Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Blog Tour: White Lotus by Seb Cielens #blogtour #interview #fantasy #youngadult #rabtbooktours @RABTBookTours @SebCielens


 Book 1 of The Tripitaka Chronicles

Fantasy, YA, Historical

Date Published: August 15, 2021

Publisher: NewLink Publishing (an imprint of Mystic Publishers)

The year is 1799, and a woodblock engraved with a mysterious message is unearthed near a Korean temple. A novice monk, Kyetsu, is sent north by the abbot on a mission to deliver it to the king. On the journey he meets a great warrior, the leader of a secret society called White Lotus. Kyetsu will need all the help he can get, as there are powerful forces working against him. He must learn the deadly martial arts style practiced by the White Lotus and must look for help in unlikely places. The fate of the kingdom is at stake.


Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?


Compassion. It is pretty simple really. The world of late 18th century Korea had its share of problems, just like the world we live in today. People suffer, some more than others. We all have different opinions but if we can have compassion for one another, that will go a long way.


Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?


The research. The series is fantasy but set in a distinct historical context – 1799 Korea. Some of the characters and events are based on real people and happenings from the time, while others are fictional. As a professional historian, I am fastidious about the details. This means some long hours of searching for what at times seems like a trivial detail. I think it is worth it in the end.



How many books have you written and which is your favorite?


 White Lotus is my first novel, although I have finished writing book 2 of the trilogy – The Golden Drum and I am halfway through book 3 – Three Thousand Realms (so don’t worry if you start reading the trilogy – it will be finished and in good time too unlike us poor Patrick Rothfuss readers still waiting for book 3!). White Lotus is my favorite in the first love kind of way, but I think my writing has continued to grow so book 2 is definitely worth reading.



If You had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?

I will go with Lei Wu as Kyetsu (watch Shadow 2018) for the reason why. Lana Condor is my pick for Yun-li. First came onto the scene as Jubilee in X-Men: Apocalypse. She has some fighting moves but also the right ‘don’t mess with me’ aura.



When did you begin writing?

Further back than I remember. I used to love writing silly stories involving my friends in primary school. My first true short story was called ‘Planet of the Grapes’ written as a child. I think you can guess what it was about. I still have it – my teacher loved it but I am not sure she quite knew where in the world it came from. I doubt it fitted the requirements of whatever task we were meant to be doing.




How long did it take to complete your first book?


Around eight years but I have some pretty good excuses for that, working in a very busy job all that time, having a young family, not to mention the fact that I had to rewrite it over and again as my writing style developed and improved. Book 2 was written in a year and a half.



Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?

I think Tolkien inspired me a great deal as a teenager. The world he created in LOTR resonated with me in a big way. The first time I read the trilogy and before any films tainted my own imagery was very special. P.s. they were amazing films but nothing beats the construction of an incredible book in our own imagination.



What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Writing scenes full of suspense. One of my editors calls me ‘the master of menace.’ I really like horror films so I bring a fair bit of lurking menace to my stories. I do enjoy building up the tension, the reader knows something terrible is about to happen…you can feel the writing slow down…BAM.



Describe your latest book in 4 words.

 Warriors, monks and scholars


Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?


Book 2 of the Tripitaka Chronicles (The Golden Drum) is set for release in May 2022 from NewLink Publishing. I am currently working on the third installment (Three Thousand Realms) to be released in 2023. It has been a long road writing this trilogy. I see a little break after that then a good long think about ‘where to’ from there.



About the Author

Seb Cielens is a South Australian writer who has immersed himself in Asian culture and history since he was a child. His stories recount the turmoil of life in late imperial Korea and China, weaving hundreds of hours of historical research into vivid and inspiring fictional tales. When he started training in Kung Fu at the age of thirteen, Seb had no idea that it would lead to a lifelong passion for this amazing place and time. After training in Chinese, Japanese and Korean martial arts for much of his life, he began putting it together with a lifelong passion for writing. Seb is a high school History teacher by day, and writer by night. He has managed these achievements despite being legally blind. White Lotus is the first novel in what promises to be a bountiful career as an author.

Contact Links


Facebook (Seb Cielens#SebCielensBooks)

Twitter (Seb Cielens@SebCielens)



Purchase Links


Barnes and Noble







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