I’ve been busy with final preparations for the release of Daughter of Aithne on May 1, including scheduling of blog tours and book blasts.
Blog tours often involve interviews and guest posts. I find interviews easier to complete than guest posts, so when preparing for a tour, I always start with the interviews (which often, in turn, give me ideas for blog posts).
I enjoy interviews; the questions asked compel me to reflect on the writers journey and the why’s and how’s of my latest novel. Sometimes I even gain unexpected insights about my own work.
My current set of interviews have me thinking a lot lately about why I wrote The Silver Web trilogy, including this third and final installment, Daughter of Aithne. I’ve realized that what seemed rather mundane and obvious just one year ago – writing a fantasy where powerful women call most of the shots – has now become something new and daring once again.
I’m not happy about this, because it’s a result, in part, of the social and political climate that has gripped our country. A short six months ago, I imagined Daughter of Aithne would be published in a world accustomed to seeing women run nations. I saw Eolyn’s fictional realm as a reflection of a society that had already begun to manifest itself – albeit through a democratic process rather than feudal rivalries.
By all appearances, we have instead rolled backwards into an age not unlike Eolyn’s medieval fantasy realm: where men who demean women are uplifted, and women who aspire to equality and fair treatment are despised and ridiculed. What seemed, not so long ago, an almost passé theme – the idea that women can not only aspire to but achieve respect and equality, even in the highest echelons of power – has suddenly become new and urgent, even insurgent, again.
One of my beta readers once told me that she saw The Silver Web as a metaphor for our own past, present and future. In her mind, the first book, Eolyn, tells the story of where we have come from as women; the second book, Sword of Shadows, reflects the dark, violent, and misogynistic world in which we live; and the third book, Daughter of Aithne, offers a vision of balance and reconciliation that one hopes will be achieved in the future.
I confess I’d never really seen my own work that way. Well, perhaps I had; it’s just that I believed we were on the verge of leaving Sword of Shadows behind, and Daughter of Aithne was less than a dream away. Now, I honestly don’t know.
I guess some dreams just take longer than others.