Today I am interviewing K.B. Wagers, debut author of the new science fiction novel, Behind the Throne, first book in the Indranan War trilogy.
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DJ: Hey K.B! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
K.B. Wagers: Thanks! It’s nice to be here.
I am a tragically unhip, tattooed Coloradoan, who’s owned by four cats. I have a degree in Russian studies from CU Boulder that seems to impress my potential employers and means I can talk about how much I dislike Tolstoy until people’s eyes cross. I like weightlifting and whiskey, and I am terrified of heights.
DJ: What were some of your influences for Behind the Throne and the Indranan War trilogy?
KBW: I’d love to claim that Star Wars played an influential role, but really if it did it was all subconsciously. *laughs* Instead the two major Sanskrit epics from ancient India—the Mahabharata and the Raymayana—were influential factors as well as a movie called Seven Days in May from 1964. I was also putting the finishing touches on it when Mad Max: Fury Road came out and I think that ended up having an impact on the final pace of the book.
DJ: What is Behind the Throne about?
KBW: Behind the Throne is about a woman wrestling with her past, her love of family, and her sense of duty. Hail’s very much the prodigal daughter come home. No one is happy about her return, least of all her; but as it turns out she’s the only hope Indrana has left. The book is about her coming to terms with what must be done to save her empire and coming to terms with the fact that she couldn’t save her family from their fate.
DJ: The Indranan War trilogy is being described as “An action-packed, Star Wars-style science fiction adventure trilogy.” That sounds amazing! Where do you think this comparison came from?
KBW: *laughs* Honestly, I am not really sure. I think credit belongs with someone on the team at Orbit because it wasn’t a comparison that I had in my brain at any point during the writing of the book. I think it’s great!
DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers would sympathize with them?
KBW: Hail’s got a smart mouth, and she’s lived the last twenty years around criminals and other people of questionable character. However, she’s never really lost the poise and education that was hammered into her before she left home. She’s got a temper and can be quite nasty when provoked enough to react, but everything she does is very carefully thought out before she does it. So she’s really not someone you want to mess with.
DJ: What is the universe for the Indranan War trilogy like?
KBW: Pashati is the main planet of the binary star system of Ashvin. It’s one of two habitable planets in the system that was settled several thousand years in the future by colonists primarily from India, but also from Pakistan, China, Japan and other assorted smaller countries in the region. At one point it was part of the Solarian Conglomerate which is a massive organization of planets attached to Earth.
It’s an Earth-like planet, meaning the weather patterns and environs are very similar. The action all takes place in the capital city, which is on the coast, so one could reference New York for an idea of how the weather is in the area.
The society itself is a matriarchal monarchy. I looked at the influences of British colonialism on India’s development but also tried to imagine a world where, through circumstance and some very strong personalities, would have developed into a woman-led society.
DJ: What was your favorite part about writing Behind the Throne?
KBW: The relationship that develops between Hail, Emmory, and Zin. The original draft of the story had a very different tone and some very different results. When I tore it apart to rewrite it after a rejection, I came at it from the opposite direction and I love what it did to the three of them.
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?
KBW: The pace. One of my favorite things about books are the ones that you can’t seem to put down and you end up reading them through to the end only to realize it’s 4 a.m. and you have to be at work in three hours.
DJ: What is your goal in writing the Indranan War trilogy? Behind the Throne is only the first book, but is there a particular message or meaning you are hoping to get across to readers when it is finally told?
KBW: I don’t have a specific message or goal. I want to tell stories that people enjoy. I’m looking to make people laugh, hold their breath, even cry and curse me a bit. *grins* To me, the most important thing for a writer to remember is you have no control over what the reader decides to get out of it, and that’s okay. Everyone’s going to come away with something different from it.
DJ: When I read, I love to collect quotes – whether it be because they’re funny, foodie, or have a personal meaning to me. Do you have any favorite quotes from Behind the Throne that you can share with us?
KBW: I am the same way. I love quotes (and have more than a few tattooed on me). It’s always a challenge to come up with an answer to this question, but I’d have to say this one has always made me laugh: “Princess, gunrunner—let’s be honest—they’re two sides of the same coin.”
DJ: Now that Behind the Throne is released, what is next for you?
KBW: The sequel, After the Crown, is coming in December, and the third book will be out at the end of 2017, so I’m currently still working on both of those books. After that, we’ll see. I’ve got a suitcase full of characters and ideas that I’ve been packing around for close to twenty years. I’m pretty sure some of them are going to make an appearance after Hail has her run.
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/K.-B.-Wagers/e/B01DMVYWB6/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about Behind the Throne that we haven’t talked about yet?
KBW: Nothing comes to mind, but if they have questions after they read it they can always hit me up on Twitter for an answer!
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!
KBW: Thank you for having me! And thanks to all the folks who read the book, I hope they enjoy it.
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*** Behind the Throne is published by Orbit and is available TODAY!!! ***
Buy the Book:
Amazon | Barnes & Nobel | Goodreads | Kobo
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“Excellent SF adventure debut.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review
Hail Bristol has made a name for herself in the galaxy for everything except what she was born to do: rule the Indranan Empire
When she is dragged back to her home planet to take her rightful place as the only remaining heir, she finds that trading her ship for a palace is her most dangerous move yet.
K.B. Wagers lives and runs in the shadow of Pikes Peak. She loves flipping tires and lifting heavy things. She’s especially proud of her second-degree black belt in Shaolin Kung Fu and her three Tough Mudder completions. When not writing science fiction she can be found wrangling cats with her husband or trying to keep up with her teenaged son.