Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Interview with Jillian Boehme for Stormrise


by Jillian Boehme
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: September 24th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dragons
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A combat warrior will risk everything to awaken the dragons and save her kingdom in Jillian Boehme's epic YA Fantasy debut, Stormrise, inspired by Twelfth Night and perfect for fans of Tamora Pierce.

If Rain weren’t a girl, she would be respected as a Neshu combat master. Instead, her gender dooms her to a colorless future. When an army of nomads invades her kingdom, and a draft forces every household to send one man to fight, Rain takes her chance to seize the life she wants.

Knowing she’ll be killed if she’s discovered, Rain purchases powder made from dragon magic that enables her to disguise herself as a boy. Then she hurries to the war camps, where she excels in her training—and wrestles with the voice that has taken shape inside her head. The voice of a dragon she never truly believed existed.

As war looms and Rain is enlisted into an elite, secret unit tasked with rescuing the High King, she begins to realize this dragon tincture may hold the key to her kingdom’s victory. For the dragons that once guarded her land have slumbered for centuries . . . and someone must awaken them to fight once more.

Can you briefly describe STORMRISE and the characters? 

Stormrise is the story of Rain, a girl who disguises herself as a boy and takes her twin brother’s place in the army—knowing that, if she gets caught, she will die. Magical dragon powder helps suppress her femininity, but it also awakens Nuaga, she-king of the dragons who have been asleep for centuries and who Rain must now awaken in order to save her kingdom. 

As a second daughter in a society that prizes male children over female, Rain must learn her true value and find her authentic self. Forest, on the other hand, has the coveted honor of being an only son, though he feels the burden of a father who has never supported his true passion. Commander Jasper, though an excellent leader and highly skilled Neshu fighter, has his own, father-related issues. 

I’d be remiss not to mention Nuaga, the glorious dragon Rain awakens. She is fierce and wise and still in mourning for her lost mate, T’gonnen, who sacrificed himself hundreds of years ago to save the rest of the dragon clan. True story: I bought a dragon figurine when Stormrise was in its planning stages, because it looked exactly like the way I had envisioned my dragons. My little Nuaga has been with me through every iteration of Stormrise, from first draft to completed book. 

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

Hard question! Probably I’d have to say Rain, because her fierce loyalty resonates with me. 

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

The draw for me is a female lead who ultimately finds her strength without denying her femininity—think Éowyn, who in her greatest moment declares that she is not, in fact, male (psst—there’s a sneaky shout-out to Éowyn in Stormrise). I guess you could say my ultimate inspiration is the girl-dressing-as-a-boy trope (e.g. Mulan, Arya, Lee Westfall in Rae Carson’s Walk the Earth a Stranger, which I happened to be reading while I was planning Stormrise). 

If your book was going to be made into a movie, who would play your characters?

I have no idea! You know how it is—you see characters in your head when you write (or read), and I’m not sure how that translates. I’d love to hear thoughts from people who have already read Stormrise, to see how others envision my characters. To me, that is endlessly fascinating. 

Fall is here, and we love to find our perfect cozy spot. What drink and place do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date? 

So many choices! I’m going to be spending a few days at the shore at the end of September, though, so I’m going to go with a decaf latte and a fuzzy sweatshirt on the beach. 

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

This isn’t a recommendation, because I haven’t read it yet, but I’m super excited to read Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim—another girl-dresses-as-boy story that sounds amazing! And, of course, anything by Rae Carson, but particularly Walk on Earth a Stranger

What’s next for you? 

My second book from Tor Teen will be out Fall 2020! It’s another stand-alone YA Fantasy (and I’m so excited!).

JILLIAN BOEHME 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.


  1. Awakening the dragons does sound like a risky move!--I've added it to my TBR!

  2. YA fantasy with dragons is my absolute favorite genre.