Welcome to Sugarbeat’s Books – The Home of the Romance Novel!
Today we are welcoming N. Gemini Sasson to the blog! She’s here to answer some questions and to share some information about her book – The King Must Die. She’s also giving away a $25.00 Amazon GC to a commenter from the tour. To increase your chances of winning, click HERE and find other blogs to visit and leave comments on.
Sit back and enjoy learning about this interesting sounding book!
Barb – Tell us a little bit about yourself and your writing.
N. Gemini – First, thanks for having me at Sugarbeat’s Books! I’m excited to be here. As for me, I seem to always have way too many irons in the fire—gardening, running, showing and training dogs, and lately I have an obsession with tropical fish—but I feel like if I’m not busy, I’m bored. As for my writing, I can hardly believe I’m living my dream. I get to bring the past to life in ways that I hope readers of today will find relatable. So far I have a trilogy available on Robert the Bruce and two books in the same time period about Queen Isabella. The first of those latter two, Isabeau, focuses on Isabella’s relationship with her lover, Sir Roger Mortimer; the second one is The King Must Die.
Barb – Tell us about your new book, The King Must Die.
N. Gemini – The King Must Die picks up in late 1326, where Isabeau left off, although readers don’t need to have read the first book to delve right into this one. Edward II has just been forced to abdicate in favor of his teenage son. Edward II’s wife, Isabella of France, and her lover, Mortimer, are at the pinnacle of their power. Having the former king still around is a problem for Isabella and Mortimer, as they soon discover when someone tries to help him escape. Matters get complicated when the former king is mysteriously found dead. As accusations of murder surface, Isabella’s conscience begins to haunt her and she is torn between protecting her son and the love of her life.
Barb – Who are your cheerleaders? Who continues to encourage you to write?
N. Gemini – My husband is my biggest supporter. For years, I wouldn’t let him tell anyone I was writing a book. Nowadays, he’s the one who keeps me focused on the business side of things, which admittedly is not my forte. I also have several online writing friends who help me celebrate the major milestones.
What keeps me writing, though, are the readers who write to tell me how much they enjoyed the books. It always amazes me that anyone would even take the time. I appreciate it more than I can express.
Barb – When you made your first sale, how did you celebrate and with whom?
N. Gemini – Actually, I didn’t. I was convinced the first few dozen sales were just friends who were being supportive—or mistaken purchases. After that I started to get suspicious about how people were even finding it. By the time this post goes up, I will have sold my 50,000th e-book. That calls for a celebration! I think a second honeymoon, this one to Scotland, is in order.
Barb – What’s the hardest part of writing a book?
N. Gemini – Getting started. Even when I have what I think is a good idea, I can get overwhelmed by the realization of how much work is going to go into it. Writing the first few chapters is like going on a blind date and trying to make conversation. It’s awkward and it seems like it takes forever. Each new chapter is a challenge. ‘Getting the bones of the story down’ is not so much grueling as it is just mundane most days. I’m never sure how it all comes together, but somehow it does. Inspiration comes in snatches. I grab it whenever it floats by and run with it.
Barb – What’s your favorite part of writing a book?
N. Gemini – The editing, although I do this on a regular basis, not just at the end. I enjoy putting the polish on a story—finding just the right words to paint a picture or convey an emotion. I love the way certain words sound when you put them together or the power they can have to move readers.
Barb – Which scenes were the hardest to write?
N. Gemini – In The King Must Die, there is a scene that takes place shortly before the climax when Edward III commits to his course of action. This was incredibly hard because I wanted to push the drama to the edge and keep the reader turning the page. I sent one of my critique partners a few versions of this scene and she kept kicking it back to me by asking me ‘Why?’ That scene took weeks to pin down.
Barb – How long did it take you to write your current book?
N. Gemini – Longer than I planned. Actually, I started writing the prequel, Isabeau, in 2005, when my then-agent was shopping The Bruce Trilogy to publishers. The story of Queen Isabella, Sir Roger Mortimer and Edward III (the son of Isabella and Edward II) was supposed to be just one book, but, well . . . it kept getting longer, and longer, and longer. Eventually I realized I was writing two books, so I wrapped up Isabeau about four years ago and handed it to my agent. At that point, I honestly wasn’t sure I’d ever finish The King Must Die and just busied myself revising the rest of my books to prepare them for publication. When sales of the others finally took off and readers were asking for the conclusion to Isabella’s story, I decided to give myself a deadline and finish it. For four months I wrote like a maniac. So the short answer is: It took years.
Barb – Who is your favorite character in your new release?
N. Gemini – It turned out to be Edward III, although it took ages to coax his voice from the deepest recesses of my imagination. He was on that cusp between the uncertainty of boyhood and the burgeoning ambition of a willful young king. I finally came to the conclusion that he had ambiguous feelings towards his mother—he was both devoted to her and jealous of her relationship with Mortimer, and all that warred with his independent streak. In many ways, I feel, he was very much like his mother and so they were bound to butt heads eventually.
Barb – Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
N. Gemini – Oh, that’s a dangerous question! My life is so different from theirs, I don’t know how I’d react in Isabella’s or Edward III’s situations. They are probably much bolder than I could ever be, so I think it’s more a case of them being who I wish I was.
Barb – What were the challenges in bringing this book to life?
N. Gemini – There are several theories about what happened to Edward II after he was forced to abdicate in favor of his son. I knew if I wrote it one way, some of the more knowledgeable history buffs might take exception to it; yet it if I wrote it another way, I stood the chance of disappointing other readers. In the end, I wrote what seemed the most logical to me based on my research.
Barb – Do you have an all time favorite book?
N. Gemini – That changes year by year. I’d have to say that for now it’s a toss-up between The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, and A Dog’s Purpose by Bruce Cameron. Obviously, I like books that make me cry.
Barb – Where can your fans find you?
N. Gemini – My web site, www.ngeminisasson.com, is filled with general information about where specifically to find each of my books. I blog occasionally at My Dog Ate My Manuscript (http://negminisasson.
Barb – Where is your work available?
N. Gemini – In print at all major online retailers and in e-book through Kindle, Nook, Apple and Smashwords. Here are my author pages:
Barnes and Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/
Barb – Anything else you’d like to add?
N. Gemini – Just that I’m thrilled to have been here on Sugarbeat’s Books. There are so many wonderful books out there and I’m incredibly appreciative of all the bloggers who share their love of reading with others. Thanks so much for letting me stop by!
What is done cannot be undone.
England, 1326. Edward II has been dethroned. Queen Isabella and her lover, Sir Roger Mortimer, are at the pinnacle of their power.
Fated to rule, Isabella’s son becomes King Edward III at the callow age of fourteen. Young Edward, however, must bide his time as the loyal son until he can break the shackles of his minority and dissolve the regency council which dictates his every action.
When the former king is found mysteriously dead in his cell, the truth becomes obscured and Isabella can no longer trust her own memory . . . or confide in those closest to her. Meanwhile, she struggles to keep her beloved Mortimer at her side and gain yet another crown—France’s—for the son who no longer trusts her.
Amidst a maelstrom of shifting loyalties, accusations of murder propel England to the brink of civil war.
In the sequel to Isabeau, secrecy and treason, conspiracy and revenge once again overtake England. The future rests in the hands of a mother and son whose bonds have reached a breaking point.
Isabella – Westminster, February, 1327
The reminder that I was still married to Edward of Caernarvon stung like an open cut, fresh and deep down to the vein. Except for the sharp whistling of my indrawn breath, the room was silent. Bishop Orleton must have sensed the tension between Mortimer and me, for he excused himself, closing the door firmly behind him.
I turned away to face the row of windows, the world beyond dark with night. In moments, Mortimer’s arms encircled my waist from behind, tugging me gently against him. I kept my body stiff, tempering my resolve against his nearness, but already my knees were weakening beneath me.
“Isabeau … sweet heaven of mine.” Light fingers traced over my hips, wandering slowly up toward my ribs. His breath stirred on my neck, a fiery breeze of longing. “Let me hold you tonight, hour upon hour, until the dawn.”
I shook my head, even as I felt myself wanting to yield, to abandon all. “I’m afraid, Roger.”
He turned me around, his lips brushing against the crown of my hair, over my ear, the slope of my shoulder. Not until my breathing slowed and I half-closed my eyes, waiting for more, did he lift his head to speak. A smirk, hinting of something sinister, flashed across his mouth. Or perhaps I merely imagined it? His thumb stroked tenderly at my cheek, soothing away my worries. “Afraid of what—that he’ll go free? You needn’t worry, my love. I’ll make sure he never has the chance.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
N. Gemini Sasson is also the author of The Crown in the Heather (The Bruce Trilogy: Book I), Worth Dying For (The Bruce Trilogy: Book II), The Honor Due a King (The Bruce Trilogy: Book III) and Isabeau, A Novel of Queen Isabella and Sir Roger Mortimer (2011 IPPY Silver Medalist for Historical Fiction). She holds a M.S. in Biology from Wright State University where she ran cross country on athletic scholarship. She has worked as an aquatic toxicologist, an environmental engineer, a teacher and a track and cross country coach. A longtime breeder and judge of Australian Shepherds, her articles on bobtail genetics have been translated into seven languages.
Web site: http://www.ngeminisasson.com