15 Things to Know About The Duchess Quest

*This blog entry is a re-post from the former blog on my website, CKBrooke.com, from June 28, 2014, featuring the cover art revealed on August 8, 2014.

DuchessQuest_ebook_1400x21001. What’s the genre? 

Adventure/romance (with a hint of fantasy!)

2. Audience/age range? 

Adult, or high school & up.

3. What’s it about? 

The story centers around a lost Duchess of a fictional nation. She was secretly rescued from her execution during her country’s Revolution. Now, three distinctly different men – who cannot stand one another! – must journey together to find her, and eventually compete to wed her.

4. What’s the setting? 

It takes place on a fictional continent, throughout which the main characters must travel. The era is fictional, but would most resemble something historical, like the Renaissance or Enlightenment eras. There is some crude technology, but no electricity, cars, or guns, for example.

5. What inspired you? 

I’ve been fascinated with Anastasia Romanov, the last Grand Duchess of Russia, since my adolescence, and was long intrigued by the possibility of her having survived her execution (until her remains were found – in 2006, I think). I wanted to write a novel about if the Grand Duchess of some great country really did survive, and design a sort of love story around that.

6. What/who were your influences? 

J. K. Rowling, of course, is my biggest influence! But also Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon. I’m a lover of cinema, and was influenced by my favorite movies as well, like Pirates of the Caribbean, Lord of the Rings, and Fox’s animated feature, Anastasia. Oh- and The Princess Bride!

7. How long is the book, and how long did it take you to write? 

Two months to type the initial draft, which clocked in at a staggering 165,000 words (almost 700 pages). Then, nearly a year of editing after that, to pare it down to a more marketable word count of around 90,000 words.

8. Did you receive a lot of rejection? 

Trying to get this book published taught me the MEANING of rejection – 164 times, to be exact! But each rejection was necessary, and taught me something new, ultimately helping me perfect my manuscript. After tons of hard work, following every bit of advice I received, and re-writing the novel multiple times, I finally got the offer letter I’d been striving for. My motto is to never, EVER give up on your dream!

9. You said there’s a hint of fantasy. Are there wizards and magic? 

No wizards, vampires or magic. I wanted to tell a great adventure/romance on its own merits, without the use of paranormal or magical content (not that I don’t generally enjoy those kinds of books). The only thing “fantasy” is that the time and place are entirely fictional.

10. Is there violence, language, or sex? 

Some violence, but nothing graphic. There may be light swearing, but I’ve refrained from anything too obscene. There is, however, a good deal of innuendo, and a little sex. It is a romance, after all! But it’s not 50 Shades. 🙂

11. When will it be released, and in what format(s)? 

The official date has not yet been set. But Like me on Facebook and/or follow me on WordPress and Twitter, and you’ll be the first to know the release date! It’ll be available in paperback and e-book formats (including Kindle, Nook, iBooks, etc.) online and to order anywhere books are sold.

12. Can I pre-order it?

This is a possibility. I’ll alert you via social media as soon as it’s available for pre-order!

13. Has the cover art already been designed?

Yes, and it is GORGEOUS, stunning, breathtaking! I am so excited to share very soon. [Update since original post: It’s been included at the top of this post.]

14. Who’s your publisher?

48fourteen is an independent publisher. They offer paperbacks and e-books of all their exciting, genre-bending titles. Check them out at www.48fourteen.com, or Like their Facebook page.

15. Did you say there’s a sequel?

Yes! The Duchess Inheritance (Jordinia: Book 2), will be released a few months after The Duchess Quest. Stay tuned!