Author: Paul E. Horsman
The lioness Maud is at eighteen already a black powerhouse of brawn. When she is ordered to fetch a young thief from a pirate town, she thinks it an easy task. Until she and Jurgis the thief find themselves running for their lives.
Young warlock Basil sees his life threatened by a summons from the Warlockry Council, to prove his beauty. He knows his lame foot will betray him and escapes on the first ship out of town. On board he meets Yarwan, a handsome midshipman, who awakens feelings he never knew existed.
When the four young people meet, Basil learns of a spell that could repair his foot. Only the spell’s creator, the infamous Black Warlock, disappeared nearly a century ago. As the four decide to go looking for him, they start on a path leading to an old war and unsolved mysteries that will change their world. Or kill them.
‘Lioness’ is an adventure fantasy story. It is the tale of Maud, the young Lioness (a special-duties officer, part commando, part liaison), who gets to pick up Jurgis, the orphaned thief boy said to be a look-alike of Basil, the mighty prince-warlock’s son.
Basil, in his turn, is an introvert guy with a lame foot, who flees from the Warlockry Council before they can examine his fitness for his rank. On the ship out of town he meets Yarwan, whose naval career was busted because his superiors didn’t think a gay midshipman could make a good officer.
Once together, the four start out on a search for a spell to heal Basil’s foot, but bit by bit the problem grow far larger. Lost relics, treachery, an unresolved war – it is more than they counted on. Luckily their strengths as well are greater than they think.
Do you reflect people you know in your characters or do you prefer to make them up on the fly?
The latter. Most characters enter the story spontaneously, as a result of what is happening.
What kind of research did you do for Lioness of Kell?
Naval terminology – to sound convincing, I wanted to get things right line rowing commands, gunnery sail handling and such. The pitfalls of a sea cave in a storm. And I spent hours flying a broomstick all over the local countryside, just to get the ‘feel’ of it…
What themes might we find in Lioness of Kell?
Equality, diversity, growth, love and the stupid things people do out of fear. It’s a story about strong young men and women, both straight and gay, of all colors and sizes, who are just young people, no more – no less.
That is an absolutely stunning cover. Who did the artwork?
I’m glad you ask. The cover is by Ravven, who is a great artist (www.ravven.com) and I am truly proud of having covers by her hand. She also did the cover for my new Shardheld Saga trilogy.
If you gave Maud a chance to speak to the readers, what would she say about finding Jurgis?
‘Jurgis – he makes me feel protective. Oh, I’ll never tell him that; it would infuriate him. But I like his independence, how he always wants to compete, and this silly belief he has that males are as good as females. He’s funny. And clever. And beautiful, too.’
What is your next project?
I’m always working on several projects. That way, when I get stale on one story, I can switch to another.
* Broomrider of Kell – plot-wise I am not fully in the clear with this one. It is 25 years after ‘Lioness’, and the main characters are children of Basil and Yarwan, the m/m heroes from the first book by the same woman. The mage Naudin (Yarwan’s son) and his sister Ruthie (Basil’s daughter), who is more a fighter type; Kellani, the daughter of Maud and Jurgis, who just became a broomrider (a flying battlemage), and the one-handed ship’s boy Eleas. It’s about pirates, an undead king, and a desert land full of ruins. It still needs a lot of thinking and inspiration. (Check out: Broomrider of Kell WIP)
* Grimoires – a standalone book in my Revenaunt-series. It is about Bo, the young mage who with some others (the death priest Anliin and the ghost prince Jesserie) gets tasked in retrieving several grimoires from the banished undead Revenaunt Emperor. (Check out: Grimoires WIP)
*Vavaun – another standalone Revenaunt novel, where the enemy sorcerers have taken over the mountain duchy of Vavaun, the home to two heroes from the first books. (Check out: Vavaun WIP)
Where can we find you?
This isn't your first book by any means. What other novels have you written and where can we find them?
The Revenaunt-series: Rhidauna, Zihaen, Ordelanden
The Shardheld Saga (Shardfall, Runemaster, Shardheld – now also as a trilogy
What books/authors have influenced your writing?
I have been a fan of SF and Fantasy for many years. I started on the SF side, with authors like Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, and many others from space opera to hard sf. But after many years and hybrid writers like Vance, Moorcock, Norton, McCaffrey, I gradually turned to Fantasy. Tolkien, Eddings, Feist.
Outside the genre I have read the naval authors like Patrick O’Brian, C.S. Forester; regency romance author Georgette Heyer; adventure writers like Rider Haggard; mystery writers like Ellis Peters’ Cadfael mysteries, Christie, Marsh, Sayers.
Pen, Pencil, phone, tablet or computer?
Computer. Pen or typewriter would drive me out of my mind so slow; phone and tablet aren’t suitable for long periods of writing.
What does your writing sanctuary look like?
Scruffy. Book-lined. Mess.
Where do you call home?
- Roosendaal, the Netherlands.
Do you prefer paperback or e-books?
Paperbacks, though I nowadays have many (free :) ) e-books as well.
Are you an early riser or a night owl?
Early. Really early. Five-thirty is a perfect time.
Thank you Paul E. Horsman for taking the time to fill out our interview. It was wonderful getting to know you! I wish you all the best with The Lioness of Kell and for the future of the series!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
He has been a soldier, salesman, scoutmaster and from 1995 a teacher of Dutch As A Second Language to refugees from all over the globe.
Since 2012, he is a full-time writer of epic light fantasy adventures for both Y.A. and over. His works have been both trade published in The Netherlands, and self-published internationally.
His available titles are:
* The Shadow of the Revenaunt (Rhidauna, Zihaen, Ordelanden) trilogy
* The Shardheld Saga (Shardfall, Runemaster, Shardheld) series
* Lioness of Kell (standalone)
AUTHOR LINKS: Webpage | Goodreads | Amazon Author's Page