May 19, 2015
Hello readers! Welcome to the Cover Reveal for
Girl’s Can’t be Knights by Lee French
which releases on June 12, 2015!
Lee French also stops by with a quick Q&A which we hope you’ll enjoy!
Portland has a ghost problem.
Sixteen-year-old Claire wants her father back. His death left her only memories and an empty locket. After six difficult years in foster care, her vocabulary no longer includes “hope” and “trust.”
Everything changes when Justin rides his magical horse into her path and takes her under his wing. Like the rest of the elite men who serve as Spirit Knights, he hunts restless ghosts that devour the living.
When an evil spirit threatens Claire’s life, she’ll need Justin’s help to survive. And how could she bear the Knights’ mark on her soul? Everybody knows Girls Can’t Be Knights.
CxC: Hi Lee! Thanks so much for taking the time and spending time with us here at Chapter by Chapter!
LF: It’s a pleasure. This kind of thing is one of the most fun parts of being an author.
CxC: Describe Girls Can’t Be Knights in 140 characters or less (like a Tweet)
LF: To survive the attentions of a ravenous spirit, 16 year old Claire takes up her father’s ghost-hunting mantle.
CxC: What was your inspiration in writing Girls Can’t Be Knights? Was it in a dream? A thought while taking a walk?
LF: Les Miserables. I really love the musical, and the conflict between Valjean and Javert is incredibly inspiring and complex and fascinating. The story began as a riff on that, then mutated until the two men stepped back to let a teenage girl take the center stage. You can still see echoes of the original idea in the story. John Avery, a Portland Detective, is one of the antagonists.
CxC: Tell us about the main character(s) in Girls Can’t Be Knights.
LF: There are two main characters: Claire and Justin. Claire is a sixteen-year-old orphan. Her family died in a fire six years ago, and she’s been in foster care ever since. She has anger issues, trust issues, and desperately misses her father. Her need to rebel against the authorities she feels don’t listen or care manifests mostly in her clothing choices, which include mismatched striped socks in bright colors.
Justin is twenty-four, and he’s already overcome his own foster care hurdles. He’s happily married with a wife and two young daughters, and saddled with a job that doesn’t pay anything. His role is to take Claire under his wing as a mentor, protector, and father figure until she can stand on her own.
CxC: Do you have a favorite quote or specific part in the book that you really love?
LF: I really enjoy writing banter. This bit introduces Justin and his horse, Tariel:
Tariel’s silver hooves clopped along the city streets. On her back, Justin held a paper map, checking the street signs and trying to follow their progress with his finger. “Unless we’re really lost, it should be the next left.”
“That’s what you said at the last intersection.” The horse’s words came out as a whinny to anyone else.
“I know, but this time I’m sure.” He folded up the map and stowed it in the back pocket of his jeans. “One of these days, I’m going to get the hang of this job. And then I’ll be dangerous.”
“The world trembles in anticipation.” The mare raised her head and pranced.
Justin noticed a cluster of people with cameras pointed at him. Knowing he presented a perfect picture of a knight in shining armor, he waved with a jaunty smile. Tariel’s power stirred up around him, fluttering his long, emerald green cloak in a breeze and shining a ray of sunshine on the pair of them. The effect gave his audience a flash of his green-tinted chainmail and pauldrons while downplaying his work boots and jeans.
“I see a sign for the place,” Tariel said, “so we’ve mysteriously wound up where we meant to go. It’s a miracle.”
Under the scrutiny of onlookers, he refrained from thumping Tariel between the ears for her cheek. “Where I come from, we call that sass, and I get plenty from my wife. You can stuff it.”
“I assumed you liked it because you married her.”
“You can be an ass if you want, but I’d rather not.”
“Oh, your wit is rapier sharp today.”
“Funny.” He pulled on the reins to get her to stop across the street from the Oregon Historical Society. It had a green strip running between two one way streets, with statues and grass and trees and park benches. “Wait here and don’t cause any trouble.”
“No, of course not. That’s your thing.”
CxC: Was there a specific part in Girls Can’t Be Knights that you had an especially difficult time writing? If so, why?
LF: The hardest part of any book for me is the ending. It’s hard to take characters you like and wrap them up and walk away, even when you know there will be a sequel. On top of all that, it has to answer all the remaining questions and provide satisfaction and sing and dance and soar. It takes several tries.
CxC: What sort of projects do you have going on right now. Any new books coming out?
LF: I’m working on a second book in my fantasy setting, Ilauris, about a young woman who loses everything and pretends to be a man to take back what she can. It’s similar to what happens when you take a character like Joan of Arc or Mulan and put it in a culture based on Ancient Persia. I’m expecting it to release in September. At the same time, I’m working on a collaboration with singer/songwriter Ilana Harkavy for a young adult urban fantasy exploring one girl’s journey in dealing with the toxic image messages all around us. Hopefully, it’ll be ready to go in time for Christmas.
CxC: It was great having you on the blog today, Lee! We hope you’ll decide to stop by again someday, and we wish you much success in your writing future!!
LF: Thanks for hosting. This is a great readers’ site.