Sultana: Two Sisters.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
The novel is a sequel to my Moorish Spain series, which started in Sultana and continued in Sultana’s Legacy. It picks up almost ten years after the events of Sultana’s Legacy where Yusuf, the grandson of my main characters in the earlier books, rules in Granada and his wives vie to put each of their sons on the throne. There are two minor characters from the earlier books who make an appearance here. Sorry to disappoint anyone who hoped for more of the earlier characters, but they had died by the time this new novel begins. However, the repercussions of their actions have a profound (you should read that as troubling) effect on Yusuf's reign. Don't say you weren't warned.
What genre does your book fall under?
Historical biographical – it’s what I write!
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Again, I don’t think of actors in the roles of my characters, but if I must:
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
In fourteenth-century Moorish Spain, two former friends become bitter rivals in a contest for the throne.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I started in March and finished in August, so six months. The groundwork for a lot of this novel came about when I was writing the earlier books, so the story felt almost as if it wrote itself.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Do my own in Sultana and Sultana’s Legacy count?
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to see how well my earlier books on the period would do before writing Sultana: Two Sisters. My fascination with Moorish Spain and its rulers continues. I don’t know why this period isn't as popular as that of the Tudors; it’s rife with dynastic rivalry, ambitions, betrayals and vengeance within a kingdom hemmed in on all sides by Christian and Muslim rivals. I have a very small goal in mind: to put Moorish Spain “on the map” and make it as familiar to my readers as other historical eras and locales.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
The sensuality and harsh cruelty of harem life is equally as fascinating as the politics outside those secluded walls. Butayna and Maryam shared a life with Yusuf, but each had contrasting ambitions that could only culminate in a violent clash between them. I hope readers will find their rivalry and the dynamics each shares with Yusuf fascinating.