Tamora Pierce meets George R. R. Martin in this smart, political, medieval fantasy-thriller.
There is a new king on the throne of Tildor. Currents of political unrest sweep the country as two warring crime families seek power, angling to exploit the young Crown’s inexperience. At the Academy of Tildor, the training ground for elite soldiers, Cadet Renee de Winter struggles to keep up with her male peers. But when her mentor, a notorious commander recalled from active duty to teach at the Academy, is kidnapped to fight in illegal gladiator games, Renee and her best friend Alec find themselves thrust into a world rife with crime, sorting through a maze of political intrigue, and struggling to resolve what they want, what is legal, and what is right.
The concept behind CADET came in layers. I started with Korish Savoy, a character who I’ve known a while, and a fantasy school setting, which I love. I then had several ethical dilemmas that I wanted to play with in the writing, which translated into characters’ specific challenges. Renee joined me to tell the actual story. And then I let those ingredients take me for a ride. The overall story arc emerged only after the first draft was done. And some – rather major – elements only came in the editing process with my Penguin editor.
Great question! Yes. As readers make up their minds as to which character is right/wrong or more/less ethically sound, I hope they realize that their (readers’) own cultural and personal beliefs influence these judgments as much as the characters’ actual actions.
What was the most fun part of writing this book?
Getting feedback from my Beta readers. especially when they argued with each other as to which character had the higher moral ground. I crave crave crave feedback.
Editing while pregnant in the first trimester. I prefer to write outside the house, usually in a coffee shop – and I had discovered this awesome newly opened place not far from my house shortly before becoming pregnant. Then came the editorial letter and it was MASSIVE. I did most of my editing in said new place… but being in the first trimester I was feeling nauseous. After turning in my edit, I could never return to that place without getting nauseous all over again in memory. And I mean well after pregnancy! I walk in and immediately don’t feel well.
Spend as much time on horseback as I can
Korish Savoy. He is just FUN to write, especially from his POV. In my original draft of the book a lot more of it was from Savoy’s view point.
Re-reading David Weber’s HONOR HARRINGTON series.
Yes, I am working on a sequel to CADET right now.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Alex! I can’t imagine going through editing while pregnant! Especially when you have morning sickness (which we all know isn’t only “morning” >.<)
Alex Lidell is a YA fantasy writer and author of ABNA Finalist THE CADET OF TILDOR (Penguin, 2013). Although English is Alex’s primary language, it wasn’t her first. Coming from Russia, Alex learned english in elementary school and fell in love with reading when the school librarian put Tamora Pierce’s ALANNA into her hands. Years later, in college, it was another book that re-united Alex with russian, which she had shunned in adolescence. The Three Musketeers.* Alex thanks both books, and the writers who created them. Beyond writing, Alex is also a photographer, a horseback rider, and a paramedic. The latter two go hand in hand more often than one would like. She is trying to self-teach herself and her horse to sword-fight. Alex would love to see THE CADET OF TILDOR in the classroom and is working on developing teacher guides for the novel. She enjoys “e-meeting” both students and educators.
As part of the tour, Alex is generously offering $20 Amazon Gift Card, PLUS a copy of The Cadet of Tildor with swag to one lucky US winner. As well as a $20 Book Depository Gift Card to an international winner.
Ends January 31st, 2013
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