Article first published as Interview: Queenbe Monyei, Author of Nalia and the Potion Maker on Blogcritics.
Los Angeles born author Queenbe started writing as a child, but the idea for her debut novel, Nalia and the Potion Maker, didn’t spring to mind until she started blogging to promote a book she and another writer was working. It happened one night in November 2010 while she was sitting in her room thinking about what she would love to be reading if she were reading about a young girl who was special and powerful but thought she was anything but, and the girl turned out to be Nalia.
Now let’s found out some things about Nalia’s adventure.
Nalia very early on notices strange things happening around her although she can’t pinpoint what is going on. Then she finds out she is an Amemora. Can you tell us what an Amemora is and how you came up with the concept?
Well, I won’t give it away, because that’s part of the fun of the book trying to find out what she is exactly, but I will say that Amemoras are very powerful and have a unique gift.
During Nalia’s journey, she meets the potion maker Poto who is one of the key people in her story. Can you tell us a little bit about Poto and his role in helping Nalia on her journey to face Agithara?
Poto is a genius potion maker who also has a story of his own. He is a key person in helping Nalia discover all the different lands in Aetheria, and takes her on an adventure that will shape who he is. He becomes an important person in her life and will be for the books to come.
One thing I enjoyed was the riddles. As a writer, do you like creating riddles are did riddles just become part of Nalia and the Potion Maker?
Well, riddles are very important to Aetherian culture. Aetherians believe that life’s lessons shouldn’t just be handed to you. You should take the time to figure them out or else they will have no meaning in your life. Also, I love playing with language, so I wanted this to be a part of the book.
For those who like riddles, see if you can figure out one of the riddles Nalia faces during her journey. Please give your answer in the comment section. In a few weeks I will post the answer.
It comes easily enough in times of distress,
Giving the beholder no chance of any good rest.
It knows no distinction between evil and good.
And leaves not when the bearer wishes it would.
It is a thief of all things good, for sure.
But, alas, for this curse there is no quick cure.
All great and small will eventually find.
It is not easily lost whether mean or kind.
Lyris is another great character in your novel and is a great friend to have around if you’re going on a dangerous adventure. His ability to heal is extraordinary. He also lives in a very welcoming place, the land of Amoen. Can you tell us a little bit about the land of Amoen and Lyris’s ability to heal?
Amoen is a guarded city. They don’t really experience pain or sadness and it’s very different from the world that Nalia is familiar with. It is probably one of the most beautiful lands in Aetheria.
During Nalia’s adventure she travels to many different lands in the other world like the River of Caedes, the Forest of Dark Deeds and Gubland to name a few. If I could visit any of the locations I would visit the Land of the North so that I could stop by Poto’s Potions. Which location would you visit and why?
I would love to visit Amoen because it is the most beautiful and it is virtually impossible to feel pain or discomfort there.
If I could have Nalia make something for me I think I would have her make an Amoen star. What would have Nalia make you?
A Toyota Prius. No question.
What is your favorite part of the story?
Well, I love when Nalia discovers Poto’s secret and when we see Agithara’s childhood.
This book definitely leaves you wondering what other journeys Nalia will go on. Are you working on any other books?
At the moment I am only working on the Nalia series.
Since we know you are working on another book, can you tell us if Nalia’s father will be making an appearance in book 2 and if we will be seeing more of Lyris?
Nalia’s father will remain out of the picture for now; this may change in the future. Lyris will definitely be a big part of all the books. And there is a possible love triangle in Book 2, Nalia and the Rise of the Marés.
Where can people find more information about you and your books?
For all of you who are looking to get a sneak peak of Nalia and the Potion Maker please read the excerpt below.
From chapter 10 Sarp the Grogin, after Nalia learns about Poto’s Secret:
Nalia quickly took her hands away from Poto, as she didn’t want to see anything he didn’t want her to. She still wasn’t used to seeing other’s memories, and she felt sorry for what she had done. She sat there motionless for a few minutes, staring straight at him, still transfixed on what she had just learned.
How could Poto have done such a thing? He didn’t seem evil in any shape or form. Quite the contrary, Poto was gentle and kind, and his eyes gave him away easily enough. This, coupled with what she had just seen, made her all the more confused.
Sensing that he was being judged, Poto finally spoke.
“You cannot understand what she did, what it took. No,” Poto was trembling as he said this. His eyes were filled with tears, but he was fighting back the urge to let them loose. “Only one who lost all that is good inside him could truly understand how she became what she is today.”
Then, he did something that took Nalia by surprise; he held his hand out to show Nalia the memories that had been hidden for so long, memories that he was thankful Agithara had stolen and those that he was not eager to have so soon returned.
“Please…don’t see me for what I was then,” he said softly.
Nalia agreed and took his hand.
I want to thank Queenbe for taking the time to tell us more about Nalia and the Potion Maker. And I hope you enjoyed finding out about Nalia and the Potion Maker. If you have any suggestion please don’t hesitate to email me at Info (at) InsideTheBooks (dot) com. To keep up with interviews please follow me on twitter @InsideTheBook.