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Monday 7 October 2019

ℚ♫ Empire's Daughter: Empire's Legacy [1] - Marian L. Thorpe

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Empire's Daughter (, Arboretum Press, 336 pages), an Alternative Universe Medieval Adventure, book one in the Empire's Legacy series.

"I realized I’d stumbled upon a truly special story; for Thorpe has created an alternative world that bends gender and sexual norms in brilliant form. [...] Through her characters, Thorpe breathes life into her world in a way few writers can. [...] I can’t emphasize enough that Thorpe knows how to continuously raise the stakes of conflicts, both internal and external, as she constantly expands and contracts the plot throughout the story. And every conflict pays off, in curious, intriguing, thoughtfully thematic ways. " ~ Two Doctors Media

"This book…! Now this book is just something special… This book gives a reader so much more than just one idea, one plot, one theme around strong women. This book will have you witness an Empire’s current, past and future affairs with its history literally changing before your eyes. It was absolutely fantastic!" ~ Cover to Cover

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Marian L. Thorpe ; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

Here at BooksChatter we love music, so Marian L. Thorpe has shared with us her music playlist for Empire's Daughter - enjoy!

What was the inspiration for Empire's Daughter?
"The actual inspiration was the experience of my mother, an aunt, and a female cousin in WWII.  Two were enlisted soldiers in the British Army; one was a member of the Danish resistance.  They had been torn from their predictable, predicted lives into war.

I wanted to explore this, but in a different setting, and as I have been interested in the early medieval/post Roman history of Britain since childhood, I created a world that mirrors that one, but isn’t quite it, in societal structure, history, or geography."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Lena, my protagonist, and I have only a couple of things in common.  We’re both pragmatic, and we both are outdoors-women.  I drew on a lot of experiences camping and hiking in both this book and the next two in the series."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for Empire's Daughter - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I wanted a sense of isolation and loneliness, and of journey.

The pale background equals innocence and morning.  (The next two are a cloudy noon and a fiery sunset/flames of war)  My cover artist is Anthony O’Brien at Book Cover Design Store."

Why should we read Empire's Daughter and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"Empire’s Daughter is the first book of the Empire’s Legacy series.  What sets it apart?  It’s set in a world where one country – the analogue of England – has evolved very differently after ‘Rome’ leaves them to their own defences.  Women and men live separate lives, in separate places, and from that a society with very strong, independent women has evolved, as well as fluid sexuality.  But all choices have consequences. 

The books are character-driven, not plot-driven; they ask thoughtful and hard questions, and the world-building is heavily researched."
Can you tell us something quirky about Empire's Daughter, its story and characters?
"One character – the officer Turlo – is based almost entirely on my Scottish History professor, in looks and personality.  Without that professor, who shaped my romantic interest in medieval history into something more academic and balanced, these books might never have been written."
Who would you recommend Empire's Daughter to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I’m going to talk about the whole series here, because while this specific book can be read by young teens, as the series progresses, my protagonist is older, her world wider and more violent.

There is battle violence in the series, and sexual violence in the second and third books.  They are meant for adults, and people offended by LGBTQ relationships should not read them."
If you could / wished to turn Empire's Daughter and the Empire's Legacy series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Director?  Don’t know.

Actors: a young Alicia Vikander would be a perfect Lena, although Lena was conceived in my mind about 20 years ago, long before Vikander was on screen.  I’ve never cast anyone else from this book.

Location must be northern England or Wales: Tirvan village is based on a coastal site in Anglesey."
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"My novels are all alternate history/non-magical historical fantasy, but my short stories are contemporary urban fantasy. 

I’m a very eclectic reader; I read a lot of nature writing, history, and literary fiction, as well as the genres I write in."
What is your writing process?
"All the work I do is writing related, but other aspects take up about half my time. 

I try to write about 5000 words a week, usually every other day, and usually in the morning. 

I work from an outline, but it’s not detailed, nor is it rigid.  Characters surprise me!  I begin each day reading over what I wrote the previous day, and usually making a few changes.  Then I continue for two to three hours.  I will edit-as-I-go only if I’ve made a major plot change that affect earlier scenes.

I write at home in my office, or at a coffee shop if I need a change of pace.  I’ve been immersed in this historical period for so long I now do only specific research, not major background study.  New archaeological finds sometimes find their way into a book, just for world-building."
What is in store next?
"Empire’s Daughter is the first book in the Empire’s Legacy series.  The next two books, Empire’s Hostage and Empire’s Exile, are published: they follow Lena’s journey from her tiny fishing village to distant lands and home again.

I’m currently working on the first book of the follow-up trilogy (the trilogy is tentatively called Empire’s Reprise; the book is Empire’s Reckoning).  Lena is no longer the narrator but is still a major character."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"This is me, in my office, with Pye, who is in her favourite place in the paper basket on top of the printer."
Aww, what a sweetie!  Hello, Pye; lots of head scratches and belly-rubs to you from all of us at BooksChatter!

Marian, thank you so much for sharing Pye with us; we hope you are having a great tour!

Every journey begins with a choice.
One to Exile, One to War

Empire's Daughter
Available NOW!

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