You know when a book just gets you? That was me reading All the Stars and Teeth. I was also immensely happy that I was promised mermaids, and THERE ARE MERMAIDS! I am so happy to bring you a guest post from the author, Adalyn Grace.
She will reign.
As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.
When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.
But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.
I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.
World building is key in fantasy, can you talk about the process for how you created the world? Did you do research? If so, what kind and did you come across interesting facts you had to leave out?
For world building, my goal with All the Stars and Teeth was to create a unique world that’s entirely its own. Because of that, I didn’t do any specific research in terms of different nations or cultures, but instead spent a lot of time studying seafaring and figuring out what different magics I wanted to showcase. Once I figured that out, and how many different islands I wanted there to be, within this kingdom, I thought about the different way those magics would influence how the people live.
For example, how would their magic influence their jobs? Would it influence the environment at all? Would it influence what they wear? What they eat? Those are some of the key questions I ask myself when considering magic and world building. When constructing a magic system, I focus on how those abilities might influence everyday lives, and how people might interpret that magic or use it differently to benefit them in unique ways. I think that really helps to flesh out the world building, and make your magic system more believable!
When writing, what came to you first? The story, the characters, the ending? And how much of that original idea stuck with you?
This story is very much Amora’s. I wanted to create a character who loves gowns and courting as much as she loves being in the thick of action and swordfights. Who is a little bit Sansa and a little bit Arya, and who challenged the gender norms and stereotypical roles that media often likes the confine female characters to. I wanted her to be morally grey, unapologetically ambitious, and unyielding to stray from what she wants—things male characters in books and film have always been able to be without it being considered an innovative or unique aspect of them.
Once I figured her out, I had to figure out the world and the magic. I knew I wanted to write an adventure, and a seafaring story felt very natural to me. I came up with the first chapter while in bed one night—all I had was Amora, on a ship. I didn’t know what her magic was, where she was going, or what was happening. But I knew I had to write about her, and the rest of the story fell in place from there once I sat down and plotted it out from there.
Water worlds are some of my favorite, can you talk about some of you favorite watery settings in other YA books?
I really love the watery setting in Adrienne Young’s upcoming Fable and the spooky eeriness of Erin Craig’s House of Salt and Sorrows. They’re both such beautiful, delicious books that I’d highly recommend!
About the Author
Adalyn Grace graduated Summa Cum Laude when she was 19-years-old. She spent four years working in live theater, and acted as the managing editor of a nonprofit newspaper. During and after college, she studied storytelling as an intern on Nickelodeon Animation’s popular animated show, The Legend of Korra (sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender). She was a participant in Pitch Wars 2016, and is a former literary agent intern for an established agency.
Adalyn splits time between San Diego and Arizona with her bossy cat and two dorky dogs, and spends her days writing full time while trying to find the city’s best burrito.
She has several projects in the works, and hopes to continually push the boundaries and explore the limits of upper young adult fiction.
You can follow her on Twitter, at @AdalynGrace_
Prize: Win a finished copy of ALL THE STARS AND TEETH by Adalyn Grace (US/CAN Only)
Starts: February 4th 2020
Ends: February 18th 2020a Rafflecopter giveaway
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