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Realm Explorers Part LXXXI: Visit Cupola with N.A. Cauldron
Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don't forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. 
Author’s name: N. A. Cauldron
Title of book and/or series: Book 1 of the Cupolian series. Anya and the Secrets of Cupola
Brief summary of the story: Deep in the walls of Cupola lies a secret. A 200 year old magical secret. And it’s up to Anya and her friends to solve it.
Meet Anya, a twelve year old girl with utterly no direction in life. Meet Taika, her best friend who can make a potion strong enough to cure a weregoblin, but may forget to warn you that it can explode at any moment. And then there’s Gevin. Yeah … well … Gevin’s just Gevin, isn’t he? These three unlikely heroes will have to brew potions, battle monsters, and even endure the night-of-the-overturned-chicken-stool before discovering the deepest mysteries of Cupola.
Brief description of Cupola: During the events that took place in book 1 of this historical series, Cupola was very similar to your medieval Europe. There was a castle with a courtyard and a wall, and on the east side of this were the houses of the Cupolians. Much like modern America, the houses were separated into subdivisions of poor and rich and in between. In other words, there was a good side of town, and a bad.
If we were to visit Cupola as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there? Well, since this happened so long ago, that would be very difficult, but I will say this. Some people would have probably wanted to visit the shops and merchants of course, get some local items to take home. They might have wanted to watch the spoonpole tournament or sneak into the annual ball. But I think most people today will find that the library is where the action is. Now that we know the secrets revealed to us by Anya and her friends, the library has become our historical hub. There you will find artifacts and historical documents.
What dangers should we avoid in Cupola? During the time of book 1, it would have been very dangerous to stray too far from the queendom.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Cupola? This is a very interesting question. One of the things I have discovered is the similarity between our culture and some of yours, particularly those of Southern, Jewish, and Native American descent. And one of the places this is most represented is in the food. For example, we have grits, fry bread, and narfel nuggets. According to my research, narfels are actually Kosher rodents. Looking like a large guinea pig or a small hog, they chew the cud, but they have a split hoof. They're pretty tasty too!
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Cupola? During the time discussed in book 1, which we now call the Great Revealiing, the main fighting was with swords, arrows, and daggers. Although that has obviously changed since then, and we have Anya and her friends to thank for that.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Cupola? Cupola was very simple then. Everyone walked or rode horses, and the horses were mainly used for pleasure or sport.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Cupola that we don’t see on Earth? I believe the only organisms different from earth that I talk about in book 1 are narfels, flabberflies, and gramwhats. But I would have to check my records.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Cupola?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used. Magic played an enormous role in Cupolian lives, they just didn't realize it. To learn more, I suggest you read my book Anya and the Secrets of Cupola. For that is when Cupola ... realized its ignorance, if you will.
Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Cupola. Ah, spoonpole! Commonly called two spoons and a pole, spoonpole has been a tradition of Cupola for centuries. As many people as want to can play in it at a time. There are no team member limits. Each team has a tall pole guarded by one of their players. Each player, including the guard, has two sticks with a leather cup/spoon on the end. They use these sticks to carry a ball to their designated pole. Everytime they touch a pole with their ball, their team scores a point. In fact, I was shocked to find out that spoonpole is identical to stickball that is played by Native Americans. They even have the same history! Stickball was used to solve disagreements between your tribes instead of war, thus preventing a lot of deaths. Spoonpole was also used to prevent war. Extraoridinary!
Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Cupola as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there? Oddly yes. We have a seven day week. Our seasons are the same. The main events celebrated during Anya's childhood were the annual ball and spoonpole tournament. It was a week long celebration in the queendom! Nowadays, of course, we celebrate more holidays, as there is so much more to celebrate.
Is there a particular religion practiced in Cupola?  Please describe what it involves. As so many earthlings do, I choose not to discuss religion or politics.
What is the political or government structure in Cupola?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she? Excellent question!  During the time of the Great Revealing, and the horrible Dark Ages prior, the monarch of Cupola was always the first born, whether male or female. If it were a queen, Cupola was a queendom. If it were a king, Cupola was a kingdom. The spouse of the monarch ruled if, and only if, the ruling monarch died before their first born was able to take over. Anya and her family were ruled by Queen Pernicity. Her eldest daughter was set to take over whenever she retired. Now, what kind of leader she was ... I'll leave that up to the reader. Things are different now, of course.
Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit Cupola? I think a visitor's biggest concern would be that it was believed and taught that Cupolians were the only humans in existance. So visiting at the time would have simply been out of the question. Nowadays we do offer visitation, but it is seasonal, and the allowed area are limited.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book? I love our history so much that I absolutely had to tell others about it! When I realized the popularity of my work had grown past Cupola and into the realms of earth too, I was shocked! And then to learn of all the similarities between our two worlds...
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book? I'm not really familiar with your controversial topics. I know that there are modern Cupolians who disagree with my portrayal of the historical events. They believe that it should be 100% factual. But I find that ever so boring, so while it is entirely based on truthful events and people of Cupola, it is a work of fiction.
Author Autobiography: 
N. A. Cauldron grew up on the outskirts of modern Cupola.  As a young child, she enjoyed listening to the tales told of Cupolian's history.  This ultimately led to a successful career as a research historian and her recent authorship of historical fiction.  She is an avid herbologist, and spends her free time hunting out and collecting rare herbs for her potion making.  She is especially fond of the snaggled tooth humpmoss, and has been known to spend weeks at a time on fungal expeditions.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  The paperback can be pre-ordered and bought from me, or from Amazon when it is released. If you buy it from me directly, you can get it signed! The ebook can be pre-ordered or bought from Amazon.

Where can readers connect with you online?  Everything about me can be found at My blog, my calendar of events, everything.

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Cupola.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world, in Realm Explorers Part LXXXII!
-Annie Douglass Lima


2 Replies to “Realm Explorers Part LXXXI: Visit Cupola with N.A. Cauldron”

Kosher rodents!??! Blech!!This was a fun interview, and the book sounds fascinating! Thanks so much for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on this week! Great to have you back!Tina


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