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Monday 22 February 2016

ℚ♫ The Gathering: Hunters of the Dream [1] - Ingrid Koivukangas

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about The Gathering (, Eco Spirit Publishing, 211 pages), a Young Adult Fantasy, book one of the Hunters of the Dream trilogy.

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Trailer | Teaser | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

Hello Ingrid; welcome to BooksChatter and thank you so much for joining us today on the first day of your blog tour!

To begin, Ingrid, thank you for sharing with us your music playlist for The Gathering.

Unfortunately there is very little on YouTube by Dirty Spells, which is a shame as I rather liked them - they remind me a bit of Apocalyptica.  You can listen to the two missing playlist tracks, Poultrygeist and Causeway Cannibal,  and to the album version of Bleaker on their website; all three pieces come from their EP Teeth.  Enjoy!

What was the inspiration for The Gathering?
"Working as an environmental artist I enter a world of wonder.  I communicate with the Earth, the Spirit world, and the Animal, Insect and Plant worlds to create gallery exhibitions, and site specific works left at sites.

Site Memories: Murmuring Crows, Spirit Trail ~ City of North Vancouver.
Winner of the 2013 City of North Vancouver Public Art Award!
I was called to expand upon the way that I work; to communicate messages from the Earth and Spirit worlds, with a wider audience–especially with youth.

In writing Hunters of the Dream I want to invite readers, through story, into a world of wonder where they can begin to access their own innate memories of ancient mysteries and our deep connections to all beings, both seen and unseen."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I work in this magical space where I walk between worlds.  I work with, and through, dreams as well as waking dreams, and in this way my environmental site work is similar to that of shamans and healers.  

Hunters of the Dreams weaves together the way that I work, both as an artist and Reiki healer, with the magic of writing and calling forth characters and stories."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for The Gathering - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I was a graphic designer before I returned to school to study art and became an artist.  So, I design all of my own material.

For this first book I wanted the cover to give readers the feeling that they would be going on a journey through the story, with the characters, and the book would be the compass leading the way.

The first book is called The Gathering–so the book is much like a compass where you find your bearings before proceeding in a specific direction, in this case to the second book of the trilogy, Darkness Approaching."
Can you tell us something quirky about The Gathering, its story and characters?
"The characters for Hunters of the Dream began arriving a year after I moved to Salt Spring Island.  The story began arriving afterwards…or perhaps bits of the story arrived with each character and then the story began to interweave with pieces of my own experiences as an artist and healer.

The Eco Heart Oracle, which guides the characters through the story, came into existence around the same time as the characters.  I took a year to create the artwork, and to meditate on the meanings, for each of the 48 cards.  Some of these meditations, or journeys, have become chapters in the books.  Although the Oracle is central to the book, a user of the Oracle does not need to be a reader of the book to access the Oracle for messages from the natural world.

(You can get your own free online Eco Heart Oracle reading here )"
Who would you recommend The Gathering to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I wrote Hunters of the Dream with young adults in mind but it is truly a book for anyone, of any age, who wants to enter a world of wonder, mystery and fantasy."
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I simply love writing.  This is my first fantasy book but I also write haiku, poetry and short stories.  I read books in all genres–fiction and non-fiction– but I especially love those that touch upon magical realism, fantasy and adventure."
What is your writing process?
"I meditate before I begin writing.  During the meditation I invite the characters and the story forward so that we can co-create together.

I don’t usually have an outline, and when I’ve tried to use one either a character, or the story, just won’t fit neatly into it.  So my process includes lots of fluidity and openness to new ideas and avenues the story wants to take.  Time becomes suspended.  Magic softens the boundaries between what is ‘real’.  I forget that I’m in a human body that needs exercise and food and drink.  Thankfully my husband checks in on me and takes care of meals when I’m really into a chapter or passage. (Thank you Robin!)"
What is in store next?
"I am currently working on Book Two of the Hunters Trilogy: Darkness Approaching.  One of the things I love about writing is that I get to be as surprised as the reader by what happens in the story and to the characters. 
I am in the process of creating a membership website where readers can continue their journey into the world of Hunters of the Dream.  Membership is free to readers, and gives them access to complimentary art and writing projects.  Paid modules are also available for a nominal fee.  The paid modules will be especially appealing to youth, parents and home schoolers who are interested in developing a deeper understanding of our sacred connections to the natural and Spirit world through a variety of teachings and videos. 
Signup to become a member here to enter A World of Wonder."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I live on a beautiful 10 acre farm with my husband, Robin, and two dogs:
Scout, a Thai Ridgeback; Lucy, a Springer Spaniel; and a fierce Tuxedo cat named, Hunter.

We named our magical property, Alchemy Farm. The farm was neglected and hadn’t been looked after in years. We are busy planting willows, blueberries, mulberries, vegetables and flowers to sell at our farm gate along with offerings from our small orchard.

We chose the name Alchemy Farm because as stewards of this magical property we are like alchemists adding things to the mix to bring forth amazing products to share with others. In the process the farm, and land, are changing us, transforming us. It’s a beautiful and sacred blending.

I am currently completing my beekeeping apprenticeship and look forward to welcoming two hives of honey bees to our farm this spring.

Visit our website at:"
Hello Scout, Lucy and Hunter!  What lovely friends :-)  Lots of cuddles to all of you!

Wow, that is definitely cuteness overload... and those grounds are fantastic.  It's brilliant to hear about bee-keeping; we have been looking into urban bees... maybe one day...

Ingrid, thank you for sharing so much with us.  Have a great tour!

The Gathering
Only .99 until 20 March 2016!

UK: purchase from US: purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble find on Goodreads


Unknown said...

Hello! Thank you hosting me today. I love the images you chose, especially for the playlist cover!

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Unknown said...

When I first started reading Hunters of the Dream I had no idea how intriguing the book was going to be and how much it would suck me into its plot. It's a fascinating intertwining of today with a mythical and magical world that makes you rush to the next page.

I enjoyed every bit of it. But found only one thing wrong with it.

It ended.

I loved the book so much I bought 4 more copies for my kids to put in their Easter baskets.

I can't wait for the 2nd book to come out.

I can honestly say I see this as the next Harry Potter-like series!!

Well worth the read

BooksChatter said...

Hello Ingrid, thank you for popping by! It was my pleasure to discover about you, your art, your fantastic farm and gorgeous fur babies (as well as your lovely husband :-) ) and your choice of music.

And of course I did try out the Eco Heart Oracle reading!

Have a great tour!


Unknown said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed the story HaidaGal! Your feedback made my day!

Unknown said...

Hi Flora, it was nice to 'meet' you. Thank you for being an amazing host!
All the best,

Unknown said...

Wow! Very excited to stumble across this interview and see that Dirty Spells was influential in someone's writing process! And that we were a big hit with the interviewer as well! We are currently writing and recording our follow up to 'Teeth' and will be releasing a new track titled 'Emm79' in the coming weeks as a preview of said album - keep up to date by visiting us at or

Thanks for listening!
Doug Phillips of Dirty Spells