What a long, strange trip it’s been.
I started out Queen of Fury with a fairly straightforward idea. It was going to be 100% Hwyfar’s story. She was the standout character from Queen of None, and seemed like the ideal character to continue the whole invisible women of Arthur tale. But I wanted a foil for her, and very early on, I liked the idea of playing Gawain of Orkney against her. They have a very similar backstory: they’re both the same age, both royals from pretty messed up dynasties, both from toxic families, and they’re both gingers. Not to mention super tall.
What I did not expect was Gawain to step in and have his own first person point of view. I also didn’t expect to end up with a himbo dynamic thing going on. Or an enemies to lovers story. Or such delightful banter. Or… or… or so many things. Plus, I got to work in even more obscure medieval Easter eggs this time.
(Plus: so much more of this world! Yes, there’s more castles. But we get Lyonesse! Avillion! Oceans! And some places in between that aren’t even really on maps. Bonus: cameos from Anna, Morgen, and more.)
I began Queen of Fury just as I finished Netherford Hall and was looking to tell a different kind of love story after all the witty witchy Regency stuff. I wanted a doomed love story. Hence the tagline: In King Arthur’s court, love is treason. Because that’s really what this is at heart. It’s about falling in love when you know that, no matter what you do, it’s not going to work out. But doing it anyway. It’s about seeing people for who they are. It’s about change.
Gawain in this book is vastly different than in Queen of Fury, and you’ll learn why–and I think that’s really important. At first I had a bit of a knee jerk reaction to having a male POV, but then I was like — wait! Feminism isn’t just for women. And it isn’t about telling stories where every man is horrible. Oh, he’s been horrible. He’s very much aware. But this is their story, and as much as I tried, the story needed both sides.
Next, it’s off to the edit mines. Then, work on (working title) Fortune’s Steel, my gender-swapped fantasy take on The Three Musketeers. Magic and muskets! Never a dull moment over here.