The Literary Vixen presents…
Joining us today is E.E. Hornburg! Her debut book, The Night’s Chosen (The Cursed Queens Book 1) released on October 6th 2020.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Oh man… I’m not sure if there was ever a specific “moment.” I’ve wanted to write and tell stories for as long as I can remember! I remember being in preschool and coming home mad that they hadn’t taught me to read yet, and doodling out stories on my church bulletin before I’d learned my letters. It’s something I’ve always known I would do.
What about the fantasy/fairytale genre interests you?
With fantasy, I love how we can go to another world where anything is possible! Or even our own world with a hidden side where we can cast spells or hang out with a vampire. Something completely new and different from our own lives could be right around the corner and we don’t even know it. We can also take ourselves on adventures that we never would in our own lives. Not many of us get the chance to go on epic quests or be heroes. In fantasy, we can do all of that. But while we’re in this imaginary world, through all of the magic and beasts and adventures we can explore our own world and lives and learn more about them. Fantasy helps us learn how to deal with our world once the book is closed.
Then with fairy tales, I love how no matter how old the tale is they are somehow timeless. I think I read once that the first version of Cinderella found is from 200 AD China. I find that amazing! There’s something about these classic tales that still speak to us today and they can be shaped and turned in so many different ways. It’s something that ties us together.
Where do you get your inspiration for your book?
Snow White has always been my favorite fairy tale. The Disney movie was the first one I ever saw in a movie theatre when I was two years old, and ever since I’ve devoured any version of it I could get my hands on. Way back in high school I was trying to figure out what I wanted to write a book about, and struggled with the old saying of “write what you know.” My sister then told me that I knew about Snow White, so I should write about her. Over the years, that book changed in so many ways. What is in people’s hands now is completely different than what I came up with back then, but a couple of the ideas are still in there. When I started this version, the idea came from when I was reading about the more obscure tale Snow White and Rose Red about two sisters, and I wondered what would happen if the Snow White in that story was the same one as in the tale with the seven dwarfs. Thus, her sister Rose was born and it branched off from there.
I’ve also always had a fascination with religion, and one of my favorite series is His Fair Assassin by Robin LaFevers, and I loved how she talked about different characters being dedicated to different saints (who were actually pagan gods and goddesses). I thought it was such an interesting way of looking at things and wanted to dig into it.
Do you ever research real events, legends, or myths to get ideas?
I’ve poured over Grimm’s fairy tales over and over for ideas! I also like to combine them and mix them up to see what happens. I did some research about people who worship the moon and sun as well to get inspiration for Eira’s faith. Those were my main focuses for The Night’s Chosen.
When you’re writing an emotionally draining (or sexy, or sad, etc) scene, how do you get in the mood?
When there’s a scene I know is going to be big emotionally and I have to put a lot into it, I make sure I start thinking about it long before I have to write it. There’s times when I’ll be at work and in the back of my mind I’m going over the scene on repeat, sometimes even down to the exact wording I’ll use for the opening sentences. That way, by the time I sit down to write, I’m excited to get going and I can get myself into the mindset when I need to. I also love to brainstorm characters and those emotional (or sometimes sexy or sad!) scenes while I drive. If I know I have a long drive ahead of me, I take that time to put on some music to fit the mood and think it all through. Music is a huge help. I don’t make playlists for each book I write, but I will have a song or two in mind for certain moods I need to get in.
Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?
I can’t share a lot yet – but I am laying the groundwork for The Cursed Queens book 2! Eira’s storyline will continue through the whole series, but each book will have a main focus on a different fairy tale/couple. I’ll let those who’ve read The Night’s Chosen to guess whose story will be next!
Do you have any fun Halloween experiences you can share with us?
I love Halloween! I think it’s the theatre kid in me because you can dress up and pretend to be someone you’re not. I have one friend whose birthday is close to Halloween so she’d pick a theme and we’d all dress up and go out to a bar. I think my favorite was Zombie Disney. I did a gender-bent Robin Hood and it was so much fun.
What advice would you give to other authors?
Learn. Learn. Learn. I can’t stop listening to podcasts or reading blogs or reading books about writing and the publishing industry. But don’t just research things you think are specific to what you’re doing. If you’re going the traditional route, still learn how indie and self-publishing goes. If you’re going the indie route, vise versa. You never know when you’re going to find something that’s going to be helpful to you. I got inspiration for my villain listening to a podcast about female criminals! And don’t be afraid to take chances. I’d submitted The Night’s Chosen to the PitchWars contect a few years ago and I didn’t make it. But because I worked hard to make that deadline and submitted it, I met some amazing people and it is directly because of those people it’s published now.
What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?
I love love! And not just romantic. (Even though you’ll find I love that too!) I love exploring what brings people together and the bonds of romance, family, and friendship. There’s so many different types of relationships and love, and I want to explore all of them.
Thank you E.E. Hornburg for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, The Night’s Chosen today!
Chosen of the Moon Goddess. Destined to rule. Fated to marry.
A quest to save her family, kingdom, and heart.
For the past five years Princess Eira has run from her impending wedding. As much as she loves her goddess and kingdom, she’s searched the kingdoms for another way to rule as queen someday while also choosing her own husband.
Yet, Eira’s claim to the crown falls into jeopardy when her father, King Brennus, is poisoned and fated to a sleep of living death and Eira is next on the assassin’s hit list – who happens to be her stepmother, Queen Amelia.
After Eira escapes Queen Amelia’s clutches she journeys to the northern Paravian mountains in search of an enchanted cup to save her father.
Her quest is more than she anticipated with evading Queen Amelia’s guards, traveling with the one man she shouldn’t be with, and having to bargain with the ancient dragon guarding the enchanted cup.
She’ll have to decide how to save her family and kingdom, even if it means sacrificing her heart and all she’s wanted her whole life.
If you like Sarah J Maas, Jennifer Estep, and Maxym Martineau, then you’ll love this adult fantastical retelling of the classic Snow White fairy tale.
Emily is a Chicago South-Sider, aunt to the best niece ever, a wheelchair “part-timer” with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, dog mom, Hufflepuff, coffee addict, and has a degree in youth and theatre ministry. When not devouring or creating books, you can find Emily watching Gilmore Girls (for the 20th time), belting out showtunes, attending the latest con, or brainstorming how she can go to Disney World (again).