Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Interview and Giveaway: Queen of Someday (Stolen Empire #1) by Sherry D. Ficklin

Release Date: October 7th, 2014

Description: 17+


Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophie will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.

Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.

Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.

In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?

Thank you, Mrs. Sherry D. Ficklin
Russia, Saint Petersburg are pretty real elements… how much “real” history we’ll meet in Queen of Someday and how is the society you created? 
I did quite a bit of research going in, though it was all books and photos. I wanted to make the trek to St. Petersburg and tour the Hermitage (what used to be the Winter Palace) but alas. As far as settings I tried very hard to keep the descriptions and locations as accurate as possible, though they did travel to Moscow and spend some time there, I opted to keep them in St. Petersburg, and that was a personal choice. It’s such a lovely city! Selfish of me, but I wanted the Winter Palace to be the consistent backdrop for the story. As for the characters and events in the book, many are real or based on real people and events, but I did take many liberties on timing. I introduced some people that she didn’t actually meet until much later in life, and I’m sorry to say that the character of Alexander is completely fiction. 

What are the biggest challenges when you write a historical romance? 
There’s a fine balance between the “real” elements and the ones completely made up. You need to be meticulous so the changes are seamless, and more importantly, plausible. People will often complain that I strayed too far from the real history, but I remind them, history is very often written by the victors. So the truth of events may be vastly different from what is recorded. And that’s also why I made a point to leave the author’s note. I don’t want anyone looking for a history lesson here, they will be woefully disappointed, I think. 

Queen of Someday is the first volume of the Stolen Empire series. The volumes will be connected or stand alone stories? And most important, what is your opinion about the cliffhangers and clear endings? 
I think the ending is always depending on the book and the plot. Queen of Someday will be told in three parts, and I carefully chose each ending point so there Is not so much of a ‘cliffhanger’ as a place where the reader wants more, but isn’t tearing their hair out either. I like a mild cliffhanger, but if you leave me with massive unanswered questions at the end of a book, especially a first book or stand-alone book, I will toss it aside and not likely pick up any more in the series or by the author. 

From what I read, we will find not just a love triangle, but quite a square one. The question is: what makes in your opinion a great love triangle? 
Honestly, I hate love triangles. And really, while I’ve heard it described that way, I never actually thought of this book as a love triangle (or square, but that’s funny). There are options, surely, but it’s not a situation where three men are all fighting for her. She falls in love with one man, and then… things change. I would say more, but I fear revealing massive spoilers. I always perceived a love triangle as one person loving many people at once, and I don’t think that’s the case with Sophie. That’s all I will say. 

Historical romance, steampunk, fantasy… which are your favorite to write and why? Or what do you like most about each of these genres? 
Oh, I don’t know. I do have a soft spot for paranormal of any flavor, but I tend to genre in waves. This month, it’s historical. Next month, who knows? I think for me it’s more about falling in love with a character. No matter the genre, if I can connect to a character I’ll follow them just about anywhere. That’s the beauty of books, don’t you think?

About the author:
Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.

She is the author of The Gods of Fate Trilogy now available from Dragonfly Publishing. Her previously self-published novel After Burn: Military Brats has been acquired by Harlequin and will be released in 2014 with a second book in that series to follow. Her newest YA steampunk novel, Extracted: The Lost Imperials book 1, co-written with Tyler H. Jolley is now available everywhere books are sold and her newest YA novel, Losing Logan, is due for release in 2014 from Clean Teen Publishing.


Unknown said...

I've always loved Russian history, so this novel seems like it would be perfect for me!

karin said...

wow! this book sounds different , in a good way , added it to my tbr list :)
rafflecopter name Karin Shaim

Anonymous said...

Firstly, that cover is gorgeous! Really. Added to my TBR list on that alone. Second, love the interview!! ^_^

Juana said...

I liked the book and interview too. The book cover is beautiful.

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