Monday, August 1, 2016

Meet Shira Glassman and her heroine, Queen Shulamit

Please give a warm welcome to Queen Shulamit from The Olive Conspiracy by Shira Glassman today as we sit down and see what makes him/her tick.

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not looking after your country?

I love to read, but I mostly stick to nonfiction because there's so little fiction where women can be in love with each other in our world. Hopefully the assignment I just gave Halleli can start to fix that. She's working on a codex for me. I think in your modern world they're called graphic novels? But in the meantime I love reading sciences and histories—things that will give me the knowledge to be a better queen. Other than that, and spending time with my family, I do love playing around with my wardrobe. As queen I'm lucky enough to have access to amazing fabrics in lovely colors, so it's fun to find the prettiest ones. I prefer pink and lavender.

What is it about your love interest (can put name here) that makes you crazy in a good way?

The thing about Aviva is that she comes out with these amazing, ridiculous phrases sometimes but since she's not doing it on purpose, she never writes them down so they get lost, forever. I feel like we lose poetry that way. But maybe if she was trying to do it on purpose and write it down that would kill the magic and she'd talk like the rest of us. I keep saying I need to start writing them down but I've usually got a baby in my arms or something else to do, so... there we are.

Do you sometimes want to strangle your writer? Thrash her/him to within an inch of their life? Make them do the stupid crap they makes you do?

*wry smile* I'm not sure that question works for us since so much of me is based on her own life and hopes and anxieties. Plus, I'm not one of the characters she tortures. I'm sure Isaac would be a lot happier if she wasn't coming up with elaborate ways to make his life difficult in every book! He's been cursed, knocked out by a magical migraine, stabbed in the thigh, had his identity stolen, and even lost his tail. I guess I'm lucky all I get is gastrointestinal problems. Tell her, by the way, to refill the digestive pills in her purse. They're empty again.

Favorite food?

Without a doubt, litchis. Have you ever had them? They're sweet and fragrant and if you don't mind peeling them you can just sit there and eat a pound without even realizing it.

Tell me a little bit about your world. What are your greatest challenges in that world?

We are a prosperous and happy nation of farmers and artisans. I suppose market conditions are the biggest challenge for anyone in agriculture—will the crop fail? Will we be able to get a good price for it? Multiply that by dozens of crops and thousands of people. We mostly do well but, well, read the book. Sometimes it's in someone else's best interest that we fail, and it's my job to stand in the way.

Describe yourself in four words.

Smart. Overthinking. Tiny. Patriotic.

What do you do for a living?

24/7 mother to my country. In other words, a queen – but by that, I don't mean that I live off my people. I mean that I live for my people.

What do you fear the most?

Failing at this and letting down my father's memory. Losing the people I love. I've lost people already so I know what it feels like.




The Olive Conspiracy


Genre: fantasy, f/f

When Ezra tries to blackmail Chef Yael about her being trans, she throws him out of her restaurant and immediately reports him to the queen. When police find Ezra stabbed to death, Queen Shulamit realizes he may have also tried to extort someone more dangerous than a feisty old lady.

The royal investigation leads straight to an international terrorist plot to destroy her country’s economy—and worse, her first love, Crown Princess Carolina of Imbrio, may be involved. Since she’s got a dragon-shifting wizard at her disposal, contacts with friendly foreign witches, and the support of her partner Aviva, Shulamit has hope. What she doesn’t have is time.

A love story between women, between queen and country, and between farmers and their crops.

Excerpt:

Shulamit sat perfectly still as Aviva pushed her robe off her shoulders and down to her waist. With gentle fingers, Aviva flicked the straps of Shulamit’s nightie one at a time downward, letting the silky material collapse in weightless folds around her tiny waist.
Aviva poured a rarified amount of olive oil from the vessel into one of her hands and began to work its slick softness into the queen’s skin.
“This is what you fight for,” Aviva murmured as she massaged. “This is precious. It needs you; it loves you. This is the kiss of your land.”
Shulamit let out a voiced breath, an indistinct rose petal.
“You should remember this touch when you’re out there, in the fields,” Aviva continued. “You fight for our food. You fight for our fuel. You fight for the lights we see by in the dark, and for our country’s prosperity.”
Her lips were close to Shulamit’s ear now, and she purposely exhaled into it. Shulamit’s warm body let out a quaking shudder, and Aviva nuzzled her face against the side of her head.


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