Today we’ll hear from Janeen Ippolito, editor, publisher, teach, author coach, and author of a number of books including the upcoming Faithless.
What’s Faithless? It’s the latest installment in the Ironfire Legacy series, and, well, here’s the back cover copy:
One wild night, Shance Windkeeper discovers he’s married to a death unicorn.
But that’s the least of his troubles.
As an agent for the Lawless, Shance is working with dragonshifters Kesia Ironfire and Zephryn Nightstalker, trying to end the dragon-human war and the organization that masterminded it. While on a mission in the Scepter of Knowledge, the Lawless is hit with a devastating death unicorn attack.
Out of the wreckage new allies emerge: Lirome Ukerys, and his twin sister Maira, the death unicorn queen—Shance’s long-lost wife.
Recently freed from captivity, Maira is fighting to regain control of her herd. Lurien Alistil, a rogue death unicorn, has bespelled the Scepter of Knowledge and taken Maira’s son. When Kesia unexpectedly challenges Lurien to a public debate over the fate of the city, the Lawless has a chance to break the usurper’s hold. To obtain vital information they must infiltrate her lair—and as the husband of the death unicorn queen, Shance Windkeeper is the perfect prize to go in.
But Lurien’s power is stronger and more insidious than they realize. And if the final pieces of her plan fall into place, not even Shance’s newfound Talents and knowledge will be enough to stop her.
A steampunk fantasy adventure with much intrigue, unexpected romance, sudden tragedy, and a snarky cat-dragon.
Cool, right? Here’s some book chat direct from Janeen!
What inspired Faithless?
Faithless in particular was inspired by the profound idea that I have signed a contract for a five-book series with Uncommon Universes Press.
Haha, I was also quite giddy to bring dragons, death unicorns, and a cat-dragon all together in one book. And this book uses some heavily-tweaked plot ideas from an obscure Grimm fairy tale, The True Bride, and those were a ton of fun.
And after the intro book that was Lawless, it’s been great to dig a lot more deeply into the story, character arcs, and world of The Ironfire Legacy.
Which books or authors have influenced you the most?
Too many to name! So I won’t. ?
What is your writing process like?
A lot of starts and stops. Days and days of steady work, and then maybe a few days off, and then a day of writing four hours straight—and then maybe I get stuck and don’t write for a week. I like deadlines, but I tend to resist too much regimenting of the process to get to that deadline.
What gave you the most difficulty when writing Faithless?
Oh, I had to do a number of Hard Things in Faithless that pushed me to the limit. One of them is a major spoiler—and it made even the marketing for Faithless a challenge!
What is your favorite writing fuel?
A glass of water. Sometimes with ice. Occasionally I shake things up with some iced tea or wine or a mixed drink, but usually just plain water.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from this book?
Hope in the face of tragedy and personal faithlessness. And strength from community and the grace there. The necessity of a cat-dragon for life.
Also, I hope readers immediately have a desire for more books!
What’s your next project?
I’m working on Destroyer, the first book in a prequel duology set in Elotrin, the country to the south of Sekastra where The Ironfire Legacy takes place. Destroyer takes place about fifty years before the events of Lawless and shows how Maira Ukerys and Shance Windkeeper met under terrible circumstances, and then teamed up to destroy the evil city of the self-made gods. And also, there’s Ademis the cat-dragon. And Lirome the Death Unicorn of Judgement when he’s a little less weighed down by the world.
This book has been a long time coming, so I’m excited to see it finished!