Author Interviews: JM Robison and The War Queen

JM Robison, for those who don’t know you, introduce yourself, your writing, and books.

I am a hard-core fantasy writer, having been writing for 19 years and completed 7 novels. The War Queen is my debut book and I have no other claim to fame; growing up in Bennington, ID (Good luck finding that on a paper map), I didn’t know what wireless internet was until I was 21. Having joined the U.S. Army at 17 with a deployment to Afghanistan and Romania, and working as a Deputy Sheriff in Nevada, I’ve seen a lot of people and been to a lot of places; the evidence of which frequently bleeds into my writing. My goal in life is to quite my job, write books, and be happy.

READERS CAN FIND ME HERE: (Guess what? I offer writing advice)

Facebook writing groupTwitter and my website

Purchase book and read excerpt:

When and why did you start writing?

I was fifteen (year 2000) when I wrote my first novel (98 pages.) I started writing because Big Sister wrote stories, and I wanted to be just like her. She paints now, but I never lost my love for imagination.

What inspires your writing?

My real life experiences and other books. I know, not an original answer to that question but there you have it.

How would you define creativity?

The fearlessness to create art in any form without worrying what other people have to say about it.

Do you have any writing rituals to get you in the mood for writing?

Waking up each day helps.

If you could, what would you go back and tell yourself as a writer starting out?

Get on twitter, join online writing groups, and follow writing blogs so I could figure out HOW to write. 16 years was a long time learning it by myself.

What do you believe make fr great writing?

The writer MUST love what they write. If they don’t, your readers won’t either.

Which Writers have influenced your writing?

Susan D. Kalior


Margret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

How do you measure success as writer?

The age old answer: Never give up (in writing and marketing your book)

Have you ever hated something you wrote?

I only hate what I didn’t write. Everything I’ve writing – bad, ugly, mistake – goes toward learning how to do it better next time.

What’s your biggest fear as a writer?

Going blind.

What traits do you feel make a great writer?

The ability to dive into human emotions and explore what they feel like, and describe that feeling on paper.

Describe your latest book to our readers

It’s a fantasy (clean) romance called The War Queen.

300 years ago, the people dethroned their king and queen to prevent another tyranny. Now instead, the people nominate a State Head every three years and Altarn is the first female to hold the position. She’s used to tolerating the biases of men but Kaelin, the State Head of his territory, has declared her incompetent and has even, according to Altarn, threatened to steal her land – she believes he wants to make himself king. Believing she must “dethrone” Kaelin, Altarn rides to her last ally to ask for aid in the war against Kaelin she knows is coming.  But in her absence an army launches an attack… and it’s not Kaelin’s.

Taking advantage of the startling situation, Kaelin kidnaps Altarn so he can take her land without her in the way. Soon realizing he needs her help to fight this army instead, he releases her and, since Altarn’s army is too small to win the war alone, she is forced to accept his help, but payment for his help will be her land. No one believes Kaelin is secretly trying to make himself king, so after the battle is won, alone in her knowledge and lacking allies, Altarn must become the War Queen of legend to dethrone another king… though she unexpectedly dethrones his heart instead.

What would you like readers to take away from your writing?

You can write an effective romance without sex or nudity.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Follow writers on twitter, join facebook writing groups, follow writing blogs where they crank out writing advice because the more you know how to write a great story, the greater the story you write.

Can you give our audience a writing prompt to help get them writing?

I don’t care if they write anything. But when they are 90 years old on their death bed, they will regret never having chased that dream.

What’s next for you?

Next for me is a search for a publishing house to pick up my next novel, The Last Wizard. It’s a historical fantasy romance based on 1800 Victorian England, and has an adorable character who was born in the Middle Ages (he speaks an actual form of real Old English!) Here’s a blurb:

The last wizard is captured by three men who steal his amulet to harvest the magic for themselves. Since the church of 1518 England is on a wizard hunting rampage, the three men imprison Zadicayn to keep him hidden from the church because his amulet won’t work if he is dead. Zadicayn’s last spell will keep him alive until someone frees him.

Brynn isn’t fooled when Reuben dies of a heart attack. She’s convinced her best friend was murdered, and the map he leaves for her in his will only fires her suspicion. Thinking the map will lead to his murderer, Brynn follows it despite this corset-restricting era of 1842 England which already has her locked into an early marriage. But the map doesn’t lead to Reuben’s murderer. It leads her to a key which unlocks a 324 year old wizard.

Brynn refuses to believe Zadicayn’s claims, despite his era-displaced Old English dialect, until Zadicayn’s amulet is found in the keep of her soon-to-be father-in-law. Now she’s in danger for freeing Zadicayn because her fiancé’s father poisoned Reuben for trying to do the same thing, and getting attracted to the wizard isn’t helping her delicate mess, either. But this attraction is nearly in vain, because upon Zadicayn’s death a creature from an alternate world will infiltrate our own and consume humanity. Employed by the Fae who give magic, Zadicayn pleads for more wizards. So far, they’ve told him no and he’s running out of places to hide from those who want his amulet back and from the church who’s on the hunt again to purge the world from the last of the magic.

thewarqueenbyjmrobison1800hrThe War Queen

Altarn is the first woman to hold the position of State Head in Blindvar. When Lord Kaelin, State Head of Ruidenthall, propositions her to merger with their states, Altarn believes it’s his subtle way of taking her kingdom for his own, making himself king. On the cusp of war, she rides in disguise to her last ally, Luthsinia, to ask for help.

During her journey, Altarn is ambushed but rescued by a man called Torren who offers her protection. Quickly they realize they share a mutual attraction. Upon their arrival to Luthsinia, Altarn receives news that an army has invaded Blindvar in her absence and blames Kaelin. Except it’s not Kaelin’s army, because she discovers Kaelin is in Luthsinia for the purpose of spying on her to take her land. And Torren is not who she thought he was.

Taking advantage of the unraveling situation, Kaelin kidnaps Altarn so he can take her land without her in the way and brings her to Ruidenthall. There’s a war ship on the horizon, led by a fallen angel craving mortal worship. Kaelin realizes he needs Altarn’s help to fight this army if he’s to save his kingdom. She’s forced to agree, but how will she react when he’s wounded in battle? If she lets him die, can she fight the enemy on her own? Or if she saves his life, will he still try claiming her kingdom, or try claiming her heart?

About the Author

Scott Mullins is a freelance writer and digital content manager. When he’s not finding ways to distract himself from writing his novel he writes killer copy for companies all over the world. Connect with Scott on Twitter @ScottMullins86 or LinkedIn. He’s always looking to connect with other writers.