Sword and Silk Books is excited to welcome Alys Murray
Her novel, Almost Queen, is a NA Fantasy Romance, comparable to Serpent and Dove, A Court of Thorns and Roses, and The Winter King.
A witch and an accidental King enter into a dangerous marriage of convenience to try and build a better world.
The Witch Needs Her Freedom.
Ellara Wist, one of the many witches that fought on the losing side of the war, has no intentions of returning to Outerland when it is finished and she has no intention of letting her fellow witches suffer either. So, during her sentencing for war crimes against the kingdom of Aulen, she boldly offers their new king a proposal: she’ll join the king’s court as his own personal sorceress in exchange for the lives and freedom of those trapped in Outerland.The King Needs a Wife.
Terran didn’t want to be king. But after years of war and the loss of almost his entire family, he will not put the crown aside. But when a witch from his past offers herself as a sacrifice, he sees her as an equal. So, he instead counters her offer with one of his own: Don’t be my sorceress. Be my Queen.And the deal they strike will change their world forever.
Desperate, Ellara agrees, swearing to herself that she could never love him. But as time reveals the man she’s married not as the monster everyone thought he was and danger draws them closer together, she finds her vow almost impossible to keep.
Alys Murray is a screenwriter and author from New Orleans, Louisiana. She believes in shooting stars, big breakfasts, and the idea that anyone can be a hero. Find out more at https://alysmurray.com/
An Introductory Interview with Alys
Tell us a bit about yourself!
Hi! My name is Alys Murray and I'm the author of The Almost Queen. I'm an author and screenwriter (you may have seen my work on Hallmark or Lifetime!) from New Orleans, Louisiana. I’m a big believer in black-and-white movies, big breakfasts and the idea that anyone can become a hero.
Where did the inspiration for your book come from?
I’ve always loved fantasy, but as a plus-sized reader, reading fantasy sometimes proved difficult and disappointing. How many times could I read about “waifish” heroines who were dismissed as “too skinny” and who could easily disguise as a boy just by pinning their hair back and throwing on a pair of trousers?
So, in an attempt to write a plus-sized fantasy heroine, I eventually came up with the idea for The Almost Queen. Something that’s a little bit Narnia, a little bit Game of Thrones, a little bit fairy tale. A story that I would devour if I ever found it on the shelf!
What is your writing process? Plotter or Panster? Are you a morning or evening writer? What is your tried and true method for getting words on the page?
Always first thing in the morning! If it isn’t done by ten a.m., then it’s probably not getting done! I’ve tried many ways to get words on the page—begging them, offering sacrifices for them to magically appear—but the only tried and true method I’ve ever found is just sitting down and hashing out the story, one word at a time.
One of my favorite methods for breaking writer’s block is to go on one of those kids’ typing games, the ones that are supposed to improve typing speeds, and play those until I feel ready to write. Something about getting in the physical rhythm of writing can unlock my creativity and let it free!
Authors often impart pieces of themselves into their stories. Which character best reflects you? Do you share any personality traits with your protagonist?
Ellara, our heroine, is definitely a reflection of me. I wanted readers who look like me— a plus size woman—to finally have some representation in this space. I’m definitely not as brave or badass as she is, and I don’t have magical powers like her, but I hope that, besides her looks, I also gave her some of her compassion and hope.
What drew you to the NA genre, as an author?
When I was younger, I was an avid YA reader, and moving more into the adult spaces as I got older (I’m 25 now), I have really missed a lot of what I loved about YA. The complex world-building and the imagination. Sometimes, adult romance can feel a little prescriptive - readers know what they like, and they want that thing in as many forms as they can get it! I’m the same way! But New Adult has allowed me to blend the best of both worlds—the fantastical and the strange with the sexy and the adult—to create something that I hope is truly special!
If you could give your teenage self one piece of advice what would it be?
One day, you’re going to have a life, a love, a career and a body that you’re proud of. Don’t make yourself sick trying to get there faster.