Last Believer Chronicles: Chosen Child
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Why can't I ever catch a break?! It wasn't enough that I was born into the lowest Caste in Chanro, and my family is one of the highest Castes. It wasn't enough that my life is over at 21 years old unless I can somehow get out of it, it wasn't enough that I am considered worse than the dirt that the other Magics walk on. Now, my teacher has decided that rather than live under the rule of the Master and Magic; which has been the rule for 6 centuries, she wants to follow a being called God, who has not been heard of for years! She's willing to go against everything that Chanro stands for, to stand up for God. She's speaking of crazy things, like forgiveness, mercy, and a person called Jesus Christ who supposedly saved all of us! It's crazy...isn't it? There's no way that it's true...is it? She wants to rope me into this and says that God's calling me for something more, but that can't be true...can it?
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A couple weeks ago, a friend and fellow attendee of the writers' club Friends of the Pen approached me about reviewing her new book, Last Believer Chronicles: Chosen Child. I was super excited for her since I hadn't known she was published yet, so I invited her here for an interview. Her pen name is Anilyn Shaw and this is her first published book, book one in the Last Believer Chronicles.
If you can't tell, the book is a post-apocalyptic, Christian novel for young and new adults. Earth has been completely changed for the worse, The Master (Satan) reigns, and magic is in everyone's blood. Then, someone discovers a Bible hidden in the walls of an old house. Pretty crazy, right! I am enjoying the book and even helping Anilyn by voicing a couple characters in the audiobook she is making for it. But more on that later. On to the interview!
Emily: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Hobbies, pets, fun facts? Tea or coffee?
Anilyn: For my hobbies I enjoy swimming a lot. It's a great way to destress for me. I have two dogs, one is really big and everyone is afraid of him and one is really small and everyone loves her. Fun fact, it's actually the other way around. He's a big teddy bear that I like to lay on top of as a pillow, and she is very territorial and protective. I also love reading and playing video games. I'm very picky on my video games though. I need a good story and plot to get me to play. I't the same thing with what I watch too. The few times i watch TV, I tend to watch for story and plot, fun fact, I am horrible at movies because afterwards I want to discuss the characters, the plot, what went well, what didn't go well etc.
Emily: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Anilyn: When it came to writing the book, I enjoyed every minute, but if I was to choose my favorite chapter I would have to say either chapter 14 or chapter 21. They were the most intriguing and fun for me to write. I couldn't wait to write them and when I was writing them I enjoyed it so much! It was nice to interact with the characters in those chapters and it stretched my limit as I tried to write to the best of my ability.
Emily: Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Anilyn: While this book is concreted in fantasy, there are real world concepts scattered here and there throughout the story. I can't say that it's written purely on imagination, because really it was based on a vision. I had a dream one night of a girl in a dark world with no hope to be seen. Then all of a sudden, a bright light begins filling up the room. At that moment, I heard a voice say, "write her story" and from then on, whenever I worked on it the story would just come to me. In some ways it became a testament of my own faith and coming closer and closer to God in the process. I learned so much just by writing the story, and that's probably why I loved writing it so much. I learned just as much as I wrote.
Emily: Is there a particular author or book that influenced you in any way either as a child or an adult?
Anilyn: As a child, and even now, an author I look up to C.S. Lewis. I loved the way he would write so bluntly and while it was poetic and flowing, it was easy to understand and fun. His Chronicles of Narnia, which took a saga of stories with new characters in each book but still interacting in this great world, was incredible! I loved his Screwtape Letters that took a brand new perspective on something that happens and showed a different side. I love the way he would write about his faith but didn't substitute style and what he was interested in to talk about faith. He did it in his own way. In that way, i aspired to write the way I liked and in my own way to use my own style and what I liked to then showcase my faith in a way that would be what I find to be interesting and different.
Emily: Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Anilyn: It's the same advice I give to new authors, Christian or not. Write the way you want and what you like. Everyone has an individual style and way of seeing things and no one else will see it the exact same way. In that case, you are the only interpreter of your perception. Write for fun and enjoy every minute of it, from the stress of getting the book done, to the euphoria when you see it completed to the fear or concern about what are you going to do with it, enjoy every minute of the process because it's a beautiful thing.
Emily: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans or readers?
Anilyn: For all those that have read or are reading my book, and for everyone who has supported me, especially my family, I want to say thank you. It sounds cliche, but I know I wouldn't be here today without all of you. For my family, they supported me every step and never stopped believing that I could do this. I am blessed to be with my family, and I am very thankful. For those that have supported me, I am thankful because thanks to their support, I feel confidence and feel happy in everything i do. I am thankful for all the support. For those that have read my book or are reading my book, I am very thankful. I want people to enjoy the book above everything else, so when i see that people are reading it and are enjoying it, i feel like I've done something good. Above all else though, I am thankful for God who gave me this blessing. He guided me in this book and gave me the story. I am thankful to Him because it's thanks to Him I have everything. Thank you so much for your time.
Emily: Thank you for sharing, Anilyn!