More tasting lessons.  Try the mint test – it really works, but be prepared for your ears to pop when you swallow.  I decided to shorten her training because I felt readers would get bored and that the Commander would become impatient.  Rand visits her and I drop a few hints about the gambling and his relationship with Valek.  Except his Corp., no one likes Valek and everyone is terrified of him.  There’s also a brief hint of Yelena’s interest in Valek when she watches him leave the infirmary.

I didn’t plan for Yelena and Valek to have a relationship.  In fact, I was thinking her and the Commander might make a couple despite the gap in their ages.  However, as I wrote the story, Valek and Yelena decided how things would go - which is why I love being a seat-of-the-pants writer - being surprised by my own characters.

As for the age difference – Yelena is 19 and Valek is 33 in Poison Study.  Yes, that’s 14 years. But Valek had to be old enough to be involved in the takeover of Ixia and to be old enough to learn how to be an assassin, so when I did the math…he ended up as 33.  When I was trying to find an agent/publisher, I thought the book might be good for young adult readers (My 14 year old niece loved it).  BUT every agent/editor said the age gap was too big.  Poison Study was published in the US/Canada as an adult fantasy novel, but I started getting hundreds of emails from young adults who LOVED the book.  Their emails can be summed up like this: “OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, I LOVED YOUR BOOK. HAVE YOU READ TWILIGHT?”  Thank fate for the 114 year old Vampire named Edward – he makes Valek seem so young in comparison!

Last line in the chapter is another one of my favorite quotes and again from Valek (he gets all the great lines) when he was asked about the previous food taster.  “Oscove?” Valek paused.  “He didn’t have the stomach for it.”

Question 7 – In Storm Watcher, what does Luke name his Papillion?

Don't answer this question in the comments!! This is another chance to win! There will be 31 questions for each chapter note published. Collect the answers to ALL the questions (or your best guess) and then enter to win a T-shirt at the end of the month (I'll post the Rafflecopter on the 31st).


  1. I actually thought the training ended pretty fast lol. I didn't find reading about poisons boring at all though :)


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Navigating the Stars Give Away!

WHISPER Author Interview & Giveaway!

Recommended Reading Order of the Study Books!