THE WOLF QUEEN: AUTHOR Q & A with Cerece Rennie Murphy @cerecermurphy #blogtour


Today's guest is YA fantasy author, Cerece Rennie Murphy. Her new book is The Wolf Queen: The Hope of Aferi (Book One) and she is on a virtual book tour this month with Pump Up Your Book! We're very glad to have her here today to talk about her new book, writing and what surprised her about getting her book published.

Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  When did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Thank you so much for having me! I came up with the book idea while listening to the audiobook Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales.  In it, there is a story called The Wolf Queen about a young woman who lives alone in the forest and doesn’t want to marry the sultan.  I’d listened to it several times with my kids until one day I started asking questions.  How does a young woman in ancient Africa end up living alone in the forest and why doesn’t she want to marry the sultan?  The answer to those questions became the start of The Wolf Queen duology.

Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I chose to self-publish my work.

Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

It was hard! LOL! All the work that a traditional publisher would do, I had to do for myself.  That was both a blessing and a challenge.  Because I could chart my own course, I ended up marketing and selling my book in places that might not have been available to me if I had been traditionally published.  I released my first book at New York Comic Con in 2012. At the time, I was the only woman in the Small Press section selling a book that she had written.  People stopped by my table just to find out what I was doing there.  That exposure really launched my career and helped me develop a readership.

Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?

Absolutely. Your book cover gives your reader the first impression of what kind of book, what kind of journey, you plan to take them on.  It’s not something I paid attention to as a reader, but now I see how genre specific industry covers are and how effective or ineffective they can be.

How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

The research for this book was extensive, but more than that, whenever you’re writing a series you want to make sure you connect all the dots.  What happens in Book 1 needs to relate to what happens in Book III and so on.  You’re creating a tapestry that stretches and reveals itself over a wider canvas than just one book.  Ideally, the meaning behind each word deepens with every book within the series. As a writer, you want to make sure you mind all the threads.  I haven’t written an adult series since Order of the Seers, so getting back into that level of detail tracking took a considerable amount of focus. 

What other books are you working on and when will they be published?

Right now, I’m working on the 3rd book in the Ellis and the Magic Mirror early reader children’s book series titled Ellis and The Cloud Kingdom and beginning the research for my first space opera. It’s another series and I am so excited to finally give this book my full attention.

What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

The deeper inspiration for The Wolf Queen began three years ago with a spiritual retreat to Sedona, Arizona that changed me forever. 

Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?

I think more or less, all of my books are about discovering your true identity and understanding how that identity relates to the world around you. Ameenah Yemini starts out in a very isolated, broken place.  Her evolution as a woman and a member of her community is one that I hope inspires people to step out of their comfort zone and discover what they are truly capable of.
Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Thanks again for having me!  If people would like to learn more about my work, they can visit my website at 

Cerece Rennie Murphy fell in love with science fiction at the age of seven, watching “Empire Strikes Back” at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C., with her sister and mom. It’s a love affair that has grown ever since. As an ardent fan of John Donne, Alice Walker, Kurt Vonnegut and Alexander Pope from an early age, Cerece began exploring her own creative writing through poetry. She earned her master’s degrees in social work and international relations at Boston College and Johns Hopkins School for Advance International Studies, respectively, and built a rewarding 15-year career in program development, management and fundraising in the community and international development arenas – all while appreciating the stories of human connection told in science fiction through works like Octavia Butler’s “Wild Seed,” Frank Herbert’s “Dune” and “The X-Files.” In 2011, Cerece experienced her own supernatural event – a vision of her first science fiction story. Shortly after, she began developing and writing what would become the bestselling Order of the Seers trilogy.  Order of the Seers was selected as one of The Best Kindle Books of 2014 by Digital Book Today.  To date, Mrs. Murphy has published nine speculative fiction novels, short stories, and children’s books.
In addition to working on the 3rd book in the award-winning Ellis and The Magic Mirror children’s book series with her son and releasing her 5th adult novel, The Wolf Queen, Mrs. Murphy has launched NARAZU, an online platform designed to deliver the best in indie sci-fi content and comic culture to the fans who love it most. You can visit the new site at  Her current writing projects include the second book in The Wolf Queen duology and plotting a science fiction thriller set in outer space.  Mrs. Murphy lives and writes in her hometown of Washington, DC with her husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda.



Author: Cerece Rennie Murphy
Publisher: LionSky Publishing
Pages: 242
Genre: YA Fantasy


Once great and powerful sorcerers, the Amasiti were hunted to the brink of extinction by the Hir and his followers. For four hundred years, their legacy faded from memory waiting for the hope of Aferi to be renewed…

In the Land of Yet

At the edge of the Forbidden Forest

A young woman lives alone.

Forced to fend for herself after the brutal murder of her family, Ameenah Yemini has made a life for herself as a master tanner and farmer, only venturing into the world to earn her living then return to the safety and seclusion of her home.

Until a chance encounter brings her work to the attention of the powerful Hir
And her careful life begins to unravel.

Drawn to the hidden magic that lingers in everything she touches, the new Hir insists on having her for himself, using the people around her to force Ameenah into his grasp.

When she realizes that her greatest enemy may hold the key to a secret she thought lost to her forever, Ameenah is determined to reclaim her stolen past.  But, at what cost? As an ancient power waits to be unleashed, Ameenah’s choices will make the difference between awakening a new magic or delivering it into the hands of evil.



  1. Thank you so much for having me!

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