Please help me in welcoming today, Jamie Marchant and Princess Samantha from The Goddess’s Choice. Welcome!
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Mia: What is the name of the book where we’ll find you? Can you tell us a little about it?
Samantha: I’m in a sword and sorcery, fantasy novel titled The Goddess’s Choice, and I’m one of the two main characters—Princess Samantha, the seventeen-year-old heir to the throne of Korthlundia. The other main character is a sixteen-year-old peasant named Robrek Angusstamm, but I can him “Robbie.” The novel is based on an old Norwegian fairy tale, “The Princess and the Glass Hill,” that hardly any one has ever heard of, but my author loved it as a child. In the original tale, I’m nothing more than a prize to be handed off to the victorious male, but as my author became an adult, she didn’t like that very much. So she made me into a strong heroine, every bit as likely to be the rescuer as the one rescued.
Half the novel tells my story, and in the beginning I’m frightened that I’m crazy; no one else but me sees colors glowing around people. Only later do I learn these colors make me an aurora—a person able to discern a person’s character through their multi-colored aura. Near the beginning of the novel, I meet Robrek. At the horse fair where we meet, he tells me he has the absurd idea that he’s a demon; animals speak to him, and his healing powers far outstrip those of his village’s priests. I can tell at once he’s a powerful sorcerer. He rides a Horsetad, for the goddess’s sake. Nobody can tame a Horsetad. He isn’t like any of the men at court, but of course, I can’t marry a peasant.
All the nobles at court want to marry me though. Some see this as a way to seize my throne, and when that doesn’t work, my arch-enemy, Duke Argblutal, tries to kill me. He don’t leave Robrek out of it either. Argblutal kidnaps Robbie and tries to exploit his magic in order to force me into marriage. To save our lives and stop Argblutal from plunging the realm into civil war, Robrek and I must consolidate our powers and unite the people behind us.
Mia: Tell us a little about yourself. Where do you fit into the story? What should we know about you?
Samantha: As I mentioned, I’m the seventeen-year-old heir to the throne of Korthlundian. Since my father, the king, is eighty-nine, I suppose I’ll have to take over pretty soon. I don’t know what I’ll do without him. My father and I have always been close—maybe because it’s always been just the two of us. My mother died in childbirth. Because I am his only heir, my father raised me more like a son than a daughter. He insisted I start weapons training as soon as I was old enough to hold a sword, and I’m more skilled than at least half the Royal Guard—or so I’m told. I’m most at home on horseback, and I don’t give a fig for fashion and gossip. I’m on the short side, and my chest is flatter than I’d like it, but you can’t have everything, even if you are a princess. I have freckles on my nose that I’m rather fond of, even if they aren’t fashionable.
Mia: What do you think of the author? Be honest. We won’t tell.
Samantha: To tell the truth, she’s a bit controlling. She is always wanting to take the story one way when I am sure it should go another. We often tussle, but I usually end up getting my way.
Mia: How do you feel about the story you’re in?
Samantha: It’s a great read. It has action and adventure, tragedy and triumph. It will make you laugh and cry and keep you up at night. It’s also a story of forbidden love, and who doesn’t like that?
Mia: Do you like being a character in the book?
Samantha: I love it. I get to be a strong, powerful heroine with a mind and will of my own. I get to outwit the ones who plot against me and those who dismiss me because of my youth and gender. I demonstrate the true power of women, and I get love to boot. What’s not to like?
Mia: How do you see your future? Without giving anything away about the story, naturally.
Samantha: My hope is to maintain the peace, as my father did for fifty years. But I foresee trouble. The Royal Council is at each others’ throats, and I fear they will tear the joined kingdoms apart and me with it.
Mia: What do you know about your author’s plans? Can we expect to see you in any future stories?
Samantha: Jamie has a sequel to The Goddess’s Choice, titled The Soul Stone, nearly finished. I play a major role in it. There will then be a third volume in the trilogy, featuring me. She plans a novel in the same universe, but outside of the trilogy, about Darhour, my chief bodyguard. She is also nearly finished with a totally unrelated and irrelevant (since I’m not in it) urban fantasy novel titled The Bull Riding Witch.
Mia: Let’s say they make a movie about this book. Who do you want to play you, and why?
Samantha: Everyone is always asking me this, and I must admit I have no idea. Movies don’t exist in Korthlundia, so I’m not familiar with many actors.
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Author’s Bio: Jamie Marchant lives in Auburn, Alabama, with her husband, son, and four cats, which (so she’s been told) officially makes her a cat lady. She teaches writing and literature at Auburn University. Her first novel, The Goddess’s Choice, was released in April 2012 from Reliquary Press. She is hard at work on the sequel, tentatively titled The Soul Stone. She has also published a novella, titled Demons in the Big Easy. Her short fiction has been published in Bards & Sages, The World of Myth, and Short-story.me.