Can you tell us a little about the characters in The Sand Prince?
Since this is an epic fantasy series, there are a lot of characters! Half of them live in a world similar to our own, in the sophisticated human city of Mistra. The others live in the war-ravaged ruins of the demon realm of Eriis. Rhuun is the half human, half human demon prince of that kingdom. He has pretty severe social anxiety and a drinking problem. Now, when I tell people that they often laugh, and that’s a really important key to understanding Rhuun. He’s been treated as something of a joke for most of his life. His people are magical, and he hasn’t got the knack. They all have wings, they can fly—but not him. He may be kind and curious but those aren’t necessarily the qualities his mother the queen is looking for in an heir. The books follow his journey from disappointment to…well, that would be giving it away!
My other main character is a young lady (a human, this time) who might be considered an heiress. Lelet lives in a time and place where her ‘job’ is to marry well and not embarrass her family—and she’s failing pretty spectacularly on both counts. She dreams about adventure, and when she meets Rhuun, she gets about as much adventure as she can handle. Her journey takes her from boredom and fighting with her siblings to (I’ll spoil this one) a pretty ferocious warrior.
I wanted queer characters in both the demon and human worlds, and I got to explore how they were treated depending on where they lived. I was given a challenge by a friend to create a world without homophobia, and so the demon society doesn’t have that concept. But I wanted to avoid my hero’s best friend being secretly in love with him (that’s pretty played.) Once I ‘got’ the character of Ilaan and heard his voice, he was a delight to write. I think he gets most of the best lines in the books. He’s certainly one of the most powerful magic users.