Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Interview with Amanda Foody for The Shadow Game

King of Fools (The Shadow Game #2)

by Amanda Foody
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Release Date: April 30th 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
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Indulge your vices in the City of Sin, where a sinister street war is brewing and fame is the deadliest killer of them all...

On the quest to find her missing mother, prim and proper Enne Salta became reluctant allies with Levi Glaisyer, the city’s most famous con man. Saving his life in the Shadow Game forced Enne to assume the identity of Seance, a mysterious underworld figure. Now, with the Chancellor of the Republic dead and bounties on both their heads, she and Levi must play a dangerous game of crime and politics…with the very fate of New Reynes at stake.

Thirsting for his freedom and the chance to build an empire, Levi enters an unlikely partnership with Vianca Augustine’s estranged son. Meanwhile, Enne remains trapped by the mafia donna’s binding oath, playing the roles of both darling lady and cunning street lord, unsure which side of herself reflects the truth.

As Enne and Levi walk a path of unimaginable wealth and opportunity, new relationships and deadly secrets could quickly lead them into ruin. And when unforeseen players enter the game, they must each make an impossible choice: To sacrifice everything they’ve earned in order to survive...

Or die as legends.

Can you briefly describe what’s happening in King of Fools and their main characters and how different it is from the first book? 

Ace of Shades, despite its detailed setting and large cast of characters, has always struck me as a rather intimate story. It’s told through two points of view, Enne—an uppity finishing schoolgirl—and Levi—a card dealer and wannabe street lord—as they go searching for Enne’s missing mother in the City of Sin. 

There’s a motif in the series that “the city is a game,” and in a lot of ways, King of Fools is a reaction to the culminating events of Ace of Shades. It’s how these two characters did this big, unthinkable thing, and now all the “players” are coming out of the shadows, and a far more dangerous game is unfolding. King of Fools takes this world and cast and broadens them. We get a new point of view—Jac Mardlin, Levi’s best friend, who has always felt on the periphery of Levi’s story. We get new villains. New faces. Oh, and a girl gang! 

Who would you say is your favourite character from the story and why?

Oh, there are so many! It’s hard to choose. I loved writing Vianca Augustine’s arc—she’s such a fascinating female villain. I love Grace Watson, a new character. My surprise love was Jonas, aka “Scavenger,” a street lord who makes a bigger appearance in this book than he did in Book One. But I love them all for the same reason—they’re really fun to write! Vianca for being evil, Grace for being (reluctantly) good, and Jonas for falling in the middle.

How did the story occur to you? Did you find inspiration anywhere?

Well, as the second book of a series, a lot just felt like the natural progression from Ace of Shades. I got the idea for Ace by the concept of magic as currency, and from there, I decided to center the entire world on greed. Hence the organized crime, the casinos, the glamour. I also determined that every book in the trilogy would have its own financial operation. Book One had the Ponzi Scheme, and Book Two has something new!

I also consider this book very much the “crime” book. The idea of “street legends” and the famous street lords of old permeates the story, and so I had to come up with all those legends and that history for this world. A lot of it is loosely based on real organized crime history, especially from the American 1920s. For instance, the leaders of the five “gangs” in New Reynes frequently come together in this book to meet, which is a nod to the Five Families of New York, who used to do the same. “Eight Fingers,” a street lord and an important mentor character to Levi, is named after “Three Fingers,” aka Tommy Lucchese. These details are probably lost on most, but they’re fun to me!

Was it difficult to write the sequel of The Shadow Game and why/why not?

It definitely was. A big reason was its length—it has so many moving parts, and there really was no good way to make this a short book. So I felt like every editing process just took forever. I was so burned out. 

If you could choose one song to describe your book, which one would it be?

Hm… just one??? I have such a huge playlist. Maybe “Worth it” by Kodaline. That captures the emotional anguish, which I’m obviously all about. 

Between Ace of Shades and King of Fools:

Which story was more fun to write about? Ah, that’s so hard! I suppose King—there are so many new characters whom I adore.

Which cover do you like the most? Also difficult. I’m more drawn to red than blue, but I just can’t help but feel like the cover of King of Fools suits the book so well. I actually asked my graphic designer to do pinstripes “like a gaudy mafioso suit.” And they did! 

Since it is still cold outside, what hot drink do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date?

It’s the City of Sin, so definitely something alcoholic. You could always spike your tea with vermouth, Vianca Augustine style. 

Can you recommend your readers any other books in case they are left hungry for more once they finish Amanda Foody?

If you like The Shadow Game series, I definitely recommend The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima. Han Allister high key inspired Levi. 

What’s next for you?

Book Three! The final book in the series. I’m also working on a lot of new projects, as well. Nothing official yet, though.

Amanda Foody has always considered imagination to be our best attempt at magic. After spending her childhood longing to attend Hogwarts, she now loves to write about immersive settings and charactyouters grappling with insurmountable destinies. She holds a Masters in Accountancy from Villanova University, and a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature from the College of William and Mary. Currently, she lives in Philadelphia, PA, surrounded by her many siblings and many books.

Her books include DAUGHTER OF THE BURNING CITY and ACE OF SHADES. The next installment of THE SHADOW GAME TRILOGY, KING OF FOOLS, releases on April 30, 2019.

1 comment:

  1. This book is definitely on my TBR. My favorite genre is fantasy.