Interview with Alisha Klapheke, Author of Queens of Steel and Starlight

29 Sep 2020

What can you tell us about your new release, Queens of Steel and Starlight?

Late medieval and early Renaissance history around the Mediterranean inspired this series as well as my obsession with the ocean and water magic. I love using history as a springboard for fiction and lacing it with magic and romance. Fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir will enjoy this fantasy series. Some say it’s Pirates of the Caribbean meets Lord of the Rings.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I’ve always been a storyteller. I began by telling my young cousins tales during our summer vacations and it just grew from there! I have been inspired by Madeleine L’Engle and Kristin Cashore. I love their unique worlds and the realistic feel of their characters’ relationships.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

What a tough question! If forced at swordpoint, I’d say Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, Fire by Kristin Cashore, and The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkowski.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

My first guest would be Elizabeth Vaughn because I recently read her Warprize and am currently writing my own fantasy romance. It was remarkable.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Dreaming up new worlds and listening to my characters’ banter in my head.

What is a typical day like for you?

I don’t have a regular schedule because I run two small businesses. No schedule is my schedule! 🙂 I do try to write in the mornings generally and take a brain break for a moment in the afternoon along with a nice cup of tea.

What scene from Queens of Steel and Starlight was your favorite to write?

Oh wow. Hmm. Another toughie. The first that comes to mind is a spoiler from the last book where all the four books’ characters come together, but I’ll save that for the readers. The second is a simple scene. Kinneret, the main character from book one, dives into the sea with her best friend and secret love, Calev, as they search for an ancient treasure map. It has the beauty of the ocean, the thrill of the hunt, and subtle romantic tension. Really fun.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

“The only thing that is constant is change.” ~Heraclitus

Alisha Klapheke is the author of the new book Queens of Steel and Starlight.

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