Interview: "The Hundredth Queen" by Emily R. King
Ahead of her new YA fantasy novel, The Warrior Queen, Emily R. King was kind enough to answer some questions from our writer Teralyn to discuss her new novel, writing, and more.
Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hello! I’m Emily R. King author of The Hundredth Queen series and forthcoming Evermore Chronicles. I live in the mountains with my husband, our four children, and our cantankerous cat. I’m a shark advocate, Diet Coke drinker, and certified scuba diver.
How did you first get into writing?
I’ve always like to read and did well in English in high school and college. It wasn’t until I was 24 and taking care of two little ones that I started writing in earnest.
Describe a typical writing day for you.
I write whenever I can. My husband works as well, and our kids have lots of activities going on, so I tend to write in-between laundry, carpool, and meals. In the evening, after everyone goes to bed, I write for an hour or two. I really do write on and off all day long.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I love to travel, snorkel, scuba dive, read, bake cookies, ride roller coasters, and go for walks.
Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?
Protect your creative process. Other people will tell you how you should write but do what works for you. Write the story you wish you could read. Take constructive criticism, but don’t write to a trend or to one agent or editor’s taste. Put yourself into your writing. No one can write your stories. Protect your talent and writing time fiercely.
If you could tell your younger self any writing advice, what would it be?
I would tell myself to trust my gut. I wasted a lot of time trying to write like someone else instead of following my own inner voice.
The Warrior Queen is the fourth book in the Hundredth Queen Series. What can you tell us about the current book and the series?
I wrote the final book of The Hundredth Queen series for my readers. The Warrior Queen is the ending they and my characters deserved. The plot came together organically. I’m so glad I was given the opportunity to write this last installment.
When writing a series how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and yourself?
Know the rules of your world and magic system and know your characters well. Once you know what the rules are, you can come up with ways to make it difficult for your characters to get what they want. This provides endless fodder for stories.
What was your hardest scene to write in The Warrior Queen?
The final chapter was the hardest. I didn’t write it until hours before turning in my final round of revisions to my editor. I ruminated over how best to end the series for months. When I finally sat down to write it, the scene flowed out of me. It was worth the wait.
Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
I can share that there are three points of view. Kalinda’s is predominate, as usual, but this story required that there be two more.
What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?
Fatigue. I wrote book two and three back to back right after completing edits on book one. By the time I needed to write book four, I was ready for a break. I’m so happy I pushed on.
What is the key theme and/or message in the book?
Believe in yourself. We all have value even when we don’t think we do. As Kalinda is told by someone she loves, we were born to outshine the stars.
Lastly, do you have any book recommendations for us?
Recently I read The Wicked Deep by Shea Earnshaw and A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena. Both were incredible.
*This interview is also featured on The Nerd Daily!