Disciple, Part III is subtitled: "Embers on the Wind."
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
When the enemy army thunders at the city walls, Kate must unleash more than her healing powers to defend her homeland.
Disciple, Part III back cover
Kate fought for her place as a healer in the war’s front lines. Serving her homeland has been her goal since her magical gifts earned her a coveted apprenticeship with the kingdom’s greatest healer. She believes she’s prepared.
But nothing’s simple when defending a besieged capital city — or her heart.
She loves the prince, who means to protect her even though his duties as a knight keep him on the battlements, fighting the enemy’s monstrous army.
Kate’s husband is the one who checks on her, lingers over dinner, and slowly but surely charms her. She’s all too aware that her beloved prince threatened to kill him if he touches her.
As the enemy thunders against the city walls, the kingdom needs more from Kate than just her healing magic. All disciples must put aside their tangled feelings and stand in the homeland’s defense.
Kate believed she's ready for a war. She isn't.
Part III grew out of the ways that war is portrayed in fantasy novels. There were aspects of war that I had always wanted to see, in fantasy. The claustrophobia, the uncertainty, the overwhelming mass of suffering -- the view from the front lines, rather than the command pavilion. In keeping with that, I was greatly influenced by Bernard Cornwell's Warlord chronicles and his descriptions of the hand-to-hand fighting in the shield wall.
What genre does your book fall under?
Hard fantasy romance. Despite all the war, there's still a romance going on.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I named some actors for the three main characters in the meme post for Part I and for the three saints in Part II. Since I'm all about the world-building for my stories, let's do some slightly different casting...
Climate and ecology
I grew up in New England, and I'm still homesick for its cold winters, snow, and mild summers. I miss the maple trees turning flame-orange in the fall, the fresh syrup in February, and spotting lady slippers in the woods. Most fantasy stories are loosely based on medieval Europe: mine is based on a medieval New England that never existed -- so that's why my characters are eating potatoes, tapping sugar maples, and worrying about cougars.
So far as armor, weapons, and general technology go, Disciple is set in 1250-1300 or thereabouts. Mail armor ("chainmail" to D&Ders) only, bucket-shaped great helms, one-handed swords and kite shields. Clothes are still cut simply, though the fabrics and embellishment can be rich. The town water mill is about the most complicated piece of machinery around.
When I was looking for the basis I would use for the Arceal Empire, I knew I wanted a military/political system that had been successful, even brutally so, and stable for some centuries. Rome was an obvious nominee. But when it comes to stability, China is hard to beat. So both of them contributed to the attitudes and costuming of the invading enemy in Disciple.
It will be self-published -- Part I and Part II are available at all the major online retailers. Part III will go on sale September 1st, 2013.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
According to my notes, 40 days (and 40 nights) for the raw cut and another seventeen days to whip that into a first draft.
What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
Disciple is a six part story, and all six parts have been written. This is the halfway point! Stay tuned for Part IV -- don't know when, yet, but it'll be in the first half of 2014.
Disciple, Part III arrives September 1st, 2013!