Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Lynette Latzko is talking with Tanya SM Kennedy, author of The Battle for Trimera: Book 1 of the Ruling Priestess.
FQ: You've written quite an extensive tale. How long does it take you to write your first draft?
KENNEDY: It usually takes me about six months to write a first draft. Once I get a draft written, I print out and do a full readthrough making notes on anything I think needs changed.
FQ: Are the characters in your story based on anyone in real life?
KENNEDY: Most of my main characters are based on at least some aspect of myself. I have a lot of strong people in my life that I can pull inspiration from. On the other hand, as a tomboy and an outcast, I also have a lot of inspiration for antagonists from my life as well. From bullies to abusive relationships, there's plenty to pull from.
FQ: Do you have any favorite authors that have inspired you to write?
KENNEDY: Writing wise, I'd say my most influential authors would be Robert Jordan and Lauren Oliver. I loved Jordan's expansive world building and the depth he gave his characters. A significant chunk of my life was spent in the Wheel of Time and I fell in love with many of the characters. Lauren Oliver puts a lot of emotion and depth into her characters. Her stories are built around the characters and how the story changes them in some way. It is amazing to watch them grow as the story goes on.
FQ: I noticed that The Battle for Trimera and your other books feature a woman on the cover. Are women your primary reading audience? What message do you hope readers get from reading your books?
KENNEDY: Women are my target audience. I have always struggled with self esteem issues. I never felt good enough or that I was seen. It is my hope that my books inspire women, girls, and any readers to see the value in themselves. I want readers to understand that being different is not a reason to feel bad about themselves. I want them to understand that the right people will accept them for who they are. I want people to understand that there is a place for them in the world and to not be afraid to share what is different about themselves with the world.
FQ: What type of writing advice would you give to beginning authors?
KENNEDY: My best advice, and something I have been following myself lately, is put effort into learning. Learn about writing, learn about editing, learn about publishing. There are a million resources on the internet that you can find with free training on so many aspects of writing. Work towards being a professional in your craft. Everything you learn will show in your work.
FQ: In your author bio, you write that you grew up in the wilds of West Virginia where you enjoy solitude, which I assume assists with your writing endeavors. Is there anything else that provides you with motivation to keep writing?
KENNEDY: Writing is a great outlet for me. It allows me to work out my own inner demons. It is a wonderful release for the stress of life and really gives me a chance to help others see the worth of themselves. There are a lot of women out there who just want to belong and I hope that my books give them the courage to search for where they belong.
FQ: I noticed you named the rulers of Trimera, both Prince Inan and his son Prince Janu, prince and not king. Is there deeper meaning behind your decision?
KENNEDY: The decision to keep them Prince and not King was just a way to emphasize the power structure of Reia. The family rules but the strength really lies with the priestesses.
FQ: What can readers look forward to seeing from you in the future?
KENNEDY: I am currently working on the sequel to Trimera that should be out the end of this year or early next. It will be followed with the continuation of Foxcombe. There is plenty more coming up in that series. Future projects include some more work in past series and a new project already in the works. There is plenty of new content coming up!
Thank you for the opportunity and the incredible review!