Welcome to my stop on the tour for The Warrior & the Flower by Camille Picott. This is an adult high fantasy.
To celebrate Chinese New Year the tour is running Jan. 27th-31st with mostly reviews and only a few interviews and spotlight posts. Be sure to check out the tour page with additional info and list of tour stops.
The Warrior & the Flower by Camille Picott
Yi, a retired soldier, has lost everything he loves—his wife, his daughter, and his home. He seeks refuge from his heartache by plunging into a secret mission for the World Emperor. The assignment takes him to the doorstep of a brothel, where he witnesses the madam beating a young girl. Drawn by the child’s striking resemblance to his lost daughter, Yi rushes to her defense and negotiates for her purchase—after all, how hard can it be to care for one little girl? But between the child’s inquisitive nature and the dangerous secret she carries, he gets more than he bargained for.
Camille Picott is a fifth-generation Chinese American. She writes science fiction and fantasy books with Asian characters and/or Asian settings. Camille grew up reading speculative fiction stories largely devoid of Asian characters and culture. This, coupled with a passion for her heritage, is the reason she strives to bring some aspect of Eastern myth, legend, culture, and ethnicity to all of her writings. To visit Camille, go to www.camillepicott.com.
- What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
Several years ago, I had an ambition to write a paranormal historical fantasy set in ancient China. I read thousands of pages in my research. I had books on clothing, architecture, religion, culture, and history. Many of the books came back with me from China on a few trips I took. I once even bought a thesis project off the internet for research on the Taiping Rebellion. I even had a chunk of manuscript and the outline for 4 book completed.
But the more I researched, the more daunting the task of writing a historical fiction became. In the end I scrapped my historical fiction. I took much of what I learned in my research and rolled it into The Warrior & The Flower.
- Who is your favorite character in the book?
This is a toss up. I love Yi because he’s passionate about being a parent, like me. But I also love Tulip. She represents so much of what I love about kids. What I love most about this book is the parent-child relationship.
- Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel came first. This book had a lot of working titles before I finally settled on The Warrior & The Flower. I can’t remember all the different titles I played with, but Liquid Steel was a contender for quite a while.
- What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
I love the scenes when Tulip embarrasses Yi with questions about sex. Childhood innocence is often as funny as it is endearing, which I tried to capture in these scenes.
- Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?
I’ve learned that it’s important to write an entire novel, from beginning to end, without getting too caught up in edits and re-writes. I think it’s too easy to get stuck in the first third of the novel, trying to perfect it. It’s more important to just get the entire novel on the page, then go back and work through the kinks and plot holes.
- What do you like most about the cover of the book?
This was a challenging cover to develop. In the beginning, it was a red cover with only The Warrior & The Flower graphics. Though I love the artwork that went into the title, it looked too much like a romance novel when left by itself on the cover. I spent a lot of time looking at epic fantasy novels. In the end, I decided that I needed an illustration that captured the main characters.
All that being said, my favorite part about the cover is the Firefoot, the kylin. The kylin (qilin) is one of my favorite creatures from Chinese mythology. On a trip to China, I was told by my guide that the kylin are the Chinese unicorns.
- What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2014?
I’m looking forward the releasing the next novel in my Sulan series, a YA dystopia/cyberpunk story.
- What was your favorite book in 2013?
Oh wow, I read so many books in 2013. I’m going to narrow this down to authors. Two authors I discovered in 2013 were Molly Harper and Jacqueline Carey. I loooove both of their writings! Molly Harper writes sexy, funny, paranormal romance books, and Jacqueline Carey writes gorgeous epic fantasy.
- What’s up next for you?
I’ve got lots of plans for 2014 I’m working on a non-fiction series called Writer’s Toolbox. This is a collection of articles dedicated to helping science fiction and fantasy writers. The first two articles are already out, and I hope to add another two to the collection. I also hope to produce a new audio book in the Sulan series, and publish the next Sulan novel. Hopefully I will get to the next Yi and Tulip story in 2015!
- Is there anything that you would like to add?
Thanks for being a part of this tour!
This tour was organized and put together by CBB Book Promotions.