Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Blog Tour: Reign of Serpents by Eleanor Herman

Title: Reign of Serpents
Author: Eleanor Herman
Series: Blood of Gods and Royals #3
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Source: Publisher

I don't know about you guys, but I am totally stoked for Reign of Serpents by Eleanor Herman!  I have read all of the books (except for the latest novella and Reign of Serpents) and have enjoyed each one of them.  In case you missed them you can find my review for Legacy of Kings HERE, Empire of Dust HERE, and for Voice of Gods HERE.

However, today I am not here to share with you my review of this book.  I am actually here because I had the pleasure of asking Eleanor Herman some questions and she answered!  Talk about a fan girl moment when I received this opportunity!

So without further ado I give you my Q&A with Eleanor Herman!

1) What inspired you to write the Blood of Gods and Royals series?

No one had written YA novels on Alexander the Great. And because so little is known of his teen years, that gave my imagination a lot of room!

2) What is your all-time favorite point of time in history?

The ancient Mediterranean world fascinates me. It was a sophisticated world, with gorgeous buildings, well-built roads, a great deal of shipping and trade, fine artwork and jewelry-making, entertainment, and literature. And people bathed frequently, unlike in later centuries where they thought bathing would kill them and must have stunk to high heaven. I am a great fan of bathing.

3) You have traveled a lot for research, which place has been your favorite so far?

I absolutely adore Italy. It’s a giant layer-cake of civilizations, one smack on top of the other. People live in houses eight hundred years old, and in the basement are ancient tombs and temples. But I also love Greece, Lebanon, and Jordan. When I go to places this old, I have the strange feeling that I am absorbing energy from all the people who have ever been there. I get an odd buzzing sensation that makes me dizzy. And happy. I can just touch an ancient wall, and thousands of human stories flow through me, connecting me to the story of all mankind.

4). There is a lot of magic in the Blood of Gods and Royals series, how/where/why did that come about? 

Magic was very real to all ancient societies and still is to many tribal ones thriving today. I have spent time in African villages learning about it, and believe me, things happen there that our Western minds have a hard time understanding. In order to write about my characters’ experiences with Snake Blood and Earth Blood, I drew on the connection I think we all have with other life forms and the earth itself. As Kat says when she becomes the whale in Reign of Serpents, We are one. I believe this is true, and that is the real magic.

5) Who is your favorite of your characters?

That is like asking a mother of many children which is her favorite child. While I love all my characters, I have a particular fondness for the bad girl, Cynane. I love her defiant pain at being female in a man’s world. I love her fierce strength. I especially enjoyed writing the scenes in Reign of Serpents where she has married the crazy king and trying to keep him happy while plotting to kill him.

6) Who is your favorite author?
Clearly, J.K. Rowling! I also love the ancient Roman murder mystery series of Marcus Didius Falco by Lindsay Davis. Action-packed, very funny at times, and you feel that you have been there.

7) Which book in the series has been the hardest for you to write? Why?

The first book in the series, Legacy of Kings, was hardest to write for two reasons. It was my first novel, and I learned that writing fiction is much more complex than writing non-fiction, which is simply stringing facts together in an engaging way. Also, I had to learn who my many characters were, how their personalities differed. It took some time for them to really talk to me, to take over their chapters. I had a much easier time in Empire of Dust and Reign of Serpents. Now I am writing the fourth and final in the series: Dawn of Heroes. The challenge here is to show how they have grown and changed over the course of the series. They started off as kids. Now, though it’s only a year later, they are wiser and more experienced. They are adults.

8) What are your plans for after Reign of Serpents?

I have all kinds of ideas! Historical fiction, naturally! And I just finished a non-fiction book called The Royal Art of Poison, which looks at poisonings at royal courts centuries ago. That was a load of fun to research and write. I will come out in May 2018.

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