1. Where do you get your ideas?
Anything can inspire a story. Daughter of Aithne was inspired in many ways by the amazing women Iâve known and the women Iâve read about in history. In particular, Iâm fascinated by medieval women, by how they managed to wield and manipulate power in a society so steeped in patriarchal values. In writing Daughter of Aithne, I asked myself, âWhat would happen if barriers to power were removed and women could rule â and even wage â war just like men?â
2. Do you have a dream cast for your book?
Itâs reaching a little high to imagine my novels would ever be made into a movie, but if they were, I would cast Emma Watson as Eolyn, the magical Queen of MoisehÃ©n, and Emma Stone as her rival, Taesara of Roenfyn. Both probably need to age a little into these roles, but seeing as Hollywood has yet to cast its greedy eye on this story, theyâve got time.
Kit Harington would make a decent King Akmael; heâs got the regal bearing and just the right âI could use a little more loveâ look about him. Tom Hiddleston would be my choice for the enigmatic and irresistible Mage Corey. Bryan Terrell Clark would be perfect as the charismatic warrior and all-around heart throb, Prince Savegre, Taesaraâs ally in the battle for the throne of MoisehÃ©n.
3. How do you handle writerâs block?
When I donât feel like writing, I donât do it. We all need a rest once in a while, and that is especially true of the creative endeavor. I have gone for months at a time without writing, always in the faith that when the time is right, I will sit back down again and the stories will flow.
4. What inspired you to write this book?
Daughter of Aithne is the book Iâve always wanted to write, but it took two other novels â Eolyn and Sword of Shadows â to lay the foundation for this last stage of Eolynâs journey. I wanted to write a medieval fantasy that gave women the reins of power. I wanted to show the capacity of love and compassion to triumph over fear, oppression, and war. I believe I succeeded in all of this with Daughter of Aithne. Daughter of Aithne can be read as a stand-alone novel, but the full significance of the story cannot be understood without reading Eolyn and Sword of Shadows.
5.Whatâs the hardest part of being an author?
The fast-paced pressure of the market. It takes time and dedication to craft a high-quality novel; but readers have a reputation for impatience. Iâve been told itâs impossible to succeed as an author unless you churn out at least four books a year. Iâm a nonconformist by nature, and I simply refuse to chain myself to that expectation. For me, success is not about how many books I produce and sell. Itâs about the quality of the product I offer. I realize this attitude may condemn me to obscurity, but thatâs okay. As long as I have a few faithful readers who come away extremely satisfied, I can consider myself successful as an author.