Today I have something a little unusual for you. I don’t usually host much YA here, because I write Adult books, but I’ve made an exception for the author who I’m featuring today. Emily Ward is a friend I made over at Critique Circle who is a wonderful writer, and a great peer to trade chapters with. Her first novel, Promising Light, is an inventive fantasy story rife with magic and shapeshifters. Read the first chapter here.
Here’s the blurb:
Grace began a secret courtship with Dar for the thrill of doing something against her father, the king’s general. She hadn’t planned on falling in love with him. When Dar suddenly leaves her, she searches for answers, reluctant to let him go.
Everyone seems determined to keep the truth from her—until she’s kidnapped by Dar’s family. They’re shape changers who claim she can break a curse set on them ten years ago by the Protectors, a group of noblemen determined to stifle magic in the name of safety.
Torn between two worlds, Grace isn’t sure who to trust. If the curse endures, Dar’s family could die out forever. But to help them, she’ll have to leave behind everything she knows.
Book One of The Protectors Series. Set two years after The Protectors prequels.
Now, on to our interview:
1. What’s the first word of your book? (You can exclude articles, pronouns or prepositions.)
2. Tell me something about your book that I can’t find in the blurb.
Although it has a few fantasy cliches — a prophecy and a quest — it has a magic system that’s unique. The only typical sorcery may be the Mahri family who can brew potions and enchant physical objects, but the reader gets the chance to see a lot of interesting magic. I think it’s great, but of course I’m biased.
3. In one word, describe your main character. (You can expand afterwards, but limit your initial response to one word.)
When Grace wants something, she doesn’t give up!
4. Where does your book take place? Tell me about why you picked that location.
It takes place in an Earth-like fantasy world. Same seasons, same time system and all that, just different countries with magic. I wanted my world to have its own history and world rules (concerning the magical families) but I still wanted the familiarity of seasons, 24-hour days, 7-day weeks, etc. It has some other neat places, too, which I’ll talk about later on in the tour.
5. Tell me about your favorite character that you’ve written.
My favorite character in Promising Light is probably Dar. I’m really tempted to say Grace because I’ve spent so much time in her head, but I loved slowly revealing Dar. At first, readers may not know what to make of him, but as the plot moves along, I’m hoping readers fall in love with him as much as Grace and I did! He cares so much for Grace; he’s clever and diplomatic; he’s spirited while still being level-headed and patient with people. He was really fun to write.
6. What’s your favorite verb?
I like the verb ‘reveal.’ I just used it, actually! It just rolls off the tongue and the meaning can be both abstract and literal.
7. What’s the last book you read?
The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong. It’s the last book in her Darkest Powers trilogy. I really enjoyed her young adult books, and I can’t wait for The Calling to come out!
8. Who was your favorite fictional character as a child?
I went searching for books from my childhood to answer this question properly and now I’m remember all these books I used to read! The Magic School Bus, Little House on the Prairie, Amelia Bedelia, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Anne of Green Gables. I think I should go with the first one I thought of, though — Meg from A Wrinkle in Time. She reminded me of myself: awkward, mousy brown hair, glasses. My little brother wasn’t a genius, though, just annoying. (Which reminds me of Beezus and Ramona. . .)
9. Tell me about an event that contributed to your decision to become a writer.
I once wrote a short, poetic piece on God’s love. My dad, being the proud parent that he is, printed it off and passed it around church. I was a little shy about it, but a few people told me they loved it and how much it moved them, and I thought, ‘Wow, words really have power.’ I knew I wanted to keep using those words and the talent I had with them, whether to tell fictional stories or talk about my real-life experiences.
10. What would you tell past you, if you could send a letter back in time?
Oh, wow. There’s a lot of wisdom I could probably impart to my younger self, but I’m not sure I would listen. I was recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and I’ve lost some movement in my knee, so I’d probably tell a past me to take advantage of a healthy body while she could! But then that just might depress the past me ha! You know, I’ll actually have a chance to read a letter from a past me — I got this diary from Limited Too in 2000, and it had a slot where you could put a letter to yourself in the future. My open date is 2015, but I really want to open that envelope and see what I wrote. I’ll just have to wait a couple more years!
Coral here again. Though I don’t gravitate toward YA as a rule, I found Promising Light to be an engaging story with terrific characters I couldn’t wait to read more about. You can buy it on Amazon and Smashwords. Go download a sample, you won’t be disappointed.