Monday, October 24, 2022

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: Will and the Whisp by Ross MacKay

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for Will and the Whisp by Ross MacKay. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a fascinating guest post from the author about where the idea for his book came from. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: Will and the Whisp
Author: Ross MacKay
Publication Date: October 25th 2022
Print Length: 268 pages
Genre: Fantasy
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The voice was coming from inside him … But it wasn’t his.

The Whisp is a fugitive. Living in between worlds, she flees from veteran hunters and the General who wishes to corrupt her power. For Will Devine, nothing could be worse than someone else knowing his thoughts. When an unfortunate incident in the boy’s toilet mysteriously binds the two souls together, Will is horrified to find he is no longer the only voice inside his mind. With no way apart, the two of them must work together to find a solution.

But with one teacher dead and another student’s life on the line, can they survive long enough to escape from each other?

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EXCERPT:
The Whisp hurtles down a side street and then spins to the left. Faster and faster, as fast as she can.

She hears heavy boots on the damp cobbles and the howls and whoops behind her. A glance back shows some of the Hunters grasping electric spears, running them against the granite walls. The sparks crackle in the air as they singe the old stones black. The rain lashes down onto the old slate roofs making the whole city bristle with noise.

Amongst all of this chaos, she keeps running, tries hard to concentrate on the sound that beckons. It's fragile, like fine thread unwinding from a spindle. She knows if she loses it, inside the noise of the chase, it might never be found again.

The sound is hope.

The Whisp propels herself forward. She has never heard the song of the Thresholds until this night. She didn't even exist when they were last open. But if a Threshold was open and singing to her, then there was a chance … A small chance, she might escape with her life.

The city is woven like a tightly gnarled knot through which she twists and turns, doubling back on herself when she comes across another squad of Hunters in the alleyway ahead of her. They are systematic, cutting off streets, encircling her, trying to pen her in. She works fast to plot a new route in her mind, turning towards the sound whenever she has the chance.

The Hunters are like a pack of wild dogs catching the scent of prey in their nostrils. They will not lose her. She is quicker than them, but they are relentless. And while she may be invisible, the lashing rain runs down her body, making her shimmer.

They are swooping upon her, again and again. Each trying their best to seize the Whisp in their talons. But agile and quick, she darts across a city square into another crumpled heap of side streets.

The Whisp tries to turn another corner but misjudges the pivot and crashes hard into a wooden door that rattles on its hinges. Trying to correct her balance, she slips as the wet gravel beneath her gives way. Landing in a heap, she looks up and notices a looming shadow in front of her.

The only humans ever out at this time of night are Hunters.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ross MacKay lives in the village of Aberdour in Scotland with his wife and young son, Noah.

Ross previously worked in theatre as the artistic director of Tortoise in a Nutshell. His productions toured all over the world. His shows have received numerous prestigious awards including a Scotsman Fringe First for New Writing and a Critic’s Pick from The New York Times.

In 2020, Ross was the recipient of the William Soutar Award for Poetry and a Tom McGrath Trust Maverick Award. He has been commissioned to write poetry for libraries in Fife, to open a festival in Perth and for two books published by Tippermuir.

Ross’ first picture book, Daddy’s Bad Bed Day will be published in 2022 by Curly Tale Books. The book has been created to help young children with parents with poor mental health. Research for the book has been supported by numerous children’s charities in Scotland.

When Ross isn’t writing or making shows, he spends his time in his inflatable kayak, trying to steer it as best he can. He loves gardening and is currently engaged in a fierce battle with a collection of snails who seem to love the rhubarb and potatoes just as much as Ross.

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GUEST POST:
- Where did you get the idea for this book?

I do all my best thinking in the shower. If I am working on a particularly tricky bit of a story, I have even been known to take two or occasionally three showers in a day. My wife likes to remind me this is not just bad for the environment but bad for our bills. However, I find it extremely useful. So, it is no surprise that my idea for Will and The Whisp struck me one early morning when I was lathering my hair in shampoo.

I have a neurological condition called FND (info here if you would like to know more). It manifests in different ways for different people. For me, it comes in brief attacks that resemble an epileptic fit. My subconscious brain takes over my body and makes it spasm. I am alert and aware of what is going on, but I can’t make it stop. My subconscious brain overrules my conscious thoughts and makes my body spasm. During those attacks it is like someone else is in control of my body.

I also suffer quite acutely from anxiety. For me this often means a lot of arguments with myself as I try to get on with my life and anxiety creeps in to try and hold me back. I might have a mundane thought like “I think I will go to the shops,” and then a thousand other competing thoughts cascade into my mind. Things like, “but you can’t stand the crowds,” “what if you say something stupid to a shop assistant,” “what if you can’t find anywhere to park and you drive around for ages and you get too tired and you end up crashing the car.” Anxiety can be a real pain in the ass.

Both disabilities got me to thinking about the idea of what it would be like to have another person inside your body. A person that competes for control and maybe hears your most secret thoughts. As I was in the shower mulling this over, I was reminded of the Ancient Greek concept of the Muses. Muses were the goddesses of the arts, and they are responsible for those little eureka moments of inspiration artists have when making a sculpture, composing a piece of music or writing a play. I love this idea a lot, it reminds me to be grateful for any talent I have. It also reminds me that inspiration is drawn from the world around you.

As I stood in the shower the water mixed with the shampoo bar to make a thick foamy lather on the top of my head. And inside my head a new concoction was being made as well. These thoughts mixed together to make something new called, Will and The Whisp. The story is built around one main central question what if the extra spirit inside me was a force for good? What would a good version of anxiety look like. Something that might disagree with me but not because they are holding me back but because they want to propel me forward. Something that might want me to turn left when I want to turn right. Something that would hear my most frightening thoughts and say, “that’s ok, Ross, we can get through this together.” Those ideas became a spirit from another world called a Whisp. And if you read my book, I really hope you enjoy getting to know her.
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GIVEAWAY:
Ross MacKay will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Goddess Fish Promotions and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

50 comments:

  1. Interesting premise. Looking forward to reading

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  2. Thanks for hosting. And enjoy reading, Katie. Glad you like the premise.

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  3. Sounds like a great read, can't wait to pick this one up!

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  4. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  5. this sounds like a great book, thanks for sharing

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  6. Thank you for sharing about your book!

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  7. Thank you everyone. I am glad the excerpt has gone down well

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  8. Thank you for sharing your guest post, bio and book details, I have enjoyed reading about you and your work and I am looking forward to reading Will and the Whisp

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  9. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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  10. Do you have any advice for new writers?

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  11. I think my grandson would like to read this book

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  12. My brother would like this book.
    Thanks for the contest.

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  13. Happy Book Birthday, Ross! I enjoyed the excerpt and the guest post, Will and the Whisp sounds like an excellent fantasy read! Good luck with your book and the tour!

    Thanks for sharing it with me and have a terrific day!

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  14. Do you riding amusement park rides?

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  15. are you a morning person or a night owl

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  16. Great questions everyone - thank you. I love an amusement park ride. Although I haven't been on one in ages!!!
    I am a night owl. But I do write in the morning....it just takes me a while to get going.

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  17. The book sounds very intriguing. Great cover!

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  18. Sounds like a great fantasy. I like the cover and excerpt.

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  19. Looks like a great read. I like the artwork on the cover as well. Best of luck with the success of the book.

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  20. Do you pass out candy for Halloween?

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  21. I'd like to know more about this fierce battle with snails haha!

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  22. sounds like a wonderful read, thanks

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  23. Thank you for hosting this giveaway!

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  24. Do you listen to music when you write?

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  25. This book sounds like a fantastic journey!

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  26. thanks for the amazing giveaway and best wishes on the book tour

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  27. I enjoyed the guest post. A pretty cover.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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  28. Do you watch police interogation videos?

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  29. What's the furthest you've ever been?

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