THE QUEEN OF BLOOD comes out today!!!
I'm so excited to share THE QUEEN OF BLOOD with you! It's the first in a new epic fantasy series from Harper Voyager called THE QUEENS OF RENTHIA, and it's set in a world filled with nature spirits. But these aren't your sweet, frolicking pastoral sprites... These spirits want to kill all humans, and only certain women -- queens -- can control them.
Ooh, that sounded nice and dramatic. Must remember that line. Anyway, this is what happened: I had just arrived at a writing retreat in the Poconos. Beautiful place. Forests. Hills. Prancing deer and babbling brooks, and so forth. Every writer was given an adorable wood cabin nestled beneath the pines. I was walking up to mine, marveling at the trees, reveling in the bird song, not watching my feet... and I tripped on the step up to the porch and fell flat on my face. Cut my lip. And that was the exact moment that this book -- specifically, the idea of bloodthirsty nature spirits -- was born.
Trees + blood = story.
Despite its thoroughly embarrassingly klutzy origin -- seriously, the step was right there! I saw it! -- I loved writing this book. It was such an immersive writing experience. Every day I'd sit down at my desk and feel as if I'd walked through a portal and into a city suspended between massive trees, where, let's face it, I probably would have been instantly killed, but Daleina and Ven -- an idealistic student and a banished warrior -- worked to protect their people.
I have always loved fantasy. I was that kid curled up in the corner of the library with a David Eddings, Terry Brooks, Robin McKinley, or Mercedes Lackey book, reading it for the twelfth time. Every night, I checked the back of my closet for a way into Narnia, and every birthday, I wished for a magic wand (a real one, please, not a toy) or a dragon's egg (that would hatch a friendly telepathic dragon, of course).
The thing that I love the most about both writing and reading fantasy is the way it takes you on a journey -- sweeps you off on an adventure, and then brings you back again, maybe slightly changed, a little stronger, a little braver. I believe that fantasy literature, at its core, is -- or can be -- a literature of hope and empowerment. That's what Daleina and Ven's story has been for me. And so, I hope you'll join me in journeying with them!
Welcome to Renthia! Just watch out for the trees. They bite.