K.D. Edwards has a new queer tarot-insipred fantasy in the Tarot Sequence series: “Hanged Man.”
The Tarot Sequence imagines a modern-day Atlantis off the coast of Massachusetts, governed by powerful Courts based on the traditional Tarot deck.
The last member of a murdered House tries to protect his ward from forced marriage to a monster while uncovering clues to his own tortured past. The Tarot Sequence imagines a modern-day Atlantis off the coast of Massachusetts, governed by powerful Courts based on the traditional Tarot deck.
Rune Saint John, last child of the fallen Sun Throne, is backed into a fight of high court magic and political appetites in a desperate bid to protect his ward, Max, from a forced marital alliance with the Hanged Man.
Rune’s resistance will take him to the island’s dankest corners, including a red light district made of moored ghost ships; a surreal skyscraper farm; and the floor of the ruling Convocation, where a gathering of Arcana will change Rune’s life forever.
“K.D. Edwards raises the bar for fantasy to incredible heights with THE HANGED MAN, a story full of life, thrills, and deep compassion, set within a world so utterly convincing and fabulous, it took my breath away. I will read everything Edwards writes.” — Julie E. Czerneda, award winning author of THE GOSSAMER MAGE
K.D. was kind enough to do an exclusive interview for Queer Sci Fi:
Queer Sci Fi: Tell me about The Hanged Man.
K. D. Edwards: It’s the second book in the Tarot Sequence series. Hopefully, it’s the second book in a nine-book series, broken into three separate trilogies. It reimagines the modern day world as if Atlantis had always existed, in a city ruled by thrones based on the tarot deck’s major arcana. The protagonist of my story is Rune, the last scion of the Sun Throne, which was destroyed over twenty years ago. He possesses all the power of a strong bloodline, but none of the resources…. which usually makes him the go-to guy when you need a strong ally with a weak bank account.
In Hanged Man, the direct sequel to The Last Sun, Rune’s circle of friends—and responsibilities—has grown. In particular, he has a teenaged ward named Max. Rune and his lifelong bodyguard and Companion, Brand, are trying to save Max from a pre-arranged marital contact with Lord Hanged Man, one of the more nightmarish rulers on the island.
QSF: I understand there’s some queer content – can you tell me more?
KDE: I want every book I write to be the best of its genre…and just happen to have main characters who just happen to be LGBT+. I bristle a bit at calling it a gay fantasy—but I enthusiastically trumpet the fact that the main character prefers men, and lives in a city where gender fluidity is the norm. I never once use the words “gay” or “straight”, but Rune would identify as gay; and in the future I’ll be bringing in lesbian, transgendered, demisexual, and ace characters.
There are so many genres I love. I love modern fantasy – especially urban. I love zombie stories. I love post-apocalyptic stories. I love mysteries. I love young adult “boarding school” novels. But I hate never seeing enough LGBT+ representation in them. So that’s my goal. To write great mainstream genre novels, and fill it with a lot of characters who just happen to be non-straight.
QSF:Where did your inspiration for the series come from?
KDE: I’ve always been fascinated with adopting real world mythology into a modern setting; and I love the representation of archetypes on the tarot deck’s major arcana. That was a starting point for imagining the city of New Atlantis. Past that, I really, really wanted to create a story centered around two men who are as close as brothers or lovers—without being intimate. So the relationship between Rune and Brand is the heart of the story. It’s all about their banter, and gruffness, and casual intimacy, and fierce protection of each other. They were bonded as a Companion pair in their crib – a human bodyguard for an Atlantean scion. They’re more or less the biggest element of every novel.
QSF:What makes this work different from other urban fantasies?
KDE: I think the LGBT+ energy is something new, especially in being an instrinsic part of the background, rather than the main focus. My world-building is deep. I throw the reader right into a world which is both familiar and completely confounding; but try to make it interesting and arresting as well. And I also have spent many, many years developing the backstory and outline for the novels. I know what’s going to happen in every novel through number 9 – which means I’m very carefully placing breadcrumbs as I write. That’s given me the most pleasure so far – when people who have already read HANGED MAN spot the hints I left in LAST SUN.
QSF:I understand your book The Last Sun will be coming to TV soon… can you tell us a bit more about the book and when we’ll see it on the small screen?
KDE: Oh, wow, your lips to God’s ear. No – that’s sort of an exaggeration. There are a hundred huge steps between writing a book and seeing it on screen. I’m not even close to step 100; but I’m also not at step 1. There is a development company (Escape Artists) I’m working with. They really know & like my novel, so we’ve moved on to the stage where a screenwriter is attached and a pitch is developed. I can’t guarantee anything will happen….but it’s been a very cool experience so far. There’s this….myth?….about Hollywood folk, but I haven’t experienced it yet. I’ve loved everyone I’ve worked with. They are immensely accepting of the LGBT+ content, too.
QSF:What are you working on next?
KDE: TAROT 3! I also have a few other series I’m developing in the background. Like I said: there are a lot of genres out there. Zombies to slay, locked-room mysteries to write, magical schools to be admitted to…
K.D. Edwards is the author of The Tarot Sequence urban fantasy series. The Hanged Man (PYR; December 17, 2019) is the follow-up to Edwards debut The Last Sun.
Edwards lives and writes in North Carolina, but has spent time in Massachusetts, Maine, Colorado, New Hampshire, Montana, and Washington. (Common theme until NC: Snow. So, so much snow.)
Mercifully short careers in food service, interactive television, corporate banking, retail management, and bariatric furniture has led to a much less short career in Higher Education.