Sunday, October 21, 2018

Realm Explorers Part CXVI: Visit Redwood with Courtenay Kasper

Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don't forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. 

 Author’s name:
Courtenay Kasper

Title of book and/or series:
West & Windy

Brief summary of the story:
Fox siblings West and Windy are on the run from Bruin King Rancid who will stop at nothing to capture them and strong-arm them out of their kingdom. With the help of their rabbit aunt Dandelion and her heliox-balloon airship, they must learn to work together to rescue the true king and queen. With an unforgettable crew of insane critters, monkey pirates, and ninja bats! This steampunk adventure is perfect for fans of Narnia and Redwall! Hold your breath! You are in for a wild ride!

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
West & Windy live in Redwood which is a continent in the world of Forestia. Redwood has many different climates and landforms: the obsidian cliffs of Castle Rock, the frigid mountain town of Wildmont with its impassable weather patterns, and the underground city of Blue Lake.

If we were to visit Redwood as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
The first thing I would do is climb aboard the Emerald Falcon airship, fire up the heliox jets and float my way to Blue Lake. Under the lake there is a massive glass dome which lets the most mesmerizing dancing blue light into the city. Then I would head for the southern islands, kick back in a hammock, and eat mangos all day in the sun with the monkey pirates.

What dangers should we avoid in Redwood?
I wouldn’t recommend spending your coppers on a trip to Bruin City, unless you are a bear. Those bears hate everyone! I would also suggest avoiding the storm fields near Wildmont. The air currents drop and raise again almost instantly, which is not a great combination if you get airsick at all!

Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Redwood?
The cuisine varies depending on the location and species. The Northern Patrol favors hunks of fish and ginger water, while the Bruins are fond of sour honey or anything with gravy. The lower woodland is home to more herbivores, so they prefer things like roasted turnip with a garlic scape salad.

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Redwood?
The gearbow is standard issue in the Bruin Army. It’s similar to a cross bow, but it launches gearblades from a chain track. Each gearblade is between 6 and 10 inches and the “teeth” of the blades are sharper than a razors edge. Bounty hunting mutts prefer to carry brass knuckles that resemble smaller half-gearblades, but they often carry a gearbow too.
Wally the beaver invented his own oversized gearbow that shoots bear traps and he calls it the “kaboom!”

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Redwood?
Although air travel is forbidden, Dandelion pilots a hexprop hot air balloon ship. The triple pods in each haversack are filled with a blend of hot air and heliox to give them lift. The swan wing base of the ship is styled after a seaworthy galleon, but with a whale-shaped tail.
The Wildmont critters get around on snow machines called snowmeichs which are steam powered and have a series of rapidly spinning duck-like feet which kick up snow and propel the machine through the deepest of snow.

Is there any advanced or unusual technology in Redwood?  If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples.
A great example of unusual technology is the architecture under Blue Lake. The critters there discovered new ways to build under the lake and use glass to hold the water up above the city. The lake is shallow, so they are able to use the diffused glow of sunlight through the waves to light the entire city.

Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Redwood.
The children of Redwood attend Gear School which used to have fun activities in between classes. Before the Bruins came to power, Gear School included classes on flying, aerodynamics, mechanical construction, and hydraulic propulsion, but now they are only able to take classes on tinkering or heliox mining. 

Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Redwood as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?
The favorite yearly celebration is the Harvest Feast at Castle Rock – a week-long celebration - complete with dancing, aerial flight competitions, mechanical invention awards and, of course, feasting like a boar (They don’t love that stereotype…). There hasn’t been a harvest feast since the Bruins came to power.

Is there a particular religion practiced in Redwood?  Please describe what it involves.
The majority of the Redwood worships the Creator and his son Yeshu – a religion of mercy, hope, love and second chances. The ninja bats of Devlin Island practice ancient martial arts and worship the fickle moon and stars. They believe that they die and go to their ‘fathers in the sky’.

What is the political or government structure in Redwood?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
The current government in Redwood is the totalitarian dictatorship of King Rancid. He is a cunning, power-hungry dictator and the edge of madness. Previous to the Bruin rule, the elder King Rhodes ruled a monarchy.

Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
I live in northern B.C. where the winters are long and cold. The town of Wildmont reminds me of being at our little cabin in the woods, trying to keep the stove roaring enough to fight off the winter chill.

What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
West & Windy are being raised by their mother’s best friend after their parents kidnapping. She has to choose to trust her ex-husband again and she struggles with that. McFurrgle the bobcat is a recovering brawler who struggles with anger issues and shame.

Author Autobiography:
Courtenay Kasper is a New York Time Bestselling book reader. She lives in “the middle of nowhere” British Columbia with her husband and four fantastic kiddos. She has always been a teller of tall-tales and won her first writing contest at age eight. She loves to write stories that reflect the character of God and inspire the wonder and imagination inherent in all of us.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  Please include links.
My books are available on Amazon
The Rigs (2016)
West & Windy is available for preorder (Launching November 8th, 2018)

Where can readers connect with you online? 

The best place to connect with me is on my author page on Facebook. You can also find me on my blog and Goodreads. Or if you are headed for Alaska, stop in for coffee!

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Redwood.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world in next week's edition of Realm Explorers!
-Annie Douglass Lima

1 comment:

Tina at said...

This sounds good! Thanks for sharing at Booknificent Thursday on!