An epic fantasy of forbidden romance that chronicles the coming of age of a princess who is possessed by the Snow Queen and fated to rule her kingdom with a strong hand and icy heart.
As a child, Princess Freyja looked into the Snow Queen’s cursed mirror - and was changed.
Now an aloof and difficult young woman with a wit as sharp as her tongue, the future monarch is in need of a tutor. And Ambrose, a failed poet, is in need of a teaching position. He just never suspected how dangerous the extracurricular activities would be!
Soon, Ambrose finds himself on a grand adventure fighting to save the vexing but alluring princess from the court occult conspiracies that have targeted her. He is opposed not only by sorcerers and the evil Snow Queen, but also the icy royal damsel who holds his heart.
Will Ambrose’s love cause Freyja to thaw…or will she put him in the deep freeze instead?
Sensuous, suspenseful, supernatural and filled with witty banter, this romantic fantasy will both turn up the heat and leave you thoroughly frost smitten!
A 2019 Critters Readers Poll top ten finalist in the category of Science-Fiction and Fantasy.
Micah S. Harris is the Author of the epic fantasy romance Portrait of a Snow Queen, which took third place in the category of science fiction and fantasy in the Critters Readers Poll. Strong female protagonists and banter are trademarks of his work. Portrait of a Snow Queen is no exception and is recommended for older fans of Frozen and lovers of the witty verbal sparring in The Princess Bride.
He won the 2016 Pulp Ark Award for best novel for Ravenwood, The stepson of Mystery: Return of the Dugpa. He is also the Author - Along with artist Michael Gaydos (Marvel’s Jessica Jones) - of the graphic novel Heaven’s War, a historical fantasy pitting the Oxford Inklings against Aleister Crowley.
His lifelong love of movies also influences his fiction, whether a fairy tale retelling, horror story or paranormal mystery. He taught film on a collegiate level and has chronicled, both in print and via podcast, fascination lost genre gems.
1. If you had 3 wishes, what would they be?
a) To find true love. Preferably as royal consort to Queen Elsa of Arendelle. (Oh, snap! She abdicated, didn’t she?)
b) To be able to spearhead my own sizable studio of artists, technicians, etc. with whom to collaborate to realize my story ideas, and have the money to pay them well as well as benefits. That would be a blast! Like what Orson Welles called “The biggest electric train set any boy ever had.”
c) For Portrait of a Snow Queen to gain a large audience: a wish which you are helping to make come true by featuring me on your blog. So thank you so much for your interest in me and my book!
2. Given unlimited resources, what would be your ideal writing environment?
I live in North Carolina, where we have both the coast and mountains, so I’d like to have a place in the mountains and an apartment on the beach to go to and write.
3. Where do you actually write?
Ah…now reality sets in: I’ve turned an unused bedroom into an office. But I write anywhere and everywhere: on the floor watching TV show; riding shotgun in the car….During our current coronavirus crisis, I took pages with me to the grocery store and hand edited a manuscript there while waiting for a shipment of toilet paper to come in.
4. How long does it normally take you to write a novel?
I’m not nearly as fast as I want to be. I need at least a year to a year and a half for a novel. I was working for around three years on Portrait of a Snow Queen. That was not only because it is an epic, but also because I was writing it during a period in which I was going through some major life transitions, as well as fulfilling other writing commitments.
5. What are your inspirations?
I like to write what I love to read. So, I’m inspired by the entertainment I enjoy, but sometimes some strange factoid, conspiracy theory, or urban legend I’ve come across will give me an idea. I’ve written a lot of “crossover” or “mash up” fiction, so I’m also inspired by connecting imaginary dots.
6. How did you come to write this particular book or series?
Although I have long resented computer animation for replacing full hand drawn, Frozen quickly became my favorite animated movie. Such are the mysteries of love. Later, I saw what would become my favorite play, one by Tom Stoppard called Arcadia. That made me wonder: wouldn’t Elsa have had a tutor, even in isolation, given that she was going to be queen of a nation?
Of course, I couldn’t do anything outside of parody or fan fiction with Frozen, so I went back to the source material, Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen and his lesser known, and darker, The Ice Maiden to make something of my own. And I’m very happy with my own characters. Princess Freyja is not Elsa. For starters, she isn’t the Snow Queen; she just thinks she is. She doesn’t even believe she’s human anymore, and she has a low tolerance for mere mortals. So, it’s a very different situation that her tutor, Ambrose Gaius “Kai” Aurelianus, comes into.
7. What was the hardest part of writing your book, and how did you overcome it?
The length and meeting a deadline. It just kept growing. The world of the kingdom of Aarastad was just so rich in my imagination that more things kept growing there. I cut a out a large portion of backstory and anecdotes. Some of that material is on the Chronicles of Aarastad website, aarastad.com.
8. What is your writing drive? The power that keeps you going when your writing gets difficult?
I’m driven to communicate about what I love, what excites me, what I think will both entertain and enrich other people’s lives. And I have the aesthetic drive to craft prose and develop characters. Plus, I’ve always enjoyed telling stories.
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