To celebrate the release of Tiger Queen, we have a special Q&A with Annie Sullivan! Stay tuned for Part II later this week…
Get your copy of Tiger Queen HERE.
What was your inspiration behind Tiger Queen?
Tiger Queen was inspired by the infamous short story “The Lady, or the Tiger” by Frank Richard Stockton, which is taught in classrooms around the world. It’s infamous because the original short story has a cliffhanger ending. In the story, a princess’s peasant boyfriend has been thrown into an arena (by the angry king), where the boy has to choose between two doors. Behind one is a tiger that will eat him. Behind the other is a beautiful lady he’ll get to marry. Only, that beautiful lady is the princess’s biggest rival, the one she’d never want her boyfriend to end up with. The princess finds out what waits behind each door, and when her boyfriend looks up at her, she signals he should pick one of the doors. He does. The doors open. And the story ends. The reader never discovers what the princess told him to pick. Did she want him to live? To die quickly? To end up with her enemy? It’s up to the reader to decide. And ever since I read that story in junior high, I have always wanted to give it an ending. And now I’ve given it the ending it always should have had. Only my story has a few new twists as it follows a warrior princess who has to fight suitors in the arena to win her right to rule.
What makes this book special/unique, and why should readers be sure to place it on their TBR list?
Tiger Queen is a heart pounding adventure full of secrets that the sands have long tried to hide—and that some people might kill to keep hidden. And Princess Kateri is about to find herself smack dab in the middle of it all. She’ll have to learn not only who to trust, but how to keep herself alive as she fights to win her throne.
What is it about fantasy that makes you want to write in this genre?
I love how fantasy is always a reflection of reality. Tiger Queen follows a princess who has to fight for her right to rule in a very patriarchal society. She has to find where and how she fits in, which I think is something readers are dealing with even today. So I love that you can address real world issues through a fantasy world. Plus, I just love writing about magical creatures and worlds that I get to invent!
What kind of impact did writing Tiger Queen have on you personally?
Since I was finally able to give an ending to the short story I read all those years ago, Tiger Queen was very cathartic in closing a door that I had long left open wondering about the outcome of that story. I gave the story the ending it always should have had—one that readers may not see coming.