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GUEST POST: The Highlander, by Kasia Bacon

The Highlander

QSFer Kasia Bacon has a new MM fantasy book out, and she’s sharing a guest post with us today:

In the first chapter of The Highlander—my upcoming fantasy release in the Order series, which will be available on 31st August—Lochan, one of the MCs, struggles with insomnia.

This is a condition I’m familiar with. Ironically, I wrote this story while staying with a dear friend in the States. My sleep pattern, already poor, got further messed up by travelling and the resulting time and climate zone changes. I couldn’t sleep for a few days straight, and that made the connection I felt towards my character freakishly intense. Drafting the paragraphs about Lochan’s difficulties—which reflected my own—turned out to be an unsettling and cathartic exercise all at once.

I find that some readers are quick to dismiss fantasy as a genre that offers nothing more than pure escapism. While I totally dig escapism, pure or diluted, I also see the fantasy genre as a canvas that allows engagement with genuine modern issues.

Sleep, in my perception, is an art or a craft. And it’s one I lack. Falling asleep, and also staying asleep, is something I’ve had trouble with throughout the most of my adult life. In my case, fortunately, insomnia comes and goes, but when it does come—it’s shit, frankly. Stress and anxiety go hand in hand with a lack of sleep; like best mates. And the more you stress about not being able to sleep, the more you can’t sleep, of course. Before you know it, you’ve landed yourself a nice, chronic situation that resembles chasing your own tail.

Only people who have ever faced this condition are truly able to understand the frustration and ill-being it brings. And also the envy directed at those who sleep easily and who—annoyingly—don’t often recognise the precious gift in their possession. And gods forbid if, to cap it all off, the lucky sods are the snoring type. I’m not advocating homicide here, but you know… just saying.

In my novelette, Lochan shares his ideas on dealing with a snoring tentmate and explains how he tricks himself into dozing off. Tell me your trusted sleep tips in the comments section and you’ll be in the drawing for a chance to win an eBook copy of The Highlander.

About the Book

I, Lochan of the famed Féyes clan, know all about fighting.

As a half-breed Elf, I have struggled against prejudice and feelings of inadequacy.

A recluse by nature, I have battled my aversion to touch and interaction with others.

To become an assassin of The Order, I have learnt to overcome the limitations of my mind and body.

But denying the power Ervyn Morryés holds over me might be the one fight I lose. The truth is—damn it all—the relentless Highlander brings me to my knees.

Note: This novelette is the second in the Order Series, and not a stand-alone installment. Reading THE MUTT is crucial for its full enjoyment.


Author Bio

A linguist and an avid reader with a particular fondness for fantasy and paranormal genres, KASIA BACON lives in London with her husband. When not tearing her hair out over a translating project, she writes stories about the shenanigans of emotionally constipated assassins and sexy Elves. Otherwise, she can be found shaking her loins at a Zumba class, binging on anime or admiring throwing knives on Pinterest. She has a mild coffee and lemon tart addiction. A lover of MMA and Muay Thai, she also enjoys nature and the great outdoors. She dreams of becoming independently wealthy, leaving the city and moving into her wooden mini-manor—located in the heart of stunning forests resembling those of the Elven Country depicted in her tales.

Find Kasia online:








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