UC author’s shadowy new trilogy

UC author’s shadowy new trilogy

Alison Dance

31 July 2012: A University of Canberra masters student has launched the first book in her new fantasy trilogy.

Author Katie Taylor launched The Shadow's Heir at the University’s Co-op Bookshop recently under her pen name, KJ Taylor.

“It’s a fantasy novel that does something new, something you don’t expect, and there are griffins too,” Ms Taylor said.

Katie Taylor

Katie Taylor presents her new novel, The Shadow's Heir, at the UC Co-op Bookshop. Photo: Michelle McAulay

At just 26 Ms Taylor has written five novels featuring griffins, which are mythical half-lion, half-eagle creatures, and this book is no exception.

“Griffins are still one of the best things, I would never drop them and really enjoyed writing about them,” she said.

The novel is the beginning of her new trilogy The Risen Sun and follows on from her first trilogy The Fallen Moon.

“It’s intended for someone who read the first three books but you can start here,” she said.

The book takes a unique approach to fantasy, being set in medieval Australia rather than the traditional medieval Europe, describing eucalyptus trees and even a wombat being fed to a griffin.

The story follows Laela Redguard 20 years on from her brief appearance as a baby in the final book in The Fallen Moon trilogy: The Griffins War.

Laela is homeless and orphaned when she makes a dangerous friend, who was the protagonist from the first trilogy.

Having a female lead was a new direction for Ms Taylor, whose main characters are usually male, saying she focused on developing a unique personality for Laela.

“I made her exactly what you don’t expect her to be. She’s rude, coarse, brave and unimaginative. She’s not going to fall down at your feet, she’s more likely to kick you in the knee cap.”

The next two books in the trilogy will be released at half-yearly intervals and Ms Taylor is currently working on book nine, saying writing is her passion.

“I really value it, I realise how fragile it is. I talk about my writing, I hear how excited I am and it makes me want to get right back into it.”

Ms Taylor is currently studying a Masters of Information in Librarianship after graduating from a Bachelor of Communications majoring in creative writing in 2007 and a Graduate Certificate in editing in 2008.

The Shadow's Heir and The Fallen Moon trilogy can be purchased from the Co-op Bookshop on campus.