When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.
Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?
1. Q: Which passion would you pick and why?
A: I would definitely be a passion of knowledge (although I think dramatics have the most fun!).
2. Q: What gave you inspiration for your world (books, movies, etc.)?
A: Since I'm a very visual person, I glean a lot of inspiration from Pinterest; I have a board for TQR that is full of landscapes and castles and costumes. I think there is something about the Renaissance that really draws me; I love the thought of culture going through a rebirth. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman is one of my favorite books ever, and I loved the world she created in that story. And I'm also a huge fan of the movie Ever After! I think all of these things really built up my own imagination.
3. Q: Which character do you relate to the most?
A: I relate the most to Brienna. I feel like she and I would be pretty good friend in real life :)
4. Q: Will we learn more about Brienna’s passion-sisters or Cartier?
A: Yes! You will definitely learn more about Cartier in the second installment. And Brienna's passion-sisters are some of my favorite characters, so I hope to also do more with them.
5. Q: Do you have any writing habits?
A: I must always have a drink with me when I'm writing. I typically have coffee, water, herbal tea, and kombucha on my desk (sometimes all of those at one time!).
6. Q: What kind of research did you do for The Queen’s Rising?
A: Here are a few things I did research on before I got started writing: clothes, music, castles, food, medieval swordsmanship. I feel like most fantasy is grounded in history, and while I didn't use all of my research, it definitely provided a good jumping off point for me to get started writing.
7. Q: What kind of books do you read in your freetime?
A: I love to read fantasy in my spare time.
8. Q: Do you have an author you always read/a favourite author?
A: My top two favorite authors are Juliet Marillier and Melina Marchetta. They know how to write characters and create worlds like no one else (and they also have both made me ugly cry in their books).
9. Q: What can we look forward to from you in the future?
A: Definitely more stories! TQR is a trilogy, and I'm actually going through edits for Book 2 right now. Book 2 is a direct sequel (not a companion book).
10. Q: Any advice for aspiring writers?
A: My advice for aspiring writers is to write. And I know that sounds simple, but you really must learn how to dedicate time to getting words on the page. You don't have to necessarily write every day (although I do feel like it helps turn it into a good habit), but you must hone the discipline to write even when you don't feel like it. You learn the most about crafting a novel by going through the whole process: the beginning, the middle, the end. And be prepared to rewrite. All good writing is rewriting.