Monday, July 15, 2013

Blog Tour, Interview, & Giveaway: The King (R.J. Larson)

King by R.J. Larson Fantasy Meets the Old Testament in a Novel That Will Reach Readers of All Ages. Against his wishes and desires, Akabe of Siphra has been chosen by his people to be King. But what does a warrior know of ruling during peacetime? Guided by the Infinite, Akabe seeks to rebuild the Temple in the city of Munra to give the sacred books of Parne a home. But dangerous factions are forming in the background. To gain the land he needs, Akabe must forsake the yearnings of his heart and instead align himself through marriage to the Thaenfall family. Meanwhile, Kien Lantec and Ela Roeh are drawn still closer together...while becoming pawns in a quest to gain power over the region. As questions of love and faith become tangled with lies and murderous plots, each must seek the Infinite to guide them through an ever more tangled web of intrigue and danger.  

Author R. J. Larson R. J. Larson is the author of numerous devotionals featured in publications such as Women's Devotional Bible and Seasons of a Woman's Heart. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with her husband and their two sons. Prophet marks her debut in the fantasy genre.

What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
A rather nightmarish dream-fragment. In early 2010, I was working on an 1890's historical novel, and LOVING it. In the middle of chapter 8, however, I went to sleep one night as usual, and I woke up the next morning still seeing an odd bit of a dream. A young woman in a dark place was struggling to make a life-or-death choice. She wore long robes and there was a glowing staff or branch in the dream. That was the whole dream, but I could feel her fear and indecision.
I tried to forget the dream and return to my Victorian-era novel, but I couldn't concentrate on anything to do with the 1890's. I was still caught up in that dream. Why was the girl so frightened? What was she about to face? By the end of the day, the girl had a name--Ela--and I just knew she was living in an ancient fantasy-genre world. Ela's story became PROPHET, book one in the Books of the Infinite series.

Akabe, the main character in the current book, made his appearance near the end of PROPHET as a heroic rebel-hunter who receives an unexpected honor from his Creator, the Infinite. KING is Akabe's story. His task? To survive as he struggles to unite the unstable kingdom of Siphra.

Who is your favorite character in the book?
I love all of my characters equally, but I enjoyed writing Caitria--a young noblewoman who becomes a pawn in Siphra's epic power struggle. Caitria wants a simple, peaceful life with a loving husband. Unfortunately, her father has other plans for Caitria, and her happiness is the least of his concerns.

Which came first, the title or the novel?
In this case, the title came first. I knew the basic plot for KING, but so many details needed to be woven together to finish the series--it was quite a challenge! However, I loved every minute of the work, and I hope my feelings for the story and my characters, and the Infinite are evident in KING.

What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
In the last third of the book, I knew I needed a sequence of confrontations, each more harrowing than the previous ones. I wrote the trickiest of these around midnight one night, and I was STUCK. My fourth brother, Joe, works for a sheriff's department in Washington state, and he is a true fightmaster--martial arts, fencing, you name it. He's also a night owl like me. I wrote a pathetic note, "Joe, I know the answer to my problem is staring me in the face, but I'm not seeing it right now. HELP!" I described the scene, the strategy, the weapons, the challenges, and the odd details surrounding the confrontation. Naturally, Joe saw the perfect solution. The instant I read his email, I knew he was right. His genius-scheme is presented in the book by Kien--the character who most resembles Joe.

Did I mention I'm proud of my brothers and grateful for Joe's fightmaster skills?

Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve
learned as a writer from then to now?
Close third-person POV! Not 100 percent for every scene--that would be too wordy. But I love to bring readers right into scenes as my characters are experiencing their fictionalized journeys, and Close Third-person POV is terrific for allowing readers to glimpse the mindsets and secrets of multiple characters throughout a storyline.

What do you like most about the cover of the book?
The ocean! I'm a Navy brat currently living in land-locked Colorado. No oceans here. :(  As a result, whenever I look at the cover of KING, I want to kick off my shoes and wade into that surf, rough as it appears!

What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2013?
Anne Elisabeth Stengl's DRAGONWITCH is currently tied with Patrick Carr's THE HERO'S LOT. I'm delighted to point out that Bethany House Books is our publisher, and we're all celebrating July 1st release dates!

What was your favorite book in 2012?
I didn't have much reading time in 2012, but I loved STARFLOWER by Anne Elisabeth Stengl, and DELIVER ME FROM EVIL, by Kathi Macias--which was published in 2011. I'm about a year behind in my reading.

What’s up next for you?
Not sure yet. I'm working on a spin-off of the current series, though it's not yet under contract. Final decisions won't be made until later this year, but I MUST write the story to get it out of my brain and into the computer! The characters are more peaceful when they're in the computer! :D

Is there anything that you would like to add?
Thank you so much for inviting me to visit on your blog! Readers, thanks and feel free to ask any further questions on my FaceBook page!, or you can contact me through my website at

  Giveaway Details 
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 7/23/13

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