Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Interview with Danielle L. Jensen for Dark Skies

Dark Skies (Dark Shores #2)

Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: May 5th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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Lydia is a scholar, but books are her downfall when she meddles in the plots of the most powerful man in the Celendor Empire. Her life in danger, she flees west to the far side of the Endless Seas and finds herself entangled in a foreign war where her burgeoning powers are sought by both sides.

Killian is Marked by the God of War, but his gifts fail him when the realm under the dominion of the Corrupter invades Mudamora. Disgraced, he swears his sword to the kingdom’s only hope: the crown princess. But the choice sees him caught up in a web of political intrigue that will put his oath – and his heart – to the test.

With Mudamora falling beneath the armies of the Corrupter, Lydia and Killian strike a bargain to save those they love most—but it is a bargain with unintended and disastrous consequences. Truths are revealed, birthrights claimed, and loyalties questioned—all while a menace deadlier and more far-reaching than they realize sweeps across the world.

Can you briefly describe the DARK SHORES series, its characters and what’s going to happen in DARK SKIES? 

The series takes place in a world divided by fantastical seas, each half of the world unaware of the other’s existence. When that secret is revealed, the Dark Shores of the West comes under siege from both supernatural and human forces that each seek to conquer for their own gain. In DARK SHORES, Teriana and Marcus are forced to lead the Empire’s armies across the seas in search of conquest neither of them wants, but in DARK SKIES, Lydia and Killian join together to fight back against the incursion of a dark god’s armies into their homeland. I make all four characters face impossible choices as they fight to protect those they love most, each novel raising the stakes and bringing readers closer to an epic collision of good and evil. Expect a huge world with a large cast, plus lots of action, political intrigue, and romance! 

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

As a writer, Marcus is my favorite, because he has a deep backstory that impacts the plot of the book in so many different ways. I also love his moral ambiguity, as it makes his actions less predictable. But teen me would’ve had a huge crush on Killian, would’ve been friends with Lydia (we are both bookish), and would’ve envied Teriana’s adaptability and ability to make friends with new people. All four protagonists are very different from one another, and I love seeing who readers connect with most! 

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

I’ve been working on this series since 2007, and it has been through so many rewrites and plot changes that very little of my original inspiration remains! I take a lot of inspiration from historical time periods that interest me, like Ancient Rome, but I also take a lot from television and movies. I really like cinematic action, so I try to replicate that feel when I’m writing. 

If you could choose one song to describe your books in the series, which ones would it be? 

I’m the rare author who doesn’t listen to music when she writes! But I DO listen to music, primarily soundtrack music, when I’m brainstorming. For this series, I listen to Pirates of the Caribbean, ROME (HBO), Spartacus, and the Tudors soundtracks. But the one song that really ties to DARK SKIES for me is Requiem for Tower, especially for the battle scenes toward the end of the novel. 

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

Young, attractive, interesting people who aren’t yet famous! I think new talent is the best for YA adaptations. 

What drink and place do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date? 

I think the best place to read my books is on a beach or next to a pool with a yummy frozen drink in hand! 

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

What would you say is the most difficult part of writing a book? 

For me, it’s not allowing my frustration and self-doubt to get in the way. I often have a really strong idea in my head for how I want a scene to go or how I want the reader to feel, and when I can’t translate the mental image to words on the page, I feel like a failure. And when I’m in that sort of negative headspace, I have a hard time writing anything at all. 

What’s next for you? 

I am currently working on the third book in the Dark Shores series, which is titled GILDED SERPENT! The first draft is already written and I’m working through the editorial comments. It has all four point of characters in it and more plot lines than I care to count, so it’s been a huge project for me! But I love it! I’m also working on the third book in my Bridge Kingdom series, so my head is full of the voices of many characters right now.

Danielle L. Jensen is the USA Today bestselling author of The Malediction Trilogy (Angry Robot), the Dark Shores series (Tor Teen), and The Bridge Kingdom series (Audible Originals). She lives in Calgary, Alberta with her family.