Interview with KayLynn Flanders, Author of Shielded

Shielded

Title: Shielded

Author: KayLynn Flanders

Release Date: July 21, 2020

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary:

For fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Furyborn comes a thrilling new fantasy about a kingdom ravaged by war, and the princess who might be the key to saving not only those closest to her, but the kingdom itself, if she reveals the very secret that could destroy her.

The kingdom of Hálendi is in trouble. It’s losing the war at its borders, and rumors of a new, deadlier threat on the horizon have surfaced. Princess Jennesara knows her skills on the battlefield would make her an asset and wants to help, but her father has other plans.

As the second-born heir to the throne, Jenna lacks the firstborn’s–her brother’s–magical abilities, so the king promises her hand in marriage to the prince of neighboring Turia in exchange for resources Hálendi needs. Jenna must leave behind everything she has ever known if she is to give her people a chance at peace.

Only, on the journey to reach her betrothed and new home, the royal caravan is ambushed, and Jenna realizes the rumors were wrong–the new threat is worse than anyone imagined. Now Jenna must decide if revealing a dangerous secret is worth the cost before it’s too late–for her and for her entire kingdom.

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Author Information

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KayLynn Flanders is a graduate of Brigham Young University, with a degree in English Language and a minor in editing. When she’s not writing, she spends her time playing volleyball, reading, and traveling. She lives in Utah with her family, and thinks there’s nothing better than a spur-of-the-moment road trip. Her debut novel is Shielded. To learn more about KayLynn, go to kaylynnflanders.com or follow @kaylynnflanders on Twitter and Instagram.

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My Interview with KayLynn Flanders, author of Shielded

Thank you so much for stopping by the blog for this wonderful interview, KayLynn! And for anyone who is interested in more information about Shielded, check out my ARC review!

Congratulations on your debut book coming out this summer! What was your inspiration for Shielded?

Thank you! Shielded actually started from a dream. I won’t share spoilers, but there were people in trouble, and I woke up before they were safe. My heart was pounding so hard at the cliffhanger, and I needed to find a way for them to be safe so I could go back to sleep. So I came up with a solution, but the characters stayed with me. I let that idea grow over a few months, asking questions about who the characters were, why they were in danger, and how they got out of danger. The dream was wildly different than what my book ended up being (there were neon yellow tanks in the dream??), but the core emotion of that scene is one of the key parts of the book that hasn’t changed over the drafts.

Describe your book in 6 words or less.

Making choices. Finding your place.

What can you tell readers about your main character, Princess Jennesara?

She’s been keeping a secret for a long time from everyone but her brother. She doesn’t trust easily, but she’s got a strong sense of duty—for her brother (who’s the heir to the throne), and for her kingdom. That sense of duty wars with her desire for independence, and we get to see her struggle with that.

I love how unique the magic system is in How did the idea for that magic system come about?

Jenna’s magic was clear to me from the beginning, and I built the rest of the system around hers. I loved the idea of magic having consequences and opposites, of being almost a living thing on its own.

What was your favorite part of your writing process?

I love revising. I studied editing in college and have worked as a freelance editor for over ten years, so it’s not a huge surprise to me that I enjoy revising over drafting new words. Once the words are on the page, I love seeing them get better—communicating emotion and tying little plot pieces together. Shielded went through about twenty massive revisions!

What was the hardest part of your writing process?

Keeping the little subplot pieces tightly weaved throughout every chapter is hard for me. I forget things really fast (which can be good, but not always). I’m working on finding a way to keep track of the details so I don’t have to revise quite as much—unless everyone wants to wait three years for book two. 😀

If you could have Shielded adapted into anything (film, TV show, Broadway musical, dance, etc.), what would it be and why?

I would love to see the characters get to explore the world more in a TV series. Or, and this is a close second, I’d love an instrumental score to go along with it. Like a movie soundtrack, but for my book!

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Keep at it! Being an author takes a lot of patience and work. It takes loving your book enough to re-write it twenty times, and enough drive to keep trying when the odds are stacked against you. Learn all you can about writing and about the publishing industry, and go for it.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about your book?

I wrote Shielded because the world we live in is dark and messy, and I wanted a book that was hopeful. I wanted a hero who confronts hard situations and makes the best of them. So if you’re looking for a fun escape from the stress of the world, I hope you enjoy this adventurous fantasy with magic and friendship and a dash of love.

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