Today I would like to welcome you all to indie author Rachael Ritchey! You may remember my review of her debut novel The Beauty Thief last year. Well, her second novel in the Chronicles of The Twelve Realms series is finally released this week! And I’m very happy to be a part of her Blog Tour to celebrate the occasion!
First, I will interview her, so we can all learn more about this creative author and her new novel. And after, I will discuss the giveaway she’s hosting! (The prizes are worthwhile–you don’t want to miss out. Just saying. 🙂 )
Captive Hope Synopsis:
The Twelve Realms seems an idyllic nation, but behind locked doors there are sinister powers at work. Not even the royal family of High Castle is outside their reach, and Lady Idra has unwittingly placed herself in the crosshairs of a shrewd mercenary.
Idra is noble by birth and lady-in-waiting to the future High Queen of the Twelve Realms. Yet she’s unaware of her true value and strength. From her youth she has been pledged in service to the crown, and though accepting of her duty, she inwardly longs for more. But in her wildest dreams Idra never imagined the terrible future devised for her by forces unknown.
Sir Ahmad, a knight of the realms, admires Lady Idra from afar. But when he finally has the courage to tell her, it may be too late. He could lose Idra forever because of one man’s devious ploy to gain revenge and riches by her ruin. If an ocean stands between them, will all hope be lost?
Welcome, Rachael! We’re so glad to have you here on the blog! To begin the interview, can you tell us about Captive Hope and how it fits in with the Chronicles of The Twelve Realms series?
Captive Hope follows the timeline of the first book, but is centered around minor characters from The Beauty Thief. Events set in motion during the first have led to consequences in the second. Each story stands alone, but they’re better when read in tandem. Or at least I think so!
Did you start with the story or with the characters? Some writers create a character, and from there work to make up a story for them, while others start from a story idea and from it build their characters. Which was it for you?
I tend to be character driven. Motivation, personality, choices made . . . these things tend to shape the story outcome. Captive Hope’s story developed out of several character driven issues from the first book, for sure.
Tell us a little about Captive Hope’s protagonist, Lady Idra. Does she have any flaws? Is she the type to get herself into trouble, or does trouble find her?
Idra’s only real flaw is her introverted personality which leads to a lack of self-confidence. She doesn’t recognize her own worth. This leads her to be timid and rarely take chances. In fact, all the chances she’s ever taken have been on someone else’s behalf, but she never stands up for herself and never recognizes her own courageous tendencies. As I write this now, I recognize a lot of myself in Idra, all except the selfless-courageous part. That is probably the part I want the most. haha But to answer the rest of the question, it’s definitely more that trouble tends to find her, but when it shows up, she might be learning to fight back.
Are there any real-life events or people that may have inspired events or characters in Captive Hope?
I can honestly say no. Part of me wants to dig down deep into my memories and search for anything to compare, but I can’t think of a single scene in the book that might even remotely reflect something from real life. But that certainly stirs up ideas for future books! 🙂
Agreed! Many interesting ideas for books can come from reflecting over our past experiences.
What authors or stories inspired you as a writer?
I love reading. I love books. I didn’t always love it. I’d have much preferred to be writing them than reading them as a kid, but I slowly grew to love reading. I’m inspired by so many authors I don’t even know where to start. I love stories of courage, love, sacrifice, redemption. I appreciate suspense and action as well as good dialogue and scenes that have been word-painted into masterpieces. I soak up words when I read and imagine all the details. I read slow, which for some people is a tragedy, but for me it is like a lazy day floating down the river, the sound of trees rustling the leaves and the feel of cool water on my fingertips with the heat of the sun warming my skin. I like to enjoy it, take it in, and if reading slow helps me do that, then I’m okay with it. There’s too many authors and stories that I’ve enjoyed like that to name.
That makes me feel better about my own slow-reading habits. 🙂 Indeed, as you said, I like to thoroughly soak a story in, and for me that takes time.
On your blog, you’ve shared about your childhood growing up in Alaska. Did life in Alaska in any way inspire your creation of the Twelve Realms?
Yes. I suppose I could explain. 🙂 I lived in a rain forest in SE Alaska as a young child and I literally soaked it into my skin. I spent hours walking the beach, hiking to the falls, smelling the salty sea air and musty rot of trees and earth. The Twelve Realms’ northern kingdoms, Landon, Emlyn, and Berne all share some of the characteristics of the forested, wildness of Alaska. The rest of the realms are definitely inspired by the Inland Northwest where I was born and have spent almost all the rest of my life.
How I would love to venture into those kingdoms! Though I suppose in this series we will get to, won’t we? I hear you have a third book in the Chronicles of The Twelve Realms, soon to be in the works. Can you give us a little snippet about it, who the protagonist might be and where in the Realms it will take place?
I am wearing a big grin right now. The next book I am calling The Treasonous and it will be centered mainly in Wyeth, north of High Castle which is the central seat of the unified kingdoms. Ahmad will be a main character, but the real protagonist will be Florian, one of High Prince Theiandar’s guardsmen. From the title, I’m sure you can guess a little about the story, but essentially, Florian is presented with the impossible choice and no matter which way he goes someone will die. I’ve started writing it, but have a looooong way to go yet. I am excited and nervous about it, though!
The Treasonous–that title alone makes me eager to read it! This is something to look forward to this coming 2016 winter! (assuming it’s ready by then)
And to finish this lovely interview, there’s an alien here who has a question for you, Rachael 😉 . Aliens often frequent your interviews on your blog, so I had to call one over here for today! Happyboo from planet Fufugo wants to know if you’d be willing to trade your ability to walk in return for a brilliant writer’s intellect, which will allow you to write every book your imagination can come up with!
Oh, Happyboo, you sweet, sweet fool. A brilliant writer’s intellect is something I long to have, but I do so love my ability to walk. And I’m not afraid of hard work or to learn new things. So, I will just have to work hard and learn everything I can to continue to improve my writing abilities to the point I can write like that. Thanks but no thanks, I say. haha Those alien questions are fun to contemplate.
Nice answer, Rachael! 😉 Happyboo has gone back to his planet with something new to think about! Hard work is what pays off, not taking the easy route, I say.
Thanks so much for having me on your blog, E. It means a lot to me!
Likewise, thank you so much for coming! It’s been a pleasure. 🙂
Rachael Ritchey is the author of the Chronicles of the Twelve Realms, a YA fantasy fiction series set in a medieval era. Her passion for writing stems from her appreciation of history, since our world is built on stories, true and imagined. Rachael writes with teens in mind, because she wants her own kids to be proud of her work and be able to share it with their friends. She’s a wife and a mom to four amazing kids. Rachael and her family live in Eastern Washington where there’s plenty of inspiration to dream up exotic worlds, both real and fantastical.
You can find Rachael Ritchey and connect with her on the following links:
Now for the giveaway! For everyone who chooses to sign up for Rachael Ritchey’s newsletter there will be three randomly drawn prizes:
- 1st: ebook of Captive Hope & choice of one ebook from a host author.
- 2nd: ebooks of Captive Hope & The Beauty Thief.
- 3rd: ebook of Captive Hope.