Author: Annie Douglass Lima
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Young Adult Action Adventure
Release Date: May 9 2015
Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is desperate to see his little sister freed. But only victory in the Krillonian Empire's most prestigious tournament will allow him to secretly arrange for Ellie's escape. Dangerous people are closing in on her, however, and Bensin is running out of time. With his one hope fading quickly away, how can Bensin save Ellie from a life of slavery and abuse?
Where do the ideas for your books come from?
My imagination! Don’t know what else to tell you ….
Have you ever co-written book/books? If so was it difficult? If not would you ever consider co-writing with another author?
I never have, and it’s hard to see wanting to, at least in fiction. I don’t imagine it would work very well for me to try to share a story and characters with another writer.
Where do you get your character names from?
I just come up with them. Occasionally I combine and rearrange other words until they sound right for that character. Sometimes I ask friends for suggestions.
What type of research goes into your writing?
It depends on the book. My most recent novel, The Collar and the Cavvarach, involves a martial art that I made up. I spent long hours researching real martial arts, as well as workouts and fitness training and recommended eating habits for martial artists. A previous book, Prince of Malorn, involved a character making a long solo trek across a mountain range, so I researched wilderness survival for that one. I learned about edible plants, hypothermia, how to light a fire without matches, things like that.
Are your family and friends supportive of your writing?
Very. My husband sacrifices a lot to make it possible for me to spend long hours on the computer. I have quite a few helpful friends who have been willing to beta read my manuscripts and offer story suggestions.
Do you remember when your interest in writing came about?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can recall. When I was seven years old, I had a sudden inspiration for what I thought was an amazing story and decided then and there that I was going to write a book and be the world's youngest author. I ran to my room in great excitement, found an old notebook and a pencil, and started in. Well, that first novel was never actually finished, let alone published, but it got me started. After that, I can't remember a time that I wasn't working on at least one book.
Other than writing, what are your interests?
I enjoy reading (especially science fiction and fantasy), scrapbooking, and international travel.
Did you learn anything from writing your books, if so what was it?
I’ve learned quite a bit from the research I’ve had to do for most of my novels. Here are some examples from my Annals of Alasia YA fantasy series. When writing Prince of Alasia, I discovered what’s involved in a medieval banquet. For In the Enemy’s Service, I learned about military rank, knitting, and medicinal herbs. Prince of Malorn required extensive research into wilderness survival, as I mentioned above, and also horse training, castle terminology, and goat keeping. King of Malorn (still in progress) has required me to look into lace making and the parts of rowboats.
What are your current WIP? Can you share with us?
I actually have two at the moment. I’m working on King of Malorn, the fourth and longest book in the Annals of Alasia. It should be ready for release by the end of 2015. There’s also The Gladiator and the Guard, which is the sequel to The Collar and the Cavvarach. I’m hoping to have that one published by summer 2016.
Pink, Lavender, Sky Blue, Royal Blue
Original Star Wars trilogy
This or That
Day or Night
Day … but dusk is my favorite time of the day.
Rain or Snow
Snow. I’ve never lived in a place where it snows, so to me, snow belongs to vacations and fairy tales!
Facebook or Twitter
Mac or PC
Mac, but only because the school where I teach provides one for my use for free. The jury’s still out as to whether I like it better than the PC I used before.
Coffee or Tea
Tea, especially if it’s Kenyan spiced chai or Taiwanese flavored green tea.
Where did the inspiration for this story come from? What is the story behind the story so to speak?
I’ve had the idea growing in my mind for the last few years. It started as just a picture of the setting and its culture: a world almost exactly like ours, but with legalized slavery. The main characters, Bensin (a 14-year-old slave and martial artist) and Steene (his owner and coach) emerged gradually, along with the plot (Bensin’s struggle to protect and free his younger sister Ellie).
Tell us about the book cover. How does it represent your book? How did you choose the artwork?
The collar represents slavery – Ellie’s slavery in particular. The cavvarach represents strength, skill, and hope – Bensin’s in particular, as cavvara shil (the martial art fought using that weapon) becomes the means with which he hopes to free Ellie. My cover artist, Jack Lin, did a great job of putting it all together from my description of what I had in mind.
Places to find Annie
Places to find The Collar and the Cavvarach
Barnes and Noble (B&N) Nook
Barnes and Noble (B&N) Print
Books A Million (BAM)