Pitch Madness #11 – Adana K. Washington and “All Will Suffer Me”


1. Let's hear your pitch.
The Fifth Season meets The Legend of Korra in the story of a woman with an unwanted claim to the throne whose quest for vengeance unravels a religious plot to destroy her people’s energy-based magic.

2. If you were querying me, what would the teaser of your book be?
Dailia Lovo has only used her ability to siphon energy once, and only to protect her people. She drained not only the soldiers sent to kill her, but her own family as well. As the next heir in the succession cycle, she should be a queen, not sleeping on rooftops and fighting in taverns to pay her debts. But the people of Emthur are better off without a murderer on the throne.
Yet when she discovers the brutal slaughter of a family that treated her as one of their own, Dailia can’t just walk away this time. She heads to the city of Ageinor, determined to make someone bleed for this massacre, and absolve herself of the one she caused long ago.
Dailia’s quest for vengeance pits her against the citizens and their strange new religion. The faithful condemn their own magical abilities, and the soldiers kill anyone who dissents. And they refuse to believe that the woman they answer to is leading them with a lie. If Dailia is going to avenge the fallen, she’ll have to to confront her past and decide if exposing the truth is worth her life.

3. Who is your target audience? What genre is your book?
Adult epic fantasy

4. How did this story come about? Who or what inspired you/this story?
Years ago, I found myself thinking about magic and the history of it. And I started to wonder, what if humans actually had magical abilities? I started thinking about those cases where mothers lift cars to save their children, mixed with the magic that you see on television shows and movies. And I wondered, what if all humans could do those kinds of things, but were forced to leave it all behind when religion came along? It took me a couple years, but I finally started doing some worldbuilding around the concept. It took me four tries before I found the right premise, but I got there eventually.

5. Is this your first book?
No, it’s my second novel.

6. Why did you enter #PitchMadness?
I heard about it last year, and I wished I could have entered then. What drew me most was the camaraderie between the participants. Being able to meet new writerly friends is something I’m looking forward to.

7. Do you have any past experiences with this story or in writing that you would like to share?
I’ve written some nonfiction books on tarot and chakras in the past. I’ve also done a couple of tarot decks, which are also on the nonfiction page on my website.

8. What can we expect from your story in the future, do you have any plans?
I’m letting the next book in the series form itself in my mind. I’m hoping to turn it into a long-running series of spin-offs, like what Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows takes place in a different location in the Grishaverse.

9. Can we hear an excerpt?
Even with the crude company she usually kept, Dailia had blushed fiercely at some of the jokes and stories the wrinkled Clan Mother had told her over pints of ale and sapphire cordial. Kailin and her daughters would trade tales like it was a competition as they passed pipes of cured sathish leaves. The mildly relaxing plants grew wildly around the city and gave the place its name. Dailia would have denied it, but watching Kailin and her daughters had always been a bit painful. It reminded her of all that she never had as a child, or as a young woman.
The scent of old pipes and spent sathish ash rose as Dailia and Narius pressed on through the trees. They passed through the last of the ash coated trunks and Narius stumbled to a stop at the edge of the field. Dailia let the reins go slack in her hand and stared out over the land.
She glanced to her left and saw the gray tips of the Mount Hissen, marking the beginning of the Nekimel Mountains that crawled north then east into Ageinor. She let her eyes follow the unseen line of the mountains, her gaze catching the glint of the Sikoli River to the east.
She was in the right place, but the thought only made her stomach quake and her chest tighten under her leather harness. She pulled her gaze to the stretch of land ahead of her and swallowed past the lump in her throat.
Sathich was gone.

10. Have a website or social media platform for your story?
Indeed. My website is http://adanawashington.com . I’m also on Twitter and Instagram @adanawashington, and Tumblr.

11. As someone who also writes in high/epic fantasy, did you have trouble finding where your story fit? Was it always in its own world?
When I first started with the concept, I wrote an entire manuscript as an urban fantasy. It wasn’t until I drilled down into what I really wanted the story to be that I realized that should be in a secondary world.

12.That's an interesting title. Can you talk about it, or does it rely on spoilers?
I actually thought of the title before I wrote the book. I saw a license plate that spelled awesome AWSM, and I wanted it to be the hashtag for my title. After a while I thought of a title that fit, but I thought it wouldn’t work. Then as I was having a fit of writer’s block, I was on Twitter and saw something about the awesome feeling of reading the part of a story that explains the title. It made me think about the title I’d come up with, and it fit perfectly with the part that I was writing, which happened to be a back story flashback.

You can connect with Adana on Twitter @adanawashington