It is my honour to kick off the blog tour for a tour de force of a novel! I completely lost myself in the journey of Ember and the idea of fate cards. My review will follow but I am excited to share a special guest post from author, Rebecca King.
Imagine opening your front door, and on the mat, there is a white card.
It’s your guide to life. Every decision, choice, goal and purpose would be laid out for you. You could see exactly how your life would pan out, right down to the moment you die.
Would you read it?
If you’re ever stuck for conversation at a party, ask this question. It’s a real room-splitter.
On one side are the spontaneous types who would happily book a last-minute trip abroad. But on the other side are people like me, calling out for plans, plans and more plans.
The best people to ask are children. Some are excited by the unknown and all the potential that they hold. Others want to know everything – what will they be? Will they have 12 children? Will their parents finally let them get a unicorn?
The divide is fascinating to me, as is the idea of fate itself. Is it real? Do we really have free choice? Does everything happen for a reason?
For years, I’ve wanted to write about this, but the premise of a card landing on a mat just wasn’t enough. So, I carried on, making plans, writing other things, travelling, and then working as a teacher in China.
While there, I was determined to visit Tibet and Mount Everest. My family has roots in Tibet – my great-grandmother was one of the first Tibetans to move to England, marrying my great-grandfather. Both were writers, and I had fantastical ideas that maybe I would be inspired by the same sights as them. So, I meticulously saved and planned a trip, and we set off.
The landscapes felt like they had been lifted from the pages of a fantasy book – glaciers on one side of the road, desert on the other. Palaces towered over cities, and lakes were so blue it was as if they had been freshly painted. But it wasn’t until we were watching the sun set over Everest that ideas started to bubble.
My partner, Luke, and I were shivering in the -28C cold air, as the sky turned a bright lilac purple. As the sun dipped lower, thousands of stars began to clutter the sky. It felt magical.
Imagine, I thought, if the whole mountain was littered with magic that we didn’t know of, hidden just beyond the trail.
Suddenly, the idea of a girl receiving a fate card collided with the magic of this mountain.
‘Luke!’ I shrieked. ‘What if she has to climb a magicalmountain to change her fate?’
Luke stared back at me not knowing what on earth I was talking about, but already, I felt the idea fizzing away.
After that, I saw magical realms everywhere. A garden in Kathmandu became a part of the mountain responsible for dishing out talents. Our bumpy jeep ride became the inspiration for a rollercoaster.
On our final day, we wandered the streets of Kathmandu andfound a tiny, ramshackle bookshop. I squeezed between thedusty shelves and got chatting to the owner, mentioning my link to Tibet and my great-grandmother’s book. Suddenly, his face lit up, and he hurried off between the maze of shelves. Before long, he emerged, book in hand, asking if he’d found the right one.
I could hardly believe that in a tiny little shop in the streets of Nepal, I had found her book, just days after having the idea for my own.
When we returned to our apartment in China, I sat at my desk, her book on the shelf, and it felt like fate. A trip I had always dreamt of had ignited the story I’d been toying with for years. I set about planning out Ember’s adventure, but it soon took a life of its own filled with unexpected magic and trickery.
I’ll always be a planner, but I know that the best parts of life are impossible to plan. Some things feel like fate, some choice, but I don’t want to see what’s ahead anymore. If Ember’s adventure has taught me anything it’s to look forward to the unexpected, and I hope readers are inspired to do the same, with the courage to decide their own destinies.