Monday, August 19, 2019

Interview with Mara Rutherford for Crown of Coral and Pearl

Crown of Coral and Pearl

by Mara Rutherford
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Release Date: August 27th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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For generations, the princes of Ilara have married the most beautiful maidens from the ocean village of Varenia. But though every girl longs to be chosen as the next princess, the cost of becoming royalty is higher than any of them could ever imagine…

Nor once dreamed of seeing the wondrous wealth and beauty of Ilara, the kingdom that’s ruled her village for as long as anyone can remember. But when a childhood accident left her with a permanent scar, it became clear that her identical twin sister, Zadie, would likely be chosen to marry the Crown Prince—while Nor remained behind, unable to ever set foot on land.

Then Zadie is gravely injured, and Nor is sent to Ilara in her place. To Nor’s dismay, her future husband, Prince Ceren, is as forbidding and cold as his home—a castle carved into a mountain and devoid of sunlight. And as she grows closer to Ceren’s brother, the charming Prince Talin, Nor uncovers startling truths about a failing royal bloodline, a murdered queen… and a plot to destroy the home she was once so eager to leave.

In order to save her people, Nor must learn to negotiate the treacherous protocols of a court where lies reign and obsession rules. But discovering her own formidable strength may be the one move that costs her everything: the crown, Varenia and Zadie.

Can you briefly describe CROWN OF CORAL AND PEARL and the characters?

Identical twins Nor and Zadie live in Varenia, an ocean village that provides the Kingdom of Ilara with two rare exports: pink pearls and a bride for the Ilarean prince. But when Zadie is chosen against her will, the sisters devise a plan that will change not only Nor's fate, but that of an entire kingdom, forever.

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

My favorite character is Nor, because she’s the main character and I’ve spent so much time “in her head,” so to speak. She is the kind of person I aspire to be – loyal, brave, generous, and scrappy. But my favorite character to write was probably Ceren. I can’t help it – I love a villain.

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

This was a story that had been brewing in my head for a while – twin sisters whose lives are a competition, whether they like it or not. Other elements, like diving for pearls and a mountain castle, came to me in bits and pieces in the form of magazine articles, photographs, and music.

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

There is a song by Enya called “The Humming” that I heard on an airplane radio station which totally reminds of me CoCaP. The lyrics are:

And all the light, will be, will be And all the future prophecy And all the waves, the sea, the sea And on the road are you and me

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

It’s a little limiting when your main characters are identical twins, but Elisha and Renee Herbert (Australian models) would work. And it turns out they have a triplet brother, just like I do! I could see KJ Apa playing Talin.

Summer is here and we love to go out and enjoy the sun. What drink and place do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date?

CoCaP would definitely be a perfect beach read with a pina colada! But it also has a mountain setting, and I could imagine reading it in a cozy cabin after a day of hiking or horseback riding with a glass of cider.

Can you recommend your readers any other books in case they are left hungry for more once they finish CROWN OF CORAL AND PEARL?

I recently read Robin LaFever’s His Fair Assassin series and loved it. I’m also a huge Holly Black fan and am waiting impatiently for the conclusion to her The Folk of the Air trilogy.

What’s next for you?

I’m working on a contemporary fantasy about a girl who wants revenge on the wishing well spirit who cursed her family.

Mara Rutherford began her writing career as a journalist but quickly discovered she far preferred fantasy to reality. Originally from California, Mara has since lived all over the world, from Russia to Peru, along with her Marine-turned-diplomat husband and two sons. A triplet born on Leap Day, Mara holds a Master's degree in Cultural Studies from the University of London and would rather study the folklore of her next post than the language (which she has found is a lot more fun but not nearly as useful). She is a former Pitch Wars mentee and three-time mentor. Her debut YA fantasy, CORAL AND PEARL, will release from Harlequin Teen in Fall 2019.


  1. "What do you think about CROWN OF CORAL AND PEARL? Will you be adding it to your TBR? What's your favourite YA genre? What do you consider a summer read?"
    "Crown Of Coral and Pearl" sounds like a good fantasy with its own mythos! I have added it to my TBR because I love fantasy! I will read all sorts of things as a summer read--nonfiction, etc.!

  2. Crown of Coral and Pearl sounds like an exciting read. This book is going on my to-read list. I really like fantasy and I am looking forward to this book.

  3. YA fantasy has become my favorite genre. This book is already on my TBR and sounds so exciting to read.