Please join me in welcoming debut author Liane Merciel as the special guest blogger here today at Thoughts in Progress.
Liane’s book, “The River Kings’ Road” is the first in an exciting new fantasy series that introduces readers to a world of warring kingdoms, divided loyalties, and an insidious magic that destroys everything it touches. “The River Kings’ Road” recently received a STARRED review in Publishers Weekly, as well as great reviews from Library Journal and BookPage.
Liane has stopped by today to answer some questions about her writing and this very intriguing book.
This is your debut book in a medieval fantasy series, can you briefly tell us about it?
The River Kings' Road is a high fantasy adventure with an ensemble cast that ranges from a divinely blessed Knight of the Sun to an illiterate 16-year-old single mother whose only ambition is to keep herself and her baby alive. The story unfolds in a part of the world that has been deeply scarred by repeated conflicts between two neighboring kingdoms; much of it concerns the characters' efforts to keep that fragile peace intact, even as their actions threaten to break it apart.
What inspired you to write about knights and kingdoms?
Like the old adage says, "write what you love." I've been enamored of classic fantasy settings since I was six years old listening to my dad read me The Hobbit. There's just something about high fantasy that ignites the imagination: ancient castles, arcane magic, jewels and pageantry and swords (can't forget the swords!!). So when I started this story, that's naturally the direction in which I was drawn.
Are the main characters based on real people or more or less just from your imagination?
They are all figments of my imagination. Kelland owes a little to one of my gaming buddies, but that's about it. I don't think I could ever bring myself to write anything based on a real person.
Will Brys Tarnell be in the second book and what will it be about?
Brys does not appear in Heaven's Needle, the second book. I'm planning to follow up with him in the third one, tentatively titled The Library of Nightingales, but we won't see him again until then.
Here's an early synopsis for Heaven's Needle:
"Six hundred years ago, an unknown force destroyed one of the greatest fortresses in Ithelas, slaughtering its defenders so swiftly that none survived to say what befell them.
Now, in the shadow of those ancient ruins, something malign is stirring.
Kelland, a divinely blessed Knight of the Sun, is charged with the duty of confronting the fell powers of the world. But his only chance of stopping this evil may be to ally with another -- even as Bitharn, his companion, betrays their faith in the name of love. Meanwhile, three young novices from the Dome of the Sun, accompanied by a scarred and taciturn swordswoman, venture bravely but unwisely into the heart of danger, seeking a holy artifact that, they pray, might end it. Their paths converge in Carden Vale, where nightmare awaits."
I understand you practice law. When and where do you find time to write?
Mostly on my laptop before and after work. I try to wake up around 5 AM (+/- an hour) and get a few pages knocked out every morning. For me that's the best time to write, and usually I can fit in two or three hours before I have to scurry to the office. But really I can work anywhere that's quiet and isolated... and around deadlines, usually have to!
Is there anything you'd like readers to know about you, your writing and/or your books that they might not already know?
If I were Chuck Norris I'd be able to give an awesome answer, and if I were Jim Hines I'd have a funny one... but alas, I am only me, and so nothing comes to mind.
Any updates about the books or other ongoing projects will be posted to my website (well, once they're official, anyway), so that's always the first place to look for additional information.
Thanks for having me, and for your interest in RKR. :)
Liane, thanks so much for stopping by and answering all my questions. Talk of knights, castles, and damsels in distress has always fascinated me. My first thoughts go to Robin Hood and King Arthur. Can’t wait to learn more about Brys.
What comes to mind when you hear of knights, castles and kingdoms? Have you ever imaged living in the era of King Arthur?