This interview is about S.E. Turner’s series ‘The Kingdom of Durundal’.
What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to promote the role of women as something more than the vulnerable and weak gender that many would like to believe, and certainly more than something for the ‘male gaze’. I wanted to offer a more realistic and refreshing view, showing women as active rather than passive, as heroes not victims.
The female heroes in my books subverts the stereotypical representations of women. All my female protagonists are survivors, are skilled in weapons and fighting, they are self reliant and self sufficient. They are fearless.
I also wanted to take the reader back to a more simple time, a place without technology and distractions. Though I had to keep it real, because life evolves, people always want more, and there is always retribution with progression.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I’d like to write a thriller or a crime novel – with a woman solving the case.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in A Hare in the Wilderness.
Ajeya represents a child suppressed and victimised by those at court, eventually cast out in to the wilderness for nothing more than a mysterious mark on her face – this symbolises the way some people react when they don’t understand something. Her survival and metamorphism into a warrior and leader is characterised by her totem – the hare. Now she is able to take on her destined role as Empress of Ataxata. Also if you write Ajeya in a certain way and transpose it, it reads A hare. It also is a homophone for heir.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
I have a fascination with anything ancient and tribal, how our ancestors lived and survived, how mankind has progressed and grown. I sometimes yearn for a more peaceful and simple life. Everything now is fast paced, and I fear we have somehow lost sight of who we really are. Though wherever you go in history there is always someone who wants more and will go to any lengths to achieve it. Thus the Kingdom of Durundal was born.
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
Ancient manuscripts and medieval names.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Creating a world that is really no different to what we have now.
Who designed your book covers?
How did you come up with name of this book?
A Hare in the Wilderness, A Wolf in the Dark, A Leopard in the Mist, A Stag in the Shadows, are all spirit animals that reflect the main protagonist in some way. The elements of the wilderness, the dark, the mist and the shadows, reflect the challenges we all face in our own lives.
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be?
I actually love Cornelius from A Leopard in the Mist.