Tag Archives: Author Interview

Annie Lima’s Prince of Alasia: Interview with Prince Jaymin

Some of my readers may recall Ms. Lima, author of the Krillonian Chronicles among others, who herself barely escaped my author interview dungeon some time back. Completely unrepentant, she has continued her authoring ways and now is bringing forth a new series, The Annals of Alasia. I had the pleasure of reading The Nameless Soldier, which focuses on another character but in which Prince Jaymin makes an appearance. Here is an interview with Jaymin, to help celebrate the release of his novella in the Alasia series. Enjoy! And don’t forget to click on all the links below to find out more about Annie’s writing.

Interview with Prince Jaymin

I take a seat on the bench in the town square and wait for Prince Jaymin, who I have arranged to meet for an interview. It’s a cold, overcast winter afternoon here in the Alasian town of Drall, and the few townsfolk bustling around seem in a hurry to get home before it starts to snow.

Two boys emerge from the nearby marketplace and approach my bench. Both are dressed in tattered clothes and look cold and hungry, but the taller one manages to appear dignified in spite of his circumstances. His companion darts wary glances around as though checking the area for danger.

I rise to greet the prince as he arrives at my bench. “Your Highness, thank you for agreeing to meet with me.”

The other boy glares at me. “Don’t call him that out in public! Do you want to put him in even greater danger?”

But the young prince gives me a weary smile. “You’re welcome. Please call me Jay for now. No titles.” He glances at his friend. “Don’t worry, Erik. No one is close enough to overhear, and they won’t think anything of the three of us having a quiet conversation out here.” He turns back to me as we all take a seat. “Unfortunately, we have no better meeting place to offer. So, what did you want to ask me?”

Q: Your High- er, Jay, condolences of course on the loss of your parents. Can you tell us how it happened?

He lowers his gaze, obviously reliving an unpleasant memory. “The Malornians attacked our palace. Sir Edmend, one of my father’s advisors, managed to get Erik and me out. We barely avoided all the soldiers, but it wasn’t until we were entering the secret tunnel from the cellar that I realized why my parents weren’t with us.” He clears his throat and swallows hard.

Q: I’m sure you did not expect to be burdened with rulership so early in life. What thoughts guide you in these early days, and who has proven a trustworthy advisor?

“Well, I don’t know what I’d do without my friend and bodyguard Erik, here.” He indicates the other boy. “These last few weeks have been the first time I’ve ever gone anywhere or done anything without guards and servants, not to mention my parents. Sir Edmend got us safely out of the palace and the capital and found us a room to rent here where I could blend in with ordinary Alasians, but he couldn’t stay. While he’s off learning more about what happened and how we might be able to strike against the Malornians, Erik helps me figure out how to blend in and keeps me alive. We‘ve had several close calls with the soldiers stationed here in Drall.” He shudders. “I know they’re searching for me. But as challenging as life is here, one of the hardest parts is imagining what it will be like when – or if – I eventually reclaim my kingdom. I never imagined becoming king while still a boy, but if we manage to drive the enemy out, I’ll have to. I’ve always looked forward to the day the crown would be mine, of course, and yet I don’t feel anywhere close to ready. Alasia needs a strong ruler, especially after the Invasion, and my father left big shoes to fill.” He sighs.

Q: No one seems to know why Malorn attacked as it did. What can you tell us about the cause of the invasion?

“I have no idea.” Now Prince Jaymin looks angry. “We never did anything to harm Malorn. I mean, everyone knows about the occasional border skirmishes over the last few decades, but those have always been minor. They invaded our land with absolutely no provocation. None!”

Q: We hear reports that the Alasian army was ambushed and took heavy losses. What can you tell us about the plan to recover your kingdom?

“Well, we don’t have a full plan yet. Sir Edmend stopped by a week or so ago and reported that some of the soldiers did survive, which was a huge relief to hear. Apparently they’ve regrouped and are hiding in the Southern Woods, training and preparing to strike against the enemy. General Dirken is one of the survivors, so I know what’s left of the army is in good hands. I sent word to him through Sir Edmend that they should consider using the secret tunnel through which we escaped to attack the palace from the inside. That’s where the enemy has their headquarters. I’m not sure when they’ll be ready, but when the time comes, Sir Edmend is going to come and fetch me and take me to speak to the soldiers.” He smiles at the thought. “So far, only the general knows that I’m alive. I hope the troops will be excited to see me and relieved to know that a member of Alasia’s royal family is still alive after all. I plan to make an inspiring speech and perhaps give them even more drive to succeed.”

Erik glares at his friend. “You shouldn’t have told him all that. How do we know he isn’t working for the Malornians?”

“He doesn’t look or sound Malornian,” the prince protests. He turns to me. “I trust you’ll keep everything I’ve said in confidence.”

“You’ll regret it if you don’t,” the young bodyguard adds, rising to his feet. His tone is menacing, and now I notice the bulging muscles under his ragged tunic. “We should go,” he says to the prince.

His companion nods and stands as well. “It was a pleasure meeting you.”

I barely have a chance to thank him for his time before the prince and his bodyguard are out of earshot. I watch as they disappear into the marketplace once more.

The Annals of Alasia Series

Annie Douglass Lima plans four books in the set, in a technique I call “Surrounded Plot”, where you see the tale from separate PoVs. She tells me you can begin with any book in the series, as each one provides new information but also stands alone. I absolutely love that stuff! (My Shards of Light series is also Surrounded Plot, but only the first two books really stand alone, then the plot thickens too far). I encourage you to try out one or more of these tales, which have an air like the classic Lloyd Alexander Taran Wanderer books.

Check Out Prince of Alasia available now!

Twelve-year-old Prince Jaymin, heir to the throne of Alasia, barely escapes with his life when invaders from neighboring Malorn attack. Accompanied by his young bodyguard, Jaymin flees to a nearby town to live in hiding. There, surrounded by the enemy soldiers searching for the missing prince, his life depends on his ability to maintain his disguise.

As the danger intensifies and the Malornians’ suspicions grow, Jaymin seeks desperately for a way to save his kingdom and himself. Then he stumbles upon a startling discovery that will challenge his assumptions and forever change his view of Malorn and the events that altered his life.

Prince of Alasia is the first book in the Annals of Alasia, but the series can be read in any order, and each book can stand on its own.

Books by Annie Douglass Lima:

Author Dungeon: The Interrogation of Annie Lima

:: COUGH-COUGH-aHACK-hack-hack :: Great Zook, what a disaster! Dust the entryway and the rack, leave the curtains and forge alone for now. Hurry, dolt, we have a guest. Look at these manacles! The thumb-screws have rusted solid, where on the green earth is that dratted oil can…

After a long hiatus I’m pleased to reopen my author interview dungeon, this time for a veteran of such treatment, Annie Lima. She knew what could happen, and yet she agreed to give me another crack at interrogation. I said, another crack… blast, the leather’s all rotted. Find me some wood blocks to slap together, and show her in. :: COUGH-COUGH-hack ::, drat this mess, I’ll get bronchitis for sure.

Q: Welcome, welcome Ms. Lima, just settle back there. Uncomfortable? Marvelous. Now then! We begin where we left off some time ago, on this completely heretical notion of yours of a modern world with what appears to be gladiatorial combat. And it continues in The Student and the Slave?  Confess! Is this world of yours dystopian?

A: The setting is similar to that of a dystopian novel, but technically this world isn’t dystopian. It’s a whole different world that has never been connected to ours (even though it’s very similar in many ways).

Q: Not dystopian? But, but, slavery, young persons forced to do combat for entertainment. What else is this, Iron Chef Junior?

A: I think the problem at the heart of society is the basic idea that my needs and desires are more important and I matter more than they do. Without that basic mindset, slavery would never have been allowed to exist in the Krillonian Empire. Of course, thinking back through our own world’s history, you could argue that that same mindset has been at the root of every social injustice and societal conflict since the dawn of time.

Q: Aha! A classic case of whataboutism if I ever heard one.

A: And I don’t think I’d want to live in the Krillonian Empire. The prevalence of slavery would be too disturbing. Of course, it would be fun to watch an occasional cavvara shil match, or maybe even learn the martial art myself.

Sorry, word association…

Q: I still say this is completely unorthodox: slavery has no place in society, only in the privacy of our own homes. And speaking of that, tell us now on your honor, how does the existence of slavery affect the role of the family?

A: Enslaved families can be ripped apart at any time when one of their members is sold. Free families have it much better, of course, but when they own slaves, their kids tend to grow up without learning much personal responsibility. Not having to do chores or pick up after themselves, and being able to order adults around, tends to produce some unpleasant characteristics (as we see in the character of Raymond).

Q: By the rules you just laid down I think my child may qualify an owner. Is your hero fighting for the same things classic fantasy heroes have fought for?

A: Classic fantasy heroes tend to fight for good to triumph over evil in one form or another. It’s the same in this book. My two heroes, Bensin and Steene, are both fighting for freedom from captivity and injustice (Steene for his own, Bensin for Steene’s). In addition, both struggle toward the goal of their family being reunited. Bensin also struggles to make the right choice when he is caught in an ongoing moral dilemma (raising the money needed for Steene’s rescue and to provide for his little sister, when the only paying job he can find involves providing combat training to members of a dangerous street gang).

If I told you this photo was doctored…

Q: Ahh, now that’s more like it, a marvelously painful dilemma. How I wish I’d thought of that one. How do you get out of being a slave anyway? Is there any chance at all except through winning at the games?

A: Actually, winning at the games doesn’t set a gladiator free.

Q: Whaat? How cruel! Lady, you can be the substitute torturer around here, are you any good with dusting?

A: It just allows him to stay alive a little longer as an enslaved gladiator. Most slaves don’t have the combat skills to go anywhere near the arenas, though (luckily for them). The only way they can legally leave their life of slavery is if they are allowed to hire themselves out on their weekly day off and save their money until they can one day purchase their freedom – assuming their owner is inclined to sell them, of course. Kind owners do occasionally set their own slaves free, but that’s rare. In recent months, though, another possibility has opened up. Tarnestra has become the first province to outlaw slavery, meaning that if a slave anywhere in the Krillonian Empire manages to escape and get there, he or she won’t be sent back and cannot legally be recaptured. However, Tarnestra is now full of homeless and hungry former slaves looking for work, so freedom has not been quite the “happily-ever-after” that many people hoped. (This is the situation that Bensin now finds himself in.)

Q: I see, quite interesting. How hard would it be to pick up this book without reading the prequels?

A: Someone who hadn’t read the first two books in the trilogy would still be able to understand this one. Early on in the story, I do refer back to enough of what came before that things would make sense. However, I think readers would get the sense that they haven’t gotten the full story, so I would definitely recommend reading the trilogy in order if at all possible.

Q: We can facilitate that I think. Here are all the links you need to pick up this wonderful series, which has a new volume coming out now. And you can also contact Annie Lima (that is, once I get her hands out of this manacle- where’s that accursed oil!)

::COUGH, hack ::

Click here to order The Student and the Slave from Amazon for $2.99 a discounted price of just 99 cents through November 31st!

Connect with the Author Online:

Email: AnnieDouglassLima@gmail.com

Blog: https://anniedouglasslima.blogspot.com

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Amazon Author Page: https://bit.ly/AnnieDouglassLimaOnAmazon

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