host you on your virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions.  Thanks for this opportunity to find out a little bit about you and your work!

What are four things you can’t live without?

My husband Tim, walking under the aspens in my Rocky Mountains, good wine and a well-stocked fabric stash.

What is your favorite television show?

While I wait anxiously for the next season of “Game of Thrones,” I’m enjoying “Magnificent Century.” It’s a Turkish epic historical fiction series about the great Suleyman Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Lots of drama in the harem, amazing costumes, forbidden love, battles and rebellions and conquests. Great fun, written by skilled and cruel writers who carefully hook you at the end of each episode so you must stay up for one more, then one more until you collapse from exhaustion.

If you could be any character, from any literary work, who would you choose to be? Why?

Queen Elizabeth I, as portrayed in dozens of historical fiction books. She was a total badass.

What have you got coming soon for us to look out for?

I have two books in the oven right now. First out, in early spring 2017, is the continuation of my Sakura Steam series, an alternate history of a Japan led by samurai armed with steampunk technology who take on the imperialist West. It’s darker and more violent than “Tōru,” as competing sides fight for Japan’s soul. I am very close to finishing a first draft of a completely unrelated project, set in 1519 Mexico. No steampunk or alternate history this time, just historical fiction about the collision of three great personalities and two mighty civilizations. I guess I like First Contact stories, and both “Toru: Wayfarer Returns” and this new work focus on coming to terms with a new and powerful culture.

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

I’ve read so many it is hard to sort them all out, for much influence is by now subconscious. As a reader I have always been drawn to the epic, the elaborate world whether real or fantastical, and the moral, so put J.R.R.Tolkien, C.S.Lewis, G.R.R.Martin on the list. I read mountains of nineteenth century English novels, from Austen to Hardy and Dickens, and absorbed from them a love for detailed, complex and ornate prose that was beaten out of me by multiple college classes and copies of Strunk and White. Let’s just say my natural tendencies on style do not lean to Hemingway. In my upcoming work, I am exploring a richer and more ornate writing style. I shall burn my copy of Strunk and White and see what happens. 

Toru: Wayfarer Returns
by Stephanie R. Sorensen

GENRE:  Historical Steampunk Fiction


A nation encircled by enemies

A noblewoman with everything to lose

A fisherman with everything to prove and a nation to save.

In Japan of 1852, the peace imposed by the Tokugawa Shoguns has lasted 250 years. Peace has turned to stagnation, however, as commoners grow impoverished and their lords restless. Swords rust. Martial values decay. Foreign barbarians circle the island nation’s closed borders like vultures.

Tōru, a shipwrecked young fisherman rescued by traders and taken to America, defies the Shogun’s ban on returning to Japan, determined to save his homeland from foreign invasion. Can he rouse his countrymen in time? Or will the cruel Shogun carry out his vow to execute all who set foot in Japan after traveling abroad? Armed only with his will, a few books, dirigible plans and dangerous ideas, Tōru must transform the Emperor’s realm before the Black Ships come.

“Rather than argue with them, you should invite them to make the first flight with you,” said Takamori. “At first they will agree, since it is their place as the leaders. Everyone is very excited about the dirigibles. Set the time and place for the first flight. Jiro should explain that is not a good time because of the wind or something technical that needs testing first. You argue with Jiro and perhaps even scold him for impertinence in front of the daimyōs.”

“Yes, I am often scolded for impertinence,” said Jiro. “I have a talent for it, you know.”

“Indeed you do,” said Tōru. He saw where Takamori was going. “Then they notice the risks and uncertainties…and they ask me if it is safe. I tell them honestly that we have no idea if it is safe or if it will work, and that we might all crash to a fiery death and therefore perhaps I should test it first myself before we endanger them.”

“And I will be impertinent again and tell you in front of them that you don’t have a clue how to fly one of these dirijibi!” Jiro finished the plan for them. “Which is also true, by the way. I know how to fly one of these, and you don’t.”

“You’ve never flown one either,” protested Tōru.

“I have built one. Almost. Soon. How many have you built?” asked Jiro, with his broad grin.

Tōru opened his mouth and closed it again.

“See? Problem solved,” said Takamori, as he pounded Tōru on the back. “We have a fine dirijibi pilot, the finest dirijibi pilot in all of Japan, our good man Jiro here.”

Stephanie is a writer based in the Victorian mining town of Leadville, Colorado, where she lives at 10,251 feet with her husband, five chickens, two bantam English game hens and one Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. After a former life in big cities-New York City, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Boston, Mexico City, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Santa Fe-she now enjoys the birdsong and quiet writing time she finds in Leadville. Her first novel draws on her experience living and working in Japan; her next historical novel is set in Mexico where she also lived for several years. As a Leadville local, she likes her Victorian attire spiced with a little neo-Victorian futurism and the biggest bustle possible.

Recognition for "Toru: Wayfarer Returns"
-- Finalist, Fantasy category, 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
-- Bronze Medal Award, Multicultural Fiction category, 2016 eLit Book Awards


Author website                        http://stephaniersorensen.com/
Publisher website        http://palantirpress.com/
Publisher Twitter         https://twitter.com/SassaMargot
Sell sheet PDF                        http://palantirpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Toru-Sell-Sheet.pdf

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