Title: INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders
Page count: 266
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
L.Leander is an e-book author, freelancer and songwriter. She writes for Yahoo! Content and does guest posts on author blogs and groups. As a child L.Leander dreamed of running away to join the circus. Instead, she grew up to write about it, bringing the magic alive for all who read her work.
Ms. Leander currently resides between Wisconsin and Mexico. INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders is the first book in a series about a Gypsy wagon circus in pre-Civil War America.
Tell us about your book:
The year is 1843. Bertha Maude Anderson was born sixteen years ago in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. Raised on a small farm, she lives a hard life far-removed from everything she craves. Misunderstood by her parents, her only confidante her brother Ezra, Bertha yearns for excitement. A Gypsy circus comes to town and her world changes forever.
Coaxed into joining the Romanoff Brothers Circus, Bertha’s name is changed to INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders. She learns to ride Cecil, the elephant, and the two forge an unbreakable bond. Inzared falls in love, learns to co-exist with the nomadic Gypsies, solves a mystery and grows into a woman, all the while searching for the life she has always dreamed of.
How long did it take to write the book?
What inspired you to write the book?
I’ve always loved the circus and as a child I dreamed of running away to join one. I grew up to write about it instead!
Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
I do have a writing routine, but since I’m a total Pantser it’s not very organized. I sit down every day for a period of time and write. The word count doesn’t matter. I know when I’m done. The Inzared series involves a lot of research and it’s one of the parts I like most about writing. I’ve been in touch with circus museum curators all over the world, Roma Gypsies, and civil war buffs.
What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
Two things – that women are strong individuals and that you should never give up on your dreams.
Where can we go to buy your book?
Any other links or info you’d like to share?
Video Trailer Link: http://youtu.be/lQHtsFQGAP0
L.Leander Website: www.lleander.com
L.Leander Reviews and Interviews: http://lleandersreviewsandinterviews.wordpress.com/
L.Leander on Twitter: @lleander11
Excerpt from book:
Paytre turned to Shandor. “She’ll need a stage name.”
Shandor thought for a moment. She thinks she’s such a queen, she can be called Inzared.”
I gasped in delight at the foreign-sounding name he had given me. “What does it mean?” I asked.
“Queen. Queen of the Elephant Riders,” Shandor replied. “We shall bill you as Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders.”
“Here, take Cecil while I get her a costume,” Paytre said. Shandor led the elephant to the performer’s entrance while Paytre grabbed my hand and pulled me to the changing wagon. “Lileth, the trapeze artist, is about your size,” he said. The costume wagon was filled with racks of colorful, neatly-arranged finery. Gauzy fabrics in every hue beckoned me, sparkling and enticing me to try them on. At the base of each display were matching shoes, some with pointed toes, some slipper-like, all with sequins or gems attached. Paytre reached for a bright red leotard and a headdress of red and white plumes set in a silver crown. “Put these on.” He shoved the clothing into my arms then reached for a pair of slippers off the shoe rack and a pair of white tights. “Hurry, get dressed.” He shut the door, remaining in front of it so no one could enter.
In disbelief, I stared at the armload of clothes I held. Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders. Even if only for tonight, I would ride Cecil to the call of the ringmaster and the sound of the trumpet in the circus ring. I undressed, donned the costume, and deftly pulled my hair up using a comb I found laying on a vanity table. Pulling on the tights and the glittering red suit, my eyes lingered a moment on the shimmery fabric and spangles sewn haphazardly all over the skimpy garment. The headdress was a bit difficult, but once it was secured with pins, I put the slippers on my feet. The girl who smiled at me in the mirror was unrecognizable. She was beautiful. She was tall. She was mysterious. A pinch of red powder from a jar on the vanity, rubbed into my cheeks and lips, gave my face some color. Tonight I’d be a star. I sure hope no one recognizes me. A pang of guilt stabbed my conscience as I thought about the scanty outfit and what Ma would say, but I tried to ignore the voice and opened the door to Paytre’s admiring whistle.
“You are beautiful, Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders.” He took my hand and we ran to join Cecil. “Don’t be scared, just follow my lead. Cecil likes you and you’ll do fine.”
A line of performers was in place at the back entrance of the Big Top, waiting for the grand entrance. Laughter tumbled out the door as the clowns went through their antics inside the tent, preparing the audience for the big show to come.