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Book Tour Q&A: Heir of Memory and Shadow by Rachanee Lumayno

Today we're taking part in the book tour organized by Escapist Book Tours for Heir of Memory and Shadow by Rachanee Lumayno! Continue reading for the book blurb and a Q&A with the author.

About the book

Kaernan Asthore may be one of the most gifted Seekers in the kingdom of Orchwell, but he wants nothing more than to be rid of his gift: the ability to find lost loves, which often ends in heartbreak.

So when Lady Adallia Pahame hires him to find her own lost love, Kaernan assumes it will be an easy, routine commission.

But when the mystery surrounding his new traveling companion causes them to run afoul of an infamous gang of bounty hunters, Kaernan realizes this is one commission he might not return from. Will he be able to uncover the truth in time to save his friends — and himself?

Heir of Memory and Shadow is the second book in the Kingdom Legacy series.

On to the interview...!

This is one of our standard podcast opening questions, so we’ll include it for written interviews as well! Tell us something great that’s happened recently! :)

Wow, so many things! It’s been a super hot but busy summer for me here in LA. In addition to working on Book 3 in the Kingdom Legacy series, I’ve also been narrating a bunch of independent and publisher audiobooks, one of them will be coming out this month (Megan Bannen’s The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy, Aug. 23). And if you like K-Pop, I appear on the first track of J-Hope (from BTS)’s new album, Jack in the Box. (Maybe listen to it while you’re reading?) Finally, I’ll be in a few comedy shorts that are shooting this month.

What are you currently reading or what’s up next on your TBR? What made you pick up this book?

There’s a bazillion new books on my TBR list, but sometimes when I’m in the thick of things, I like to re-read my favorites. It’s amazing what you pick up when you re-read something. I’m working my way through Jim C. Hines’s Princess series again, I’m on The Stepsister Scheme. Super funny and he’s great with clever dialogue and episodic writing.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to start writing?

I was born on a snowy day in Michigan… That’s actually how my official bio on my website starts out. And when you come from a place like Michigan, where you’re stuck inside because of snow for about 2/3 of the year, you tend to find ways to amuse yourself. For me, it was reading pretty much anything and everything, and having a vivid imagination. (For my fourth grade birthday, I wrote a play and made my friends all act in it at the party. Looking back, they were awfully nice to go along with it.) I actually majored in journalism in college, but veered off the writer track. It wasn’t until I came to LA and started acting that I got back into writing, albeit sketch comedy and romcoms. A lot of it was “Write the things you want to act in.” Which is fine, but then you have to actually produce the thing, and that costs money and time. I had a little of the second, and not a lot of the first.

But then 2020 hit, and I suddenly had a LOT of time. So I started writing. The first book in the Kingdom Legacy series, Heir of Amber and Fire, was inspired by a defunct Dungeons and Dragons campaign. After it was published, I thought, Hey, I still have some more stories to tell! And writing a fantasy novel is a LOT cheaper than making a fantasy movie.

Although if someone wants to option my book, I wouldn’t say no. :)

Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of reading/writing that you can talk to us about?

I’m an avid gamer — video games, board games, I love them all! I started playing Dungeons and Dragons during the pandemic and now DM two campaigns. When I need to unwind, I’ll usually play a video game. I like adventure and puzzle games the best, and if it’s got a good story, I’m in. I also play in a dodgeball league, although it stopped for a while during the pandemic. Finally, I have two cats that I adore. I wouldn’t consider them a hobby, and I’m probably the only one interested in them, but I love them a lot. :)

Writing is a hard and lonely affair in the best of circumstances. How do you achieve a good work/life/writing balance?

I’m lucky, because pre-pandemic, I was co-leading an amazing writers group that has since pivoted to meeting online. It’s awesome to have such a great group of people to bounce ideas off of and chat about writing and other things. Most of my friends are also creatives, so we understand the thrill and uncertainty of freelance life, and making a living off your art. So we’re each other’s biggest fans and supporters. Since the majority of my work (writing, voiceover) is done from home, my worst tendency is to be a workaholic. So I try to be good about getting away from my desk or my booth and getting out there in the world.

Who are your favorite current writers and who are your greatest influences?

One of my all-time favorites is Patricia C. Wrede and her Enchanted Forest Chronicles. I actually have a signed first edition of Talking to Dragons from when I got to meet her at a book tour she did in my area. I’m a big fan of Gail Carriger’s writing, and I love Sherwood Smith’s world building. Other authors I enjoy - John Scalzi, Rod Duncan, Terry Pratchett, and Hilari Bell. I love comedic writing, witty banter, and stories that are multi-faceted, as in you can understand and sympathize with all perspectives, not just the protagonist’s. Hilari Bell is a master at that, in my opinion.

How much do you plan when you write? What’s your writing process like?

Plan? What’s that?

Seriously though, I suck at outlining. I’ve tried it, both in my scripts and novels, and I Just. Can’t. Do It. I’m a pantser through and through. I usually know the beginning, and the ending, and the middle is just one big improv slog.

Sometimes I’m super inspired when I write and I can knock out a crazy amount of words in a day. Other times I look at the page, and go do other things, like wash dishes. Fold laundry. Clean the toilet. Anything but write. If my writer’s block gets that bad, I go take a walk. Sometimes a change of scenery helps.

I do find that I have to be fairly consistent with my writing schedule, though. One day off isn’t too bad, but if I don't write for too many days in a row, I come back to my writing and have no idea what to do. There’s something to be said for momentum.

Is this your first book? If so, what lessons have you learned from writing it? If not, what lessons did you learn from writing earlier books that you brought into this one?

Heir of Memory and Shadow is my second book, but I’ll be honest — as a writer, I am constantly learning! Not just about craft, but about the business as well. One thing I learned from my first book was I didn’t have to sparse with my words. I could take the time and describe things (in fact, that’s a good thing!). Since I came from a journalism and screenwriting background, I’m used to being concise and getting right to the point.

The other thing I realized (during the writing of Heir of Memory and Shadow) is that you don’t have to write every day, but you also can’t take too much time off from your writing. I don’t outline, and so if I spend too much time off from my current writing project, I find that I forget things I had written about previously. So that makes me run the risk of contradicting myself in the story. Or I just have no idea where I was going with a plot point, and then waste half a day staring at a blank page. When you have that momentum going, you really just have to ride that wave.

Do you usually write to background noise, music, etc. or do you prefer silence?

It honestly depends on how I’m feeling that day. I often write in my apartment, so I’ll either put on some ambient sound or a YouTube video I’ve seen before as background noise. I know some authors have playlists that inspire their writing, but I can’t write to music that has lyrics — it will draw my attention away from what I’m writing. Ironically, though, I can write with a movie or TV show in the background (as long as I’ve seen it before).

I once tried to do a writers day out where we were going to write at a coffee shop and not talk to each other (typical Hollywood writer life, I know). It didn't work. We ended up ordering happy hour specials and chatting with each other.

I very rarely write to complete silence. It might be because I live in a big city, and it’s never truly quiet here. I’ve also gotten used to writing under unusual circumstances — namely when I’m on set. You’d be surprised at how much down time there is during filming. So I bring my notebook and scribble away. Everyone always thinks I’m writing in my journal or something.

What do you think characterizes your writing style?

I come from a screenwriting and comedy background, so that influences my writing quite a bit. I had to add in a bunch of details in my first book because I’m used to writing a bare-bones script that you rely on your director to bring to visual life! I’ve gotten better with the description stuff as I continue to write, but when I was working on my first book I just wasn’t used to having that luxury of describing everything with detail and not having to be succinct with my words.

I like to write witty characters and snappy dialogue, and somehow at least one snarky character makes their way into my books.

I also write like I talk, which I sometimes have to curb a bit since I’m creating a fantasy world and feel they’d be a little more formal than I am in real life. I don’t know how many times I’ve asked myself things like, “Is it okay to say ‘okay’ in a fantasy world?” It’s funny, all those little details you have to think about. But they make a big difference.

Is there anything you can tell us about any current projects you’re working on?

I’m working on Book 3 in the Kingdom Legacy series, which now focuses on a (new) character from the kingdom of Rothschan. I feel bad, because I’ve kind of painted them to be the “bad” kingdom of all the countries in my world, and this book doesn’t really do anything to help with that reputation. I’m also excited to finish it because I know what I want to do for Books 4 and 5, which will (SPOILER ALERT) bring back some of my favorite supporting characters and give them a bigger story of their own.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for us! We always enjoy this little peek behind the curtain. Do you have any parting thoughts or comments you’d like to leave for our readers?

Thanks for the interview! I hope you enjoy Heir of Memory and Shadow, and the Kingdom Legacy series. And if you have any recommends, please send them my way, I’m always looking for new books to read! :)

And finally, where can you be found on the internet if our readers want to hear more from you?

My website,

If you’re on social, I’m on Instagram -

TikTok -

Twitter -

Where to buy the book:

Universal Link:


Barnes & Noble:


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