Take it away, Janine:
Meet The Characters
As the publishing process for Queen & Commander gears up, Stevie and I thought it would be fun to interview a couple of characters about their experiences in the novel. With an ensemble cast, I couldn't decide whom to interview, so we let the characters pick for us.
Welcome, fellow space travelers.
Title: Queen & Commander
Series: Book 1, The Hive Queen Saga
Author: Janine A. Southard
Genre: YA science fiction, space opera
Summary: Spaceships. Blackmail. Anywhere but here. A novel about teens running from society as fast as their spaceship will go. Follow Rhiannon, as she leaves behind the perfect life she secured with perfect test scores, then puts together a group of varyingly-disaffected youth in order to get her best friend off planet. But it's a dangerous universe out there, Rhi, and the people you meet won't always have your best interests at heart.
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An interview with Rhiannon and Luciano
As the novel opens, you two appear to have everything you could ever want. Rhiannon, your Test results made you a Queen. And Luciano, you were set to become a doctor with a fully paid university education waiting for you. What made you chose to leave it all behind for a spaceship heading to the middle of nowhere?
Luciano looks down briefly, dark brown hair slanting across his eyes. Rhiannon reaches over to pat his hand, and then he straightens.
Luciano: Movies and books always show that wonderful moment when a smart young man meets his ideal Queen. The music swells. Will she ask him to join her Hive? Could they really be together, partners forever? Now I know what that's like in real life. When Rhiannon asked me to join her Hive, I said yes. God, of course I said yes.
Rhiannon: He's an incurable romantic. Devoted himself to me in the middle of a busy street.
Luciano: (primly) If you didn't want me to do that, you shouldn't have asked me right then. Now tell the nice readers why you left home for the Ceridwen's Cauldron.
Rhiannon: I did it for Gwyn.
Luciano: (interrupting) Gwyn's her best friend.
Rhiannon: (as if he hadn't said anything) I did it for true love. I did it because friends make sacrifices. I did it because I was the only one who could. I did it for Gwyn.
Our off-planet readers don’t know just how scandalous your inclusion of another woman, Gwyn, in your Hive is. What do you really think about including non-Queen females in high-powered Hives?
Rhiannon: Our situation is unexpected, yes, but we haven't had any problems based on the addition of another girl so far. Besides, I'm doing this for her. I couldn't exactly leave her behind.
Luciano: I admit I was upset at first, but only because I was surprised. In the end, the king and the pawn go in the same box.
Rhiannon: I'm just glad none of that really matters off-planet. Well, except when people from home try to blackmail us. (she tosses wavy brown hair over her shoulder) Not that we need to worry about that. I hope.
Why did the two of you come to be interviewed today? You've got a six-person Hive, after all, and could have let the others handle it.
Rhiannon: (slightly puzzled) I am Queen.
Luciano: I couldn't bear another moment reading the Manual Piloting Manual. Have you ever tried to pilot a spaceship with no experience? You'd want to get away too! (chuckles briefly) No, no. I am here for my lady. Where she travels, so too go I.
That all sounds a bit serious. Let's talk about fun things. What's your favorite way to spend a weekend?
Rhiannon: Weekends are for relaxing. Give me a copy of the latest Sage Jones epic poem and hours to ponder its alliterative allusions. Give me silly storytelling with Gwyn. I almost miss quiet breakfasts with my dad on weekends, but not enough to go back home.
Luciano: You don't talk much about your dad.
Rhiannon: Since mom died, he and I haven't had the closest relationship. All numbers and facts, no fun and play.
Speaking of fun and play, how do you like to spend your weekends, Luciano? And do you have any family members with whom you're close?
Luciano: When we were still planetside, I liked playing soccer in the sunshine. These days, though, I have to study through my weekends. The next time we dock with a space station, it's going to go more smoothly than the last. (pulls out his pad to show off his photo album) And, yes, I have a little sister. Here's a picture of her playing outside my mom's house back home on Nuova.
Rhiannon: Nuova's the mining planet Luciano's originally from.
Luciano: I'm saving up to get her a ticket so she can go to the school where Rhiannon and I met. Before we took off in the Cauldron, I sent them most of my pay from my two part-time jobs. I hope it was enough.
Rhiannon: I'm sure it was. I'll make sure it was.
Luciano: (in a whisper) Thank you, my lady.
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Hopefully servalan will be back next week for one last post before the Kickstarter gets funded.