GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ YA Fantasy Author Jillian Boehme: What inspired you to write this book? + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

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Thursday, March 4, 2021

YA Fantasy Author Jillian Boehme: What inspired you to write this book? + giveaway


I love talking about this.

Lots of years ago, I wrote my very first, very terrible novel, entitled The Seeds of Perin Faye. It was an absolute mess, as first novels are wont to be. Even still, I got a couple of requests from literary agents who were likely horrified when they saw what had turned up in their mailboxes.

(Actual mailboxes. Because this was back when e-querying was a new phenomenon.)

Fast forward to a couple of years ago. STORMRISE was soon to debut, and my editor at Tor Teen was ready to choose which of my stories to publish next (I’d signed a 2-book deal). The plan was to come up with three synopses so that my editor could choose her favorite. Slight problem, though—I only had two story ideas to offer.

And then it hit me—what if I rewrote The Seeds of Perin Faye? There was so much about the world I’d created that I loved. I knew it would have to be a complete rewrite, but it was an exciting prospect. It needed a fresh twist, though—something to take it to the next level. And I wasn’t sure what to do.

In the original, very-bad story, one of the main characters was Nestar, a 16-year-old who found himself embroiled in a plot to steal the throne that, apparently, belonged to him. Meanwhile, his younger sister Maralyth and her best friend Alac were busy with magic stones and time-traveling grandmothers (I’m cringing as I type).

My big A-HAH moment arrived when I had the thought: What if, instead of Nestar being the one with a secret bloodline to the throne, I make that Maralyth’s story? And so The Stolen Kingdom was born.

Those of you who have read Stormrise know that I love a good, strong female protagonist. Giving Maralyth the exciting storyline that once belonged to her older brother Nestar felt absolutely right. Her friend Alac, of course, turned into the king’s second son—and suddenly I had a delicious bit of tension that felt like it could become a great story.

When people ask me what inspired The Stolen Kingdom, my short answer is, “It’s my very first novel, rewritten!” It’s a fun answer, and it’s the truth.

I’ve loved Maralyth and Alac and Nestar and for a long time; I love them even more now that they’ve evolved. I hope you grow as fond of them as I have always been!

The Stolen Kingdom

by Jillian Boehme
March 2, 2021
Genre: YA Fantasy

“A bold girl, a kingdom under attack, magic everywhere—I devoured it in one sitting! This book is one wild ride!” —Tamora Pierce on Stormrise

Nothing is quite as it seems in this thrilling YA fantasy adventure by Jillian Boehme, The Stolen Kingdom!

For a hundred years, the once-prosperous kingdom of Perin Faye has suffered under the rule of the greedy and power-hungry Thungrave kings. Maralyth Graylaern, a vintner's daughter, has no idea her hidden magical power is proof of a secret bloodline and claim to the throne. Alac Thungrave, the king’s second son, has always been uncomfortable with his position as the spare heir—and the dark, stolen magic that comes with ruling.

When Maralyth becomes embroiled in a plot to murder the royal family and seize the throne, a cat-and-mouse chase ensues in an adventure of dark magic, court intrigue, and forbidden love.

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EXCERPT (Maralyth):
I’d just finished filling the stoneware flagon when the front door opened and the clatter of boots filled the house. Quickly, I placed two goblets and the flagon on a wooden tray. I walked light-footed into the sitting room, its stone hearth dark in the heat of summer and Mother’s seat beside it still draped with the knit lap blanket she always used in wintertime. Somehow, none of us wanted to be the one to finally fold it away into the small trunk that held several other of her belongings.

Poppa, Kenton, and the two men stood assembled by the doorway in an awkward formation for a few seconds before Poppa gestured for everyone to sit. He raised his eyebrows at me.

“Ah, thank you, Mara. Will you set it down over here?”

I nodded, my gaze lingering for a breath or two on Poppa’s eyes, which were tender and spoke to me of his desire to draw me in, where he knew I wanted to be.

The only good thing that had come of Mother’s death, he’d said recently, was that he saw me more clearly, freed from the veil of protection Mother had always draped over me. He couldn’t give me what I really wanted, though. Nestar would take over Graylaern Vineyards someday, not me. And even if there were no Nestar, I could never do more than fix the meals and tend the house—and possibly continue to boss the workers.

Because I was a girl.

“I’ll come right to the point,” Jamery said.

“May I offer you some wine?” Poppa asked as he poured.

His secretary glanced at the wine as though he very much wanted some. Jamery offered a tight-lipped smile. “Very well, then. Thank you.”

He made his way toward the couch and the others followed. I stepped back, intending to stay as long as Poppa allowed me.

Jamery reached for a goblet. “Lord Nelgareth has expressed concern that your Firstfruits have fallen short over the past six months. I offered to come in person to sort out any miscommunication.”

My bones went rigid. There was no way Poppa had made a mistake.

Determined to show his always-present hospitality, Poppa smiled at Jamery’s secretary and gestured to the remaining goblet. “Please—have some wine. I’ll be happy to listen to your concerns.” He turned his attention to me. “Will you bring some goblets for Kenton and me, please?”

I nodded—too curtly, probably—and glanced once more at the men. Jamery rolled his cup between his hands, his mouth twisted like a thirsty leaf. I shuddered and returned to the kitchen to fetch more goblets, fighting a sudden urge to stay there, hidden among the pots and pans and cooking mess. Invisible, the way Mother had kept me. Safe.

But I didn’t want to be invisible. So I grabbed two goblets and turned to face the sitting room. Safety be damned.

About the Author

Website-Twitter-InstagramJillian is known to the online writing community as Authoress, hostess of Miss Snark's First Victim, a blog for aspiring authors. In real life, she holds a degree in Music Education, sings with the Nashville Symphony Chorus, and homeschools her remaining youngster-at-home. She's still crazy in love with her husband of more than thirty years and is happy to be surrounded by family and friends amid the rolling knolls of Middle Tennessee.

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