Author Astrid Scholte is here to tell you 8 things you didn’t know about Four Dead Queens!
Four Dead Queens is an enthralling fast-paced royal murder mystery where competing agendas collide with deadly consequences.
We hope you enjoy these special easter eggs!
8 things you didn’t know about Four Dead Queens
by Astrid Scholte
- Initially there were six queens. I’m a pantser, so I usually start with a concept or hook and see where it takes me. For Four Dead Queens, I knew I wanted to have a murder mystery set in a fantasy world, which was divided into very distinct regions with a queen ruling together, yet apart. When I first starting writing, I imagined there would be six queens, but I quickly discovered two of the queens, Freya and Mobi, didn’t have much screen time. These two queens only lasted the first draft before getting the cut. And then there were four!
- There were many name changes throughout the process of writing Four Dead Queens. Kacella became Keralie, Sierra became Stessa, Karla became Corra and Teron became Varin. The only characters whose names remained the same from the outset was Queen Iris, Queen Marguerite and Mackiel. I like play around with names and letters throughout drafts until the sound and look of the name fits my feelings toward the character. I usually know what they look like before I know their name. Painting their portraits was a process to learn more about the characters and what they’re like.
- The original working title for Four Dead Queens was The Murder Disk. It sounded far too sci-fi and not intriguing enough.
- The first spark of inspiration for Four Dead Queens came from a dream where I sat in a horse-drawn carriage and a sleek silver car drove past. When I woke, I wondered why a country would have such contrasting cultures and technologies. Initially, I began with the idea of one world splintered into different time periods. And while I eventually moved away from this idea as the distinction between the quadrants, there are clues to the original concept with Toria being named after Victorian times and Eonia after eons.
- Mackiel had always been Keralie’s boss, but in the first drafts, he was older. It made more sense to age him down and have him as a childhood friend of Keralie’s, which added to the complexity of their relationship.
6. For a long time, Archia was connected to the mainland of Quadara. It only became an island in the later stages of revisions to help define why and how the quadrant could remain so untouched, compared to the other quadrants.
- Quadara is just one nation of a bigger world. This world is hinted at in the book, but not yet explored. Maybe sometimes in the future it will be!
- And finally, there is an easter egg on the front cover of the book. Have you spotted it?