Wednesday, April 17, 2013

VBT and Interview - Rayne Hall - Storm Dancer

Rayne Hall


Demon-possessed siege commander, Dahoud, atones for his atrocities by hiding his identity and protecting women from war's violence - but can he shield the woman he loves from the evil inside him?

Principled weather magician, Merida, brings rain to a parched desert land. When her magical dance rouses more than storms, she needs to overcome her scruples to escape from danger.

Thrust together, Dahoud and Merida must fight for freedom and survival. But how can they trust each other, when hatred and betrayal burn in their hearts?

'Storm Dancer' is a dark epic fantasy. British spellings. Caution: this book contains some violence and disturbing situations. Not recommended for under-16s.


Please describe your novel twitter style 140 characters or less.

Storm Dancer: “A demon-possessed warrior fights to shield the woman he loves from the evil inside him. Dark epic fantasy.”

What is the one thing you wish you knew before you tried to get published?

I had my first piece published for payment (a poem in the local newspaper) long before I tried serious writing. Everything I needed to know I learnt along the way - as a trainee publishing manager, as a freelance journalist, as an amateur fiction writer. Something I wish I'd learnt earlier: that my writing wasn't yet as good as I thought it was.

What to you is the best part of being a writer and what is the part you wouldn't mind giving up?

I love being in control of everything: of the stories, the characters, the plots, what to write, how to write it, how I manage my time, and more. Few careers offer so much control. I'd happily give up the tedious parts of being a writer - formatting, indexing, bookkeeping, paperwork - as well as the uncertainty of the income.

What city would you love to set a story in but the right one hasn't come along yet?
It's not so much cities as places. I like to set my stories in unusual locations. I've written stories that take place in a stone circle, in a railway tunnel, in a cemetery, at a belly dance show, below a shoreline cliff when the tide comes in, and more. The chapters of Storm Dancer take place in a Bronze Age palace, in a parched desert landscape, in a burning town and in a fortress under siege. The places I still want to write about include a Turkish bath, a cable car and an 18th century jail.

Vampires, Shifters, Zombies, Angels - who wins the final ultimate battle?
While I write about vampires, shifters, zombies  and other paranormals, my real interest lies in the battles fought in the human psyche, whether it's our dark or light side that wins.

If you could witness any historical event past, present or future what would it be and why?

I'd love to be witness historical events to see what really happened: How and where exactly did the German rebels defeat the Roman legion in the Teutoburger Wald? Who really murdered the two young Princes in the Tower - Richard III, James Tyrrell, Henry Stafford, or someone else? Did Harold Godwinson really swear to support Duke William's claim to the English throne?

If you were going to cowrite a new book, who would you want to write it with?

I'd be thrilled to co-author a book with one of the literary greats of the 19th century, combining their awesome writing power with my understanding of how the writing craft has developed in the 21st century.  Jane Austen: her skill at using dialogue for characterisation, and my skill at creating deep point of view. Charles Dickens: his sense of plot and quirky characters, and my immediacy. Edgar Allen Poe: his mastery of rhythm and mine of tightness. Charlotte Bronte: her ability to convey smouldering passion between the lines, and mine to show vivid action. We would compare techniques, discuss methods, experiment, agree compromises, learn from one another, and produce awesome books.

What books are currently on your nightstand?

My bedroom is cluttered with books, not just on the nightstand. Piles of books grow like stalagmites from the floor and every available surface.  As a rapid reader, I devour several hundred books every year, rereading many. My Kindle and Kobo ereaders may eventually help me to get organised and tidy, although this hasn't happened yet. Closest to the bed are currently The Firebrand by Marion Zimmer Bradley,  The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers by Daniel L. Schacter, A Rose-Red City by Dave Duncan, Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury, The Lion of Macedon by David Gemmell, The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter, and Red as Blood by Tanith Lee.

What is the best thing you have done in the name of research?
Writing research is the perfect excuse to do crazy things we wouldn't otherwise think of or dare. Storm Dancer contains several wrestling scenes, and Dahoud has a secret fantasy about being defeated in a wrestling match by a strong woman. To get those scenes right, I trained in mixed-gender professional-style wrestling.

When writing what is your favorite part of the story?
Always the part I'm working on, or am thinking about.

Anything else you would like to share today?
Storm Dancer isn't for everyone. The novel is quite dark in places, with war, treachery, torture, rape, animal sacrifice and demonic possession.  It's set in the Bronze Age when 21st century values of political correctness didn't apply.

The hero isn't persil-white either. Dahoud is a troubled man, a former siege commander who once razed, raped and killed - and enjoyed it. Now he needs to atone for his dark past - but he is possessed by a djinn that torments him with evil desires.

Some situations are disturbing, and while they're not graphic, they're intense, and some readers find it too dark for their tastes.  I suggest downloading the free sample first, to see if it's your kind of book.  You can also read the first six chapters free:

Rayne Hall has published more than forty books under different pen names with different publishers in different genres, mostly fantasy, horror and non-fiction. Recent books include Storm Dancer (dark epic fantasy novel), Six Scary Tales Vol 1, 2 and 3 (mild horror stories), Six Historical Tales (short stories), Six Quirky Tales (humorous fantasy stories), Writing Fight Scenes, The World-Loss Diet and Writing Scary Scenes (instructions for authors).
She holds a college degree in publishing management and a masters degree in creative writing. Currently, she edits the Ten Tales series of multi-author short story anthologies: Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires, Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, Scared: Ten Tales of Horror, Cutlass: Ten Tales of Pirates, Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft, Spells: Ten Tales of Magic, Undead: Ten Tales of Zombies and more.  

Rayne has lived in Germany, China, Mongolia and Nepal and  has now settled in a small dilapidated town of former Victorian grandeur on the south coast of England.


Social links:

Twitter (Twitter is my most active social network)

Buy links:
Amazon (this opens whatever international Amazon site is relevant to the viewer, e.g.,,


Rayne will be awarding an ebook copy of The Colour of Dishonor, Stories from the Storm Dancer World to a commenter on every stop (chosen by the host). One grand prize winner will received the following ten ebooks: Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires, Beltane: Ten Tales of Magic, Undead: Ten Tales of Zombies, Bites: Ten Tales of Zombies, Six Scary Tales Vol 1, Six Scary Tales Vol 2, Six Scary Tales Vol 3, Six Quirky Tales, Six Historical Tales.

Follow the tour and comment often; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:


  1. I'll be drawing the prizes soon - one ebook for each blog stop, and a big prize of several books for the tour. If you wish to enter, you can still leave a comment. However, you need to be quick and do it in the next twelve hours.