Can you tell us a little about yourself?
It’s hard for me to say much about myself because so much has changed in so little time, and I’ve changed too. I grew up in a treetop village with the other Forest Folk. I was studying to become the new shaman to earn my father’s approval, but when the blood rained on my village, that all changed. Father asked me to go and find the source of the blood rain, and my search resulted in my banishment from my tribe. Now, I’m not sure where I belong, but I do know my search isn’t over.
What is your role in the story?
Many of my friends say that I’m the glue that holds the team together. I’m not really sure why they think so. I guess maybe it’s because I refuse to give up…
(A male voice in the background says with a chuckle, “More like you’re too stubborn to give up, Mercy.”)
I heard that, Erebus, and notice I’m not laughing.
Ahem…Anyway, I know that if magic as dangerous as the blood rain resurfaces in the world, it will mean more than just a war with the Blood Wings and my people. Somehow, I have to convince the other tribes all the way from the desert to the frozen north the same thing. I guess what they mean is that Erebus, Mirilee, and even Pyron and Beryl all have the same goal in common, but I was the one that brought all of them together.
What is your favorite hobby?
I like to make jewelry. When my mother died, she left me some precious stones and some charms to remember her by. I made a charm necklace using the stones as well as some of the other objects that I treasured. I also whittle my own arrows. I’m good at carving and sewing and caring for animals, particularly vitilae. For those who aren’t from my tribe, the vitilae are large beetle-like creatures that we ride. They act as mounts, and can be used for food and chitin armor. They require someone who knows how to care for them. I guess my favorite hobby was riding Nightsong, my vitulae, before I lost him on the night of the blood storm. (Crying) I’m sorry. I thought I was over that now.
What is the challenge you're trying to overcome in the story?
I’m trying to find the source of the blood rain so that I can somehow stop it. I have to somehow prevent a war between the beast men and the other tribes. We don’t know who is responsible for this magic, but if magic is resurfacing in the world, there could be another war and another cataclysm like the one that nearly destroyed Lacern. If a blood storm like the last one happens again, and the Blood Wings attack my people, the Ashen capital will take advantage of the situation and enslave whoever remains in my tribe. My people will be destroyed. Tensions are already high between the North and the Ashen capital, and this could easily become a fight between all of the tribes against the beast men. I’ve learned so much more about the beast men than I knew before. They aren’t just bloodthirsty monsters. I have to somehow convince the others of that, but I can’t do it alone.
If you could make one wish, what would you wish for?
If I could have one wish, it would be to find a way to make the Forest Tribe and the Blood Wings live in peace. There has been so much bloodshed, and I know if something isn’t done soon neither of our people will survive. I’m hoping that somehow while I search for the source of the blood storm that I’ll find the answer to a lasting peace between our people.
Title: Blood Rain
Author: Nancy Gray
Genre: YA Fantasy
The night the blood rains from the sky, Mind of Mercy’s world changes. The savage Blood Wings, bestial creatures that feed on the blood of Mercy’s people, attack her treetop village in frenzy.
Mercy’s father, the chieftain, tasks her to leave during the fight and find the source of the storm. The journey takes Mercy across the continent of Lacern where she must make allies, even from some of the enemies of her people, to survive. The search forces her to get help from the least likely of sources, one of the very Blood Wings that attacked her.
During her journey, Mercy and her companions discover lies that are widely accepted as truths, secrets hidden by the beast men, and a power buried deep inside of Mercy herself. Magic is resurfacing in the world and the blood rain is only the beginning. A hidden power is pulling the strings to cause a continent wide war that could result in the destruction of humans and beast men alike.
Nancy Gray lives in West Columbia, SC, with her husband, two daughters, and two crazy cats. She attended college at the University of South Carolina and attained a BA in Media Arts with a cognate in English. Her original career was as a graphic designer but writing is her calling. Her favorite genres to write are horror, fantasy (particularly young adult), steampunk, cyberpunk, urban fantasy, and occasionally light science fiction (space opera). Many of her short stories and novels also blur the lines of genre fiction. Nancy is an avid reader and also enjoys drawing, video games, and table top role playing games. She also enjoys anime and manga.
@NancyGrayWriter on Twitter