Mark of Calling

I have another new release from a Lutheran author for you! K. M. Strid now offers her debut novel, The Mark of Calling: A Tale of the Savus, and I’m quite excited about it and its series, Shadow on the StarsKas (Kasandra) was born in Germany and moved to the United States in her late teens. Over the next years, she translated her first story into a very broken English, which over another couple years was edited by her now husband, Josh Radke (aka Joshua Rothe of Stitched Crosses: Crusade).  K. M. Strid, her maiden name, honors the continuity of her work, as it has been a part of her life for so long.

From Kassandra

I have been working on this story for over twenty years. The main character, Kalif, has been with me since I was thirteen. Much of the story has developed throughout my teens and early twenties. Time flew translating the story after that from German into English. Admittedly, there was also my own inability at the time to summarize what I was working on. Simply describing concepts like the title of the series, Shadow on the Stars! I had created a secret realm, hidden behind the stars we see every night. This realm was ruled by a god, a tyrant, Lord Helel and his son, Savenius. Against them stood the nation of the Shasar and a structure called the Krinolium, which is ruled by Shadior. Many wanted him to be the opposing force to Helel and Savenius, but there are other plans.

Ideas and stories just exploded. Character designs, worlds in outer space and rules ranging from planetary leaderships to space travel, which came to me as a teenager. I found myself more often overwhelming people than anything else. So I just worked on the stories in secret, many called in a hobby. I called it shutting up the voices, which all had great ideas.

What I hope to achieve with The Mark of Calling is to introduce the main character, Kalif, who has not always been good. In fact, most people in the Realm used to fear him with a different name and with a very different reputation. Given a new chance by one of the highest Shasar, a new name and fresh start to stand against Savenius one day, he may become the true Prince over the Realm. Now he has to live among enemies, proving himself right and ready for what he is supposed to do. At least that is what he believes, because he has never been given an explanation, just a chance and task.

There will be two more books next year, which are already written and going through editing at present. They backtrack, showing readers who Kalif used to be. I think the best way to explain what I have done is something that was pointed out by a reader not that long ago. I have a Saul to Saint Paul story.

The Mark of Calling shows Kalif in his first moments, days, and months as a good guy for the very first time in his life. During these times, he runs into people that used to be his enemies, but are now friends—and friends who are now his enemies or who do not understand the character switch.

This is not a retelling of Paul or the Book of Acts. Not even close. When you read this book, you will be on a world in space and meet Kalif as a young man, a child to some of us. He is full of secrets, fears, and confusion. How he will go about finding out what he needs to do and how it will affect many nations within the Realm… well, you will need to read the books for that.

I hope you enjoy them, even if you never read more than one book. I will hand the story out in small pieces so you can enjoy the things in life that are really important, family and friends. And, your little talking animals that can walk through walls. Just make sure to look out for masked characters and magical warriors with cloaks and golden staffs. Some you can trust. Others may have plans for their own to take you away and have you throw a shadow on my stars.

Back to Me Blogging

Sounds great! I love the idea of structuring the story as sort of a Saul to St. Paul conversion! And, you’re going to love this, when I asked whether this was adult fantasy or young adult, you know what she said? “Family fantasy?” AWESOME!!! What a great answer!
Thank you, Kasandra, for all you’ve done with world creation, language translation, and pure imagination! Woo hoo! Everybody, mark the calling! 😉

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