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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

PR Special Edition: Evie Manieri Interview!

Poisoned Rationality Special  Edition
 
Welcome to another Poisoned Rationality Special Edition! That's right with the help of TOR I once again hoodwinked another author into being interviewed. Hint if you offer them cookies, they come running! (jk) Welcome Evie to Poisoned Rationality!
US Cover
Summary: Rising from their sea-torn ships like vengeful, pale phantoms, the Norlanders laid waste to the Shadar under cover of darkness. They forced the once-peaceful fisher folk into slavery and forged an alliance with their former trading partners, the desert-dwelling Nomas tribe, cutting off any hope of salvation.

Now, two decades after the invasion, a rebellion gathers strength in the dark corridors of the city. A small faction of Shadari have hired the Mongrel, an infamous mercenary, to aid their fledgling uprising—but with her own shadowy ties to the region, she is a frighteningly volatile ally. Has she really come to lead a revolution, or for a more sinister purpose all her own?

Set in a fictional quasi-Medieval Mediterranean region with a strong cast of male and female characters, the series “presents a striking world with civilizations similar to those of the Vikings and the nomadic cultures of the Middle East, and with the Mediterranean sensibilities of the ancient Greeks. Her characters are passionate and memorable, lending a personal touch to a complex tale of clashing cultures and philosophies.
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You've described BLOOD'S PRIDE "epic rebellion told on a very personal level" and that there's a larger picture they [the characters] don't understand. Since the series is told from many different
perspectives, can a reader assume some of those perspectives will be unreliable in hindsight and some are more on point then they realize?

For the most part the characters in BLOOD’S PRIDE are just standing too close to the painting: they can’t see the whole picture, so they’re working from assumptions that are essentially faulty. That’s true on several different levels, from the political and military machinations of kings and emperors, all the way down to the characters’ understanding of themselves and where they fit into the world. I think that’s the fascinating flaw in our human intelligence… we tend to extrapolate and draw conclusions based on what we’ve learned, even when that knowledge is woefully insufficient. It’s our charming and doomed way of dealing with the uncertainties of life.
When creating a series from multiple angles, how do you keep what everyone knows (and how they found it out) straight?
It can be difficult, that’s true! With a book like BLOOD’S PRIDE, there’s the extra challenge of factoring in what the reader knows and when. I keep detailed timelines and arcs for each character – not just the point-of-view ones – and factor it all in. I see the story less as one big plot arc than as the journeys of the individual characters, so from that standpoint, when they learn certain things is just as important to their decision-making as the physical action. For instance, it’s only when Daryan finally learns of Eofar’s clandestine relationship with Harotha that he’s inspired to challenge the self-imposed barrier keeping him away from Isa.
The UK cover vs. the US cover is starkly different--the UK cover is a towering edifice in a barren
landscape, while the US cover has the Mongrel front and center looking fierce. Do you think one displays the content more than the other? Have you found the different covers driving different expectations from readers?

UK Cover
I think both covers are great (though I’ve also met a lot of people who prefer one over the other). Both covers make different but equally valid statements about the book. The UK cover has the stark, glaring loneliness that is a great metaphor for the world of BLOOD’S PRIDE. On the US cover, the scale of the figures is a marvelous way of representing that this is an intensely character-driven story, and the way the Mongrel is coming right at the reader emphasizes the personal confrontations (both internal and external) that drive the action of the book.
As for expectations I’m sure those vary from person to person, and my hope is that readers will connect with the world of BLOOD’S PRIDE no matter what version of the book they pick up.
Is there a genre of writing you'd like to explore outside of fantasy?
Historical fiction is appealing, since I studied history in college and still have a real love for research. Perhaps one day I’ll find a story somewhere in the past that needs to be told. I’m not entirely sure I could keep the fantasy out of it, though. Happily, there’s always historical fantasy!
What's your favorite way of relaxing?
Knitting and watching old (pre-1950) movies - usually at the same time. I love complicated lace and cable patterns. As for films, I particularly love the comedies of Preston Sturges and Ernst Lubitsch, but I’ll watch pretty much anything in black & white. I’m very proud that my nine-year-old daughter not only loves Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, but could pick Ward Bond and Felix Bressart out of a line-up.
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Thank you Evie for stopping by!  While I had my reservations about BLOOD'S PRIDE, I can't deny that the world and the characters are fascinating and worth coming back for.  I look forward to the further adventures and see just what it takes to survive a rebellion.