An interview with Jillian Boehme, YA Fantasy Author of The Stolen Kingdom!
What can we expect from you in the future?
More YA fantasy books! And possibly, at some point, some YA SF.
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
I love this question! Names are so important to me. My daughter Maggie, when she was around 10, came up with the name “Maralyth” for one of the main characters in my first novel. (This is one of my favorite things to tell people, because Maggie grew up to be an amazing writer—and that first, horrible novel is what inspired her to write!) “Alac” is just a variant of “Alec”; I like the way it looks with the second “a”. The rest of the names in The Stolen Kingdom are either completely made up or are slight tweaks of names that already exist—“Ellian” is a sort of cross between “Lillian” and “Ellen”; “Nelgareth” is made up, but his first name, Ogden, is real; Zeth is sort of “Seth” with a “Z”, which feels stronger; “Nestar” is a variant of “Nester”; “Doreck” is made up; and “Graylearn” is also my own creation.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Because this book is based on the very first (horrible) novel I ever wrote, I dearly enjoyed delving into the world I’d created so many years ago, giving it more depth and richness—and developing beloved characters into new, stronger versions of themselves.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
If you love a good lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers story, this is for you. Also, if you’re mad about secret magic, spare heirs, and girls who aren’t afraid of trying to steal someone’s throne, you’ll enjoy The Stolen Kingdom!
Have you written any other books that are not published?
Almost a dozen. Writing is not for the faint-hearted!
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
Sage, which is Maralyth’s favorite herb, mixed with a woodsy scent.
What did you edit out of this book?
Oh, my goodness. I edited out both a son and a daughter of Lord Nelgareth, as neither one ultimately had an important enough role to play in the story. So many deleted words!
Fun Facts/Behind the Scenes/Did You Know?’-type tidbits about the author, the book or the writing process of the book.
- The Stolen Kingdom is based on the first very novel I ever wrote, entitled The Seeds of Perin Faye. It’s a completely different story now!
- When I was struggling to get the plot right, I pulled out several wooden “Little People” (from my childhood), assigned them each a character name, and moved them around the room, trying to figure out who was supposed to do what.
- One of my favorite things to do is to have a Barbie and Ken version of my main characters. Maralyth and Alac are currently standing on my desk (you may have seen them on Instagram!).
- My daughter Maggie is a fabulous writer, and we have the same literary agent! She always reads for me, and her input is invaluable. Sometimes I feel like I can’t write without her!
- One of the characters in The Seeds of Perin Faye was a tall, Gandalf-y character named Soldan. My husband still does impersonations of Soldan’s ridiculously deep bow. (There is no Soldan in The Stolen Kingdom!)
- Playlists are extremely important to me. When I first started working on The Stolen Kingdom, I listened to the same music I’d used for The Seeds of Perin Faye. Call me nostalgic! Ultimately, though, it just didn’t work for me. I finally created a new, better playlist that threw me right into the world whenever I sat down to write.
- Chapter endings take longer than almost any other part of drafting. They have to be JUST RIGHT.
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