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Interview with Miriam Newman, author of historical fantasy romance Hand of the Gods

cover of Hand of the Gods by Miriam Newman

Those who survived the Battle of Grandfather Mountain are said to be in the Hand of the Gods.  No one will need that more than Sange, sister of Arak clan chieftain Javrik.  Drawn to Arman Garimandi, the Omani cavalry officer who saved her people during the siege, she shocks her family by marrying him despite her brother’s caution that someday he will break her heart.  Blindly in love, she follows Arman to two different forts where he is ordered.  At the first, danger comes unexpectedly in the form of another woman  And at the second, she finds herself an unwitting pawn–possibly even a prisoner–between two powerful nations.

Excerpt from Hand of the Gods

Sunny Omana had felt strangely like home to Arman, probably because he had heard about it all his life. And then, when their army had defeated the Domidian hordes that had conquered it and sent him to scout the upper portions, inhabited by nomadic Arak tribes, finally he knew life had given him another chance, probably undeserved after the things he had done, but a chance all the same.

He was looking at her now, sitting on her small Arak horse, framed against vast green plains below them where wind moved in circles and waves through wild grasses. Low purple and tan foothills rose from them, shadowed by clouds, and beyond those were mountains so steep that snowcapped them even in the midst of summer. Domidians on the other side had never crossed them in force. That was why the eastern portion of Arak lands, where Sange had never been, was spared the slaughter those in the center faced as Domidians who had occupied southern Omana fled forces drawn from the compact of nations who freed it from them. Now those mountains harbored their remnants, swelling ranks of brigands who had been there for years. It was a dangerous place, but she had packed up and taken horse with him when his orders sent him there. Just as his father’s Emperator had sent him to exile in a foreign land, the one in Arman’s time had done the same. The difference was that in his, Arman had found the last woman he would ever love.

Wisps of hair had escaped her headscarf, strands of gold flying in the wind, occasionally touching her sculpted cheeks. She had a mouth made for kissing and eyes as green as gems, oddly ringed with a darker shade outlining the iris like some elfin creature. Every feature was delicate, her body a wonder and a pleasure to him. She was young and she was hope, when he had lost all of his.

Interview with Miriam Newman

-What inspired you to become a writer? 

I always say it began with my trying to print (because I couldn’t write cursive yet) books on my mother’s shopping lists.  Fortunately, she realized what she had on her hands and let me go.  She even bought me a prime selection of notebooks and pencils and was my first proofreader, copy editor and critic.

-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do? 

Find one of my male main characters and spend it with him, finding out what makes him tick, because I never QUITE reach the bottom of one of my characters.  They are always a challenge, often troubled heroes, sometimes fairly bizarre, and fascinating.

-It’s two in the morning. What does your protagonist reveal in confidence? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.) 

Refer to topic #2.  He would reveal what makes him troubled, bizarre and fascinating.  Was it a lost love?  A scandalous life?  A troubled childhood?  I wanna know!

-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with? 

I think that would have to be Sergius, hero of my book Emperator, because he’s an inveterate drinker and womanizer and a lot of fun, yet a really decent and conscientious man at the heart of it.  He is, of course, just looking for the woman who can finally bring him to heel. 

-You’re in a tavern, and a dwarf challenges you to a duel. What do you do? 

Hmm, well, like an idiot I would probably challenge him to arm wrestling, thinking that my longer reach and longer legs would give me an unfair advantage in a duel.  And then he would probably break my arm.

-Is there a genre you could never write?

Horror, which is interesting because there’s no lack of sword and dagger in my historical romances that often feature battle.  Some of it is fairly realistic, too.  I don’t pull punches.  But it’s war, fought in a good cause, at the end of which the good guys win.  In horror, nobody wins.  It’s horror.  And I have got to have a cause.

About Miriam Newman

I fell in love long ago with fantasy poetry driven by myths and legends, as well as stories of heroes and battles.  Ancient Celtic writings were my special passion, along with the Roman Empire, Roman Britain, the Norman invasion of England, and tales of the Vikings.  My first book emerged when I was an…ahem…youthful 52.  Well, I’m not 52 any more and up to 34 books and it’s been a great run. 

Retired from many years in social work, now I pass my days writing, researching and living with a pack of highly demanding rescue dogs.  I write in every genre I please and you can see my books at www.miriamnewman.com.


Miriam Newman will award a $20 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner.

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