First, let me introduce Ora and the Old God with a super short synopsis:
When Ora’s brother is turned into a pig and she is stolen away by pixies, her life is forever altered. Not only does she cause the queen’s demise, she discovers she can use magic. With the help of a shapeshifter, she must flee and learn to use her magic to face a powerful enemy — the pixy who changed her brother and took the throne, Tyg.
I hope so! This is the first book in an epic fantasy series involving magic, old gods, and fae.
Read on and get to know a little more about Ora.
Ora Widogast is my lovely protagonist. In book one, she is a feisty sixteen-year-old girl who looks up to her older brother Hademar and her Uncle Lupin.
Having grown up in a rural trade village in the middle of a deep dark forest, she wants to be allowed to hunt with her brother. She wears his hand-me-downs and sneaks off to the woods against her mother’s wishes. Her uncle encourages her rambunctious nature, even gifting her a sword for her birthday. (Hademar is quick to point out that he did not get a shiny new weapon when he came of age.)
This strength of character is vital to Ora’s survival as she is thrust into the fae realm, discovers she can use magic (something humans shouldn’t be able to do), and makes one powerful enemy.
Still, writing a strong female lead comes with challenges. I didn’t want to create a character who never falters and always fights back. Though Ora certainly displays courage on more than one occasion, she also makes bad decisions and has fears that she openly expresses.
As a writer, I think it’s important for a protagonist to show fear. It makes her acts of bravery truly shine, and it lends emotional weight to the moments in which she expresses doubt.
I also did not want a protagonist who is motivated by the “greater good”. Ora is a character motivated by her love for family and, to put it frankly, survival. I love the complexity this allows in her story. She is not altruistic and thus susceptible to actions you might not associate with heroes, like revenge and holding grudges.
In fact, Ora will be walking down a dark path in the second book, but it’s a little too early to get into that, isn’t it?
Determined, sometimes snarky, and ever curious, Ora is a character who I hope you fall in love with. She has certainly been a joy to write.
For a little sneak peek, here is an excerpt from my current draft:
That night, Ora slept on a bed of furs before her uncle’s fire. Neither her mother nor brother tried to get her to come home. They knew she would not, and at least she was only a few doors down. As for Lupin, he returned with the sheath for her sword to find her feeding his fire and scowling. When she told him what happened, he pulled a quilt from a cedar chest and tossed it to her. He already knew she would ask to stay.
Her mother’s trepidation over the hunt bothered her. She lay awake staring into the flames for a long time, trying to discern what made her mother worry. Lupin, sensing that she could not sleep, cleared his throat. He had not yet gone to bed himself. He still sat smoking his pipe at the table as he read a battered old book on nautical astronomy.
“You won’t be sneaking off tomorrow, will you?” he asked.
She could not stop herself from smiling, so she remained facing the flames when she answered. “It wouldn’t be sneaking off if I told you, would it?”
Fun side note: When it comes to Ora’s relationship with her uncle, I draw a lot of inspiration from the banter between my own family members. Because what is family love without banter?
Then again… maybe I’m just the ornery sort.
Let me know your first impressions and be sure to hit that like button. We’re in the early stages here. Every bit of social media love counts.
Many thanks for reading.