Guest Post by Cassandra Rose Clarke, Author of The Wizard’s Promise

I invited Cassandra Rose Clarke, author of The Wizard’s Promise, to share 5 reasons her heroine Hanna would find real life adventures not quite as fun as the adventures from her favorite stories –

Hanna’s Top 5 Reasons for believing adventures aren’t all they’re cracked up to be:

1: They’re kinda of boring.  Anyone who has ever gone on a long road trip could testify to this. Most of us have seen National Lampoon’s Family Vacation, right? (Or Disney’s The Goofy Movie, another excellent road trip movie). So we think road trips are going to be all roadside attractions, wacky hijinks, and a chance to Overcome Some Odds. In reality, you’re sitting in a car for eight hours, feeling vaguely queasy from car sickness, and driving down a super highway where apparently no human has ventured in the last twenty years. Hanna goes through the same thing, except instead of a highway, she’s on the ocean. Imagine a cruise ship without any of the tasty food or planned activities. Pretty dull indeed.

2: They’re kind of uncomfortable. I think of it as the Bilbo Baggins effect. He had no desire to go on an adventure because he knows what they’re really about: getting dirty and not being able to eat regularly. Hanna doesn’t have that foresight, and so when she finds herself stranded on a strange island, without the right kind of money, she has to face the very real possibility that she won’t get to a hot meal or a cozy place to sleep that night. Throughout the book, Hanna gets soaking wet, freezing cold, and threatened with magic sickness—all as result of adventuring.

3: They’re kind of terrifying.  Like most of us, Hanna’s ideas about adventures come from reading stories. It’s one thing to read about danger and derring-do—and quite another to experience it yourself. As with any proper adventure, Hanna finds herself in some terrifying, life-threatening situations, and that terror isn’t anything like what she expected when she was daydreaming about adventures back at home.

4: They reveal the truth about others. Hanna might have had some idea that adventures can tell you a little about yourself, but she had no idea that an adventure can also tell you so much about the people you’re adventuring with—both for good and bad. Her adventure reveals secrets about her apprentice master, Kolur, that she had never imagined; even his mysterious friend, Frida, slowly reveals parts of herself as the adventure wears on. But perhaps the biggest surprise is in Isolfr, the beautiful boy she finds swimming alongside the ship. He might seem cowardly at first, but through adventure she learns that he has his own particular brand of bravery.

5: They help you find your strength For Hanna, the promise of adventure was really the promise of getting out of her little village. She didn’t think much beyond that: not about the unpleasant aspects of adventure, and not about the positive aspects, either. Although Hanna had always practiced her magic at home, it’s not until she’s out on her adventure that she really begins to understand her full potential as a witch. Beyond that, though, Hanna learns that she can use her wits to survive, and that her fishing background wasn’t a waste of time, as she was so convinced of when she was back at home. She learns that her strength isn’t just about magic, but about all the other skills she’s picked up over the years. In short, she’s been training for this adventure her whole life.

About the book:

Hanna has spent her life hearing about the adventures of her namesake Ananna, the lady pirate, and assassin Naji. She dreams of the same adventures, but little does she know she is about to tumble into one of her own. Hanna is apprenticed to a taciturn fisherman called Kolur, and, during a day of storms and darkness, are swept wildly off course.

In this strange new land, Kolur hires a stranger to join the crew and, rather than heading home, sets a course for the dangerous island of Jadanvar. As Hanna meets a secretive merboy, and learns that Kolur has a deadly past, she soon realises that wishing for adventures is a dangerous game – because those wishes might come true.

About the author:

Cassandra Rose Clarke grew up in south Texas and currently lives in a suburb of Houston, where she writes and teaches composition at a local college. She graduated in 2006 from The University of St. Thomas with a B.A. in English, and two years later she completed her master’s degree in creative writing at The University of Texas at Austin. In 2010 she attended the Clarion West Writer’s Workshop in Seattle, where she was a recipient of the Susan C. Petrey Clarion Scholarship Fund.

Cassandra’s first adult novel, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, was a finalist for the 2013 Philip K. Dick Award, and her YA novel, The Assassin’s Curse, was nominated for YALSA’s 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults. Her short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons and Daily Science Fiction.

Visit her website here