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  • Kristin Jaques

MARROW CHARM: Welcome to the Gate Cycle!

Today marks the release of Marrow Charm, book one in the Gate Cycle, a world half a decade in the making.

In writing Marrow Charm, I wanted to present readers with a rich, dark world through which we learn the extent and history of as the characters do. It meant full immersion, no brakes, into a world where humans are at the bottom of the food chain. In this first character vs world novel, we leave Azzy and Armin is some pretty precarious circumstances, tossed into a world they can barely survive.

The Gate Cycle as only begun. Book two is a very different beast, as we dive into the much more central location of Avergard, weaving history and politics in Azzy’s quest to save her brother.

And what about the history of the Gate?

A short origin story:

The seeds of this trilogy started with an alternate history twist. I love delving into history and the what ifs, wondering about alternate timelines and how the world could have gone just a little bit wonky if the outcome of infamous conflicts were different. I also love to apply fantastical elements. During the second world war, the Nazi regime was obsessed with the occult. We have seen hints of this idea in Indiana Jones, and other popular media/ fiction. Very much like the Ark of the Covenant, I wondered what would happen if someone as powerful and morally defunct as the notorious leader of this regime found a Gate that sealed magic from the world. The Gate Cycle is the end result of that wonder, and we shall see the roots of that history and turning point in the next two books as Azzy contends with the monstrous lords who rule Avergard. Magic has unexpected results on those infected by it, and though more than a century has passed since the original event, there are still those in Avergard who were present when the Gate first opened.

A memory seared into the mind and flesh.

Some crave the return of the Gate.

Others will do anything to stop it from opening once again.

On writing the Gate Cycle

As I plunge into full drafting mode I remember when I first started this, how I wanted to immerse the reader in this universe and slowly peel back the layers through the characters’ eyes. It’s a give and take balance, juggling the nightmare fuel creature encounters with the myriad secrets and snippets of this world. Marrow Charm is very different from my other works, but one that I have enjoyed crafting so very much.

It took me the greater part of a year to write the first book, usually during many late night writing sessions where I often fell asleep on my laptop. I wrote Marrow Charm during a difficult time, where my life was shifting beneath my feet and I was trying to find balance as a mother, wife, and writer. Some of that mental tension is reflected in the journey of my characters and the sensation of being overwhelmed by circumstances beyond one’s control.

Marrow Charm became a cathartic journey, a plunge into darkness chasing the lure of hope. The journey of these characters means so much to me and I am so excited to share the first leg of it with you this fall and the next in the spring.

So strap in, and prepare yourself for one heck of a ride.

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