Book Title: The Stolen Kingdom
Author: Jillian Boehme
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: March 2, 2021
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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.
Jillian 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.
I am so excited to host Jillian Boehme on A Court of Coffee and Books today! Thank you so much, Jillian, for stopping by and don’t forget to pick up a copy of The Stolen Kingdom, out today!
Congrats on your next young adult book! What was your inspiration for The Stolen Kingdom?
Thank you! 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.
What was your favorite part of writing The Stolen Kingdom?
I had the most fun writing the scenes with Alac and Tucker! Tucker is probably my favorite character, and it was fun to write the “boy banter” in those scenes.
If you could spend one day with Maralyth, what would you do? Are there any places you both would visit?
We would spend the day in the vineyards! I would ask her to teach me everything she knows—and, of course, I’d ask her to ripen some grapes for me just so I could see her do it.
Did you have to do any research for The Stolen Kingdom? If you did, what was your favorite piece of information you came across for your book?
I did! Most of my research was devoted to vineyards and wine-making. I also had to research the way wine was stored, transported, and served hundreds of years ago, to match the world I’d created. There wasn’t a single “favorite” piece of information, but I definitely enjoyed researching winemaking—it’s an ancient art that has fascinated me for a long time.
If you could have your book turned into anything (a TV show, movie, musical, dance number, etc.), what would you choose and why?
Definitely a movie! I tend to see a lot of scenes in “movie form” in my head as I write, so it would be beyond satisfying to see the story take shape in this format.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
It sounds so trite, but my biggest advice is NEVER GIVE UP. It took me twelve years to see my first book (STORMRISE) published—and after that first contract, the hard work doesn’t stop. Keep writing, keep reading excellent books (especially in the genre in which you choose to write), and be open to critique from others so that you grow. Everyone’s writing journey looks different, so avoid making comparisons and just keep writing.
Is there anything else you would like to let the readers know about your book?
When I wrote the first novel from which THE STOLEN KINGDOM was born, my daughter Maggie was 10. She read it, loved it, and decided then and there that she, too, wanted to be a writer. She started writing immediately, and, except for the college years when it was nigh impossible for her to put the time in, she hasn’t stopped. She is now represented by Danielle Burby, who happens to be my agent, too. Sharing this writing journey with my daughter—and now sharing an agent!—has been so gratifying. Also? Back when I was writing that first novel, it was Maggie who came up with the name Maralyth. I can’t think about these characters or this setting without also thinking of Maggie!
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Thank you, TBR and Beyond Tours, for having us on this wonderful blog tour!