Knight from the Ashes Q & A!

Good morning!

As the release date for Knight from the Ashes steadily approaches, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the series. Today, I’m going to try to answer as many as I can. If you have a question, and this post doesn’t answer it, go ahead and leave it in the comments!

Is the series a romance?

This is THE question. I’ve gotten this one more than any other.

The answer is yes. Like…so much yes. In fact, there is enough romance to keep me all kinds of happy. (In case you’re wondering, I need a lot.)

One reader asked if the series will be “swoony.” Though we’re classifying it as a slow burn, I think you can definitely put this one in the “swoony” category. 

Will my husband like it?

Okay, this is a tricky question. We authors have a target audience–the people we specifically write for. And yes, my target audience is women. However, that doesn’t mean that both women and men don’t enjoy my books! I have male readers, and I love them.

If your husband either likes romance, or he can skim without becoming nauseous, then there’s a chance he’ll enjoy it. (In case you’re wondering, Jake is in the skim group. He’s not a fan, but he understands.)

Jake would also like to point out that unlike Riven Kingdoms, which was heavy on angst, this one is lighter, with a lot of humor.

How many books are in the series?

We have four books planned.

What is the release schedule?

Tentative schedule: August 2021, December 2021, March 2022, June 2022

They could end up closer, depending on how other projects go. I have an Obsidian Queen book in there too, so we’ll see. But, seriously, these are not set in stone–they could change tomorrow. But this is the plan as of right now. 

Will each book in the series feature a different couple? If not, how many points of view will there be?

The series will follow Henrik and Clover through all four books, and there will only be two points of view–Henrik and Clover’s.

We might throw an occasional extra in at the beginning or end of each book (we’re still a little hazy on that), but the main story is all theirs.

Have you ever worked with Jake before?

Yep. When I’m working on a book, I need to talk out ideas. When I get stuck, I find Jake. The man can throw a hundred suggestions at me in five minutes flat, and something always sparks an idea and helps me out of a plot snarl.

He’s also the first person to read my books. Always.

This is the first time we’ve had equal input on a story, though! It’s been interesting because I can’t go, “No, I’m not doing that. What if I do this instead…”

This time, we have to both agree. Because we’re usually on the same page, we haven’t had a heated argument. Yet. ;) 

What’s it like working with your husband? How do you co-author a book anyway?

I have no idea how other people co-author their books, but Jake and I prefer to say we’re collaborating on the series. I still do the writing, because…I write. However, the story, the characters, the creatures, the world, and ALL the details are ours. We’ve been planning this series for three years. Three years! 

The actual process looks a little like this: we talk about a chapter or two. I write them. Jake goes through and reads them. Then, together, we edit and talk about what’s coming next. We have the main plot–the BIG STORY–figured out, but the fun is in the details, and we’re figuring those out as we go. A friend of mine calls it discovery writing. Other people call it pantsing. Whatever you call it, I love it, and it’s even better when Jake is involved.

Who came up with the original idea, you or Jake?

I read this question to Jake, and we stared at each other for a bit. Honestly, we don’t really know. It’s…ours.

I remember telling him we should write a series together, and we started tossing around ideas. When one of us would throw out something good, we’d latch onto it and continue building. For lack of a better example, it feels like constructing a Lego as a team. There’s a whole lot of pieces, and by the time you’re finished, you really don’t know who placed each one. 

I can tell you confidently that I created Clover, and Jake created Henrik. In fact, I had Henrik wrong when I wrote the original first chapter, and we had to scrap it. After Jake talked more about his vision, it finally clicked. I basically had to “recast” the character in my mind, and once I did that, the story fell into place.

We’re both very character-centered, so the plot couldn’t happen until we learned how Henrik and Clover interact with their world. The characters created the story—we’re just along for the ride.

If Jake is your husband, why do you have different last names?

Tapscott is a pen name. When it came time for Jake to pick his own pen name, it was a little weird for him to adopt my fictional last name, so he used his middle name—Andrew.

In real life, we are Jake and Shari. Those are our real names. However, mine is spelled differently. I chose the more common spelling because it’s slightly easier to pronounce, though it still throws people. In case you’re wondering, it’s not pronounced like “Sherry.” It rhymes with Starry.

The following are bonus questions related to future series or books, but not Crown and Crest specifically.

Will you ever write a series with a bunch of different points of view again like you did in The Riven Kingdoms?

Absolutely. I cannot tell you how much I loved getting to know all the Riven Kingdoms characters. However, it has to be right for the series.

When I chose to write Riven Kingdoms that way, I knew it wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea—believe me, I knew it. But it felt right, and I don’t regret it. 

I was so overwhelmed with joy when so many of you told me you loved getting to know all the Riven Kingdoms characters on an intimate level as well.

Will you write a series of connected fantasy romance standalone books again? (One couple per book.)

Actually…I have one scheduled for late 2022, and my cover designer is working on the covers this summer. That’s all I can tell you right now. :)

Is it hard coming up with whole new worlds and the names to go along with that?

I love to develop new worlds, but naming things—especially places—can get tedious.

This one hasn’t been too bad because Jake has done a lot of it, and that’s made it really fun to write. It feels fresh and new, and everything is just a little different. We have lots of new creatures, feuding elves, Viking-esque gnomes, and so much more.

Jake enjoys fantasy books, but he’s also a pretty big video gamer, and when we tackled the world building, we asked each other what our kingdom would look like in a game. I think that gives this story a slightly different vibe and helped us think outside the box.

What is your favorite genre to write in?

This is another question I get a lot, and I used to struggle with it. I love all my book babies—every one of them, no matter their genre. The characters become dear to me, and each story was a part of me while I was in it.

One day, I started thinking about what all my books have in common. Whether they’re fantasy, contemporary, urban fantasy, or even fairy tales, they all share a theme.

They’re romances.

Romance is my favorite genre—it’s my only genre. I love the characters, the meet-cutes, the breathless tension, and almost all the tropes. Enemies-to-lovers, friends-to-lovers, star-crossed lovers—a big yes to them all. And love triangles? Heck yes. (I know some of you are wincing.)

I just love the connection and the chemistry of romance stories, no matter the sub-genre.

That’s all for today! Again, if you have any questions about the series, leave them below. And don’t forget to pre-order your copy of Knight from the Ashes! Click here to view the book on Amazon.

Wishing you the best,

Shari :)

4 thoughts on “Knight from the Ashes Q & A!”

  1. Same here about romance is my only genre. If there is no romance, I’m not reading or writing it. You said it perfectly.

    “They’re romances.

    Romance is my favorite genre—it’s my only genre. I love the characters, the meet-cutes, the breathless tension, and almost all the tropes. Enemies-to-lovers, friends-to-lovers, star-crossed lovers—a big yes to them all. And love triangles? Heck yes. (I know some of you are wincing.)

    I just love the connection and the chemistry of romance stories, no matter the sub-genre.”


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