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10 Questions and Answers About Alara’s Call

Over at her Zyearth blog, R.A. Meenan tagged everyone in our Facebook writers group in this Q&A game. So in the hopes that this will give you a slightly less controversial view of Alara’s Call than we had last time, here goes:

1. What is the title of your next book/work?

Alara’s Call, book one of The Prophet’s Chronicle.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book/work?

It started with a vision of soldiers and banners, and I started writing it down to find out who they were and why they were there. The book has evolved drastically from that point, and the barest remnant of that scene remains.

3. What genre does your book/work fall under?

Fantasy, but not Epic or High Fantasy. I like Caprice Hokstad’s term: Sword Opera.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Jenna Coleman

Jenna Coleman in “Death Comes to Pemberley” BBC. Yep, she could totally play Alara.

Jenna-Louise Coleman or Ginnifer Goodwin could play Alara. Jeff Goldblum could have played Dorrel about twenty years ago. The villain Sturg could be played by Sting (the way he looked in Dune. Yeah, that.) And of course Harrison Ford.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

The less-controversial version is this:

Alara is a young clergywoman called to prophesy to world leaders—starting with her father—about how God’s people should be governed.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It is being published by OakTara Publishers, a traditional publisher in the greater Chicago area. They also published C. Kevin Thompson’s books The Serpent’s Grasp and 30 Days Hath Revenge. It’s in production, but I haven’t been given a release date yet.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

A couple of months. It stank, and I put it away for years before making a second attempt.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Mary Elizabeth Hall’s Amberly is the only book I’ve read with a setting and theme really close to mine. Her setting is akin to 18th-century Europe and mine is sort of 19th-century. Both deal with the theme of democracy versus monarchy, though mine also deals with egalitarianism versus patriarchy. Caprice Hokstad’s The Duke’s Handmaid and Karen Hancock’s The Light of Eidon are also in the same genre.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I have a lot of literary influences, including Jane Austen and C.S. Lewis. My inspiration—apart from just being a gift from God—comes from them and from other great writers, including Beth Hilgartner, whom you’ve probably never heard of but she wrote my favorite childhood story. When I re-read it recently, it was startling to see how many tropes in her book are echoed in mine. I trust I’ve put enough spin on them to make it fresh.

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

The aforementioned controversial backstory aside, the book contains more political intrigue than theology. I once told Jeff Gerke I wanted it to be like a cross between Jane Austen and C.S. Lewis, and he said no, it was more like a cross between Jane Austen and CNN because of the politics.

I’m okay with that.

I’ll tag any NAF member or reader who wants to play. For your copy and pasting convenience, here are the questions alone:

1. What is the title of your next book/work?
2. Where did the idea come from for the book/work?
3. What genre does your book/work fall under?
4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

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About Kristen Stieffel

Kristen Stieffel is a writer and freelance editor specializing in speculative fiction. She's a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, Christian Editor Connection, and American Christian Fiction Writers.

One comment on “10 Questions and Answers About Alara’s Call

  1. Well done – and I’ll keep your game of tag in mind! 🙂

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