Author Interview With R.K. Hart

Please introduce yourself and your book(s)

Hi there! I’m Rebekka (R.K.) Hart, a fantasy author and educational technology specialist living on Ngunnawal land in Australia. I’m married, and have two young children and a feline fur baby. My debut novel and first in the Death Dreamer Legacy series, To Dream of White & Gold, was published in 2020, with the second book, A Lie of Desert Red, following in 2021. My work is upper YA to NA, and features a number of relationships (not just romantic ones) against the backdrop of a mythic and complex future-fantasy world. 

Tell us about the characters and relationships in your stories

As a reader, I am most interested in characters who are morally grey and who respond in authentic ways to their social context and environment, so that is what I write. My characters are neither good nor bad, and they don’t always do the right thing; part of their struggle is trying to decide what is ‘right’ in the face of a shifting political environment, cross-cultural boundaries, and fluid loyalties.

The main character of the Death Dreamer Legacy series is Lyda, who is thrust unwillingly into the world’s political landscape after the discovery of her magical gift. The two central relationships of the story are Lyda’s romance with Lorcan, a high-ranking heir from a different land, and her relationship with her dead mother, Siva, who has left Lyda a mysterious legacy and a number of clues to help her uncover it. To find happiness, Lyda and Lorcan must overcome their own flaws and expectations to communicate openly and find middle ground so they can work together for their future. To discover her legacy, Lyda needs to understand the clues left by Siva, while making choices about whether she will honour Siva’s wishes or forge her own path. 

What lessons could readers learn about real-world relationships from your novel(s)?

I hope that they take away the importance of clear and honest communication, and the knowledge that no relationship is perfect. I am not so interested in the ‘will they, won’t they’ of relationships; I write about what comes after, and how individuals can grow both independently and together if they invest time and energy in their friendships and romances. My work features a number of matriarchies and women used to holding power, and I hope that my readers also take away the subversion of traditional gendered roles and expectations. 

What real-life relationship experiences, observations or insights have influenced your writing?

I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by relationships that were – for the most part – stable and healthy. It doesn’t mean that they were without challenges (some of them very serious), but it meant that I had role models who were communicative and open with their partners, and who were able to work through issues as a team. I’ve been married for eight years, and my husband was my best friend prior to our romantic partnership. He is calm (to my storm), communicative (to my quiet), and logical (to my fanciful), and we balance each other out in a number of ways. I love using that dynamic in my work. 

Are there any relationship themes or topics you want to cover in future releases?

Though there are some queer relationships in the Death Dreamer Legacy books, they’re not front and centre, and this is something I’ll be concentrating on in future releases. I want to keep writing books that carry the message that friendships and familial relationships (whether blood or found family) are just as important to nurture as grand romances. 

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