The author of the book, Erika Johansen, gave an interview after the release of the last book of the trilogy. There might be spoilers in it. I haven't read the last two books yet as I want to re-read the first one first so I haven't read all the questions and answers of the interview because I was scared of the spoilers. I'll bold what I'm sure is not spoiler-y.
Feel free to talk about the books in the comments. So to those who haven't read the last one, there might be spoilers in the comments section too.
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Q: Were you ready to part with Kelsea Glynn and the Tearling, or were you reluctant to see the story end?
A: Let’s just say I was relieved to be able to take a break from the lot of them. That said, I’m not sure the story’s over…
Q: What initially prompted you to write the Queen of the Tearling?
A: I wanted to write about a better class of leader than we generally see today, and how she might deal with such pertinent issues as socioeconomic inequality and a migrant crisis. President Obama was definitely an inspiration.
Q: The Fate of the Tearling reveals many secrets about Kelsea, the Crossing, William Tear and the Red Queen. How challenging was it to tie everything together, particularly because you use multiple points of view?
A: Very challenging. I’m still not entirely satisfied with the results—which is, admittedly, par for the course with me. Some characters received shorter shrift than they deserved, but I suppose that’s the great danger of writing under deadline.
Q: Kelsea has quite a few similarities to Queen Elizabeth I, the most significant ones being her desire to never marry and her love for her land and her subjects. Was Elizabeth I an inspiration when you created the character of Kelsea Glynn?
A: Yes—good catch! I’m constantly impressed by Elizabeth Tudor, not least because she deliberately sacrificed her own personal life for the good of the kingdom. That’s the decision of a good monarch and a strong woman, and I don’t see it echoed nearly enough in fiction nowadays, when everything for female characters seems to turn on romance. For Kelsea, it’s all about the job, and I wish there were more such heroines out there.
Q: The ending was quite surprising, at least it wasn’t at all how I imagined the story was going to end. Did you have the ending planned since the first book, or did it develop as you were writing The Fate of the Tearling?
A: I had a different ending planned until I finished the second book. Then I came up with the ending you see on the page. It broke my heart, but I had to do it.
Q: How do you think readers will feel about the choices Kelsea makes in the end about the Tearling and herself?
A: I understand that many readers long for an unequivocally happy ending with everything neatly tied up, but I felt that to do so would underserve the story. I am prepared for some readers to object to the ending, but I also hope that an equal number will be pleased.
Q: How true are the rumors of a Queen of the Tearling movie adaptation with Emma Watson as Kelsea? If true, is there a tentative release date for the film?
A: When The Queen of the Tearling was published, Emma Watson, David Heyman and Warner Brothers optioned the rights to the film. But there is no release date that I’m aware of.
Q: Now that The Queen of the Tearling trilogy is over, what future projects are in the works for you?
A: More Tearling, actually. I have so much more story to tell!