Rowena Cory Daniells is an author I fell in love with from the moment I started reading her The King’s Bastard, the first book of the King Rolen’s Kin series. I really loved Byren, Fyn, and Pyro and their world. So I was really excited to learn that this September Solaris is kicking off their Solaris Classics series by republishing the King Rolen’s Kin series. To celebrate I’m really happy to have Rowena visit again for a second Author Query. I hope you enjoy it and if you want to learn even more about Rowena, the King Rolen’s Kin series and her Outcast Chronicles, you can also check out her first Author Query from 2012.
Hi and welcome back to A Fantastical Librarian! For anyone who wasn’t around when you last visited, could you introduce yourself?
Hello Mieneke, and thank you.
I’m lots of things, I’m a worried-about-the-state-of-the-world mother of six. My kids are grown up now, but you never stop being a mother.
At least nowadays I have time to write. When they were little I had to snatch every spare moment I had. And even when I wasn’t at the keyboard, the story would be revolving around in my mind in my internal dialogue.
Short answer: I write ‘keep you up all night’ fantasy books. LOL
Solaris is re-releasing your King Rolen’s Kin series as their first release in their new Solaris Classic series. How would you describe the series?
A: I’ve been a fan of SF and F since before I knew there was such a thing as genres. It’s that sense of wonder with SF, and with fantasy I think it is the core moral question which is often framed as a battle between good and evil.
In KRK I keep the central question grounded in the characters. Their dilemma is to navigate through confronting circumstances without compromising their core values. Near the start of the first book Byren is challenged with the question ‘What is right?’ At this point he’s only nineteen and doesn’t have a lot of life experience so he thinks the answer is simple. As the series goes on and he is forced to make choices and realizes it’s much more complex.
How would I describe this series? I set out to write the kind of books that I loved reading, stories that sweep you away and keep you turning the pages.
Since this is a re-release, did you tinker with the text at all, or are these novels straight reprints of the original books?
No. I can’t bear to read my books once they are published. And besides it all happened very quickly.
What is your favourite scene of the series, at least the one you can tell us about without giving away spoilers?
You know that song, ‘Love the One You’re With’? I’m currently writing book five of the series and there are some humdinger scenes in the new book.
I tend to write character driven stories. If I was honest, Piro really appeals to me. She rushes into things and makes mistakes but it springs from a desire to do good and impatience with convention. Fyn is very earnest and tries to do the right thing. Byren isn’t ambitious but finds himself in a position where he has to either walk away and let the man who killed his father keep his kingdom or take back the throne.
Will you be returning to the world of King Rolen’s Kin in future works? Or is the story of that world told in full for you?
I think I just answered in the previous question. Like life, the stories are never finished. Even success brings its own set of challenges for us and for the KRK characters.
What have you been working on in the past few years? Fantasy, paranormal crime, something completely different. What’s next for you?
I have several series on the go and keep coming back to them. The one that I have been concentrating on is called The Shallow Sea and, like all my stories, it raises moral questions which challenge the characters and the readers. Much of it is set in summer on tropical islands so it is different. It’s a bit like taking a holiday for me.
I get really involved in my story telling. Once, when writing a scene set on a ship during a storm, I became so involved I made myself seasick and had to take a break from writing that scene, which is really funny as I don’t get seasick in real life.
Of course I can’t let you go without enlisting your help in my book-enabling mission. What are some of the books people should keep an eye out for in the coming months?
We have moved interstate and, combined with family emergencies, I’ve spent the year madly treading water just to keep up. I have no idea what is coming out. The only reading I’ve done is my own work and research, and I’ve been scrambling to do that. I’m going through one of those patches. Hopefully, I’ll be able to catch my breath soon.
Bio: Rowena Cory Daniells is passionate about writing. Her speculative fiction stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies including ‘Dreaming DownUnder’ which won World Best Fantasy and ‘Dreaming Again’. In 2015 her story ‘The Giant’s Lady’ appeared in the David Gemmell ‘Legends 2’ anthology. This story went on to win an Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Story.
She has supported the writing community by serving on the management committees of two national genre awards, the Queensland Writers Centre, the Brisbane Writers Festival and Fantastic Queensland. While doing all this, along with her long suffering husband she raised six children. In her spare time she devoted five years to studying each of these martial arts Tae Kwon Do, Aikido and Iaido, the art of the Samurai Sword.