Hello and welcome to my stop on The Hero’s Journey book tour Rachanee Lumayno’s Heir of Amber and Fire, organized by Escapist Book Tours! I am thrilled to kick things off by sharing a guest post from Rachanee where she talks about the influences behind the book! You’ll find that, as well as details about the book and author, and links so you can pick up a copy for yourself down below!
Before we get into the guest post, be sure to take a look at the schedule posted above so you can follow along throughout the week, as we have a bunch of great hosts lined up and ready share all kinds of content about Heir of Amber and Fire! Also, make sure you stick around to the bottom of the post as Rachanee has prepared some goodies especially for the tour.
Heir of Amber and Fire by Rachanee Lumayno
Series: Kingdom Legacy series #1
Genre: Fantasy/YA Fantasy
Intended Age Group: 10+
Publisher: Miss Lana Press
Jennica is a princess on the run. On the run from an arranged marriage. On the run from a king whose mysterious plans could completely destroy her beloved home, the magical kingdom of Calia.
And, she hopes, she’s running toward the truth of her heritage.
To uncover the mysteries of her past, Princess Jennica will have to rely on a dragon seeker and his team to lead her to the creature who once kidnapped her mother.
But how can she fully trust her allies, when she knows she must betray them?
Imagine Dragons • Damsels who AREN’T in Distress • Cosplay This
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/rachanee
I have a secret.
For pretty much my entire life, ever since I heard about it as a kid, I’d always wanted to play Dungeons & Dragons. But it seemed like this crazy underground thing, something super secret and hush hush like Fight Club. From what I could tell, you needed a coded password and letters of reference signed in blood before you’d even get to step foot in the room. I’d hear about a game that was ongoing, but it was always closed and they weren’t taking on any new players, especially people who had never played before. It honestly blew my mind — how did you learn to play this game if you could never play it, if no one was willing to teach you? To me, Dungeons and Dragons was an extremely exclusive club, known only to a select privileged few, and I had absolutely no idea on how to break in.
Until just a few years ago.
I had finally found a group that was willing to take on new players. The Dungeon Master was going to teach us how to create a character, how to play, the whole thing. And then, right before our first in-person meeting …
The pandemic started.
Yep, it was March of 2020. Hello to the “new normal”: the world was in an uproar, all of my acting jobs were cancelled, and the world discovered Zoom meetings. My new DnD group met a few times over Zoom, but although we talked about the campaign we were going to play, we never actually played. The group disbanded, leaving me Dungeons & Dragons-less. Again. *Sigh.* Typical of my life, I figured. What a bummer.
I was beginning to think I had a DnD curse or something. (Side note: I definitely have a TV curse; most shows I love and start watching religiously tend to go off the air within a season or two. So if you want your TV show to succeed, don’t let me watch it. If I can have a TV curse, I’m pretty sure I can have a DnD curse as well.)
Besides harboring a potential gaming curse, I had a backstory for a character that I kept thinking about.
I also had a lot of free time.
Seriously, this character’s story just stuck with me. I’d be thinking about her story while I was doing laundry, or walking around my neighborhood, or feeding the cats. It could have been because we were in the beginning throes of a worldwide pandemic and everything had shut down and I had nothing but time … but I’d also like to think it was because her story was meant to be told.
I’d always wanted to write a novel, and it felt like a natural transition from screenwriting, something I had been doing for years.
So I started writing Jennica’s story.
Yes, Jennica was the character I had created to play in the defunct campaign. I came up with the name Jennica after the campaign ended, but her backstory remained true to my original vision: A princess on the run who was hiding her identity, hoping her party members could lead her to her ultimate goal: finding the truth about her past. I have no idea how the game actually would have gone, but this is just how I imagined it maybe working out.
Here’s another secret: whether it’s a script or an audiodrama or a novel, I always write a character that’s, well, me.
In Heir of Amber and Fire, Jennica’s personality is fairly close to mine. I suppose that makes sense, since she was supposed to be my in-game character. While I don’t have some of her very awesome attributes (I’m not going to spoil it here, go read the book to find out!), she and I share a lot of the same snark.
I’m a total pantser when it comes to writing; I honestly have no idea what’s going to happen plot- or character-wise when I start creating a story. I just ascribe to the improv principle of “Yes, And” when I write. If you don’t know what “Yes, And” is, it’s basically when your scene partner says or does something, you support them by saying, “Yes” to their idea, and then expand on the idea further (that’s the “And”). I happened to be taking improv classes at Upright Citizens Brigade during the course of writing this book, which definitely influenced my writing style.
From start to finish, Jennica’s story took me an entire year. Partly because of that darn pantser writing style of mine, and partly because it was my first novel. Seventeen drafts later, Heir of Amber and Fire was completed. You read that right — seventeen drafts! I’d never done that many drafts of other projects. Most of my scripts were done within two to three drafts, depending on how long they were. Sometimes I wondered if writing a book was even a good idea. That may have been around draft ten.
Were those seventeen drafts worth it? I’ll let you decide. 🙂
Oh, and you’ll be happy to know I broke my gaming curse: A few months after that first group ended, I found another group, full of great people, that’s been playing regularly for over a year now. It’s been a fun outlet during the craziness of the pandemic, and I’ve even started creating my own campaigns and running games.
The first book in the Kingdom Legacy series, Heir of Amber and Fire, is currently on sale from March 14 to March 21, 2022 during the run of this blog tour. You can pick up the ebook for $1.99 on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other bookseller websites, or the audiobook for a discounted price on Apple and Chirp.
And I’d love to keep in touch! If you sign up for my newsletter, you’ll get a special treat: A DnD one-shot inspired by Heir of Amber and Fire. It’s set in the world of the Gifted Lands, which is where all the books in the Kingdom Legacy series takes place. And you might see some familiar faces in the game. 🙂 You can sign up for the newsletter on my website, http://www.rachanee.net.
So go read Heir of Amber and Fire, and enjoy!
About the Author
Rachanee Lumayno is an actress, voiceover artist, screenwriter, avid gamer and amateur dodgeball player. She grew up in Michigan, where she spent way too much of her free time reading fantasy novels. So when she decided to try her hand at writing a book, it made sense that it would be in her favorite genre. Heir of Amber and Fire is her first novel.
Author Website: http://www.rachanee.net