This is one of my favorite series, it's right down my alley of fantasy and historical fiction. So I was honored when asked take part of a blog tour to promote the release of the third installment, Reign of Serpents. For this blog tour I got to ask author Eleanor Herman five questions about her books.
Here they are! (FYI Reign of Serpents is out, so you can read it right now!!)
Out of all the historical figures with intriguing stories, what drew you to Alexander the Great?
Alexander the Great was one of most pivotal historical characters in world history. He simply didn’t know the meaning of You can’t do that. Though his empire collapsed soon after his death, he had opened up the connection between the Mediterranean and the East. Good flowed both ways, along with ideas and people,reshaping the world as we know it. And he was ripe to become a YA character as almost nothing is known about him before he became king of Macedon at the age of twenty. Which left plenty of room for me to imagine him as a teen!
Do any of the characters in these books mirror your own personality or that of people you know?
All of the characters mirror aspects of my own personality. Queen Olympias uses her femininity to manipulate, a quality I know is there but choose not to use. Princess Cynane is selfish and, at times, evil, qualities I suppress in my life but love to express in my writing! I am more like Zofia and Katerina: strong, brave, good and determined. As for the guys, well, I never felt that my soul was female. It’s neutral, bordering on male. Guys are simpler than girls. Their emotions aren’t usually as complex. They don’t overthink things. They are more about doing than feeling. So, yes, all my characters are actually me.
What are your favorite types of scenes to write? Why?
I love writing battle scenes. Though Reign of Serpents is the one book in the series without a battle, I did manage to throw in an epic royal food fight and an earthquake that sends the Temple of Delphi collapsing to the ground in a heap. I love writing the swirl of action. In the middle of a battle—or an epic food fight or an earthquake—you would only catch snatches of what is going on. It would be like some Impressionist painting, and that is loads of fun to write.
In these books there is a lot of magic lore, how did you come up with this? Did you craft it yourself, or build on actual beliefs about magic?
I love writing about magic. I feel we all have innate magic within us that our society suppresses. To write the magic scenes, I called on my experience living in an African village—with spirits of a cave, a pond, the forest, a sacred stool, and countless ancestors--and my study of ancient religions. I am empathic, myself, feeling the feelings of others, which isn’t necessarily a good thing as they are often stress, anger, and fear. But I do understand that magic is all around us, inside us, and we can tap into it. Jacob has a connection to the physical earth, to rocks and waves and wind. Katerina can enter the minds of animals, Alex can see the memories of people. I called on my own experiences and beliefs to write the magic scenes.
What was the hardest part about writing Reign of Serpents?
Juggling the time line of so many characters who have split up and gone to different parts of the world. When Princess Zofia takes a thirty-three day trip from Persepolis to Macedon, I had to stall all the other action to wait for her to get there!
I'm really glad I got to participate in the blog tour, thank you to Glasstown Entertainment for this opportunity!
And to the rest of the people reading this, I highly encourage you to pick up this series. As I've said before, it's just so good! The characters are easy to get attached to, and the plot is intriguing. It's not a series you want to miss out on.
I know I'm going to pick up Reign of Serpents as soon as I get it, so keep an eye out for my review :) Thanks for reading,