It’s here! After some bumps and bruises, the Captive King has a cover! Daqri from Covers by Combs did the art, and my human is super happy with it.
This story touches on so many things she likes about fiction. She’s been able to play in a sandbox, blending fact and fiction to make an alternative history, one filled with magic, curses, and the brutality of the ancient world.
She also got to learn a bunch of new things about modern and ancient cultures, and she’s tried really hard to mix and match reality with her desire for the story.
And no, this is not a King Midas story. You will find a lot of references to the Nahua, Mayan, and Ch’olti’, however.
Note: Ch’olti is technically a dialect of Mayan; in the Captive King, Mayan refers to as the predominant branch of Mayan. Ch’olti is an extinct version of Mayan, where the Mayan referenced is still spoken today. This is a fun fact that isn’t delved into the book at length, so I’m happy to tell you this! My human is so fascinated with the Nahau, the Mayan, and the various other lost Mesoamerican cultures. Some of you might be giving me the stinkeye for using Mesoamerican instead of Meso-American or MesoAmerican, but my human went with Mesoamerican because that’s what her favorite encyclopedia (hint: not wikipedia) uses.
Too much fun facting? Okay. We’re done with the fun facting.
Let’s move on to the other part of this post, the one where I discuss some of my human’s plans for the future.
She has been challenged to set some goals–and step outside of her comfort zone and ask for direct support from other humans.
Predictably, while my human was able to do this in a small scale, it falls to me to do the public asking, as she’s a furless chicken. I’m waiting for her to start squawking. I mean, really, human. What’s the worst that can happen?
Other humans can say no and perhaps mock you a bit?
… and that describes my human’s worst nightmare in a single question. But, I stray.
My human had several issues trying to step outside of her comfort zone for this challenge. First, she didn’t have a goal she could ask direct support from other humans for. She was going to try for a bestseller list run for Huntress, but I’m being realistic here: it’s not happening.
It’s not that my human is afraid of work. It’s not that. It’s not that my human is afraid of failure. She expects that. I think it’s more that my human has made as many plans as possible around not bothering people.
Bothering people requires a certain amount of extroverting behaviors on her part, and she is so not good at this.
My human has decided that her goal for this year is to have one of her titles reach 100 full-priced sales on release day without help of a preorder. For purpose of this, it is the day I send a missive for my human announcing a novel’s release!
On February 12, the Captive King releases. It goes to the editor very soon, much to my human’s dismay, as she still has a lot of work left to do on the book. The holidays screwed up her schedule. She’s also sick, which isn’t helping anything. Poor human.
Can my human find 100 other humans who are willing to gamble on her writing skills and all buy the book on February 12? It would make my human’s heart happy–and meet the requirement for her to step outside of her comfort zone on this challenge.
It would probably help if my human wrote a description for the Captive King.
We’ll just call it a novel surprise, and I’ll leave you with this small snippet of the book for your enjoyment…
“The last time a woman attended an auction looking like she’d just come in from the fields, she charmed herself a king,” a man murmured behind me.
The last thing I needed was to be compared to the talk of the entire auction, the future wife of Montana’s king. I scowled, clutching the polished wooden box containing the jade necklace to my chest. “I was at a temple, not a field.”
A field would’ve been a lot nicer; in some ways, I appreciated the respite from the smothering jungle humidity and the incessant attention of loving mosquitos.
“A temple? Were they having a mud-wrestling competition?”
I bit the bullet and turned to face him. Like every other man present at the auction, he wore a suit, although his was navy rather than the standard black. Unlike everyone else, he wore a plain black mask, just enough to cover his face so he couldn’t be readily identified. I found his lack of feathers, gemstones, and trappings reassuring.
He was either like me, a goose stuck among swans, or he was an elite with no fucks left to give about what anyone thought of him. Either way, it worked in my favor.
He was just different enough I might be able to get an intelligible conversation out of him.
Then I noticed his pin, which declared him as Bachelor #103, placing him firmly in the category of the type of man my boss wanted me to sell the precious jade necklace to.