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Our SPFBOX interviews continue with Aimee Kuzenski,  author of Seeds of Inheritance.

SPFBO (the Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off) is a free online contest run by author Mark Lawrence. 300 authors compete across ten judging teams to see who will be the winner! You can read more about the contest here.

 

Photo of Aimee Kuzenski. Aimee is a pretty white woman with long red hair and an infectious smile. She's wearing a green shirt and has striking red lipstick.

INTERVIEW WITH AIMEE KUZENSKI

 

Tell us a little about yourself and let our readers know which blog you’ve been assigned to for SPFBOX!

I’m assigned to BeforeWeGoBlog. This is my third self-pubbed book. I have a background in theater and electrical engineering, I’ve been practicing Filipino martial arts for about 15 years, and I love to sing and sew. I’m also on the board of directors for the 4th St Fantasy writer’s convention held in Minneapolis, MN.


What inspired you to write this book?

I got angry at DUNE – but once I started writing, I fell in love with the characters and world building.

 

 

 

My favorite part of editing is working at the prose level – language is music to me.

 

Can you tell us a little bit about your writing or editing process? What’s most exciting to you about writing or editing?

I do the standard two or three drafts before sending it to beta readers, then a draft to incorporate suggestions before sending it to an editor. My favorite part of editing is working at the prose level – language is music to me.


Who or what have been your major literary influences?
Elizabeth Bear, Premee Mohamed, Adrian Tchaikovsky, C.S. Friedman, Ursula Le Guin.

What makes your SPFBOX book unique?
I think I wrote one of the only space fantasies in the contest this year.

Do you have a favourite character from your SPFBOX entry? Tell us about them!

My main character, Berenike, is my favorite. She’s broken and scarred by trauma, but even so, she keeps pushing forward. She was trained to be a member of the Fingertip Order, whose history includes discovery and punishment of people who defy the laws against manipulating the elven genome – a law she rebelled against before she was enslaved. She’s brutal and efficient with a knife, a brutality she doesn’t even hold back from her daughter, who she’s trying to train to win the war she lost.

 

I hope my book makes [readers] think about the nuance of redemption, and the way we are often the biggest stumbling block on the path to redemption.


How does your work fit into (or challenge) its genre?
Space fantasy is always, in my mind, a challenge to both fantasy and sci-fi. SEEDS OF INHERITANCE takes some of the tropes of epic fantasy and meshes them with the trappings of SF, warped to include botanical technology and magic. I also wanted to challenge the idea of what a first novel in a series could look like – I wasn’t interested in watching Berenike try and fail. I wanted to see her come from behind and beat her demons.

What do you hope readers take away from your SPFBOX entry?

I hope my book makes them think about the nuance of redemption, and the way we are often the biggest stumbling block on the path to redemption.

Space fantasy is always, in my mind, a challenge to both fantasy and sci-fi.


What are you currently working on?

I’m recording the audio for SEEDS OF INHERITANCE, editing a fantasy of manners called THE HOUSE HOLD, drafting a secondary-world fantasy based on the Holy Roman Empire, and also drafting the sequel to SEEDS.


Seeds of Inheritance

A decade ago, Berenike, adept of the Fingertip Order, conspired to put her son on the throne at the head of a group of rebels who only wanted their futures back.

She failed.

Her son and husband dead, her dreams and reputation in tatters, Berenike makes the only bargain she can – she gives her magic-sealed oath to serve emperor Leontios the Unbending in exchange for the life of her young daughter, Evrim.

Now, after her failure to help the rebels and her years of slavery and humiliation, Berenike is dealt yet another blow. Evrim, frustrated with her mother’s dedication to a lost cause, rejects Berenike’s plans. She will not fight the battles Berenike cannot. 

Berenike must find a way to unseat Leontios and redeem her promises to the rebels, all while navigating an almost unbreakable oath. Alone and disregarded, she will use any weapon that comes to hand – even if that weapon is her own daughter.

 

Add Seed of Inheritance on Goodreads.

Purchase Seeds of Inheritance on Amazon.

 

ABOUT AIMEE KUZENSKI

Aimee Kuzenski was born in Clintonville, WI, and currently lives in northeast Minneapolis, MN. She moved there in 1996 in an effort to use her BFA Acting Power for good, and discovered she didn’t really enjoy having no health care and looking for a new job every four weeks. After some discussion and internal musing, Aimee took herself to the University of Minnesota for electrical engineering training. The final result seems to be a blending of the two extremely different disciplines. By day, she works as a technical writer for a local engineering company. For much of the rest of the time, she sits in her home studio and writes fantasy, science fiction, and her own blend of the two.

Aimee has been inhaling science fiction and fantasy since her childhood. Starting with six hour marathons of classic Dr Who on Sundays and every single book on Greek myths her grandmother would allow her to check out, she moved on to the adult SF/F stacks, read everything there, and hasn’t stopped since. After discovering the existence of conventions in high school (Wiscon 1988, woo!), Aimee has been active in as many conventions as she could, including acting as MC for the CONvergence masquerade for its first few years and participating in many panels.

Unwilling to stop at intellectual pursuits, Aimee also trains in eskrima, a Filipino martial art. She believes hitting things with sticks is both beautiful and therapeutic.

Aimee has an apartment, a hairless cat, two house bunnies, and reams of fantastic friends.

Steve Hugh Westenra

Steve is a trans author of fantasy, science fiction, and horror (basically, if it’s weird he writes it). He grew up on the eldritch shores of Newfoundland, Canada, and currently lives and works in (the slightly less eldritch) Montreal. He holds advanced degrees in Russian Literature, Medieval Studies, and Religious Studies. As a reader, Steve’s tastes are eclectic. He enjoys anything that could be called speculative, including fantasy, sci-fi, and horror, but has been known to enjoy a good mystery as well as literary fiction. He’s always excited to try something new or that pushes boundaries, particularly from marginalized authors. Steve is passionate about queer representation, Late Antiquity, and spiders.

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