The Wall has long kept Elitland Valley safe from the demons on the other side. For centuries the villagers have avoided speaking of the Wall or the creatures it protects them from.
Upon their return from the annual Country Fayre, the older Atego brothers learn of their father’s passing. When fifteen year old Silas Atego learns the mysterious illness that took his father might have been a curse from a demon, his need for answers draws him to the one place he must not go. The far side of the Wall.
When Silas is still missing days later, his older brother Raphael sets out on his own to bring him home. On his journey, Raphael learns how it was his ancestor who was cursed by a demon creature from the Lake and had the Wall built to keep them out. More desperate than ever to find his brother, his search draws Raphael to the same terrifying barrier.
Along the brothers’ individual travels they face their greatest fears, make lifelong friends, and more importantly, learn the truth of what happened centuries ago.
Blindsighted Wanderer is a tale about how truth and forgiveness will set you free. Where myths are transformed to legends that last a lifetime. The brothers leave their home as desperate boys but return to their family as honorable men.
Blindsighted Wanderer is a young adult fantasy, coming of age story appropriate for readers 12 +.
I am always super excited when an author agrees to do a little something extra for my posts. E.C. Hibbs has been gracious enough to include a guest post!!
I’ll never forget the day in primary school, when I was handed a booklet full of myths about water creatures. Inside was a local folk legend, largely forgotten over the years, which told the tale of an arrogant young man who captured a mysterious water nymph. I immediately fell in love with it and used it as the base for my homework project that week. Then I put it away, and didn’t find it again until about nine years later, when I was thinking about what my next story could be.
I suppose I can break my writing process down into seven stages: ideas, fundamental research, basic planning, secondary research, detailed walkthrough, writing, and then editing it to death. Some of them might get shuffled around a bit – I know I don’t think about them consciously when I’m actually working! But whenever I write any story, I get completely swept away and the world becomes my reality until I type the last word. I actually get a lot of ideas and locations from my dreams; they’re very vivid so it’s reasonably simple for me to expand on them. So I make sure all my preparation is well-organised, and I have some kind of mental “umbilical cord” to keep me grounded.
With every story, however, I always research. To me, getting details right and believable is so important. If there’s one little hiccup which you can tell is improvised, it can upset everything. And I think that’s especially important when dealing with fantasy, because the most otherworldly elements have to be utterly convincing. I knew the setting of Blindsighted Wanderer was going to be medieval-style, but yet avoid the traditional “knights in shining armour” or “kings in castles” slant. So I piled together all the information I could find on normal, everyday life in the thirteenth century. It was important to me that the Elitland should almost have a character of its own, so I actually went back to my A-Level Geography notes on glaciated valleys. Some other things I touched on were Romani customs; lake ecosystems; Middle English language; Alpine transhumance farming; and drystone wall construction.
More often than not, 90% of stuff I research doesn’t even end up in the story, but the knowledge helps me stay confident while writing. I don’t just spend all my time looking through books and the internet, though. If I can, I get out and try to experience it. For Blindsighted Wanderer, I visited the Lake District and Snowdonia National Parks; went to a renaissance music concert; and even practised finding my way around while blindfolded! After all, I couldn’t really write from the POV of a sightless character, and yet be respectful of blindness, unless I know what it was like for myself. That was a very helpful experience; it really made me realise how much you hear and smell when you don’t have the use of your eyes.
But despite all that prep, the actual writing doesn’t take me very long. I always spend much more time on research and editing than I ever do on the narrative itself. I’ll carry on editing, ripping it apart and shuffling it around, until I can honestly see no more plot holes or loose ends. For me, research and editing can each take up to a year or more. So in that respect, Blindsighted Wanderer, from initial idea to completion, took about fourteen years to create.
I think it’s quite ironic that Blindsighted Wanderer’s blog tour is happening in February, because this month marks the 6th anniversary of the first draft. I look back at that version now, and the new manuscript that’s become the final book, and I can barely recognise them. So much has changed and morphed around, they might as well be two different stories. But the basic idea always remained: a young man cursed by a bitter Princess when he pulls her from her underwater home. It’s funny to remember sitting in the eaves of a Victorian cottage, the old booklet in one hand, pen and paper in the other; and meeting these characters properly for the first time.
Thank you so much, E.C.!
This was a really good YA story and I think it is one that my sons’ would enjoy as well. It is a story about the Atego family and centers on Silas and Raphael. Their family has been cursed and Silas wants to discover why and attempt to break it. He sets off on his journey to the wall. As it becomes apparent that Silas is not coming back, Raphael sets off on his own to find his brother.
I was awed by the story that unfolded in front of me that grasped the nuances of the past, mingled them into the present and forced them out into the future. These brothers take different paths in the story, just like they would in life and they come out better men for their adventure.
The author has managed to bring forth a world that is mesmerizing. Her characters are well-developed, engaging and inspiring. I loved how there was romance in the story but the story expanded beyond that. It encompassed all the best parts of a truly great story; family, curses, revenge, love, hatred, and growth are all on display for the world to grasp and enjoy.
Rated 4 Bookworms
E. C. Hibbs has lived all her life in Cheshire, north-west England. A lover of stories from an early age, she wrote her first ‘book’ when she was five, and throughout school was a frequent visitor to the younger classes to read her tales to the children. Living so near the coast, she loves anything to do with the sea. She studied Animal Behavior at university and longs to work with marine mammals in the future. As well as nature and animals, she also has a soft spot for history, and loves paying visits to castles, cathedrals and museums. There are many things she could be without, but writing isn’t one of them. She carries a pen everywhere, in case an idea appears, and takes pride in still seeing the world as brimming with magic. Besides writing, she reads obsessively, her favorite genres being the classics and all kinds of fantasy. She also enjoys Disney and horror films, practicing Shotokan karate, drawing, archery, and playing with her very cheeky kitten.