THE WAR QUEEN
by J.M. Robison
Altarn, believing Kaelin is trying to take her land, rides to an ally to ask for help in the coming war against him. But war launches in her absence, though it’s not Kaelin’s and she, in fact, needs his help instead. Kaelin is wounded in battle, but if she lets him die, can she fight the enemy on her own? Or if she saves his life, will he try claiming her kingdom like he planned, or her heart?
He exhaled and leaned back, crossing a boot over one knee. “It’s different for Ruids. We discuss warplans every week because of our pirate problem. The mood is different, the light in our eyes is different. It’s life and death we speak of, and that holds a special kind of ceremony we honor in our speech, in our manners, and our dress.”
“Why would my dress not honor this ceremony?”
“It might…except you look like a damn princess. I don’t know about Blindvar, but we killed our princesses long ago. Your people don’t want a princess. They want a war queen. A princess can’t handle the emotional responsibility of sending people off to their deaths, but a war queen can.
“You’d be surprised how willing your soldiers would be to die for you, so long as you did it without crying as they march away. They need to be reassured you’ll hold your ground when they cannot.”
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AN INTERVIEW WITH J.M.
-What inspired you to become a writer?
I’m an introvert, so being, I kept to myself growing up, and what is one supposed to do when they keep to themselves? I’m really good at entertaining myself, and I’d come up with games in my head. When I got old enough, I started writing these games down because they were looking more like stories. I realized that I really liked writing down stories so I never stopped. I wrote my first story when I was 4. I’m 29 now and still writing. Really, there was no inspiration. It’s always been a part of me.
-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?
Run from all the characters who’d want me dead. Haha. Wow. That’s a hard one. I want to be all my characters in all my stories and do everything they do (which is why I created them, since I couldn’t actually do all those things in real life). I’ll narrow it down for the sake of the question: Stand in the circle surrounding Altarn and Kaelin to watch their duel. But I’d get there soon enough I could hear Altarn tell Kaelin, “You look better with your clothes on,” and watch Kaelin’s reaction. Priceless!
-Give us a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book.
You learn a lot as a writer, mainly how to home pigeons, dye clothes, and make shoes, useless things that I now know how to do but will never do them in real life. In fantasies, there’s not a lot of research because you just make up crap if you don’t feel like researching anything.
-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?
Hulian, because villains are just understood, you know?
-You’re in a tavern, and a dwarf challenges you to a duel. What do you do?
That depends. If he’s challenging because he’s drunk, no. If he’s challenging because he knows I’m the author and mad that I gave him a crappy part, no. If he’s challenging because he knows I’ll lose (because he has a giant battle ax and I have my pen. NO. It is NOT mightier than the ax), no. I’m going to run out the back door and jump in the back of my flying unicorn because, you know, it’s a fantasy, and I can do that.
-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?
I’ve surprised myself before. When I definitely did not want to write anything based on a real timeline, I wrote The Last Wizard based in Victorian Era England. So I won’t say I could never write certain Genres, because I just might. However, there are some elements I KNOW I would never write about, namely LGBT, rape, and incest because they go against my morals.
J.M. Robison has been writing the histories of fantasy worlds for 16 years and authored 7 novels. The War Queen is her debut book – more books on the way, to include The Last Wizard and The Lost Gods (see her “Books” tab above to read more about them) – and she has no other claim to fame; growing up in Bennington, ID (Good luck finding that on a paper map), she didn’t know what wireless internet was until she was 21. Having joined the U.S. Army at 17 with a deployment to Afghanistan and Romania, and working as a Deputy Sheriff, she’s seen a lot of people and been to a lot of places; the evidence of which frequently bleeds into her writing. She loves and uses essential oils. She makes her own shampoo, lotions, laundry soap, face wash, and toothpaste.
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J.M. Robison will be awarding a War Queen t-shirt (man or woman sizes) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway