Thursday, September 24, 2020

Interview with Signe Pike, author of The Lost Queen Trilogy

Please welcome Signe Pike to The Qwillery. The Lost Kingdom, the 2nd novel in The Lost Queen Trilogy, was published on September 15th by Atria Books.
TQWelcome back to The Qwillery. Your new novel, The Forgotten Kingdom (The Lost Queen 2), was published on September 15th. Has your writing process changed (or not) from when you wrote The Lost Queen (2018) to The Forgotten Kingdom?
Signe:  Thanks for having me back! With this second book I’ve had the chance to experiment with some new writing elements that I found very exciting – writing from multiple perspectives being one. The Forgotten Kingdom also taught me new lessons about trusting my instincts, and listening to my inner voice that brought some magical results. 
TQ:  In our last interview you stated that the most challenging thing about writing for you is "Drowning out the voice of my inner critic and keeping my mind focused on the task at hand." Have your challenges changed? 
Signe:  The challenge with this book was trusting, and time. I had to give enough slack on the rope and hope the story would take me where I wanted to end up. And it did! With this book, I felt much more confident about writing fiction, and I knew and loved my characters so well, the inner critic isn’t quite as loud. 
TQ:  What do you wish that you knew about book publishing when The Lost Queen came out that you know now? 
Signe:  Honestly, there’s nothing in my perception of publishing that has changed. It’s a beautiful, resilient creature, book sales are up 12% this year across the industry, even as we’ve experienced such tremendous difficulty as a country. People need stories now more than ever, myself included. They are sacrosanct. 
TQ:  Tell us something about The Forgotten Kingdom that is not in the book description. 
Signe:  This book might make you cry. If it doesn’t, you might not be human. 
TQ:  Which character in the The Lost Queen series (so far) surprised you the most? Do you have a favorite character (we won't tell the others)?
Signe:  I love all my protagonists, but in The Forgotten Kingdom, I developed a particular fondness for some of the new characters who showed up. Muirenn, Talorcan, and especially Diarmid. I love his ornery sense of humor.
TQ:  Please give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from The Forgotten Kingdom. 
Signe:  “I do not know whether I fear him or am calling him as I stand upon the boulder, high above the iron salt waters, looking out over the winter hills. I stand upon the boulder and wait for Rhydderch and his men. I wait. I watch. And I remember.” I’d been stuck trying to figure out how to begin The Forgotten Kingdom, waiting for Lailoken to come close. When he finally strode onto the page, this was what I heard. I built the book around these words. 
TQ:  Is there anything that you can share about the TV series? 
Signe:  Nothing in TV or film is ever certain, but there is such an incredible team behind these books, and so far, things are still in the works. 
TQ:  What's next? 
Signe:  I’m looking forward to settling back into my office and diving into the research again as I start thinking about the third book in the trilogy. The research is what gets me excited. I find something that it seems no one else has discovered or written about, and it makes my pulse skip a beat. When I come across something and think, “How does no one know about this?” That usually means it’s an element that will surface in the book. I love piecing historical clues back together. That feels like my purpose. 
TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery. 
Signe:  I hope I’ll “see you” again for book three! In the meantime, I’ll be working away…. 
The Forgotten Kingdom
The Lost Queen 2
Atria Books, September 15, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 496 pages
From the author of The Lost Queen, hailed as “Outlander meets Camelot” (Kirsty Logan, author of Things We Say in the Dark) and “The Mists of Avalon for a new generation” (Linnea Hartsuyker, author of The Golden Wolf), a new novel in which a forgotten queen of sixth century Scotland claims her throne as her family is torn apart and war looms.

AD 573. Imprisoned in her chamber, Languoreth awaits news in torment. Her husband and son have ridden off to wage war against her brother, Lailoken. She doesn’t yet know that her young daughter, Angharad, who was training with Lailoken to become a Wisdom Keeper, has been lost in the chaos. As one of the bloodiest battles of early medieval Scottish history scatters its survivors to the wind, Lailoken and his men must flee to exile in the mountains of the Lowlands, while nine-year-old Angharad must summon all Lailoken has taught her and follow her own destiny through the mysterious, mystical land of the Picts.

In the aftermath of the battle, old political alliances unravel, opening the way for the ambitious adherents of the new religion: Christianity. Lailoken is half-mad with battle sickness, and Languoreth must hide her allegiance to the Old Way to survive her marriage to the next Christian king of Strathclyde. Worst yet, the new King of the Angles is bent on expanding his kingdom at any cost. Now the exiled Lailoken, with the help of a young warrior named Artur, may be the only man who can bring the Christians and the pagans together to defeat the encroaching Angles. But to do so, he must claim the role that will forever transform him. He must become the man known to history as “Myrddin.”

Bitter rivalries are ignited, lost loves are found, new loves are born, and old enemies come face-to-face with their reckoning in this compellingly fresh look at one of the most enduring legends of all time.
The Lost Queen
The Lost Queen 1
Atria Books, June 4, 2019
Trade Paperback, 560 pages
Hardcover and eBook, September 4, 2018

Outlander meets Camelot” (Kirsty Logan, author of The Gracekeepers) in the first book of an exciting historical trilogy that reveals the untold story of Languoreth—a powerful and, until now, tragically forgotten queen of sixth-century Scotland—twin sister of the man who inspired the legendary character of Merlin.

Intelligent, passionate, rebellious, and brave, Languoreth is the unforgettable heroine of The Lost Queen, a tale of conflicted loves and survival set against the cinematic backdrop of ancient Scotland, a magical land of myths and superstition inspired by the beauty of the natural world. One of the most powerful early medieval queens in British history, Languoreth ruled at a time of enormous disruption and bloodshed, when the burgeoning forces of Christianity threatened to obliterate the ancient pagan beliefs and change her way of life forever.

Together with her twin brother Lailoken, a warrior and druid known to history as Merlin, Languoreth is catapulted into a world of danger and violence. When a war brings the hero Emrys Pendragon, to their door, Languoreth collides with the handsome warrior Maelgwn. Their passionate connection is forged by enchantment, but Languoreth is promised in marriage to Rhydderch, son of the High King who is sympathetic to the followers of Christianity. As Rhydderch's wife, Languoreth must assume her duty to fight for the preservation of the Old Way, her kingdom, and all she holds dear.

“Moving, thrilling, and ultimately spellbinding” (BookPage), The Lost Queen brings this remarkable woman to life—rescuing her from obscurity, and reaffirming her place at the center of the most enduring legends of all time. “Moving, thrilling, and ultimately spellbinding, The Lost Queen is perfect for readers of historical fiction like The Clan of the Cave Bear and Wolf Hall, and for lovers of fantasy like Outlander and The Mists of Avalon” (BookPage).
About Signe
Photograph by Tiffany Mizzell
Signe Pike is the author of The Lost Queen, The Forgotten Kingdom, and the travel memoir Faery Tale, and has researched and written about Celtic history and folklore for more than a decade. Visit her at
Twitter @SignePike
Photograph by Tiffany Mizzell


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