Deep in the caves of rural Western Germany, the truth about immortality has remained a secret for centuries, but now that secret is about to break free...
Ethan West knows what it means to be different. With a haunted past and a strange sixth sense he sometimes can’t control, Ethan’s in search of a better future. Instead, he’s brutally attacked. Narrowly saved by the beautiful and mysterious Rue, Ethan quickly learns the world is darker and more bizarre than he had ever imagined. And sparing his life comes with a price: being reborn immortal. Now, a dark faction of ancient, cursed immortal beings known as Lorns are after him. And they want his rare, newly awakened soul.
Descended from the mythological Nephilim, Lorns are bound by either the divine force of order or the mortal force of chaos. Ethan is a rarity, bound by neither, yet he is ruled by both. Now, wielding an ancient and volatile power, Rue and her Alliance work to keep Ethan from spiraling out of control. At the heart of a terrifying underground war between Lorns, Ethan becomes the target of one side and a savior to the other. Amid everything, Ethan struggles to understand his own purpose and power—an ordeal that tests his loyalties, beliefs, and sanity in ways unimaginable. And the greatest danger is yet to come.
An Interview with Carolyn Walker
Carolyn Walker’s debut urban fantasy novel, IMMORTAL DESCENT, was published on April 3, 2018 by Clean Reads/Astrea Press. Since the publication of the IMMORTAL DESCENT, I have been able to interview Carolyn about the novel and her writing process.
Question - Please describe what the book is about.
Carolyn Walker - Immortal Descent is about the mystery of immortality coming to the forefront in the modern world. A young man gets thrown into the underground world surrounding an age-old secret and he discovers he plays an integral part in a dangerous plot that has potentially epic consequences.
Q - Share a teaser from your book.
CW - He couldn’t explain it; he couldn’t justify it. All he could think of in that moment was it was all real. What he’d just seen in those memories had been real.
“The woman—what was she?” Ethan asked, still speaking just above a whisper.
“It was a Lorn.”
Q - Where did you get the idea?
CW - The idea originally came from studying world religion. The notion of immortality and how it was portrayed across world cultures was fascinating to me. The more I thought about it, the more I thought “what if” and before I knew it I said, “why don’t I write a novel about it.”
Q - What’s the story behind the title?
CW - I came up with the title myself. I love to play on words and the title has a dual meaning. Immortal represents immortality of course but descent represents the mysterious lineage of the Lorn creatures in my story, as well as the downward spiral into the unknown—a descent which the main character makes.
Q - No spoiler, but tell us something we won’t find out just by reading the book jacket.
CW - There is an entire backstory to Ethan that plays an important role in the story. It will also come up again in future installments since this book is the first in a series.
Q - Tell us about your favorite character.
CW - My favorite character is Rue. She is the main female character, opposite Ethan. Her sense of duty, strength, and ethics are deeply rooted qualities that make her memorable.
Q - If you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would it be and what would you do?
CW - I would spend the day with Oryx, one of the oldest Lorns in the book. He is one of the most interesting characters with an interesting past, and the ability to see the future. He is very knowledgeable about the world of Immortal Descent and I know he’d be a most gracious host as is his personality!
Q - Are your character based on real people, or do they come from your imaginations?
CW - I would say certain elements might have been plucked from a person or two but really just certain attributes from here and there. I didn’t base any character on any one person. The majority of their makeup was from my crazy imagination!
Q - How long did you take to write this book? (You can share about the timeline from drafting to publication)
CW - The mere notion for the story came as a partial short story idea way back in 2002. Shortly after, I shelved the idea for years before picking it back up in 2015. I finished writing it that year, began querying it out in early 2016 and a few months later I landed my publishing contract with Clean Reads.
Q - What kind of research did you do for this book?
CW - I did TONS of research for Immortal Descent. I did a lot of reading of historical books, mythological texts, and scholarly journals. I also had to brush up on international travel because half the book takes place in Western Europe.
Q - What did you remove from this book during the editing process?
CW - I had a scene that was heavy foreshadowing of the conflict that comes to the forefront in Book 2. I found it to be ill-placed so early on in Book 1, so I omitted it and saved it for the early part of the next installment.
Q - Are you a plotter or a pantser?
CW - Definitely a plotter.
Q - What is your favorite part of your writing process, and why?
CW - My favorite part is the research in the beginning because I love to learn and educate myself on new things. I also enjoy the editing process where I’m polishing it up for the final run. I love seeing the finished product, so I can sit back and just be proud.
Q - What is the most challenging part of your writing process, and why?
CW - The most challenging part for me is laying the groundwork in writing. There are times when the story comes to me like a flowing faucet and I can’t type fast enough to keep up. Other times (when the faucet seems clogged) it can be frustrating and challenging to keep plodding along.
Q - Can you share your writing routine?
CW - Normally I plan ahead in my mind with a goal, such as “I am going to write for two hours today.” Then I devote time to that writing without distractions in my home office. I tend to be a night owl, so a lot of the magic happens at night.
Q - Have you ever gotten writer’s block? If yes, how do you overcome it?
CW - If it means sitting and staring at a blank screen because I literally have no idea on how to start (or continue), then yes! I combat it by either skipping the troublesome area or throwing myself into research. Research gets me thinking about stuff and before I know it, an idea pops into my head and bam, I’m writing again!
Q - If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
CW - Do NOT doubt yourself! Thinking you cannot do something is as good as not doing it. Oh, and stop editing stuff to death—learn to let go!
Q - How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
CW - Oh boy. I’d say about a couple dozen!
Q - Do you have any writing quirks?
CW - I talk to myself. I always read blocks of passages out loud before moving on. It helps me understand the writing beyond just what’s on paper.
Q - Tell us about yourself.
CW - In addition to being a creative writer, I write professionally as a copywriter. I’m also a mom to a fast-growing teen girl and a loving wife to my hubby of 13 years! We have a long-haired chihuahua named Dixie. 😉
Q - How did you get into writing?
CW - Writing has been a part of my life since childhood and will be for the rest of my life. I wrote my first short story at 6, won my first state-wide writing award at 12, and published my first short story at 19 in a small literary journal. My mom fostered my love for words with an endless number of books and writing tools at home.
Q - What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
CW - I love to read (surprise!) but I’m also a serious foodie and I like to recipe scrapbook! Making and cataloguing Halloween treats and holiday sweets are especially fun for me!
Q - Apart from novel writing, do you do any other kind(s) of writing?
CW - I sure do! I’ve worked many years as a professional copywriter, technical writer, and ad copy writer for several firms, nationwide. I also dabbled in ghostwriting for a brief time.
Q - Share something about you most people probably don’t know.
CW - I’m 20% fluent in Japanese, ha ha! I took it as my foreign language of choice in college, and I’ve always admired the culture, food, music and fashion, alongside the language. Some day I want to become fully fluent; it’s a work in progress. 😊
Q - Which book influenced you the most?
CW - Many books have influenced me, but I would say that C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe really got me fascinated with fantasy as a child. To this day, I still adore that story!
Q - What are you working on right now?
CW - I am working on a couple of different projects right now. One is a heartfelt romance, another is a young adult thriller, and the third is a sci-fi story. I’ve always wanted to write a really good sci-fi story!
Q - What’s your favorite writing advice?
CW - Always keep writing. It’s simple but really means the most to me. As a writer, I must keep doing what brings me the greatest joy—write (even if it’s for 10 minutes in a day, never stop).
Q - The book you’re currently reading
CW - The Condition (book 1) by Alec Birri.
Q - What is one of your favorite quotes?
CW - Smile. “Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.” - Dale Carnegie
Carolyn Walker’s Biography
Carolyn M. Walker is a California native and lover of all things literary. As an avid reader, she’s always enjoying new and exciting reads. Now as an avid storyteller, it is her mission to bring that same joy to her beloved readers. After earning her Bachelors in English Literature and Psychology, Carolyn went on to pen the draft for her first fiction novel and hasn’t looked back since. Aside from writing, she is also passionate about art, food, travel, history, and music. Carolyn now lives in sunny Florida with her husband and daughter. Carolyn’s debut novel Immortal Descent, comes out in April 2018.
Links to Carolyn Walker