Today I’m thrilled to be taking part in the release day festivities for S. R. Cronin’s She’s the One Who Gets in Fights, the third novel in her The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters series! These beautiful books of badass women are must-reads for all you Historical Fantasy fans out there, so you should definitely give them a look.
It was an absolute honor to welcome S. R. Cronin to the blog for an insight into the challenges and rewards of writing tales that blend multiple genres. So, keep scrolling to learn more about the book and author, as well as her wonderful post.
Happy Book Day, Sherrie!
It’s the 1200’s, and the small realm of Ilari has had peace and prosperity for generations. That doesn’t mean every citizen is happy, however.
Sulphur, the third of seven sisters, is glad the older two have been slow to wed. It’s given her the freedom to train as a fighter, in hopes of fulfilling her lifelong dream of joining Ilari’s army. Then, within a matter of days, both sisters announce plans and now Sulphur is expected to find a man to marry.
Is it Sulphur’s good fortune her homeland is gripped by fear of a pending Mongol invasion? And the army is going door to door encouraging recruits? Sulphur thinks it is. But once she’s forced to kill in a small skirmish, she’s ready to rethink her career decision.
Too bad it’s too late. The invasion is coming, and Ilari needs every good soldier it has.
Once Sulphur learns Ilari’s army has made the strategic decision to not defend certain parts of the realm, including the one where her family lives, she has to re-evaluate her loyalty. Is it with the military she’s always admired? Or is it with her sisters, who are hatching a plan to defend their homeland with magic?
Everywhere she turns, someone is counting on her to fight for what’s right. But what is?
Why Would Anyone Write Historical Fiction?
by S. R. Cronin
If you spend time with writers from other genres, you learn of the pitfalls they face. Crime novels? There better be a dead body in the first few pages. Romance? It gets ugly if you mess with the happily ever after the audience wants. And so on.
Fantasy readers have their expectations, too. I’d say they insist on a well-thought-out and complex world with dark forces and internally consistent magic. That’s no easy thing to create. Why would any fantasy writer complicate things by mixing in another genre and risk the wrath of disappointed readers from either camp?
I have no idea why, but it is what I do so I’ve given it some thought.
Many writers who claim to mix two genres really don’t, in my opinion. They write crime novels that take place in the future. Or they write romances that involve imaginary beings. It’s all well and good, but they meet the expectations of one group while merely using the setting of the other. Nothing wrong with that.
Others, including me, have this bizarre fascination with trying to do two things at once. In my case, I strive for a ridiculous degree of historical accuracy, in hopes that fans of historical fiction will find few if any mistakes while they enjoy my story. I also do my best to create a remarkable world and a story of magic I hope will intrigue fantasy readers.
I’ve got a secret weapon for the history part. My husband loves research, Genghis Khan fascinates him, and he tackled the thirteenth century with zeal for my current series. Potatoes in Europe in the 1200s? Not in my book. Care to know about the history of the crossbow and the longbow. He’s still talking about them although neither appears in my story. Saddles? Yes. Nutmeg? Maybe. Coffee? No.
Did you know Genghis Khan was a proponent of religious freedom and somewhat of an advocate of women’s rights? My readers will.
Then come the fantasy elements. While the rest of earth is as accurate as I can make it, the realm of Ilari is entirely make-believe. I created this imaginary place surrounded by natural barriers and never conquered by the Romans or anyone else. I designed the geography, and even drew a topo map, as it plays such a role in the story.
My people have known only peace and prosperity yet they remain largely self-absorbed and cantankerous, involved in Ilari’s complex politics. Vestiges of their old magic remain but seem fairly useless. The population accepts that society includes frundles (those born with an odd birth defect that gives them prescience), oomrushers (those with the trivial ability to move objects without touching them), and long-eyes with telescopic vision who mostly use their talents as artists. No one gets too excited about any of these abilities until they face their first threat in hundreds of years.
Then chaos ensues.
I suppose I enjoy the challenge of trying to do two things well, and I seek readers who can appreciate getting some of what they love along with something less familiar.
Sherrie Cronin is the author of a collection of six speculative fiction novels known as 46. Ascending and is now in the process of publishing a historical fantasy series called The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters. A quick look at the synopses of her books makes it obvious she is fascinated by people achieving the astonishing by developing abilities they barely knew they had.
She’s made a lot of stops along the way to writing these novels. She’s lived in seven cities, visited forty-six countries, and worked as a waitress, technical writer, and geophysicist. Now she answers a hot-line. Along the way, she’s lost several cats but acquired a husband who still loves her and three kids who’ve grown up just fine, both despite how eccentric she is.
All her life she has wanted to either tell these kinds of stories or be Chief Science Officer on the Starship Enterprise. She now lives and writes in the mountains of Western North Carolina, where she admits to occasionally checking her phone for a message from Captain Picard, just in case.