The Crystal Kingdom Blog Tour: Interview + Giveaway
I'm so pleased today to have author Amanda Hocking stopping by the blog to answer a few questions about her newest release, CRYSTAL KINGDOM, the final book in her fabulous Kanin Chronicles. I've asked Amanda to talk about the series as a whole and asked for a few juicy (hopefully) details on the release of her latest book, CRYSTAL KINGDOM. Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a paperback copy of CRYSTAL KINGDOM.
Interview with Amanda Hocking
Welcome to Book Swoon, Amanda! I'm so happy to have you here today with us!
I'm very excited about the release of CRYSTAL KINGDOM, the last book in the Kanin Chronicles. For new readers and those who may need it, can you give us a brief refresher on the first two books in the series FROSTFIRE and ICE KISSED.
The series follows Bryn Aven, an outcast among the Kanin, the most powerful of the troll tribes. Looked down because of her mixed heritage, Bryn is determined to prove herself and protect her kingdom.
In Frostfire, a series of attacks against those she’s sworn to protect is linked to Konstantin Black – a man she once admired before he attempted to kill her father. With the help of her commander – and love interest – Ridley Dresden, Bryn captures Konstantin, only to have him freed by the most hated enemy of the kingdom, Viktor Dålig.
In Ice Kissed, Bryn is still on the pursuit of Konstantin – who is now considered an even greater threat since he’s working with Viktor. She’s struggling to reconcile her feelings for Ridley, when she’s sent on a mission to protect an allied tribe, the Skojare. It’s there that Bryn begins to discover that things aren’t what they seem, and Konstantin might not be her enemy after all.
The second book ends with Bryn accused of treason and on the run, and the only one who is offering her help is Konstantin Black.
So many readers have commented on how gorgeous your covers are for this series. They each seem to capture beautifully the essence of the stories. Were you surprised on their reveals? How do they make you feel?
I’m always surprised by the covers. Lisa Marie Pompilio and the team at St. Martin’s always create such amazing work, so I shouldn’t be surprised anymore, but it’s still so surreal to see an image created of something that I made up inside my head. I think the covers do any excellent job of capturing the essence of Bryn and the world that she exists in.
Bryn is such a fascinating (kick-butt) heroine in this series. Can you tell us about what makes her different from your other heroines?
Bryn is more determined than some of my other heroines, and her goal is far more singular. She has a huge chip on her shoulder, and she wants to prove herself more than anything else. That level of commitment gives her tunnel vision, and she’s a fascinating character for me to write. She was so much more focused on the external, and it was fun to have her learn to embrace her emotions and listen to herself. While so many of my other characters where their heart on their sleeves, Bryn had to learn that her heart isn’t a weakness – it’s an asset.
The world-building feels so vivid in you series. Can you tell us about the mythology behind the Skojare and the Kanin.
I started with the idea of all the tribes living together as one, and then as they begin to split off into factions, growing different attributes and even a bit of differences in cultures.
The Kanin are able to blend within the humans – and everything around them, actually – but they isolated themselves by location, and in a lot of ways, they got stuck in the middle ages.
The Skojare long to be a part of the outside world, but because of their propensity to be born with gills, they aren’t able to. They’re like Rapunzel, trapped in an icy tower, staring out at the world around them. Their hierarchy is more for a show, because they’re all trapped, and they all know it.
Trolls are portrayed in a unique way in the Kanin Chronicles. Can you tell us what inspired you to write them like this?
It’s based on a bit of Scandinavian folklore that described trolls as magical and beautiful, but ill-tempered and wild. In lots of mythologies, trolls have been described a variety of different ways, but now the idea of short little hobgoblins hiding under bridges and taunting goats has become the most pervasive. I wanted to play with a mythos that we were all familiar with, but present it in a different way.
You must know that you've given your readers some great book boyfriends to swoon over. Do you have a few favorites of your own? If so which ones?
Out of my own characters, it’s hard to say. I like them all for different reasons. Daniel from the Watersong series or Loki from Trylle are probably at the top of my list. Out of all books, I have too many to count. Batman is at the top of my list, even though he’d probably be a terrible boyfriend because he’s always out all night punching bad guys.
If you could visit one of the realms and characters from your books, which one would you choose and why?
I’m a homebody with anxiety, so I don’t know that I could handle all the danger that goes in their worlds. With that said, I would love to see the Skojare palace most of all. I think it would be really beautiful and awesome in real life.
Can you give us (please) any hints about what we can expect with CRYSTAL KINGDOM?
There’s a lot more action, danger, and romance. It’s the most encompassing in the worlds of the Trylle and the Kanin – meaning you get to see more of their world than ever before. And I can say that the ending was the most terrifying for me to write, out of any of my books.
What other projects are you working on now?
Right now I’m finishing up my book, Freeks. It’s standalone YA paranormal romance novel set in the 1980s that follows a travelling sideshow. I pitched it as Pretty in Pink meets The Lost Boys (minus the vampires). It should be out sometime in 2016 with my publisher.
And last but not least, if you could choose a magical power from one of the clans featured in your books- which one would it be and why?
Probably the Kanin’s ability to blend in. That would definitely come in handy. But it also would be very cool to be able to heal things. That would be the most useful and the most altruistic, I think. You could save all kinds of people.
Thank you, Amanda, for joining us today!
Thank you for having me!
(Kanin Chronicles #3)
by Amanda Hocking
On Sale: August 4th 2015
by St. Martin's Press
Cast out by her kingdom and far from home, she's the Kanin people's only hope.
Bryn Aven - unjustly charged with murder and treason - is on the run. The one person who can help is her greatest enemy, the enigmatic Konstantin Black. Konstantin is her only ally against those who have taken over her kingdom and threaten to destroy everything she holds dear. But can she trust him?
As Bryn fights to clear her name, the Kanin rulers’ darkest secrets are coming to light… and now the entire troll world is on the brink of war. Will it tear Bryn from Ridley Dresden, the only guy she’s ever loved? And can she join forces with Finn Holmes and the Trylle kingdom? One thing is certain: an epic battle is underway—and when it’s complete, nothing will ever be the same.
About the Author:
Amanda Hocking is The New York Times bestselling author of the Trylle trilogy and a lifelong Minnesotan. After selling over a million copies of her books, primarily in eBook format, she became the exemplar of self-publishing success in the digital age.
Thanks to the generosity of St. Martin's Griffin I have (one) paperback copy the Crystal Kingdom to offer for a giveaway. US/Canadian addresses only, please.