The Sorcerer Queen Out Now!

Journal

Launch Day is finally here! My new book, The Sorcerer Queen, comes out today! In many ways, as many writers will attest, writing and publishing a book is somewhat akin to having a baby. It begins with a gleam in the eye, there is a long gestation

period in which the baby grows and takes shape, and then come the birth pangs until, finally, you are holding your newborn in your arms. And then, of course, you want everyone to meet this little bundle of joy. So it has been with each of my books, and this one is no different.

I do hope my readers will enjoy meeting the “players” who populate this story, which is framed as a play and told in a lyrical, fast-paced rhythm of rhyming quatrains. There is the aging King Sagan, trying to undo the curse of Caravaille, which brings bloodshed every time a king dies. There are his three young nephews, each a potential heir. There is a mysterious goldspun weaver, whose whereabouts no one can uncover. And there is an ancient adversary hidden deep in a cave, whom the king must eventually face if he is to save his people. This is a young adult fantasy, but like many fairytales, has layers that go deeper than the whimsy, magic and adventure of the story. For it is also an allegory for all ages that speaks to the journey of the soul and the hidden dark tunnels we must traverse if we are to accomplish the spiritual tasks of our lives.

It also speaks symbolically of the power of the feminine. For while a king rules the land, and he will name one of his nephews as heir, it is in fact a woman who controls everything. And though the king thinks he—or his heir—will solve the riddle of the curse, it is the power of the female that will bring everything full circle. I did not consciously put any of this into the story, but discovered it, as I hope my readers will, upon reading the whole once it was finished. In a sense the story asks the question: does the masculine, outer power base represent the ego mind through which most of us live our lives and see the world, while the inner feminine energy represents the soul and the true paths we must take if we are to grow and make ourselves whole, whether we are aware or not?

I think of The Sorcerer Queen as a medieval verse tapestry, and I do hope you will all enjoy the magic, mystery and perhaps touch of the mystical that is woven through it!

period in which the baby grows and takes shape, and then come the birth pangs until, finally, you are holding your newborn in your arms. And then, of course, you want everyone to meet this little bundle of joy. So it has been with each of my books, and this one is no different.

I do hope my readers will enjoy meeting the “players” who populate this story, which is framed as a play and told in a lyrical, fast-paced rhythm of rhyming quatrains. There is the aging King Sagan, trying to undo the curse of Caravaille, which brings bloodshed every time a king dies. There are his three young nephews, each a potential heir. There is a mysterious goldspun weaver, whose whereabouts no one can uncover. And there is an ancient adversary hidden deep in a cave, whom the king must eventually face if he is to save his people. This is a young adult fantasy, but like many fairytales, has layers that go deeper than the whimsy, magic and adventure of the story. For it is also an allegory for all ages that speaks to the journey of the soul and the hidden dark tunnels we must traverse if we are to accomplish the spiritual tasks of our lives.

It also speaks symbolically of the power of the feminine. For while a king rules the land, and he will name one of his nephews as heir, it is in fact a woman who controls everything. And though the king thinks he—or his heir—will solve the riddle of the curse, it is the power of the female that will bring everything full circle. I did not consciously put any of this into the story, but discovered it, as I hope my readers will, upon reading the whole once it was finished. In a sense the story asks the question: does the masculine, outer power base represent the ego mind through which most of us live our lives and see the world, while the inner feminine energy represents the soul and the true paths we must take if we are to grow and make ourselves whole, whether we are aware or not?

I think of The Sorcerer Queen as a medieval verse tapestry, and I do hope you will all enjoy the magic, mystery and perhaps touch of the mystical that is woven through it!

The Writing Process Behind The Sorcerer Queen

Journal
As many of my readers know, my new book, The Sorcerer Queen, will be released on August 28th. I am so delighted to be bringing this book out now to share it with all of you. I actually began working on it about twenty years ago, and many

projects later, took it out recently to revise, polish and illustrate it.

People always ask writers about their process and where their book ideas come from. Mine often come to me as whispers from people in distant times and places, or else as wisps of poetry or bits of dialogue that float into my consciousness. I will listen, write it all down and wait for more to come. At some point I will realize a new story, a new book, is coming through. I do not really feel that I invent these stories, but I welcome them as gifts and try to do right by the characters and bring their tales to fruition.

The Sorcerer Queen is one of those stories that began with snippets of poetry. I was on my early morning walk one day when the first lines came to me:

“In the land of blue and silver moons
And jasmine scented air,
A just and aging sovereign ruled—
King Sagan, called ‘The Fair.’ “

The words had a haunting quality to them, and I realized that the king himself was haunted, deeply troubled by a curse that boded ill for his kingdom. Not long after that, again on my morning walk, the curse itself came to me in its entirety of eight rhyming quatrains. I rushed home to capture every word and sat back and looked at it. I had not invented this, but now it was my job to decipher it and write the full story. And I realized that the curse not only contained the key to its own reversal, but provided a template for the entire book.

“My curse be on this murdering band
For threescore years and more,
That every time the crown must pass,
The nobles go to war.”

So begins the curse, and so my work began. Who cursed the kingdom, and why? What must the king do to end the curse? Who is thwarting him every time he tries to name one of his three nephews as his heir? Who is the one true heir? Where is the mysterious goldspun weaver, and who is The Sorcerer Queen?

The story began as lines of poetry and became a magical, whimsical young adult fantasy, a tale I had to tell. And that’s what I was doing, telling a story. But as it unfolded, layers of meaning revealed themselves to me, spiritual questions and lessons that I had not consciously inserted but that I realized were underneath it all: What must we do to make amends for old wrongs? How do we make things right and bring everything full circle? What dark nights of the soul must we go through before we come into the light? The answers to these questions came as the story did, line by line, over many months. And so I do believe that this story is not only for young adults, but is a spiritual allegory for all ages.

Look for the book coming August 28! I hope my young readers will have as much fun with the magic and mystery of The Sorcerer Queen as I had in the writing of it, and that it will bring delight, and perhaps a bit of inspiration, to readers of all ages.

projects later, took it out recently to revise, polish and illustrate it.

People always ask writers about their process and where their book ideas come from. Mine often come to me as whispers from people in distant times and places, or else as wisps of poetry or bits of dialogue that float into my consciousness. I will listen, write it all down and wait for more to come. At some point I will realize a new story, a new book, is coming through. I do not really feel that I invent these stories, but I welcome them as gifts and try to do right by the characters and bring their tales to fruition.

The Sorcerer Queen is one of those stories that began with snippets of poetry. I was on my early morning walk one day when the first lines came to me:

“In the land of blue and silver moons
And jasmine scented air,
A just and aging sovereign ruled—
King Sagan, called ‘The Fair.’ “

The words had a haunting quality to them, and I realized that the king himself was haunted, deeply troubled by a curse that boded ill for his kingdom. Not long after that, again on my morning walk, the curse itself came to me in its entirety of eight rhyming quatrains. I rushed home to capture every word and sat back and looked at it. I had not invented this, but now it was my job to decipher it and write the full story. And I realized that the curse not only contained the key to its own reversal, but provided a template for the entire book.

“My curse be on this murdering band
For threescore years and more,
That every time the crown must pass,
The nobles go to war.”

So begins the curse, and so my work began. Who cursed the kingdom, and why? What must the king do to end the curse? Who is thwarting him every time he tries to name one of his three nephews as his heir? Who is the one true heir? Where is the mysterious goldspun weaver, and who is The Sorcerer Queen?

The story began as lines of poetry and became a magical, whimsical young adult fantasy, a tale I had to tell. And that’s what I was doing, telling a story. But as it unfolded, layers of meaning revealed themselves to me, spiritual questions and lessons that I had not consciously inserted but that I realized were underneath it all: What must we do to make amends for old wrongs? How do we make things right and bring everything full circle? What dark nights of the soul must we go through before we come into the light? The answers to these questions came as the story did, line by line, over many months. And so I do believe that this story is not only for young adults, but is a spiritual allegory for all ages.

Look for the book coming August 28! I hope my young readers will have as much fun with the magic and mystery of The Sorcerer Queen as I had in the writing of it, and that it will bring delight, and perhaps a bit of inspiration, to readers of all ages.

Updates to Share

Journal
I am utterly delighted to share that I received the advance copies of my new book, The Sorcerer Queen, scheduled for release on August 28th. It is such a thrill for me to hold that first copy of a new book in my hand.
Even though I have written the book, revised, revised and copy-edited till I know it almost by heart; even though I’ve done the artwork and worked countless hours with my art director on the layout; even though I’ve seen the galley proofs plus what’s called a cover dye-strike in advance—even though all of the above, to have that first copy hot off the press at last is always a sublimely joyful experience! And it’s an experience that actually gets more, not less, exciting every time I bring out a new book.

Perhaps that’s because each book begins as an ephemeral idea, like the proverbial gleam in the eye, or perhaps a whisper from a character from a time or place I never imagined, or a line or two that I find I’ve written without any conscious intention. And then as the days pass, the wispy, dream-like thoughts become more insistent, more coherent, and I realize there’s a story waiting to be told, and a book waiting to materialize. And when it finally does, it really is a dream come true.

So I held The Sorcerer Queen in my hands and looked over every page and laughed and cried at the same time. And then I did what I always do with the first copy of each new book: I set it on a tiny easel on an antique table framed by a gold-leaf mirror and two brass lamps with green hanging crystals and cherubs on the base. And suddenly I realized there were four books on the table and it was actually getting crowded!

And then it hit me—this is my fourth book in four years! I honestly did not realize that I’d been working that fast. But I love what I do and my work completely energizes me, so I keep going. And yes, I’m halfway through Book#5, but more about that later.

The Sorcerer Queen is one of several books that I have planned that I call medieval tapestries of verse. It’s a whimsical young adult fantasy about a kingdom cursed for nearly a century, the king who tries to undo the curse, and his mysterious, hidden adversary. I think the layout and artwork reflect the playful nature of the story, but it also has its serious side, since it can be read as a spiritual allegory about our necessary journeys through darkness into light. Stay tuned for more as the launch gets closer!

Even though I have written the book, revised, revised and copy-edited till I know it almost by heart; even though I’ve done the artwork and worked countless hours with my art director on the layout; even though I’ve seen the galley proofs plus what’s called a cover dye-strike in advance—even though all of the above, to have that first copy hot off the press at last is always a sublimely joyful experience! And it’s an experience that actually gets more, not less, exciting every time I bring out a new book.

Perhaps that’s because each book begins as an ephemeral idea, like the proverbial gleam in the eye, or perhaps a whisper from a character from a time or place I never imagined, or a line or two that I find I’ve written without any conscious intention. And then as the days pass, the wispy, dream-like thoughts become more insistent, more coherent, and I realize there’s a story waiting to be told, and a book waiting to materialize. And when it finally does, it really is a dream come true.

So I held The Sorcerer Queen in my hands and looked over every page and laughed and cried at the same time. And then I did what I always do with the first copy of each new book: I set it on a tiny easel on an antique table framed by a gold-leaf mirror and two brass lamps with green hanging crystals and cherubs on the base. And suddenly I realized there were four books on the table and it was actually getting crowded!

And then it hit me—this is my fourth book in four years! I honestly did not realize that I’d been working that fast. But I love what I do and my work completely energizes me, so I keep going. And yes, I’m halfway through Book#5, but more about that later.

The Sorcerer Queen is one of several books that I have planned that I call medieval tapestries of verse. It’s a whimsical young adult fantasy about a kingdom cursed for nearly a century, the king who tries to undo the curse, and his mysterious, hidden adversary. I think the layout and artwork reflect the playful nature of the story, but it also has its serious side, since it can be read as a spiritual allegory about our necessary journeys through darkness into light. Stay tuned for more as the launch gets closer!

Foreword Review Calls Sorcerer Queen ‘A Versatile Gem’

Journal

A refreshing blend of classic narrative poetry and modern style and creativity, Xianna Michaels’s The Sorcerer Queen is a versatile gem.
The lilting tale of a kingdom haunted by an ancient curse, Xianna Michaels’s The Sorcerer Queen is a captivating volume of narrative poetry, recounted in the spirit of traveling minstrels and wandering troubadours singing legends of old.

The aging King of Caravaille is determined to name an heir from among his three nephews in hopes of sparing his subjects from the curse of Oriana, long the cause of chaos and bloodshed surrounding each succession. With the aid of his trusted adviser, Lord Shin, he realizes that he will need to seek out the mysterious Sorcerer Queen and elusive Goldspun Weaver to unravel the secrets of the tragic prophecy and ensure peace for Caravaille.

The stage is set with five acts and multiple scenes, creating ambience with descriptions ranging from moonlit gardens to the king’s privy chambers and royal throne room. A cast of players is listed prior to the entrance of “The Bard,” very much akin to a theatrical production.

The entire epyllion is done in creatively positioned and oriented quatrains, with each double-page spread functioning to form visually fluid shapes, patterns, and designs. Pen-and-ink drawings by Michaels are scattered throughout, adding a touch of whimsical detail with depictions of crowns, knights, and courtyards.

The curse itself doubles as a riddle with clues for its reversal. King Sagan ruminates extensively with his royal advisor, Lord Shin; they humorously attempt to decipher the imagery and proclamations. Complete in eight stanzas, the curse is periodically quoted in a chorus-like manner–though Sagan, much to Shin’s consternation, often passes out before the recitation has been completed:

Shin slowly closed the ancient book,
So moved that he could weep,
But when he turned to look at Sagan
The king was fast asleep!

Individual stanzas utilize alternating rhymes and maintain an upbeat, rolling cadence that builds suspense and urgency while retaining a sense of fun and excitement. There is a smooth, lyrical rhythm to the quatrains; each functions either as a complete thought or is linked to others with natural pauses. This rhythm is occasionally interrupted by midline breaks.

Sagan is a well-meaning ruler, but he is quick to make up his mind and slow to change it; he is unintentionally comical, if sincere, in his efforts. His nephews are likewise pleasantly agreeable; it is not immediately clear which will break the curse or why the Sorcerer Queen is determined that it must be one over another. As the story is consistently fast paced throughout, answers and resolutions are quickly realized.

A refreshing blend of classic narrative poetry and modern style and creativity, Xianna Michaels’s The Sorcerer Queen is a versatile gem–perfect for reciting, reading in tandem, performing with a group, or simply enjoying as a fantasy adventure.

Read the full review here at Foreword Reviews.

The lilting tale of a kingdom haunted by an ancient curse, Xianna Michaels’s The Sorcerer Queen is a captivating volume of narrative poetry, recounted in the spirit of traveling minstrels and wandering troubadours singing legends of old.

The aging King of Caravaille is determined to name an heir from among his three nephews in hopes of sparing his subjects from the curse of Oriana, long the cause of chaos and bloodshed surrounding each succession. With the aid of his trusted adviser, Lord Shin, he realizes that he will need to seek out the mysterious Sorcerer Queen and elusive Goldspun Weaver to unravel the secrets of the tragic prophecy and ensure peace for Caravaille.

The stage is set with five acts and multiple scenes, creating ambience with descriptions ranging from moonlit gardens to the king’s privy chambers and royal throne room. A cast of players is listed prior to the entrance of “The Bard,” very much akin to a theatrical production.

The entire epyllion is done in creatively positioned and oriented quatrains, with each double-page spread functioning to form visually fluid shapes, patterns, and designs. Pen-and-ink drawings by Michaels are scattered throughout, adding a touch of whimsical detail with depictions of crowns, knights, and courtyards.

The curse itself doubles as a riddle with clues for its reversal. King Sagan ruminates extensively with his royal advisor, Lord Shin; they humorously attempt to decipher the imagery and proclamations. Complete in eight stanzas, the curse is periodically quoted in a chorus-like manner–though Sagan, much to Shin’s consternation, often passes out before the recitation has been completed:

Shin slowly closed the ancient book,
So moved that he could weep,
But when he turned to look at Sagan
The king was fast asleep!

Individual stanzas utilize alternating rhymes and maintain an upbeat, rolling cadence that builds suspense and urgency while retaining a sense of fun and excitement. There is a smooth, lyrical rhythm to the quatrains; each functions either as a complete thought or is linked to others with natural pauses. This rhythm is occasionally interrupted by midline breaks.

Sagan is a well-meaning ruler, but he is quick to make up his mind and slow to change it; he is unintentionally comical, if sincere, in his efforts. His nephews are likewise pleasantly agreeable; it is not immediately clear which will break the curse or why the Sorcerer Queen is determined that it must be one over another. As the story is consistently fast paced throughout, answers and resolutions are quickly realized.

A refreshing blend of classic narrative poetry and modern style and creativity, Xianna Michaels’s The Sorcerer Queen is a versatile gem–perfect for reciting, reading in tandem, performing with a group, or simply enjoying as a fantasy adventure.

Read the full review here at Foreword Reviews.

Exciting Updates

Journal
New things grow and blossom in the spring, so what more fitting time than this to share my latest news! My new book, The Sorcerer Queen, has just gone off to the printer and is scheduled for release on August 28, 2018.
The Sorcerer Queen is a magical, medieval verse fairy tale about a kingdom cursed for nearly a century for an ancient crime. Now its aging king is determined to undo the curse before he dies, but every time he tries, great harm comes. For wrongs must be righted and lessons learned, and the king must face a mysterious, hidden adversary, known as “The Sorcerer Queen.”

A young adult fantasy with the feel of a play, The Sorcerer Queen is also a spiritual allegory for all ages, a tale of waking up and making amends, of redemption and the power of love. It’s a story many years in the making, one of several that I’m working on that I call medieval tapestries of verse. I’ve illustrated it with pen and ink drawings and I am so excited to finally share it with everyone! Find out more in the coming months!

I’m also so happy to share other great news. The Alchemy of Illuminated Poetry®, which came out in June, 2017, has been selected as a Foreword-Indies Book of the Year award finalist in the Mind-Body-Spirit category! This is my only non-fiction book to-date, about the intuitive poetry process which I developed and teach. I begin all my days writing a poem as part of this process, before I go on to my latest book.

And what’s next? Perhaps a collection of long-lost Renaissance love poems? Stay tuned!

Very best wishes,
Xianna Michaels

The Sorcerer Queen is a magical, medieval verse fairy tale about a kingdom cursed for nearly a century for an ancient crime. Now its aging king is determined to undo the curse before he dies, but every time he tries, great harm comes. For wrongs must be righted and lessons learned, and the king must face a mysterious, hidden adversary, known as “The Sorcerer Queen.”

A young adult fantasy with the feel of a play, The Sorcerer Queen is also a spiritual allegory for all ages, a tale of waking up and making amends, of redemption and the power of love. It’s a story many years in the making, one of several that I’m working on that I call medieval tapestries of verse. I’ve illustrated it with pen and ink drawings and I am so excited to finally share it with everyone! Find out more in the coming months!

I’m also so happy to share other great news. The Alchemy of Illuminated Poetry®, which came out in June, 2017, has been selected as a Foreword-Indies Book of the Year award finalist in the Mind-Body-Spirit category! This is my only non-fiction book to-date, about the intuitive poetry process which I developed and teach. I begin all my days writing a poem as part of this process, before I go on to my latest book.

And what’s next? Perhaps a collection of long-lost Renaissance love poems? Stay tuned!

Very best wishes,
Xianna Michaels

Many Thanks and Fall Updates

Journal
Dear Reader,

As many of you know, I launched my newest book, The Alchemy of Illuminated Poetry®Seven Steps to Your Personal Gold, this past June. As summer draws to a close, I wanted to thank everyone for the interest and

delightful reception the book has received.

This is my outlier book in that it’s about the process I developed of drawing and writing poetry for self-awareness and spiritual connection. It’s been so gratifying to hear from readers who work the process and find that it does, indeed, help them access their intuitive right brains and come up with surprising insights and answers to dilemmas not available through their everyday, left-brain consciousness. The same thing always happens when I teach workshops in the process. Participants experience AHA moments and say things like, “Wow! Is THAT what’s going on here? I had no idea!” So thank you all, and I wish you happy reading, drawing, writing and continued unexpected insights!

I always start my day doing this poetry process as well, and then I go to my work-in-progress. So I’d like to tell you a bit about my next project: a medieval verse fairy tale about a kingdom cursed for almost 100 years and the aging king who wants to undo the curse before he dies. In this he is thwarted by a mysterious sorceress who seems to have her tentacles everywhere. I’m in the revising and polishing stage now, and I’m working on the illustrations for the decorative initial letters and the chapter headings.

This story came to me many years ago and it’s so exciting for me finally to be bringing it into fruition! It’s for readers perhaps age 10 through adult, and can be read as a magical tale as well as a spiritual allegory. I can’t wait to share it with everyone—I’ll keep you posted on the upcoming publication date!

I have several other medieval tales in various stages of development, but meanwhile people from other times and places have been whispering to me, demanding attention. I find myself pulling off the road while driving so I can write down the snippets of their stories as they reveal them. All of which means that my carefully laid plans for the order in which I will bring my stories into the world may have to change. Updates to follow!

With warmest regards,
Xianna Michaels

delightful reception the book has received.

This is my outlier book in that it’s about the process I developed of drawing and writing poetry for self-awareness and spiritual connection. It’s been so gratifying to hear from readers who work the process and find that it does, indeed, help them access their intuitive right brains and come up with surprising insights and answers to dilemmas not available through their everyday, left-brain consciousness. The same thing always happens when I teach workshops in the process. Participants experience AHA moments and say things like, “Wow! Is THAT what’s going on here? I had no idea!” So thank you all, and I wish you happy reading, drawing, writing and continued unexpected insights!

I always start my day doing this poetry process as well, and then I go to my work-in-progress. So I’d like to tell you a bit about my next project: a medieval verse fairy tale about a kingdom cursed for almost 100 years and the aging king who wants to undo the curse before he dies. In this he is thwarted by a mysterious sorceress who seems to have her tentacles everywhere. I’m in the revising and polishing stage now, and I’m working on the illustrations for the decorative initial letters and the chapter headings.

This story came to me many years ago and it’s so exciting for me finally to be bringing it into fruition! It’s for readers perhaps age 10 through adult, and can be read as a magical tale as well as a spiritual allegory. I can’t wait to share it with everyone—I’ll keep you posted on the upcoming publication date!

I have several other medieval tales in various stages of development, but meanwhile people from other times and places have been whispering to me, demanding attention. I find myself pulling off the road while driving so I can write down the snippets of their stories as they reveal them. All of which means that my carefully laid plans for the order in which I will bring my stories into the world may have to change. Updates to follow!

With warmest regards,
Xianna Michaels

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