Thanks so much to Ben for stopping by my blog to share some thoughts on writing his Dragori series! He clearly needs no introduction in the book community, so I’m going to skip right to the part where I fangirl over the reveal of his new book’s cover: LOOK AT HOW GORGEOUS IT IS.
The second book comes on June 12, but I put the summary for the first one below to avoid spoilers:
Zacriah Trovirn is concerned with two things in life: hunting and dodging Petrer, the boy who broke his heart.
Heartbreak becomes a distant concern when Zacriah is taken to the Elven capital of Thessolina, where he is forced into King Dalior’s new legion of shapeshifters. But Zacriah isn’t a shapeshifter. In truth, he doesn’t know what he is.
Zacriah joins forces with new friends and they soon find themselves embroiled in a clash between the three Elven continents. With war looming on the horizon, Zacriah must learn to use his latent power to fight and protect those he loves before they are destroyed.
Aside from running his very own micro-publishing company, Oftomes, you can find Ben in the nearest Starbucks with a book in hand.
“Ben Alderson is the book vlogger you want to know from across the pond. This 22-year-old UK native is steadily making a name for himself with not only his YouTube book vlog, but also his Instagram account …where he is followed by thousands who can’t get enough of his artsy shots of books.”
– Teen Vogue
• Which scene of Cloaked in Shadow was the most fun to write?
I enjoyed writing a few scenes in Cloaked in Shadow. The first was when we reveal Zacriah’s power to Hadrian in the forest of Nasamel. Writing something so fast-paced such as that chase scene got my writer juices following. Not spoiling, but there is also a significant part of that scene that makes it one of my favourites. Only those who have read the book will know what I mean. But, as a hint, Zacriah is not the only one with something to show…
• If you could shift into any animal what would it be?
This is a hard one for me. I would want to fly, but be big enough to hold my own. Maybe some bird with sharp claws? If I could, I would be a Dolphin. But I have a fear of dark water, so I am not sure that would be a good choice.
• Which YA characters do you think Zac would be friends with?
Zac is a ‘special-snowflake- character in Cloaked in Shadow. I wanted him NOT to be the favourite. He has a lot to learn. So, in saying that, I think the friends he would surround himself with would be similar characters to Nyah. Nyah puts Zac in his place. I think Katniss would also tell Zac straight. I like the idea of him being friends with Tobias from Divergent. Although, in my mind. They would be more than friends!
• What was the most random thing you found yourself researching while writing this book?
Gosh. Well, you remember that scene with Elmirr? Very sad. I had to study what Elmirr would look like after a certain thing attacked it… if you know what I mean. It was horrific. I ended up not watching because I was scaring myself too much.
• Who would you cast in the movie version?
This is going to sound odd. But I don’t see this book as a movie. Never have. I don’t know why because so many people ask me this and when I tell them I don’t see it they just can’t believe me. So, If I could have the cast of Force Awakens and The Last Jedi play my characters that I would. Apart from that, I can’t imagine any actors. WHY DO I DO THIS! Haha.
• What were some of your favorite reads of 2017?
Are you ready for a list? BECAUSE, HERE WE GOOOOOO…..
- Runebinder by Alex R. Kahler. Amazing Dystopian/fantasy story with LGBT characters by an own voice author.
- WANT by Cindy Pon. At this point, Cindy is just one of my favorite authors around. Love her.
- A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. SET IN OXFORD ABOUT WITCHES AND VAMPIRES AND HISTORY AND SCIENCE AND ROMANCE AND LOVE AND SURVIVAL AND MAGIC AND OMG OMG OMG OMG. Everything you want in an Adult Fiction novel. LOVED.
• What’s a piece of advice you’d want to go back and tell yourself when you were first starting to write this book?
I wish I could prepare myself a bit more. This will not be my best book. I will keep learning and growing. DO NOT GIVE UP. I also wish I had finished it sooner. If I could go back in time to January when I first started writing it before a four-month break. I would tell myself this…
‘ Do not look at that conversation thread. It will only break your heart. Ignore those who tell you-you can’t. Listen to your mind, heart and soul. Ben, you can do this.’