A very thoughtful interview with LEC Book Reviews

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Louis Couture sat down with me, virtually, for an interview, and he just posted it on LEC Book Reviews. I told Louis, and I'll repeat it here, that the best reviews force the writer to learn a bit about themselves, or their story. That was certainly the case here in this very thoughtful interview.

A brief excerpt from the interview:

In much the same way, your book features some very strong, independent female characters (Rehada in particular) who in many ways stand as equals to their male counterparts. In fact the Matri, the female head of houses, are almost in complete control of the magic used in the Grand Duchy. The fantasy genre still being very male-centric despite great improvements, did you feel it was especially important to go against this trend by including strong female leads like those you did?

I do feel this is important, yes. I will admit to actively arranging this world so that women have more of an equal footing with men. I grew up in a household with my father, my mother, and twin sisters one year older than me. My dad was often at work, leaving me to fend for myself against the women. Whatever insignificant struggles I may have had as a boy growing up in a female-dominated household, I treasure this upbringing. I think it gave me a sense of equality that was not reflected in the real world. I was insulated from reality, in a way, and I'm glad that it shaped me into the person I am now.

So while I guided the plot in terms of the world and where the plot took the characters, I most definitely tried to find societies where women were treated with more respect, even reverence. This was one of the building blocks of the book, frankly. The Aramahn, for example, are a nomadic people. The parents raise their children together for a time, but it's very common for one or the other to leave before the child has come of age and to being traveling the world once more, and it can be the mother or the father that leaves. The Matri and the way they hold positions of power and reverence within the Grand Duchy is another example. I think, rather than calling themselves out, these aspects make for a richer and more interesting world. At least I hope that they do…