One of my favourite story children is under the Bookshop Bistro spotlight this week.
“Blossom & Kitsune: A Brief Tale of Earthquakes and Nine-Tailed Foxes” is set in the Terrene Empire, a domain of thousands of Human colonised worlds. Some of these have completely forgotten that they are part of the TE and Pleione is one of them.
The Ryuu Empire spans a third of Pleione, a beautiful Almost Earth world, but to a small girl on the Island Province of Tenshi, none of that means anything. Sakura is content to learn and play amongst the flowers and butterflies of her Father’s Castle, worrying only about the twins sharing her mother’s body.
However, when the awakening of the Ika-Zuchi-No-Kami threatens her safety, the God Inari sends his chief Kitsune, Maiya, to rescue the child and her pregnant Mother. As the Earth Demons ravage Atamasanshi, Sakura comes up with a plan to lull the demons back to sleep and save her father.
* * * *
I spent a lot of time researching Japanese culture, history and mythology for “Blossom” because although it’s a Fantasy world set in a SF universe, I wanted it to feel authentic, as if the characters really were descended from Japanese Colonists.
In my world, the Pantheons of the colonists moved with them , so on this one world there are four Human Pantheons and the Pantheon of the Beings who were already living there. This means that when I explore the other Colonist’s descendents, I’ll have a different set of deities to play with.
The cover to this book was created by the talented Artist, Daniel Court and we went through several incarnations of the cover before we found one that I liked (well, liked more than the others anyway – I liked all of them!) He’ll be doing the covers for the other stories in the series as well.
O’course, “Blossom & Kitsune” isn’t a standalone book. I’m writing three more stories following Sakura and there will also be a novel following them. The next story in the “Kitsune” series is called “Snow & Kitsune”.
The Novel is called “Wind & Magic”; there’s an excerpt from it at the end of “Blossom”, if you are interested in finding out how Sakura turns out when she grows up…