K. V. Johansen is the author of The Leopard (Marakand, Volume One) and Blackdog and numerous works for children, teens, and adults.
Her latest novel is The Lady (Marakand, Volume Two).
From Johansen's Q & A at The Book Plank:
BP: Where did you come up with the idea for the story of The Leopard and The Lady?Visit K. V. Johansen's website.
KVJ: The fact that the gods of this world are so vulnerable and fallible opened up interesting possibilities to explore. I knew that the Voice of Marakand was killing wizards, but I had several different possible reasons for it, so exploring the Voice and the Lady and how they fit into the world gave me the central idea. The nature of the Lady and her history and paranoia, her motivations, together with the idea of a people rebelling against their goddess -- in contrast to the people in Blackdog who fight to defend theirs -- lie at the heart of the story. The assassin Ahjvar, damned to a living hell of possession, is equally a contrast with the very different two-souled nature of the Blackdog in much of the earlier book. There are two stories interwoven throughout The Leopard and The Lady, that of Ahjvar and Ghu, and that of the underground resistance movement in Marakand which is sparked into a bloody uprising by Ahjvar’s actions in the city, and which draws in Holla-Sayan and Ivah, characters from Blackdog. The uprising in Marakand was the plot that grew out of seeds in Blackdog; Ahjvar’s half of the story developed from his initial role as catalyst to that action, the murder he’s sent by his goddess to commit being the spark that...[read on]
The Page 69 Test: The Leopard.
Coffee with a Canine: K.V. Johansen & Ivan.
The Page 69 Test: The Lady.