I walk into a cozy cabin where a fire crackles in the stone fireplace and mugs of tea and coffee are waiting on the coffee table. Everyone else enters one by one behind me. Jace is the last and looks nervous as they each find seats. Kyrin gives him a sympathetic smile and pats the seat on the couch next to her. I take my own seat in a comfy chair and show everyone a very large stack of cards containing the questions.
“Welcome, everyone, to our first Q&A session for The King’s Scrolls Blog Tour. We had quite the response for it. Especially from the lovely ladies over on the Ilyon Chronicles Goodreads Group.”
I notice Jace shift nervously, and Kyrin reaches over to squeeze his hand. I raise my brows. “Kyrin, you do realize the gleeful reaction that will cause?”
She shrugs, and I continue.
“Anyways, back to what we’re here for. First, I thank you all for taking time out of your, uh, busy, sometimes unpleasant, schedules to answer these questions for your faithful readers.”
“Did we have a choice? Didn’t you put something on Facebook about forcing us?” Kaden gives me a sly little grin.
I raise my brows at him now. “We’ve hardly been here two minutes and you’re already acting up. And what were you doing snooping on my Facebook? Don’t you have more pressing matters to focus on?” I wave the cards at everyone. “All right, let’s get to the first question. We’ll start with an easy one and one that was asked a few times. Jace, Kyrin, Kaden, and Trask, what are your favorite colors?
“Blue,” Jace answers quietly.
Kyrin smiles at him. “Blue.”
I look over at Kaden.
“I don’t know, green?”
Kyrin frowns at him. “You don’t know?”
He shrugs. “I haven’t really thought much about it. I just know I hate gold.”
Everyone nods in agreement. I don’t blame them. I look to one of the chairs next to the couch where Trask is sitting comfortably. He doesn’t appear nearly as uneasy about this as Jace. “And you, Trask?
“I’d say green too.”
“See? That wasn’t so painful.” I smile. “Now, Kaden, Ghost wants to know when you first became interested in dragons.”
Kaden thinks for a moment. “Probably about the time Kyrin and I first came to Tarvin Hall. It was the first time I ever saw a dragon. It was just flying over, so I barely got to see it, but it was amazing. We used to dream about having a dragon so we could fly out of Tarvin Hall and back home. And I guess I just always thought it would be fun to fly.”
“I agree. I’d love a dragon. I have lots of friends scattered across the county I could easily visit if only I had one.” I glance down at my next question card and bite back a grin. “Okay, this next question is also for you, Kaden, and pertains to dragons. Kendra asks, ‘Would you ever randomly burst into Disney songs if they were rewritten about dragons?’”
Kyrin chuckles. “I’d love to see that.”
Kaden shakes his head. “Um . . . no. Jaye showed me some of those songs. Yeah, not happening.”
“That’s too bad, Kaden,” I tell him. “These girls love their Disney songs.”
“Still not happening. I’m with . . .” He looks at me questioningly. “Who did you say?”
“Flynn Rider?” I laugh. “It’s true, I could never see you singing Disney songs. Ever. So, on the subject of dragons, Stargazer wants to know what your dream pet is, though she’s pretty sure she knows.”
“Yeah, a dragon. Nothing beats that.”
“So what do you think of Tyra?”
Kaden glances at Jace. “Tyra’s great.”
“Yes, she is.” I jump up and open the cabin door. Tyra is waiting on the other side and trots in to sit near Jace who pets her neck. “There, that’s better. All right.” I flip through the cards, reluctant to pull out any too embarrassing just yet. “Ah, here’s one for me. Mickayla wants to know what the hardest part of the writing process is for me. It might seem weird, but I’d have to say the first draft. It’s hard to get all these people to cooperate and talk to me for that rough draft.” I gesture at my characters. “While editing can be very frustrating, most of the time I really enjoy perfecting the story in that stage.
All right, next question. I’m afraid it’s time to get to some of those questions the girls were so eager to ask over at Goodreads.” I give Jace an apologetic look and he starts to squirm. “I truly am sorry for this, Jace, and completely sympathize, so don’t stop talking to me after this. Hannah asks in a nosy news reporter voice, ‘So Jace, do you know WHERE your family is? Where does your ryrik blood come from, the mother or the father?’”
Jace pauses for a long moment, his expression blank. “I don’t know where my family is. I don’t even know who my family is. You’d have to ask her.” He nods at me and gives me a look like he wants me to answer those questions as much as Hannah does.
“Sorry, I can’t say where or who. Not right now, at least. Everyone will just have to keep reading to discover the answer to such questions. I suppose I can say that his ryrik blood comes from his father.” Jace doesn’t look surprised. Everyone pretty much expects this. I flip to the next card. “Nosy news reporter Hannah isn’t done yet . . .” Jace winces, but I’m quick to reassure him, “Don’t worry, this question isn’t for you, it’s for Kaden. She asks, ‘So Kaden, why's a handsome young man like you single? Surely, there's some special young lady in your life?’”
Kyrin bursts out laughing and stares at him. “Yeah, my handsome brother, why is that?”
Kaden’s face turns a bit red and he shrugs. “Well, it’s not like there was anyone to have much interest in when we were at Tarvin Hall . . . not really, anyway. “
Kyrin looks surprised. “Not really? You mean there were some?”
“Well, yeah, I noticed some girls, but they were never the type that would have been good to take an interest in, especially not after we came to know Elôm.”
Kyrin’s still looking surprised. “I never knew that. So is anyone at camp catching your eye that you haven’t told me about?”
“Pretty much everyone is either married, much older than me, or much younger, so no. Besides, it’s not like we don’t have enough going on with the resistance. But, because I just know these Goodreads girls would want to know, I do hope to get married and have a family someday. It depends on what happens with Emperor Daican. And our author, of course. She’s really the deciding factor.”
I shake my head. “Generally, you’d be right, but you all have a habit of acting without my consent. Seriously, how many of you have fallen in love, and I had no say in the matter?”
They look at each other, and then Kaden faces me, his eyes narrowing. “Is it me?”
“Maybe, maybe not. Can’t say. But it happens a lot. Now, let’s see, next question. And this one is for me. Addyson wonders if gunpowder will ever be discovered in Ilyon. Well, I imagine so, eventually, but not within my story line.”
Kaden’s brows rise in interest. “What’s gunpowder?”
“Nothing.” For some reason the idea of him and gunpowder leads to images of havoc in my mind. “You have plenty of firepower with the dragons already, so we’ll just leave that for Ilyon’s future generations. Now Micailah has a couple of questions for me.”
“Finally,” Kaden mutters under his breath.
“Hey, remember, I didn’t make up these questions. I’m merely repeating them. So she wants to know how long it takes me to finish writing a book. That really depends on the book and what’s going on in my life. Average is between six months to a year. I have finished a couple in less than six months, but it’s hard to do that all the time. Micailah also wants to know if there’s an upcoming book I’m most looking forward to sharing with readers. Well, I’m really, really looking forward to sharing book three of Ilyon Chronicles. It’s a real turning point in the series for multiple reasons. It’s pretty intense at times and has a lot of emotional moments.” I glance at Jace, but quickly lower my eyes so I don’t make him too nervous about what’s to come. “It’s a book that answers a lot of the questions I get most frequently.
One more question from Micailah. She asks, as of right now, how many books will be part of Ilyon Chronicles. The answer to that is six books. It started at three, grew to seven, and then ended up as six when I combined books 2 and 3. Will there be any more stories beyond the main series? We shall just have to see, won’t we?” I wink.
“Okay, next question . . . Kyrin, Erika asks, ‘What are your views on purity/boundaries in relationships and how is that impacting your teenage years?’”
Kyrin sits silently thoughtful for a moment. “Well, purity is definitely not something that is taken very seriously by most of society. I didn’t hear much about it growing up in Tarvin Hall, but I was always uncomfortable by the way many women dress and some of the things that went on between the older students. It wasn’t until I came to know Elôm that I really had firm convictions about it. It’s certainly not a popular stance, but then I was never popular anyway.”
I nod. “Sounds a lot like my world.” I flip to the next card. “Here’s another question from Erika for you, Jace. Fears are crippling things and very difficult to experience. How would you feel about needing to face yours?”
“As she said, it would be difficult, but I’ve had to face many fears in my life.” He shrugs. “It’s not something I’ve ever been able to escape even when I wish I could.”
I shift my gaze to Kaden. “What kind of promotion or assignment do you think the emperor wanted to give you? How do you think you'd have handled that?”
“I’m sure he intended for me to do as Kyrin did and watch for and point out any threats. Even if he hadn’t tested my loyalty before I had a chance to do it, I doubt I would have been able to keep it up for long, especially if endangered someone.”
“And, knowing you, working that close to the emperor, you probably wouldn’t have been able to keep your opinions of him to yourself.”
He smirks. “Probably not.”
“Well, I’d say this was a good first session. Since I ended up with way more questions that I ever expected, I’ve decided to split it up into five posts. We’ve barely scratched the surface of the questions that were submitted, and we didn’t even get to the, well, most interesting of them. So we will all be back here tomorrow.”
I smile at everyone who looks either nervous or amused.