Good morning everyone! If you have this Columbus Day off I hope you are enjoying it and have great weather. Today I have the opportunity to welcome Kari Edgren, author of Goddess Born, to The Maiden's Court. Please take a minute to read the interview and welcome her!
Your novel, Goddess Born, seems to encapsulate a lot of different, seemingly distinct, concepts – Celtic goddesses, the Quakers, 1700’s Colonial America – how did you bring all of these ideas together when conceiving your novel?
Goddess Born is a blended genre of romance, historical, and fantasy. The story took its first breath while I watched my son run up and down a lacrosse pitch, alternating between passing a hard rubber ball and beating the opposing players with a metal stick. During one particularly long game, I found myself thinking about the ancient Celts, most likely because they also had a tendency to hit each other with sticks. The fantasy element came somewhere near halftime on the heels of another random thought that went something like, “it would be so cool to have a superpower.” The connection came to me at once: Celt + superpower = descendant of the Tuatha Dé. It just went from there, and by the end of the game I had the backbone for Goddess Born.
It took a few more weeks to decide the exact setting and time period, and I finally ended up in 1730 Pennsylvania for several reasons: I love American Colonial history, the story needed an indentured servant and be set when there was still a risk of a witchcraft accusation, and I didn’t want to butt up against the Revolutionary War. As for the Quakers, it would have been impossible to write about Colonial Pennsylvania without including them as they founded the Colony in 1681 and made up a good portion of the population.
If you had to describe your novel with one sentence – how would you describe it to someone that doesn’t know anything about it?
Goddess Born is NA Historical Romance with a paranormal twist.
When you are supposed to be writing or otherwise working on your novel, what is the biggest distraction for you?
Research! I love to research and can spend hours at a time doing it. I may start off looking for mid eighteenth century transatlantic sailing times and two hours later be reading about paste-on mouse fur eyebrows or mouth plumpers. For the Goddess Born series, I accumulated a library of 60+ books, and wouldn’t know where to even start for an estimate of time spent on the Internet for additional research.
What has the publishing process been like for you? Have you found anything particularly challenging or surprisingly easy?
A crazy long road with lots of ups and downs—so fairly typical! For 99% of authors, publishing comes after an inordinate amount of rejection, letdown, and waiting. Months and months of waiting. The hardest part has been the story’s blended genre, as it made it more difficult to ‘shelf’. The surprisingly easy part for me was getting over the rejection. If anything, it helped me become a better writer.
I see that this is to be a trilogy, is it a safe bet to guess that those books are what you are currently working on? Or are you working on something else?
The second book is in final edits with Carina right now and I’ve got two scenes left in the third book before that goes off to my editor—so yes! I am still living, breathing Goddess Born everyday.
Can you tell us anything about the trilogy?
In book two, A Grave Inheritance, Selah’s trades the Colonies for England where she will face both the nobility and an ancient enemy of the Goddess Born. Book three moves to Ireland and that’s all I can say for now without giving too much away. And of course, there will be lots of Henry and Selah in both books.
Thank you for hosting me today!
Kari Edgren is the author of the Goddess Born series. In 2010 and 2011 she was a semifinalist for the Amazon Break Through Novel Award. In 2013, she was a RWA Golden Heart finalist. Ms. Edgren enjoys writing both historical and contemporary fiction, so long as there’s a spark of paranormal. She resides on a mountain top in the Pacific Northwest where she spends a great deal of time dreaming about the sun and torturing her husband and children with strange food and random historical facts.
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The power to heal is her divine gift—the fear of discovery, her mortal curse.
Selah Kilbrid is caught between two worlds. A direct descendant of the Celtic goddess Brigid, she is bound by immortal law to help those in need. Yet as a human, she must keep her unique abilities hidden or risk being charged as a witch. The Quaker community of Hopewell has become a haven for religious freedom—and fanaticism—and there are those who would see her hanged if the truth were revealed.
For eighteen years, Selah safely navigates the narrow gap between duty and self-preservation—until the day an ambitious minister uncovers her secret. Already tempted by Selah’s large estate, he soon lusts for her power as well, and demands marriage in exchange for his silence.
Terrified, Selah flees to Philadelphia where she strikes a deal with an arrogant stranger. It doesn’t matter that she suspects Henry Alan harbors his own dark secrets. Once he agrees to the scheme, Selah refuses to look back. But as unseen forces move against her, she’s unsure which poses the greater danger—a malignant shadow closing in from outside or the fire that threatens to consume her heart.
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