Hello. Today’s interview is with Emily M. Havens, Author of Fate War: Alliance. Again, this took place last year and I apologize to Ms. Havens for not getting around to posting this sooner. But, as the saying goes, better late than never.
Okay, let’s start with getting to know Emily M. Havens:
Q. Tell me a bit about yourself.
A. First let me say thanks for having me on your blog. You’re such a great interviewer and I’m honored to be featured here. Me? I’m a stay at home, home schooling mom. I live on a little hobby farm with pigs, chickens, turkeys and many more animals. I love living the rural life. I also just celebrated 15 years of marriage to my best friend and soul mate.
Q. No problem, glad you agreed to do this and congrats on the 15 year anniversary! I read the blurb about your book, Fate War: Alliance. It’s Steampunk which I think is really interesting. Describe the fantasy world of Perspicia.
A. Well, Perspicia is actually Princess Samantha’s Kingdom. The book doesn’t take place there, not this volume anyway. Just know Perspicia is technologically advanced but has decimated its resources for now. This book takes place in Arborea which is Prince Cole’s country. It’s loosely based on Victorian Era England with a few throwbacks to medieval times. It’s a lush land but they are not up to date with technology, i.e airships, weapons, communications, etc.
Q. What is the character, Prince Cole, like?
A. Prince Cole, is an angry, belligerent, selfish man and he may have reasons to be so. But he is loyal and determined. When Samantha comes into his life, he finds the challenge of her a distraction from is worries. She may have an effect on him he wasn’t counting on.
Q. The object of Prince Cole’s affection is Samantha. What is she like?
A. It’s hard to say without giving away surprises in the story as much of it revolves around finding out who she is. The story starts with eleven year old Sam. She’s a firecracker and trying to run away. She has a bit of a mouth on her. Then she gets caught. Ten years later we meet Samantha again and she is quite the opposite. She’s complacent, vapid, and cowed. Pretty much no one likes her to begin with. But she also has secrets and the true Sam will come back with force!
Q. What started the war in Fate War: Alliance?
A. Like any war, power. The leader of the Fate, the Fate Sovereign, has a vision of world unification under his rule. He started with just rhetoric, and then gained followers and an army, maybe some not so willing. They are slowly taking over the world a country at a time. Arborea is in his path.
Q. Fate War: Alliance is your debut novel. What made you choose steampunk as a theme?
A. I really don’t know! I’m not a hard core Steampunk person. I would like to be, but I just don’t have the time or energy. LOL! I love the aesthetic and how pretty much anything is possible. But I was reading another Steampunk book and a few ideas started coming to me. I started making an outline and bam! I had a novel to write.
Q. What about steampunk will attract readers to Fate War: Alliance?
A. If you’ve never read Steampunk before or don’t know much about it, it’s a fun genre. Normally it’s set in the Victorian or Wild West eras. Added to this, you have alternative technology, usually steam powered. Fate War, is what I would call Steampunk light. I haven’t gone overboard with the technological descriptions of devices or inner workings of machines. The technology is an accent to the main story, though I don’t think you could remove it from the story and it still make sense. Fate War is a good introduction to the genre if you’ve never read it before.
Q. When writing steampunk, what it the most important thing to remember about this genre?
A. Anything is possible, but suspend your belief in the probable.
Q. If you had the chance live in a steampunk environment, would you take it? If so, why?
A. I don’t know. It seems pretty dangerous…and chauvinistic. But steampunk is about pushing the norms so maybe I’d live there and cause some trouble.
Q. If your book were to be made into a movie, who would you want to play the lead roles of Prince Cole and Princess Samantha?
A. This is such a hard question! I’m really not up on the latest greatest celebs so I went to my Facebook page and asked my followers. I had some ideas of my own, but through heated discussion we determined that Chris Pine would be the perfect Prince Cole and Amanda Seyfried would play Princess Samantha.
Q. Will there be a sequel to Fate War: Alliance?
A. YES! There will be at least one sequel. This next book will wrap up Sam and Cole’s story, but I will leave things open for another book to revolve around another main character who most readers seem to love, Captain Jensen. I also have little pieces of a fourth story, but that’s not solid yet in my mind.
Q. Fate War: Alliance published in February, 2013 and has received several great reviews. When writing Fate War, did you have any idea how readers would react to it?
A. Well, my sisters loved it. They read each chapter as I finished it and begged for more. But that’s family. I also work shopped Fate War on the website www.thenextbigwriter.com. They helped me learn to write. LOL! Even there though, reviewers loved the story. Still, I was nervous about what “real” people would have to say. So far, the majority have loved it and are itching for the sequel.
Q. Fate War: Alliance is a self-published work. Why did you decide to do that?
A. I considered my options very carefully. Through much research and questioning of other authors I came to the conclusion that traditional publishing was not for me right now. Firstly, I have all the control. Secondly, I have all the profits. LOL! But seriously, to get Fate War complete and ready for sale, I either had the knowledge myself, could gain the knowledge or had close friends that do. I called in a lot of favors, but I think in the end I came out with an exceptional product.
Q. Do you have any advice for writers wanting to get published but are struggling with whether to go forward or not?
A. My advice is to join a critique group first. You will learn so much, hone your writing skills and really polish your manuscript. Another advantage is seeing how the market will respond to your work before putting it out there for everyone. Once you have a final product, self-publish. Why not? You can wait years and years for a publisher to pick you with your manuscript sitting on the shelf, or you can pick one of the really, REALLY simple ways of getting your story out to the public and make a few bucks while you wait for the Big Guys to notice you.
Who is E.M. Havens? I’m a lot of things. The word that seems to define me most at the moment is mom. It can be all consuming. Not only am I a mom of three (one of them is a teenager…pity me), but I also home-school (pity me more). I share this awesome responsibility with the love of my life, best friend, and soul-mate husband.
Add to that, the twenty-five chickens, twelve turkeys, ten guineas, nine pigs, three barn cats, two Great Pyrenees guardian dogs, a Chihuahua, a house cat, and a goose, it makes for one crazy, full, and certainly entertaining life.
Somewhere in there I find the time to write. I started out young writing poems, then moved on to songs. I actually have a Bachelor in Music with a secondary in Science because I can’t stand English. Yes, the writer hates English. I like to read the story for the experience of reading the story, not to nitpick each letter and comma. But I digress.
I eventually found blogging and really enjoyed sharing my life that way. When an unfortunate turn of events separated me from my music equipment, I decided to use my overactive imagination, my love of reading, and my new found hobby, prose writing, to release some of my creative energy. I wrote my first novel and loved the experience. Fate War: Alliance is actually the second novel I wrote and the first to be published. Now I’m working on my third and several sequels to Fate War!
So that’s pretty much me, sitting in the Arbuckle Mountains of Oklahoma, reading, writing, collecting eggs from the coop, and being a schoolmarm. It’s a pretty great life.
“No!” Sam screamed. A Fate boot slammed into her stomach. It pinned her, leaving her breathless. She tried desperately to push his foot off as the soldier unsheathed his sword. He raised it two handed, the razor sharp point above her throat. He would kill her. She could see it in his black, soulless eyes.
“Sam!” Cole’s voice was distant.
The Fate would end her life if she didn’t end his first.
Prince Cole’s first glimpse of his bride-to-be takes place as she walks down the aisle on their wedding day. Though he is reluctant to form this union, the future king knows how much the Arboreal Lands need her dowry that promises air ships and mech defenses.
Samantha appears to be the polished woman expected in a princess. However, Cole soon discovers his new wife has secrets that even she has yet to unlock. Can what’s hidden in the recesses of her mind be the key to defeating the plans of the Fate Sovereign?
If you’re looking for a steamy romance, a strong, smart heroine and interesting gadgets, this is the book for you! Fate War is a swords and guns, love and war, Steampunk inspired story that is sure to get your pistons pumping.
E.M. Havens has been a fan of Steampunk for many years and decided to plunge into that genre for her debut novel. She lives in Oklahoma’s Arbuckle Mountains and spends her time with her husband, children, and menagerie of animals while not creating the worlds so many readers have already fallen in love with. Follow her at www.emhavenswrites.blogspot.com or www.facebook.com/thefatewar