Random Interview Saturday! Annie Douglass Lima

The H. L. Burke Random Interview is not like other interviews. The questions are all over the place. They have no purpose. Their purpose is their lack of purpose.

There are nine questions because cats, but these nine questions are subject to change without notice, so the questions one person answers may not be the questions answered by the next author.

Today we're doing something a little different. This Random Interview is combined with a New Release Blast (and giveaway) for Annie Douglas Lima's next book: The Gladiator and the Guard. So let's dive right in!

Annie Douglass Lima
Annie Douglass Lima spent most of her childhood in Kenya and later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and her husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since her childhood, and to date has published twelve books (two YA action and adventure novels, four fantasies, a puppet script, and five anthologies of her students’ poetry). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction), scrap-booking, and international travel.

What is the best dream you ever had? Alternately, what is the worst nightmare you’ve ever experienced?

I don’t often remember my dreams, but once every couple of years I’ll have one that makes a great story. There was one about a young prince who was forced to flee from his palace when invaders attacked, killing his parents. Together with his bodyguard (also a young boy), he disguised himself and lived in a poor neighborhood in a far corner of his kingdom, waiting for an opportunity to rescue his people and claim his rightful throne. That dream later became my first published novel, Prince of Alasia.

You're the next Disney princess. What fairy tale is your full length movie and how would you use your new ability to control woodland creatures?

What fairy tale? I have no idea! I don’t think there’s one out there with all the elements I would want: cats and unicorns and dragons and a kingdom to save with the handsome prince I’m already married to. I think I would need to write that fairy tale myself!

I would get the woodland creatures to build me a house far away from everything, where I could sit and write for hours or days on end without a single interruption (unless I was in the mood for one). But only after the kingdom had been successfully saved, of course.

Describe your life as a film genre.

I think I’d say a travelogue. I have been to a total of twenty different countries and lived in four of them (including being raised in Kenya and currently living in Taiwan). I love to experience different parts of the world!

What method do you suggest for dealing with dragons?

Make friends with them. You might want to consider bringing along a cat, as I hear they are often talented in this area. And having a dragon as a friend can come in very handy.

Who is your fictional best friend and what activities do you choose to do together?

I have lots of fictional friends, all characters in my books (or in ideas that may someday grow into books). They tend to leave me out of their adventures, but I do get a front-row seat to watch while they have them. Many of the adventures get written into plotlines, but a lot of them are unrelated and will never be written down. I mean, the characters do have lives outside the pages, obviously.

You have to trade places with one of your characters for a day. Which and why?

Very few of the characters in The Gladiator and the Guard have the kind of life that I’d want to live for a day! But if I had to pick one, I’d probably go with Skipper. That isn’t his actual name, but he keeps his real identity a secret, and with good reason: if the authorities found out that he uses his sailboat to smuggle slaves away to freedom, his boat would be impounded and he would be sold into slavery himself. Though I don’t like the thought of the danger, I’ve always wanted to be a hero like that.

If you had to write only in one crayon color for the rest of your life, what would you choose?

Purple. It looks nice, and it’s also dark enough to be easily read.

 If you had the honor of naming something really big (a country, a spaceship, a planet) what would you want it to be and what would you name it?

I would like to name a spaceship that’s built to take humans to meet or develop a relationship with an alien species. I’d name it the Heartsong. I’m currently working on a science fiction novel by that title; the word is significant because it represents the character or essence of an individual or people group. Singing a person’s heartsong to someone else is a metaphor for helping someone to truly understand that person. I couldn’t find a way to squeeze a spaceship with that name into the story, but it would be almost as good if I could name one in the real world instead.

If this question were any question in the world, what question would you want it to be and how would you answer it?

I would like it to be, “Could you tell us a little about your latest book and the setting it takes place in?”

I would answer it by saying, “Why, yes. I’m so glad you asked! The Gladiator and the Guard is the second book in the Krillonian Chronicles, the first one being The Collar and the Cavvarach. The stories take place in a world almost exactly like our own. Although most aspects of the culture are just about what they are currently on Earth, a few sports are different, such as the martial art known as cavvara shil. The main difference, however, is that slavery is legal there.
The Krillonian Empire rules much of the world. An emperor, who is never named, governs from the capital city, Krillonia, on the continent known as Imperia. Eight separate provinces (independent nations before they were conquered) can be found on nearby continents. Each province, plus Imperia, is allowed to elect its own legislature and decide on many of its own laws, but the emperor reserves the right to veto any of them and make changes as he sees fit. This seldom happens, however, and to most people the emperor is merely a vague and distant ceremonial figure.
The prevalence of slavery is probably what would stand out the most to visitors from Earth. There are nearly as many slaves in the city of Jarreon, where both books take place, as free people, and they are easily identified by the steel collars they are required to wear locked around their necks. From each collar hangs a tag inscribed with the slave’s name, their owner’s name, and a copy of their owner’s signature. On the back of the tag is their owner’s phone number and a bar code that can be scanned to access additional information.

Many families own one or more slaves who do their housework and yardwork. Businesses often own a large number of slaves, usually for manual labor, though some are trained for more complex tasks. Those who don’t own their own slaves may “hire in” one belonging to someone else. The accepted rate for an hourly wage is two-thirds the amount that a free person would earn for equivalent labor (the money goes to the slave’s owner, of course).
To read more about the culture of the Krillonian Empire, take a look at this post on my blog.
Here’s the back-cover blurb for The Collar and the Cavvarach :
Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is desperate to see his little sister freed. But only victory in the Krillonian Empire's most prestigious tournament will allow him to secretly arrange for Ellie's escape. Dangerous people are closing in on her, however, and Bensin is running out of time. With his one hope fading quickly away, how can Bensin save Ellie from a life of slavery and abuse?

And the blurb for The Gladiator and the Guard :
“Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is just one victory away from freedom. But after he is accused of a crime he didn’t commit, he is condemned to the violent life and early death of a gladiator. While his loved ones seek desperately for a way to rescue him, Bensin struggles to stay alive and forge an identity in an environment designed to strip it from him. When he infuriates the authorities with his choices, he knows he is running out of time. Can he stand against the cruelty of the arena system and seize his freedom before that system crushes him?”

for $2.99 a discounted price of just 99 cents through May 30th!

And now, The Gladiator and the Guard, with another awesome cover by the talented Jack Lin!

Connect with the Author Online:
Email: AnnieDouglassLima@gmail.com

Now, enter to win an Amazon gift card or a free digital copy of The Collar and the Cavvarach!


  1. Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog. The random interview was really fun! I hope your readers enjoy hearing about my books.

    1. I'm sure they'll be eager to check them out after your awesome answers!


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