Sandra Hurst
Guest Post

YA/NA Fantasy | Y’keta by Sandra Hurst

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I’m delighted to be hosting Sandra Hurst today.  Y’Keta is Sandra’s debut novel and is the first in the Sky Road trilogy.  You’ll probably do a double-take at the headline for Sandra’s guest post … I know you’ll agree with me on the sentiments of what she is saying.

First, here’s more information about Y’Keta:

Sandra Hurst

File Size: 1903 KB

Print Length: 270 pages

Publisher: Sky Road Publications (17 Mar. 2017)

Language: English


ISBN-10: 1539396959

ISBN-13: 978-1539396956

Banished. Cast out. Powerless. Y’keta is exiled to the small village of Esquialt as his father’s punishment for his rebellious spirit. Village tradition gives him one Cycle, from spring to spring, to earn the right to stay.

The villagers have a legend about mighty beings called the Waki’tani, mythical lords of the wind and lightning who can shapeshift into human form. Y’keta knows the truth behind these stories. Could there be more to them than just tales shared around the campfire?

If Y’keta reveals what he knows to the villagers, it will tear their history and traditions apart…but sharing his secrets may be their only hope for survival when Esquialt is threatened by the brutal, ferociously destructive Utlaak.

Loosely based on the Thunderbird of North American legend, Y’keta is an epic fantasy set in an ancient world where legends walk and the Sky Road offers a way to the stars.

Amazon UK

Amazon US

 Just assume your readers are stupid!

Hi, Shaz, and thank you for inviting me to Jera’s Jamboree today. This blog is new to me, but I’ve been looking around and thoroughly enjoying my visit. But I should warn you, when you told me to discuss anything I thought relevant about books, my book, or reading in general, you may have unleashed the tiger.

Thank you! and go right ahead 🙂

My debut novel, Y’keta, has recently launched. It is a Young Adult/New Adult fantasy set in an ancient world and loosely based on the Thunderbird of North American legend. In preparing my book for publication I did, as you’d expect, research into the Young Adult market and some of the results really surprised me.

One of the first things I was told when I talked to several people about writing Y’keta as a young adult book, was to keep it simple, make it move fast, and assume that your readers are stupid.


As an example, I was given a few teen books to read. They weren’t bad books, but if I they had been meals, they would have come from the diet section of the menu. The lack of nuance and depth-HEAVENS Sandra! Don’t use such big words!would have had the teenage me yawning and reaching for a ‘real’ book.

Young Adult and New Adult readers deserve so much better.

I think people underestimate the intelligence and interest of Young Adult and New Adult readers. The books I loved as a Young Adult were books that made you think something, or feel something, not just stories. I grew up on Tolkien, Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke and the tales they told stretched my mind, made me think of possibilities and worlds beyond high school and college. They had well thought-out characters doing amazing things, words and sentences that made you feel, and were written in worlds that engaged the imagination. These are the books that I went back to as a younger reader, these are the kind of books I want to write.

So, to the alpha reader who said, “I was writing above my audience,” I am sorry, but I choose to believe that character, nuance and solid world-building are what my audience wants.

This is a sophisticated, at times even jaded, generation they have grown up with the ‘real world’ plastered on their eyeballs. Every news station, iPod, and cell phone feeds them 24/7 reality. They know what the world is, they need to see what it can be. I hope to give them a good place to dream.

 Wishing you success with your trilogy Sandra.

About the Author

Sandra HurstAs a child growing up in England, stories and legends surrounded me, I learned how important imagination was. When I was 8, we moved to northern Canada and the legends changed. Stories of the Fae and the little people were replaced by legends of the Thunderbird and stories of the woodlands. I never stood a chance. What could I be but a writer?

Growing up in Northern Alberta gave me a great love and respect for the wild lands and indigenous cultures which made its way into the worlds I create. A mythmaker at heart, I started writing poetry in middle school and graduated to epic fantasy.

Myths give us a way to interpret the world past our normal experience. To ask questions and explore answers in a larger-than-life game of ‘what if.’ We need to make room for myths and mythmakers in our fact driven world. To give space for worlds that are brighter and clearer than our own. For it is in doing so, that we have room to become more fully human.

My first book, Y’keta, is loosely based on the Thunderbird of North American legend, Y’keta is a Young Adult, high fantasy set in an ancient world where legends walk and the Sky Road offers a way to the stars.

I now live in Calgary, Alberta with my husband and son, both of whom I love dearly, and have put up for sale on e-bay when their behaviour demanded it. My day to day life is a balance between my outside life as a paralegal counsellor and my inner life as an author/poet. In between, I work on improving my writing, study Cree Language and aboriginal history, write book reviews, blog on my website, and study mythologies from around the world.

Connect with Sandra Hurst


Twitter @_SandraHurst


I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 8+ years. My love of reading, crocheting and being out in nature are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school. I'm passionate about early help and sharing strategies with families to empower and help build resilience. I'm a member of of my Local Authority's Early Help Operational Board, working alongside other professionals to instigate change and growth.

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