Tuesday, July 9, 2013

"King" by R.J. Larson: An Interview and Giveaway

King by R.J. Larson Fantasy Meets the Old Testament in a Novel That Will Reach Readers of All Ages. Against his wishes and desires, Akabe of Siphra has been chosen by his people to be King. But what does a warrior know of ruling during peacetime? Guided by the Infinite, Akabe seeks to rebuild the Temple in the city of Munra to give the sacred books of Parne a home. But dangerous factions are forming in the background. 

To gain the land he needs, Akabe must forsake the yearnings of his heart and instead align himself through marriage to the Thaenfall family. Meanwhile, Kien Lantec and Ela Roeh are drawn still closer together...while becoming pawns in a quest to gain power over the region. 

As questions of love and faith become tangled with lies and murderous plots, each must seek the Infinite to guide them through an ever more tangled web of intrigue and danger.   

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

An Interview with the Author
Tell us a little about yourself.

I'm an extroverted introvert. I LOVE people, but I can crawl into a shell if I'm overwhelmed by too much commotion, which happened often when I was growing up surrounded by four brothers. Until recently, I was certain I'd been doomed to remain a token female forever, but my youngest son fell in love and will soon marry an amazing young woman whom we all adore. My dear husband and I hope to be grandparents in about five years.

When I'm not fussing over my family and working or cooking, I am writing. Writing is my spiritual task, my ministry, my overwhelmingly fave hobby, my lifelong dream. I'm so blessed and humbled that the Lord has allowed me to write.

Can you tell that I'm still pinching myself whenever I realize that I'm a writer? It's true. I'm amazed.

Is writing a full-time career for you? If not, how else do you spend your
work day?

No, like most authors, I do have a day job, which currently involves plants. LOTS of plants. I unbox hundreds of the little rascals each season and dress them up with bows. I water them and mope on the rare occasions when they have the audacity die. I also create arrangements and corsages and boutonnieres with roses. Thousands of roses! The current trend is white roses with black bows. I've been twisting lots of teen arms to get them to step out of the crowd and pick different colors.

By the end of our busy season, I dream of being treated like a Christmas Cactus--I want to be closed up in a dark closet to hibernate for a few weeks. Just pack me in there with my laptop and a few essentials and I'd be a happy camper!

What inspired the idea behind your book?

KING was inspired by a character who showed up in the last few chapters of PROPHET, volume one of the Books of the Infinite series.
Something about Akabe--was it his dimpled smile or the way he threw that battle axe?--made me look twice. Plus, his Creator ordained an exceptional role for Akabe: King of Siphra.

Will you share with us a short preview of KING?
Gladly! In this scene, Akabe is conversing with his Royal Council. Lord Faine is is chief advisor:

        Faine sighed. “We must redouble our surveillance and your guards. Sir, this is the second attempt on your life within the past seven months.”
        “I’m well aware of that fact, my lord. My knife-wound from last year and this morning’s blisters have made the dangers of kingship abundantly clear. What are you failing to say?”
        Faine hesitated, his delicacy at odds with his blunt face. “You need an heir. We’ve agreed you must marry.”
        “But have I agreed?” Akabe studied his council member’s faces. To a man, they nodded, death-serious.
        “Yes, sir, you must.” Faine harrumphed, adding with an awkward cough, “Duty.”
        “Ah.” Duty. Perfect reason to marry. Nothing could be less inspiring to a prospective wife, Akabe was sure. “Do you believe there’s a young lady somewhere in Siphra who is brave enough to live in this marble inconvenience of a palace—with a man who is clearly marked for assassination?” While they blinked at his acidity, Akabe continued, “Should we also warn her that she’d be sentenced to a life of cold food, perpetual gossip, and endless ceremonies? Surrounded—forgive me, my lords—by packs of staring royal courtiers who’d follow her to the privy to discuss business?”
        His council members shifted guilty glances here and there. Faine attempted a joke. “Majesty, you make life in the royal court sound so uncomfortable.”
        “It is.”
Lord Trillcliff broke their awkward silence. Stout and earnest, his eyebrows lifted in thick, upstanding silver fringes over his ocher owl-eyes. “Being the king, Majesty, you will have no lack of young ladies willing to share your…interesting circumstances.”
        Squelching further complaints, Akabe sat back in his carved, gilded chair and stared at the dead flies. Poor creatures. A pity they’d suffered what he’d escaped. With as much grace as he could muster, Akabe conceded defeat. “As you say, then..."

What three words would best describe Akabe?
Warrior. Loyal. Devout.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all

Real life. In fact one of my characters has a knife held to her throat, which happened to me once.
Years ago, I was minding my own business, quietly eating lunch at work, and a co-worker grabbed a knife and held it to my throat. Just like that--no warning, no reason. I stared him down, and remembered the episode when writing the villain who threatened my young protagonist.

What has been your greatest pleasure in writing this book?

Watching my characters grow and learn through their trials and adventures. I love those moments when my protagonists pause and contemplate their motives, then make life-changing decisions.

Do you have plans for a new book?  Is this book part of a series?

I'm writing a "spin-off" now, while awaiting official publishing decisions this autumn.
In other words, I'm unsure if another book will be accepted for publication, but I'm writing one just in case--and having fun while I wait. :D

What type of hero do you like best?

A complex hero, who questions his conscience and can admit to weaknesses, though he has many clear strengths and admirable qualities. I expect the same of my heroines--I want them to be willing to accept responsibility for their actions.

What were your favorite books as a child?
Fairy tales, myths, legends, and above all, my picture Bible!!!

How do you unwind after a long writing session?

Usually, I write until bedtime, then fall asleep within a few minutes of closing my eyes.

Laptop, desktop or notebook and pen/pencil for writing?

Laptop! I love having the option of changing my locale. I do have a desk but I rarely use it.

Best Christmas present?

A baby boy--a few months early. He was such fun, and so good that our church "borrowed" him to use in their Christmas play as the baby Jesus. I told him, "You've already played the biggest role ever. Sorry, son, but it's all downhill now." :D

Favorite quote?

"God always takes the simplest way." Albert Einstein.

Blessings, everyone, and thanks for stopping by!

R. J.

Author R. J. Larson R. J. Larson is the author of numerous devotionals featured in publications such as Women's Devotional Bible and Seasons of a Woman's Heart. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with her husband and their two sons. Prophet marks her debut in the fantasy genre. 

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash 
Ends 7/23/13  

1 comment:

  1. Great interview!

    I liked your description of your day job and how you wrangle plants. I have two plants, and despite everything I do to care for them (over care) they still thrive :). I'm so grateful they're sturdy and resist my overwatering!

    Christi Corbett