Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Interview with Aimie K. Runyan, Author of Promised to the Crown + Tour-Wide Giveaway!!

First off, thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and answer some questions! Historical fiction is my all-time favorite genre and I’m always amazed at the myriad perspectives authors find to highlight for us readers. How do you decide what corners of history to write about?

I have always drawn to the unsung (or under-sung) contributions of women in history, and when I read an article or hear an anecdote about women in various places and times in history who were placed in challenging situations who overcame hardships, Writer Aimie’s brain starts to churn. If those women made lasting contributions to society, all the better. I don’t think I will limit myself to any one time and place in history—though France and its colonies will always be dear to me. I feel compelled to tell the stories of women who deserve to be celebrated.

The premise of your novel – three young women who leave prosperous France in 1667 for an uncertain future as the wives of men they do not know in Canada – is something I have never heard of before and so I am instantly fascinated! What drew you to this particular time and place in French and Canadian history?

I got the idea for Promised while I was in a class on Canadian Civilization in grad school. The professor mentioned the program where Louis XIV was sending women on the government’s dime (or sou, I suppose) to marry settlers. He needed a growing population to hold the colony against the British, and was willing to recruit marriageable women to do so. I was intrigued. I assume the professor got a good chuckle that evening after class because I’m sure I was sitting there with my mouth agape in the middle of her lecture. As luck would have it, I was also in a Creative Writing course, so I was in “mandatory story hunting mode”. I wrote what would later become the first chapter of PROMISED (at least for the first several drafts) as a short story for class. I filed it away after that, but finally decided it needed to become a novel 10 years later.

What in particular draws you to historical fiction? Are there any particular times in history you gravitate towards or do you just enjoy history in general?

I have loved historical fiction since I was a girl. My sisters read the Sweet Valley High books, and I was lukewarm on them until they released their “family history saga” that took us back 5 generations into the family and moved forward. I jumped up and down when they released the second book for the other side of the girls’ family. Since then, I have always gravitated toward historical fiction and historical romance. I think it’s the “transportative” element. I love being taken away from the present day. Of course I’m a sucker for a good Tudor-era story, but ancient England is also fantastic. Renaissance-era France and Italy are also among my favorites. 

What sort of research to you conduct when writing? Have you ever traveled to the locations before or during the writing process?

I was beyond fortunate to win a research grant from the Quebec government when I was working on my Master’s thesis (also about the King’s Daughters or filles du roi). I knew I wanted to come back to this topic one day in a novel, so I hunted down a lot of the “ambiance” pieces like clothing, housing, food, and daily life that might not be right for my paper, but which would be necessary for my book. I lived in Quebec City for about 3 months (not contiguous) and fell in love with the city. I’d move there in a heartbeat.

What does a typical day (if there is one) look like for you? How do you balance writing with the rest of your life?

I have two small children, so balance is an unachievable goal. I rush my son off to preschool in the morning and take my daughter to the rec center so I can write while she plays in the child watch area for two hours. I cram in as much as I can in that short window and finish what I can after they go to bed. I bring my iPad and headphones to drown out the noise, and I’ve trained myself to be productive. If all goes well, I’ll have a good deal more time when the next school year starts! My house is always a disaster and I’ve learned to accept it. I also try to be fully present wherever I am. If I am worrying about the kids when I’m writing or longing to write while it’s time to be with the kids, I’m not doing justice to either. It’s not easy, but I get better at it with every passing day. 

A lot of authors have become huge on social media, not only promoting their work but interacting with their readers and offering up giveaways, book recommendations, etc. Are you a big proponent of using social media in this way? How do you prefer to interact with your fans?

I love social media, Facebook in particular. I’m not sure how much it does for sales—that seems to vary widely based on how the author uses it—but I do love being accessible to my readers. I like to think of the giveaways as being rewards to those people who have been following me since this journey began. I’m less active on Twitter (still getting a feel for the medium) but please come find me on either or both platforms!!!

Are you working on any other books that we can look forward to reading in the future?
My second book, and second in the Daughters of New France series, is called Duty to the Crown and comes out on October 25. It follows the lives of several of the young characters in Promised to the Crown after they’ve aged up a bit. We’re also in the beginning stages of two new projects that I’m very excited about. Stay tuned!

I’ve noticed that a lot of authors are also big readers. When you have time for leisure reading what sorts of books do you gravitate towards? Have you read anything good lately?

I try to read widely, but feel most at home with historical fiction, women’s fiction, and romance. I’m currently reading Kristy Harvey Woodson’s Lies and Other Acts of Love and think it’s brilliant. My TBR pile is ridiculous and I hope to make a dent in it this summer!

Thanks for having me!!!

Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Paperback & eBook; 352 Pages

Series: Daughters of New France (Book One)
Genre: Historical Fiction
Bound for a new continent, and a new beginning.
In her illuminating debut novel, Aimie K. Runyan masterfully blends fact and fiction to explore the founding of New France through the experiences of three young women who, in 1667, answer Louis XIV’s call and journey to the Canadian colony.
They are known as the filles du roi, or “King’s Daughters”—young women who leave prosperous France for an uncertain future across the Atlantic. Their duty is to marry and bring forth a new generation of loyal citizens. Each prospective bride has her reason for leaving—poverty, family rejection, a broken engagement. Despite their different backgrounds, Rose, Nicole, and Elisabeth all believe that marriage to a stranger is their best, perhaps only, chance of happiness.
Once in Quebec, Elisabeth quickly accepts baker Gilbert Beaumont, who wants a business partner as well as a wife. Nicole, a farmer’s daughter from Rouen, marries a charming officer who promises comfort and security. Scarred by her traumatic past, Rose decides to take holy vows rather than marry. Yet no matter how carefully she chooses, each will be tested by hardship and heartbreaking loss—and sustained by the strength found in their uncommon friendship, and the precarious freedom offered by their new home.


Praise for Promised to the Crown

“An engaging, engrossing debut.”—Greer Macallister, USA Today bestselling author of The Magician’s Lie
“An absorbing adventure with heart.”—Jennifer Laam, author of The Secret Daughter of the Tsar

Buy the Book


About the Author

Aimie K. Runyan, member of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and Women’s Fiction Writers
Association, has been an avid student of French and Francophone Studies for more than fifteen years. While working on her Master’s thesis on the brave women who helped found French Canada, she was fortunate enough to win a generous grant from the Quebec government to study onsite for three months which enabled the detailed research necessary for her work. Aimie lives in Colorado with her husband and two children.

For more information please visit Aimie’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Giveaway Time

Two copies of Promised to the Crown by Aimie K. Runyan are up for grabs in the tour-wide giveaway! To enter, please use the GLEAM form HERE.
 Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on May 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Giveaway is open to US residents only.
Only one entry per household.
All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
Good Luck!!

Promised to the Crown Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, April 26

Review at Historical Fiction Addicts

Wednesday, April 27

Review at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, April 28

Interview at Book Nerd
Interview at Books and Benches

Friday, April 29

Review at A Chick Who Reads

Saturday, April 30

Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Monday, May 2

Review at A Book Drunkard

Tuesday, May 3

Review at Seize the Words: Books in Review

Wednesday, May 4

Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Interview at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, May 5

Review at Reading Is My SuperPower

Friday, May 6

Review at Puddletown Reviews

Monday, May 9

Review at Cynthia Robertson, writer

Tuesday, May 10

Review at A Bookish Affair

Wednesday, May 11

Review at Creating Herstory

Thursday, May 12

Interview at Creating Herstory
Interview at Author Dianne Ascroft’s Blog

Monday, May 16

Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog

Tuesday, May 17

Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Thursday, May 19

Interview at The Book Connection

Monday, May 23

Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, May 24

Review at A Holland Reads

Wednesday, May 25

Review at Curling up by the Fire

Thursday, May 26

Review at Just One More Chapter

Friday, May 27

Review at Bookramblings

Monday, May 30

Review at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, May 31

Review at So Many Books, So Little Time


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