Fantasy author Jamie Marchant is here today to chat about her epic fantasy box set, The Kronicles of Korthlundia.
During her virtual book tour, Jamie will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. For a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!
Jamie began writing stories about the man from Mars when she was six, and she never remembers wanting to be anything other than a writer. Everyone told her she needed a backup plan, so she pursued a Ph.D. in American literature, which she received in 1998. She started teaching writing and literature at Auburn University.
One day in the midst of writing a piece of literary criticism, she realized she’d put her true passion on the backburner and neglected her muse. The literary article went into the trash, and she began the book that was to become The Goddess’s Choice, which was published in April 2012. Her other novels include The Soul Stone, The Ghost in Exile, The Shattered Throne, and The Bull Riding Witch. In addition, she has published a novella, Demons in the Big Easy, and a collection of short stories, Blood Cursed and Other Tales of the Fantastic.
Her short fiction has also appeared in the anthologies Urban Fantasy, Of Dragons & Magic: Tales of the Lost Worlds, and Waiting for a Kiss. She claims she writes about the fantastic . . . and the tortured soul. Her poor characters have hard lives.
She lives in Auburn, Alabama, with her husband and five cats, which (or so she’s been told) officially makes her a cat lady. She still teaches writing and literature at Auburn University. She is the mother of a grown son.
Welcome, Jamie. What inspired you to write this series?
The Goddess’s Choice, the first novel in The Kronicles of Korthlundia, originates deep within my childhood. My sister Jalane–she is ten years older than me–told me stories, fairy tales mostly: “Midas and His Golden Touch,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Hansel and Gretel.” But my favorite was always “The Princess and the Glass Hill” or “The Glass Mountain” as my sister titled it. I had her tell that story over and over again. I was captivated by the bold hero on his magical horses of bronze, silver, and gold.
When I had a child of my own, I wanted to pass that fairy tale on. My son, Jesse, loved it every bit as much as I had. One day after telling it to him, it came to me that the story could be so much more than five pages and sparse details. However, I didn’t want to write a children’s story but the type of epic fantasy I enjoy as an adult. I upped the dramatic tension, villainy, and sexuality of the piece to create something far different than the original fairy tale. The Goddess’s Choice is intended for an adult audience.
However, when I finished The Goddess’s Choice, the characters let me know that their story was far from done. It’s hard to say where I got the inspiration for the later volumes in the series, except that the characters themselves told me how to continue their tales.
As The Ghost entered Ares’s temple, an oppressive presence settled over him. He seemed to be alone in the huge sanctuary, but he knew the acolytes of Ares watched through hidden panels. Rumors claimed they waited for someone with signs of weakness to enter. Then they would pour forth, seize the unfortunate, and sacrifice him to their god. The Ghost had found no evidence to support such rumors, but he knew that animals and criminals were regularly sacrificed on Ares’s altar, bleeding out their lives into the bowl at the foot of his statue. It was a hard death, both the blood and the pain feeding the magic of Ares’s priests.
The Ghost knelt at Ares’s feet, where the stench of blood was nearly overpowering. The altar was stained with it, and the bowl at the god’s feet was full from a fresh sacrifice. The power present in this place was undeniable—dark and forbidding, far from the peace and serenity in Sulis’s temples. But he was no longer worthy of Sulis’s blessing. The Ghost drew his dagger, held his left forearm over the sacrificial bowl, and sliced a new cut alongside his numerous scars. As he bled into the bowl, he felt the magic of the place coalesce around him. His blood sizzled as it hit the bowl, and the wound on his arm healed instantly, signaling that The Ghost truly belonged to the Saloynan god.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m presently working on the fourth novel in The Kronicles of Korthlundia, which I believe will complete the series. It doesn’t have a title yet, but I call it the dragon book. I wonder what kind of creature it may introduce into my world. I also have ideas for at least two other side novels involving characters from the series. Eventually, I also want to get back to the other series I started with The Bull Riding Witch and finish that story.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was born, I guess. I never remember wanting to be anything other than a writer. Stories needing to be let out have always lived in my head. I start writing stories about the man from Mars for my older sister when I was about six. Writing is in my blood, encoded in my DNA.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I’m afraid I don’t have the luxury to write full-time. I teach writing and literature at Auburn University. I’ve found a teaching career an ideal day job for a writer. My work life keeps me emerged in literature and the creative life, and teaching provides me with a lot of flexibility and long breaks in which to devote myself to writing.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m not sure I have any interesting writing quirks. Does writing while lying back on the sofa with my laptop on my knees count? All I know is that to be happy I need to write. The stories within me demand to be let out.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A writer. I’ve never wanted to be anything else.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Treat others as you would like to be treated, and find time to cultivate joy in your lives.
Thank you for being a guest on my blog!
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