Natania Barron: Five Things I Learned Writing Queen of None

Married at twelve, and a mother not long after, Anna– the renowned King Arthurs sibling– did not live a young life loaded with legend, guarantee, and myth. She bore 3 strong children and provided the kingdom of Orkney to her brother by way of her marital relationship. She did as she was asked, unnoticeable and helpful for her name, her status, her dowry, and her womb.

Carelon, and all of Braetan, is altering, though, and Anna should change together with it. New threats, within and out, hide in the shadows, and a strange power starts to awaken in her. As she learns to reconcile her dark gift, and struggles to keep the power to herself, she needs to negotiate her own strength, and family, versus her aspiration and thirst for revenge.


Twenty years after she left her house, Anna returns to Carelon at Arthurs bidding, bring the crown of her now-dead other half, Lot of Orkney. Anna should when again deal with the satanic forces of her youth: her sis Morgen, Elaine, and Morgause; Merlin and his scheming Avillion priests; and Bedevere, the man she once enjoyed.

When Anna Pendragon was born, Merlin prophesied: “Through all the ages, and in the hearts of males, you will be forgotten.”

Women Are Mostly Just Plot Points in Much of Medieval Literature

But Arthuriana, and the romances of the Middle Ages, are especially cringe-worthy in terms of the “strange females lying in ponds dispersing swords” aspect. Ladies appear all over the location: in ponds, in forests, in towers, and in beds (there are a lot of Elaines in the Arthurian legends it borders on ridiculous). Approved, there werent a great deal of choices in regards to adventuring for a lady, however that doesnt mean it didnt occur. In fact, the more I found out about the expansive Middle Ages, the more I discovered women who were a lot more than plot points: real ladies who wrote books, took a trip the world, had visions, and narrated history.

The entire idea for Queen of None came from a single passage I check out throughout my undergraduate studies in Geoffrey of Monmouths History of the Kings of Britain. It just stated that Igraine and Uther had two kids, Arthur and Anna. However while Arthur gets all the attention, Anna vanishes in the shadow of the king and her half-sisters.

I mean, I get it. Ive read enough Western literature to innately comprehend that, for the better part of the last couple of thousand years, women arent precisely portrayed as heroes, or actually anything other than practical stumbling blocks for the genuine heroes. There are a handful of exceptions, of course, however its far from the standard.

Now, Ive got to beginning this by saying, Queen of None happened soon after I finished from my MA program, where I studied Medieval literature and Arthuriana in basic. I entered that program with a Just Because Im a Woman Doesnt Mean Im a Feminist Scholar mindset and entrusted to I Am a Feminist Scholar and I Will Burn Down the Patriarchy mentality.

I Can Write Books and Be a Mom

Keeping a composing profession going while raising a household means you continuously have to find out new ways to write. I have an unique needs son.

When my boy was born, nevertheless, I understood that I needed to end up writing. I required to begin composing books, not simply … book-shaped things that couldnt be published. I didnt want my boy to ask me, “Mom, what did you want to be when you matured?” and my answer be that I dreamed of being a writer one day. I wished to have the ability to tell him that I worked damned hard at it, and made it occur.

Be cautioned however, composing with kids is not simple. When people ask me what its like to balance a composing profession, a full-time career, and raising kids, I discuss that its really much like wrestling a greasy owlbear.

Motherhood and composing are inextricably linked for me. I do not actually remember when I started composing book-length things. I simply always had stories that needed numerous pages.

Trunk Novels Arent Always Trunk Novels

They did. And here we are.

I started writing Queen of None as a NaNoWriMo task in 2009 or so. Then I spent a year or two modifying it. I sent it out and it was declined. Once. So I chose, naturally, that it was never ever implied to be and nobody cared and it was, for that reason, a trunk book (i.e. an unique I would save in my virtual “trunk” with all the other not fit for publication books out there) and overall hot garbage, and possibly I should consider quitting writing? Thankfully I didnt go that far. Yeah. We writers can sure have some rollercoaster feelings.

Let me preface this with stating, Ive just recently been identified with ADHD. In the case of this book, I totally turtled.

I edited it more. I added brand-new scenes. I changed the characters.

Damnit, I Love the Editing Process So Much

The scenes I included, the edits I made, all truly just enhance the story on another level. As authors, we require to be pressed out of our convenience zones in order to improve. Tension isnt just an imagination killer, it can be a profession killer.

I think I might like modifying more than I like composing. And when you discover the ideal editor? Its simply magic. Eric Bosarge, my editor on Queen of None, he told me that his preferred scene was Lancelochs fishing scene (youll need to check out to understand). And what blew my mind was that in all the scenes– and much more amazing occasions– that was likewise my favorite.

Erics questions, like excellent editors should, helped me actually burnish the manuscript to where you see it now. It was an extreme month of editing for me (hi, hyper-focus), and I held the entire book in my head once again, dreaming of it, pushing myself to make more connections and go deeper with language, with the style, with character. All in all, although the book is under 100,000 words, I tracked well over 10,000 modifications between Erics edits and my own. My bad computer desired to eliminate me. And it was nearly euphoric for me. I like making things better.

Heroes Dont Always Carry Swords

Which resounds with me, as well. Ive always liked legendary dream, heroic tales, and flamboyant experiences: however there arent a great deal of females for me to look at. The tale of Arthur is not new, but Anna is. That suggested she had to bring something different to the table (pardon the pun, or do not). As a writer, that was such a gratifying experience. As a lady, a mom, and somebody whos needed to stand up for what she thinks in time and once again, it was likewise a powerful experience.

In lots of ways, Queen of None is a quarantine book. No, there isnt a pandemic in the book. Anna, however dint of her status and relationships, doesnt leave Carelon throughout the entirety of the narrative save for one instance. She resides in castles. She haunts the halls. She becomes a shadow. While the knights of the Table Round are out slaying monsters, hunting grails, bedding dames, and knocking skulls for the world, shes doing embroidery (albeit begrudgingly).

Like the medieval females of my research studies, she still exists. If theres anything that defines Anna Pendragon, its her patience, her willingness to wait. An intricate heroine is a lot more enjoyable to compose than one who is the pinnacle of pureness and sweetness.


Natania Barron has been traveling to other worlds from an extremely young age, and will be forever indebted to Lucy Pevensie and Meg Murry for inspiring her to go on her own experiences. She presently lives in North Carolina with her family, and is, at heart, a hobbit– albeit it one with a Tookish streak a mile large.

Natania Barron: Website

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Queen of None: Indiebound||Amazon

I needed to start composing books, not just … book-shaped things that could not be released. When people ask me what its like to balance a composing career, a full-time career, and raising kids, I describe that its extremely much like wrestling a greasy owlbear. Keeping a writing career going while raising a household means you constantly have to find out new ways to compose. I chose, naturally, that it was never ever suggested to be and no one cared and it was, therefore, a trunk novel (i.e. a novel I would save in my virtual “trunk” with all the other not fit for publication books out there) and overall hot garbage, and perhaps I should think about giving up writing?

The more I discovered about the extensive Middle Ages, the more I found females who were so much more than plot points: real ladies who wrote books, took a trip the world, had visions, and narrated history.

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