One of the awesome sauces of being a publisher--I get to read them before anyone else! Okay, after the crit partners and some editing I get to read them.
While I'm reading, I always have questions. They are fired off in usually ten or more questions. This time it's only ten.
In this interview I'm not asking the usual questions about...blah, blah, blah. No I want to get in the author's head and seek more information about the world they created. Most of these questions will not make sense to those who have not read Hers to Claim. However, there are plenty of author interviews with PAK about how she started writing, how she got published, and you're welcome to view her tour HERE.
For those rabid fans who ponder the books, question this or that, these questions actually challenge the author and make them think about the world they created. There is so much background to this world people don't know about like...did you know that some cultures in Verdantia use cinnagin to punish a man who's force a woman to have sex with him? It's a grueling painful death. No, I don't thing PAK will ever show that, but it's an interesting part of her world. If you're a fan, don't miss these questions!
1. When Ari gave Adonia the mink coat, and she claimed to be a common woman, did Ari suspect about her family’s noble heritage? If so what gave him that clue?
Ari and Doral did some thorough investigation into Adonia Corvus when Sophi and Eric contacted them about Adonia's desire to pursue medical training at the High Enclave. (You know those two men would never let anyone they didn't trust near their beloved Fleur.)
The subsequent investigation came back with some very interesting questions posed about who Adonia's predecessors were—exactly. The report strongly recommended that one, "Adonia Corvus," be submitted to the High Enclave for genetic testing to determine whether or not she carried the gene markers necessary to interact with Verdantia, i.e., there was every evidence to suggest Adonia was highborn but since all of her relatives were dead, nothing could be verified.
Ari had a blood sample secretly given to the L'anziano (the geneticists of the High Enclave) and had only recently received the preliminary results. The L'anziano refused to say why...but they urgently wanted Adonia sent to them for further testing. No lover of the L'anziano and their arrogant way of viewing their subjects as animals to be bred, rather than humans with lives and loves of their own, Ari had not acted. He wanted time to feel Adonia out about her willingness to enter into an arranged marriage ... and then she left Sylvan Mintoth with Prince DeHelios.
2. How old is A’rken? How would he know what Isolde DeCorvus looked like?
A’rken is a very old man. No one really knows exactly how old. He simply appeared in Nyth Uchel one day with warnings of a coming disaster. He has a mystical connection with Verdantia. She shows him future events of great portent. She warned him about the Haarb invasion and forewarned him about the events chronicled in Hers To Claim. Those who are familiar with the seer think he dwells more in the ethereal plain than he does in reality. In truth, his ability to differentiate between a true vision, and what is only a product of the weird plants he ingests, is open for question. Ramsey DeKieran is right to question what is in the soup A’rken feeds them.
Because all Verdantians “live” through Her, even after death, Verdantia has shown A’rken the faces and names of those who will be instrumental in the events to come. A’rken has “seen” Isolde DeCorvus in the visions that Verdantia has given him.
3. What are the Tetriarch doing to find other noble women of Verdantia?
The Tetriarch has a fleet of starships that comb the galaxies for the enslaved Verdantians—men and women. Some of the ships are gone for years on their quest to return Verdantia’s stolen citizens. The starship captain, Magellan DeLan, in Hers To Captivate, is one of the Verdantian nobility searching the vast reaches of space seeking those vital to the Verdantian way of life.
4. What is Doral’s favorite weapon?
He takes exquisite care of a pair of finely balanced throwing knives that were a gift to him from his mother. He wears them on the inside of each forearm in a specially crafted sheath. His proficiency with them is almost mythical. The only man on the face of the planet who surpasses Doral in skill is Eric DeStroia. Their (mostly) friendly rivalry is well known.
5. What significance does Nyth Uchel have for Ramsey? He seemed to love the city as much as Hel.
Ramsey spent all of his boyhood and teenage years in Nyth Uchel and knew the DeHelios family well. As boys, he and Hel maintained an ongoing game of “one-upmanship” that carried into adulthood. When Ramsey’s family lost their estates and fell into disgrace, Hel was one of the few who continued to treat Ram as an equal. When all of Verdantia closed and locked their doors against him, Hel and Eric DeStroia, extended a hand of friendship, refusing to believe the charges against him.
Ramsey infuriated Hel when Ram ambushed him, knocked him unconscious and stole Hel’s prized stallion. Though Hel doesn’t realize it, Ramsey did it to save Hel’s reputation. A man found unconscious in the dirt cannot be accused of rendering aid to a known fugitive. Of course, Ramsey would never tell Hel that.
6. How did Steffania become a blue dagger? What significance does a “blue” dagger mean? (i.e. why not a “black” dagger or a “red” dagger?)
The term “blue dagger” comes from ancient times when the mercenaries used to carry a unique, scimitar-like blade of “blue steel.”
The youngest of eight children and the only girl, Steffania followed in the footsteps of her father and brothers, all of whom were Blue Daggers. It was the family business, as it were. Raised by her father—her mother being dead—she modeled herself after her father and brothers.
7. I know you explain a little about the politics of Verdantia, but I was wondering if all of the planet follows the Tetriarch or if there are some still loyal to Nyth Uchel?
There are many noble households still loyal to Nyth Uchel, but they obey their present sovereign as embodied in the Second Tetriarch. Many Houses would follow and fight for a DeHelios King or Queen should one rise up in violation of An Chairt Mór and demand the high throne of Verdantia.
At one time, Verdantia teetered on the brink of a bloody civil war—one faction maintaining that House DeHelios held too much power—another insisting the DeHelios line was chosen by Verdantia, Herself, to rule. King Aryn DeHelios revealed that She had shown him a grim future should proud House DeHelios not relinquish the high throne. In a stunning example of obedience to their Great Mother, King Aryn abdicated his crown and signed An Chairt Mór, The Great Charter, wherein all DeHelios were forbidden the high throne of Verdantia. His action averted civil war.
The capital moved south to Sylvan Mintoth—and House DeHelios withdrew behind the diaman walls of Nyth Uchel. Nothing could erase the magickal importance of Torre Bianca, however, and the DeHelios mystique grew into legend. As a reminder to all of Verdantia, the DeHelios banner is always flown side-by-side with that of the current ruling House.
8. Can you pronounce some of the names of your characters as you, the author, know them?
9. Do you plan on any specific vignettes? Perhaps one about when Ramsey and Steffania went to the western boarder to reset the diamon perameter?
Oh! That would be fun…I’ll put it on the list. These are the vignettes that are planned in the Verdantia series (so far)
Ramsey collars his Vixen.
Doral tops Ari
And??? I’m very open to suggestions from readers.
10. What is the next Verdantia story about?
Hers To Captivate is the next work-in-progress. It is the story of the relationship between Hel’s younger brother, Tristan, a young starship captain, Magellan DeLan and a doctor from Talleo IV, Angelica Giverny (who you might remember as “Pansy” from Hers To Cherish).
Tristan has finally been given an assignment that matters, that of preventing a lovely woman’s assassination. In the process he reconnects with a young man who was important to him years ago.
Can they come to love and bond as a three-some amid misunderstandings and murder attempts is the crux of this story.
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~ Sincerley, Your Editor
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