Ruined takes basically everything I love about YA fantasy and weaves it all together into this brilliant fast-paced story. (See my review here). It’s definitely one of my top recommendations for 2016 releases and just in general! Some of you might have read Amy Tintera’s sci-fi YA series Reboot, so I wanted to share some of her thoughts about tackling a different genre (and creating this gem of a book).
Hi! I’m Amy Tintera, and I write novels for young adults. I grew up in Austin, Texas and graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in journalism. After receiving a masters in film at Emerson College I moved to Los Angeles, where I promptly discovered I didn’t enjoy working in the film industry, and went back to my first love, writing.
Follow Amy on Twitter @amytintera
A revenge that will consume her. A love that will ruin her.
Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.
But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.
In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.
Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.
• What do you do when you’re not writing?
I read! I’ve been blowing through Shannon Messenger’s Keeper of the Lost Cities series recently. And I’m a total TV addict. I love Kdramas (Korean television), so I can usually be found in front of the TV, reading subtitles!
• Your last books were more sci-fi, so what was the coolest part about switching genres to write fantasy?
I really liked getting rid of guns and writing sword-fighting scenes instead. Sword fighting is more intense, and a lot more work for the characters. It definitely makes things more interesting!
I enjoyed getting rid of pretty much all technology. The story depends on the fact that Cas and Em have never seen each other, so it wouldn’t work in a world where they could just Google or Face Time! An arranged marriage plot is so much more fun when they don’t even have the option of talking on the phone.
• If Em and Cas were modern teens, what do you think their favorite books would be?
I think Cas would really like the Grave Mercy series by Robin LaFevers. I’ve always thought he’d enjoy historical fiction with a twist – he’d learn something, while also being told a great story (plus, assassin nuns are amazing).
Em would like dystopian fiction, especially the kind with kick ass girls with no special powers. I think she’d really enjoy Legend by Marie Lu.
• Which scene was the most fun to write?
The first kiss scene. I’d been looking forward to writing it the whole book! I think it’s mostly the same as the first draft, which can’t be said for pretty much any other scene. I knew what I was doing with that one!
• When did you first start writing?
I was young, about 10 or 11, when I decided I wanted to write my own book. It turned out to be like 30 handwritten pages because I had no idea how to pace a book! But I kept writing, and I had 6 full-length novels finished by the time I graduated high school (they are all terrible and will never be published).
• What were some of your favorite books as a teen?
I was totally into the Sweet Valley High series as a kid. I read a ton of them. I also loved Jane Austen!
• Any advice to young authors looking to be published?
Keep writing, and finish! It’s really hard to stick to one project when you have so many ideas, but it’s worth it to finish the books you start. You can’t edit if you don’t finish writing it!
Thanks for sharing and congratulations on your book!