Today I'm very pleased to welcome L. Blankenship back sharing about her new release, Disciple: Part V.
Disciple is a six-part, gritty fantasy romance -- the fifth part of the series has just hit the electronic bookshelves. Kate Carpenter is a peasant girl determined to serve her homeland as a healer in wartime. She never thought the crown prince and a ne'er-do-well knight would notice her along the way.
Disciple, Part V involves some political intrigue: one of my main characters, Kiefan, desperately needs to negotiate an alliance with the queen of the neighboring kingdom but she will not even talk to him at the beginning of the story. The queen is wrestling with problems of her own. Writing political intrigue is a delicate balancing act, though.
1. There's a lot of background to lay out. Every writer knows how difficult info-dumps can be, and they're impossible to avoid when you need to explain how the situation got to this point. Or when you need the reader to have an idea of how many subtle influences the characters need to keep in their heads.
2. Closely tied to the background are the characters' motivations in the situation. Motivations need to be clear and reasonable, but that can lead to long internal monologues which are just as bad as info-dumps.
3. In order to maintain story tension, there need to be visible consequences for failure. So while political intrigue tends to take the form of conversations and info-dumps, there does still need to be action as the game plays out. Things still need to get worse before they get better.
Even with four previous parts of Disciple, it was challenging to write. I wasn't entirely sure Kiefan could manage it, to be honest -- but with war looming on the horizon again, he had to do whatever was necessary.
Kate faces winter with a broken heart: betrayed by one lover, the other lost to her.
Kiefan will not give up on the alliance his kingdom desperately needs — even though the Caer queen refuses to speak to him.
Anders, alone and despairing, faces the Empress’s seductive offers of power and privilege.
Each of them must carry the ongoing war in their own way, whether cold, alone, or backed into a corner. Each must patch together a broken heart as best they can. Duty will throw them together soon enough and they must be ready.
On sale now!
Read Disciple, Part I for FREE
Disciple, Part VI
ends the series early next year!