I'll be honest, I didn't write it with the intent of turning anything on its head. Not really, anyway. A couple years ago I had this weird dream that David (my husband) and I were driving somewhere and got a flat tire. When we stopped to change it, some people came along and offered to help, but attacked and abducted him instead. I woke up with that weird, can't get the dream out of my head feeling, and as the day wore on, I realized there might actually be an interesting story in there. I jotted down some notes, and moved on.
The idea germinated from there, eventually changing quite a bit to become the story it is now. There was a lot of brainstorming, world building, and magic system tinkering that went on before I even wrote the first words. But that kernel of an idea remained - what if there was a couple, and as they were traveling somewhere, the husband was taken... What if...
I didn't start out with some sort of agenda to prove that a woman can save her man. In fact, Cecily runs into quite a lot of trouble as she endeavors to find out what happened to Daro and honestly, she couldn't have done it on her own. She relies heavily on the loyalty and sacrifice of her friends. Not that she becomes nothing but an observer in her own story - she has to be proactive and keep fighting the good fight. And ultimately, well... you'll have to read it to find out, I suppose. But ultimately, she's important.
If I set out with anything in mind, it was to write a fantasy story that wasn't about someone saving the world. Don't get me wrong, I love saving-the-world epics. I've read a lot of them and they're great. But again, I've read a lot of them. I wanted to write something that was a little more personal in scope, so instead of a kid who has to save the world, I wrote about a woman who has to save her husband. For the characters involved, the stakes are high. They might not be battling the forces of evil who are hell bent on covering the world in chaos or death. But for Cecily, losing Daro would be akin to losing her whole world. And for Daro, well, it's only his mind at stake.
There's no real agenda, hidden or otherwise, in this book. I just like crafting stories about characters I can love, and who readers will hopefully root for. I like exploring how big events and relationships, both good and bad, can change people. More than anything, I wanted to write a story that allowed people to be caught up in a different world, on an exciting and suspenseful adventure.
And, a story that would set events in motion that would lead you into the next... :)