Darkest Before Dawn is a fairy tale retelling of the Beauty and the Beast set during the Viking invasion of England. Available in Amazon and targets fans of fantasy romance with a heavy foundation in alternative history and Viking lore.
Avani Clare, a mother of three, and avid reader of history, fantasy and romance, is launching her brand new book, “The Viking’s Curse, Darkest Before Dawn Series Book 1.” The book went live January 1, 2022, available on Amazon, and released by Lighthouse Publications.
More information on the book can be found here: https://avaniclare.com.
Although already a writer by trader, this is the first fiction book Clare has authored. The book was written to provide a new and deeper romantic spin on Beauty and the Beast, with elements of alternate history and English lore.
The Viking’s Curse, Darkest Before Dawn Series Book 1 sets its main focus on introducing the main characters: a Viking commander who is cursed by forest Elves because of a tragedy he unintentionally caused, and a brave, loyal woman, who, being English and a warrior, is his sworn enemy.
When asked about why she wrote the book, Clare said, “I currently work in the commercial and academic fields which, luckily, I enjoy. But deep inside, I’ve always wanted to write to entertain, and especially write a fairy tale, the type of story I’ve loved since I was little.”
“I particularly loved the idea of an adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. It’s such a classic – a story about true love that goes beyond appearances. And I wanted to add more depth to it, so I integrated the idea of two people on opposite sides of a war, the English and Vikings.”
“The term ‘fairy tale’ might give the misconception that only children love them. But I’m one of those adult people who enjoys them so much. They’re a lot more than bedtime stories. And when written for adults, then they transcend all barriers, including age. I think adults gain so much more than entertainment from fairy tale retellings. But if my story can at least provide pure entertainment for an hour or two, that’s more than enough for me.”
Avani Clare has a background in Communication Management, History and Social Research. She says her background, especially in sociology and history helped shape the creation of the book by providing her numerous issues to discuss in a fictional context.
Clare says, “I’ve touched on some issues that I hope readers can relate to, that some people might even find uncomfortable. You know, if you think back on most fairy tales told to children, they’re not about perfect people. They often portray the darker aspects of life. And I hope that when I write about these, it’s in a way that’s easy for readers to understand and relate to no matter how old they may be, or what race and culture they belong to.”
“It’s only my first book, really, and as with all new authors, I have a lot to learn. I’m already writing Books 2 and 3, and thinking of future fairy tale retellings like Cinderella, Snow White, so I hope people will give me a lot of feedback. I encourage readers to tell me what they like or don’t like about this first book so I can incorporate their suggestions into the next ones.”
This positive outlook from the author is certainly testament to her optimism considering some of the mishaps during its creation.
At one point she admitted with a chuckle, “I nearly gave up! While I was planning this book, a freak hailstorm in Brisbane severely damaged my home, and my whole family was forced to relocate for seven months. We moved 11 times during those months. Believe me, thinking of the story was very difficult. I also found out something that challenged my commitment to becoming an author. Being a natural lover and reader of heaps and heaps of books doesn’ necessarily mean that you’re a natural writer. But reading up on the stories of how some authors began their writing journey inspired me to continue.”
In a recent interview, Clare made a point of thanking her family and friends for their part in the creation of the book, saying: “My friends, Sarma and Lilly, who served as beta readers and gave me the much-needed encouragement to continue writing the story. My big thanks also to my daughter, Pia, my forever cheerleader; my family especially my plant-based husband, Victor, who was forced to eat instant meat dishes; and Joseph who had to live on a takeaway diet while I was on the homestretch to finishing Book 1. I want to thank Annie for helping me keep my outline on its straight and narrow path, and not keep on going on detours and sprouting crazy sub-plots, and my lovely and super-talented editors, David and Eveanna, and my awesome eCover designer, Noel. Last but not least, I’d like to thank the persons who served me dollops of inspiration to get started: Ty and Caroline, I am forever in your debt.”
Avani Clare lives in Brisbane with her husband Victor, three children and their spouses and partners, a constantly misbehaving vegetable garden, and a grumpy, elderly cat.