We interview The Remnant Chronicles author Mary E. Pearson at San Diego Comic-Con
We got a chance to spend some time with author Mary E. Pearson about her latest fantasy book series, The Remnant Chronicles, which starts with The Kiss of Betrayal, and and continues with The Heart of Betrayal, which was recently published on July 7, 2015.
Here, she answers some questions regarding the characters and The Heart of Betrayal, including which supporting character she’d be interesting in writing about.
TheFandom: Congratulations on the release of Heart of Betrayal.
Mary Pearson: Thank you!
TheFandom: Can you tell us anything non-spoilery about it?
MP: Non-spoilery. Okay, well, uh…. ahh… no, not really! *laughs* Well, one thing I can tell you is it begins right on the heels where the Kiss of Deception left off. So, we just move right into Lia, Rafe, and Kaden crossing the bridge. And we are then introduced to a new character, the Komizar, who challenges Lia in most spectacular ways. He’s a very calculating, smart character with a lot of tight control over his kingdom, so Lia has to just pull together all of her wit in order to stay one step ahead of him, hopefully, and keep her and Rafe and Kaden alive.
TheFandom: Princess Lia runs away and steals priceless documents in hopes of gaining her freedom. What the biggest risk you took to fight for independence as a teen or young adult?
MP: That’s a really good question. I like that. I would say most of the risks I took were in small increments, in challenging my parents. I love my parents, they were great, but you do get to that point where you have to break away and make those adult decisions yourself. One of the things is that I rejected the religion of my childhood and I chose a – it wasn’t that different, but it was slightly one from- my father was not religious at all, but from what my mother thought was the correct one, and that was really hard on her. So, we found a meeting ground somewhere in those years, but that was really hard for her. And then in all the small ways, I, um, I did things- I wasn’t like a rebellious child, but I would sometimes make decisions on my own, sort of like Lia does, that were counter to what my parents wanted. I was a pretty good kid, but like most teenagers, I had to start making those independent decisions, and another one that I made that some people thought was a bad decision, but it worked out for me, sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, was I got married at a very early age. I was 18 when I got married. I think some people thought it would never last and we’ve been married for decades and decades now. So it worked out. I made decisions that have lasted me a lifetime and sometimes those challenged what other people expected of me.
TheFandom: That’s part of growing up.
Yeah, sometimes you bare the consequences, which I did that, too.
TheFandom: What’s the secret to creating a love triangle that’s charming and tense without getting cheesy or tedious?
MP: Okay, this is the first time anyone’s brought up the love triangle with me, and I’m so glad that you did. Without giving anything away, I think some people think, oh, a triangle, And what I would challenge anybody with is that there is not a person alive who has had some sort of relationship with anybody or cared about somebody, that wasn’t involved in a triangle, whether you know it or not. Because feelings are not always reciprocated. How many times did I have a crush, a mad crush on somebody, that they didn’t know I existed, they were involved with somebody else. Or my husband and I, when we were dating. I was madly in love with my husband, but there was a fellow who crushed on me! And he thought, to almost a scary point, that we were meant to be together, and he told me as much. So, I think a love triangle can be sticky, if the person is waffling back and forth, but when someone is sure it is they are meant to be with, it doesn’t mean there is not a triangle somewhere in their life.
TheFandom: They put a side note saying, “please teach this to other authors.”
TheFandom: You’ve created a really rich world and sent Lia on a journey through it. Were there any elements that you wish you could have added in, but they just didn’t pan out?
MP: Well, right now I’m working on the third book. And it is a challenge, because my books are pretty long. You know, they’re what, five-hundred pages, so you don’t want to overwhelm the reader, but my mind just goes crazy. There’s just so much I could put in. Usually, there’s scenes where I want to have the characters interact in some way, and some of those have to be cut. I just got done writing a scene for the third book that dealt with one of the lesser kingdoms and it’s so good! It’s so rich, but I don’t know if I’m going to be able to put it in because there is the word count issue, and I don’t want to gover a certain word count. But in the end, I may throw it in anyway, because I love the scene! It gives another element of this world that I personally have fallen in love with . I love these kingdoms I wish I could support every single one.
TheFandom: How much work goes into calculating a major plot twist like the assassin reveal in Kiss of Deception? Can we expect another killer twist in Heart of Betrayal?
MP: Well, it’s interesting because I never really of it as a killer plot twist. Here’s what I wanted to do when I was writing the story. My job as a writer is to put the reader into the shoes of the main character, and not just see what’s happening to them, but to feel what’s happening to them. When I was writing that twist, I was just really trying to put the reader into Lia’s shoes, and maybe having some doubts as to who was who. I didn’t realize how much doubt I had planted. I worked on stereotypes and assumptions that we have about people, and really what I wanted to do was also have them just give all the characters a chance. You know, we all make assumptions about people, and I wanted the reader to get to know them, just like Lia did, before they decided who was the good guy and who was the bad guy.
And then in Heart of Betrayal, there are some twists, and obviously I can’t talk about them! *laughs*
TheFandom: If you could write a spin-off book about any of your secondary characters, who would it be and why?
MP: *sighs* Ahh! *laughs* You know, my mind keeps changing. Like right now, writing a third book, I, again I can’t say who it is, but there’s some key characters I would love a spinoff on. But sticking with non-spoier ones, I would really like to explore some of the younger characters. Maybe at a later date, like Eben. Eben is a Vendan whose parents were slaughtered when he was six years old right before his eyes. And he’s grown up, he’s in training to be an assassin, and he’s a very hardened little criminal. But just the way Lia affects his life and all the changes that he goes through, I would love to explore Eban maybe at a later date.