Earlier this week I posted my review of Shielded by KayLynn Flanders. Today I’m participating in the blog tour hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours for this book and I have a special post today. I had the chance to do an interview with the author. So, keep on reading to find out more about this amazing book, a giveaway for US readers and an interview with the author!
by KayLynn Flanders
by Delacorte Press
Publishing date: July 21st, 2020
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
For fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Furyborn comes a thrilling new fantasy about a kingdom ravaged by war, and the princess who might be the key to saving not only those closest to her, but the kingdom itself, if she reveals the very secret that could destroy her.
The kingdom of Hálendi is in trouble. It’s losing the war at its borders, and rumors of a new, deadlier threat on the horizon have surfaced. Princess Jennesara knows her skills on the battlefield would make her an asset and wants to help, but her father has other plans.
As the second-born heir to the throne, Jenna lacks the firstborn’s–her brother’s–magical abilities, so the king promises her hand in marriage to the prince of neighboring Turia in exchange for resources Hálendi needs. Jenna must leave behind everything she has ever known if she is to give her people a chance at peace.
Only, on the journey to reach her betrothed and new home, the royal caravan is ambushed, and Jenna realizes the rumors were wrong–the new threat is worse than anyone imagined. Now Jenna must decide if revealing a dangerous secret is worth the cost before it’s too late–for her and for her entire kingdom.
Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Shielded-Kaylynn-Flanders/9780593118535?ref=grid-view&qid=1594819850295&sr=1-1
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shielded-kaylynn-flanders/1134256504
About the Author
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always been a voracious reader, but I never wanted to be a writer—it was too hard to finish writing a whole book. But I loved words enough to study editing in college and become an editor to polish other people’s words. Then one day, my friend invited me to go to a writing conference with her, and it changed my life. The speakers and classes were so inspiring, and I felt like maybe I had a story to share—if I could get it good enough that others would want to read it. It took years of learning craft, revising, and revising some more, but that writing conference unlocked a part of me I didn’t know existed. The part that always longed to sing beautiful arias or paint sunsets or create something beautiful. Words are my music, my paint, and even if I never publish another book, I will always write stories.
What is your all time favorite book? Why?
This is a tough question! I’m an emotional reader, so I read books depending on my mood. I’ve got favorites in every genre, and books that have been perfect for certain times in my life. One book that I’ve reread more than any other is Jane Eyre. From the first time I read it, I connected with Jane, with her desire to be loved and accepted and find her place. And that even if she didn’t think she was particularly beautiful or rich, she still had worth. She held strong to her convictions no matter what, and I loved her for it.
What recent books do you think everyone needs to read?
There are so many great books out recently, and my TBR is insane. But some I’ve read recently and enjoyed are Bone Crier’s Moon (Kathryn Purdie), Bloodleaf (Crystal Smith), The Bone Charmer (Breeana Shields), New Kid (Jerry Craft), and The Princess in Black (Shannon and Dean Hale).
Besides writing, what are other hobbies you have?
I play volleyball every chance I get, and I dabble in photography. I also love going on road trips and exploring new places with my family. There are a lot of other things I want to learn—self defense, water color painting, paddle boarding—but there isn’t enough time for everything at the stage of life I’m at. Someday!
Shielded is your debut book (congrats with that by the way!), what has been your favorite part of the publishing journey?
Thank you! My favorite part (other than seeing my stunning cover for the first time) is probably meeting such supportive, wonderful people. My agent is extraordinary, my editor is a complete champion of my book and me, other authors and bloggers have reached out and given guidance and support, and it’s all been amazing. Book people are the best.
I know Shielded has only been in the world for a couple of weeks, but can you tell us if you have any other projects you’re working on?
Yes! I’m always working on something. At the moment, I’m working with my editor on book two in the Shielded world (a companion novel with different point-of-view characters). I’m also polishing up a retelling I’m excited about—it’s got loyalty and betrayal; forests of oaks with huge, twisty branches; and a knifer who must choose whether to trust the boy who’s always been her enemy, or her friend, who has started crossing lines she’s not willing to cross.
About the Book
Describe your book in five words or less.
Making choices; finding your place.
What inspired Shielded?
Shielded started from a dream, which feels a little cliché, but the dream was really different from what the book turned into—there were neon yellow tanks in the dream, for example. However, the emotions from the dream stayed. I won’t share spoilers, but there were people in danger, and I woke up before they were safe. My mind couldn’t rest after that cliffhanger of a dream, so I came up with a way for them to stay safe—magic. And even though I fell back asleep eventually, the characters stayed with me. I let that idea grow over a few months, asking questions about who the characters were, why they were in danger, and how they got out of danger, and eventually, it all became Shielded.
When you wrote Shielded did you have it all mapped out or did you let Jenna take you along for the ride?
Before I sat down to draft Shielded, I wrote out a forty-page summary of what would happen in the story. For the first draft, I stuck pretty close to that—but it still needed a lot of revision. While I do try to always have a good outline of what I’m going to write, there is some room to be flexible. Jenna and I kind of learned together—I got to know her better as I revised, and then I could throw bad situations at her to see how she’d react and where she’d take the story.
If you were to put yourself into this story, what kind of character would you be?
I’d probably a supportive best friend. Too anxious to take the lead and mess things up, but willing to follow and support the main character however I could.
What is your favorite quote from Shielded?
“Aren’t princesses supposed to be demure?” Ren asked, batting his eyes.
I snorted. “I’m a princess of warriors. Don’t ambush me.”
What message do you hope readers take away from this book?
You are stronger than you know. There is always hope, no matter what life throws at you. Being kind is the strongest magic of all.
The tour for this book has a lot of amazing bloggers and bookstagrammers. If you want to check out their posts, click here for the full tour schedule.
Giveaway (US Readers Only):
There is a chance to win a finished copy of Shielded. Click here to enter the giveaway that ends on August 9th.
KayLynn Flanders has a degree in English Language and editing, and has been a freelance editor and book designer for over twelve years. Her debut novel, a YA fantasy, will be published by Delacorte Press (Penguin Random House) July 21, 2020. KayLynn and her family live in Utah between some mountains and a lake, and she is directionally challenged without them. She loves reading, writing, traveling, and volleyball, and thinks there’s nothing better than a spur-of-the-moment road trip.
Like I said before, I really enjoyed this book! Shielded was a lot of fun and I loved reading KayLynn’s answers. If you’re looking for a good YA fantasy book, definitely pick this one up!