I’m so excited fellow fantasy author and agent sibling and all-around Excellent Human Being (TM) Breanna Teintze to the Ball this week!
Breanna Teintze writes novels with magic and explosions (well) and gardens (badly). She lives in Idaho with her husband, where she homeschools her three kids, polishes swords, and perfects her eyeliner. Her debut novel, Lord of Secrets, is the first in the Empty Gods series from Jo Fletcher Books, and comes out August 8th!
You can find Breanna online at:
Goodreads: Breanna Teintze
LORD OF SECRETS is a a delightful necromantic romp through a dark and complex world with magic as boundless as it is painful, terrifying undead monstrosities, and secrets layered upon secrets
Read on to the end of our interview – where you can learn more about bone monstrosities, Clifftown, and the band Marianas Trench – and find out how to win a copy of this necromantastic debut!
1. Do you have a regular first reader? If so, who is it and why that person?
I do! My sister is my alpha reader, and whatever would come before “alpha”–she’s been my first reader ever since I started writing seriously in my teens. She and I are very close and a little mind-read-y with each other (we got banned from playing Pictionary on the same team long ago because we always won). If she doesn’t understand something I’ve written, or if she doesn’t like it, then I know that I’m really not hitting the mark. She’s also nice enough to fall in love with my characters regularly, and insist that I finish stories. If I was left to myself I think I’d give up a lot.
2. How the heck did you come up with those bone monstrosities? I’m still in abject awe. Can we expect to see more or similar in the coming books?
The bone creatures came to me while I was writing an unsuccessful short story, actually, about a grave robber. I was thinking about Frankenstein and how he reassembled various corpses into his monster. Of course, he was trying to make a person. But I thought: if you had necromantic magic, who says you have to reassemble bones into anything human-looking? Most mammal skeletons are surprisingly similar in structure, so if you had the right hinges you could put any skull on any spine and vice versa. It seemed more practical to make beasties with claws and teeth and reach. Besides, if you were stuck with nothing to do but build with bones for years, creativity is almost a given. I think even necromancers would get bored and start adding arty little variations.
As for the coming books, there are indeed more altered dead things. In book 2, for instance, I had been reading about various forms of mummification and embalming and also thinking about the sort of person who is certain that they are doing things to you for your own good. If you let that person be in charge of designing bodies, what would you come out with? (My sister says you come out with “A whole lot of nope.”)
3. Which talent do you wish you had?
I have a friend who writes the most intense, lush setting descriptions. Without fail his books make me both hungry–usually for foods I’ve never actually eaten–and restless, like I want to go to the place where the story is happening. I’d love to have his knack for evoking places.
4. There’s so much that goes into worldbuilding, and so little of it that makes it onto the page. What’s a fun tidbit that didn’t make it into the book?
The city of Ri Dana, which Gray visits because he’s looking for an underground temple, is beside the sea. It has limestone cliffs. It also has slums, which are an entire little town cut into the cliff face, so the people live in weird little crumbly cave houses which sometimes collapse. Gray mentions the smell of Clifftown as they’re walking through the city. But I never got to add the scene I wanted where they have to find their way through this claustrophobic tangle of chalky rooms and rickety wood platforms slung out over space. Nothing’s truly wasted, though; I will get some characters stuck in Clifftown at some point, so help me.
5. What’s one thing that’s making you happy right now?
I should probably say “the debut! it’s happening on Aug. 8!” but the truth is that it still feels surreal that my book is going to be out there in the world where everybody can buy it– like the entire industry is just going along with me, pretending that there’s a book.
So, we’ll go with something more concrete: believe it or not, right now I can switch on feeling happy by playing the new album from one of my favorite bands, Marianas Trench (it’s called Phantoms, they’re Canadian, and I am aware I’m too old to like that sort of music). It’s a concept album about a ghost story, so it might seem like an odd one to play to make yourself happy, but it’s a twisty ghost story and I love figuring out twists.
GIVEAWAY TIME! Follow The Debutante Ball on Facebook and Twitter and SHARE the interview for a chance to win LORD OF SECRETS! For extra entries, comment on this post. We’ll choose the winner on August 9th and contact them shortly afterwards.
Magic is poison. Secrets are power. Death is . . . complicated.
Outlaw wizard Corcoran Gray has enough problems. He’s friendless, penniless and on the run from the tyrannical Mages’ Guild – and with the search for his imprisoned grandfather looking hopeless, his situation can’t get much worse.
So when a fugitive drops into his lap – literally – and gets them both arrested, it’s the last straw – until Gray realises that runaway slave Brix could be the key to his grandfather’s release. All he has to do is break out of prison, break into an ancient underground temple and avoid killing himself with his own magic in the process.
In theory, it’s simple enough. But as secrets unfold and loyalties shift, Gray discovers something with the power to change the nature of life and death itself.
Now Gray must find a way to protect the people he loves, but it could cost him everything, even his soul . . .
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