Hey guys!! I’m so excited today to share with all of you a conversation I had with Bronwyn Eley, an author who’s debut novel, Relic, is hitting shelves on September 12th (today)!
We talk a little about writer’s block, inspiration, fictional characters, and more!
Page Count: 497
Publisher: Talem Press
Release Date: September 12th, 2019
In the city of Edriast, there is no deadlier duty than to serve as the Shadow.
As the personal servant of the powerful Lord Rennard, the Shadow’s life is all but forfeit. Rennard possesses one of five rare and dangerous Relics – a jewel that protects his bloodline, but slowly poisons everyone else in its proximity. When the current Shadow succumbs to its magic, nineteen-year-old blacksmith Kaylan is summoned to take his place.
It’s an appointment that will kill her.
As the time Kaylan has left ebbs away, hope begins to fade… That is, until she discovers a plot to destroy all five bloodlines in possession of the Relics.
A rebel force plans to put an end to Rennard’s rule and Kaylan suddenly finds herself embroiled in a cause that might just be worth fighting for. But no cause is without its costs…
As her life hangs in the balance and rebellion bears down on Edriast, Kaylan must decide where her loyalties lie – and how she’ll leave
her mark on the world.
Relic is the absorbing first novel in The Relic Trilogy, a thrillingly dark YA fantasy series.
Read more to learn about this amazing new fantasy novel!
Q: Could you tell us a little bit about Relic?
A: Relic is about a young blacksmith called Kaylan who is chosen to be the new Shadow, the personal servant to Lord Rennard. Rennard is the ruler of Edriast, a man who inspires fear and curiosity from his people due to the fact that he possesses one of five Relics, a darkly powerful magic stone. The Relics protect the bloodline to which they are possessed but everyone else is seen as a threat and being in proximity to the Relic is poisoning. Therefore, all Shadows eventually die from their service. It is the world’s worst lottery, basically. Once Kaylan begins her role in the castle, she becomes aware of – and involved in – an ambitious plot to destroy the Relics and their possessors. Kaylan is confronted with many decisions – most importantly about whether or not she will help this rebellion reach its goal.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for Relic?
A: I honestly don’t remember the lightbulb moment! I wish I did. Over the years I’ve been inspired by other authors such as Maria V. Snyder, Leigh Bardugo and Tolkien. The idea of Relic has also changed significantly over the years before I even started writing it!
Q: Relic is your debut novel. Were there any aspects of the publication process that you didn’t expect, or where different from what you imagined?
A: Not really and that’s mostly because I work in the book industry and spend my days talking with other authors. I have heard all the stories! In saying that, I am finding that I’m surprised by the constant support and eagerness of readers surrounding my book.
Q: What was the most challenging part of writing Relic, and what was your favourite part?
A: The most challenging part was probably coming up with new scenes to fit my novel during the editing process. There are always changes to be made and I sometimes found it hard to insert something new into a story I thought I knew so well. My favourite part was also the editing process, funnily enough, because I enjoy challenging myself!
Q: How do you deal with writer’s block when it hits?
A: I admit it’s rare for me to be completely stumped. Normally it’s more that I’m just too tired to write. I usually just listen to my needs when that happens and I don’t force it. I’ve never had long-term writer’s block. Touch wood.
Q: If you could live in a fantasy world from one book (that isn’t your own) what world would you want to live in?
A: Oooh that’s hard. Probably Narnia! It’s a beautiful land and I could still sometimes pop back into my own world (if I could figure out the trick of it).
Q: What fictional characters do you think had the biggest influence on your life?
A: Definitely Sam from The Lord of the Rings. Sam’s loyalty, self-sacrifice and love for Frodo is so inspiring and I’ve never cried as hard as I have when Frodo abandons Sam for Gollum.
I would say Peter Pan has also been a huge inspiration for me – but that’s more the overall story than the character himself. Let’s be honest, Peter is a bit weird (if you have read the book you will understand).
I know this isn’t a book but Sydney Bristow from Alias to this day is such a badass female character and I adore her. She is the very definition of never giving up and she fights so hard for what she wants.
Q: Speaking of fictional characters, which character in Relic was the hardest to write? Which one came the easiest?
A: The hardest character to write was probably Rennard because I tried to find this balance between him being the antagonist and readers feeling sympathy for him. He’s meant to be a confusing character. The other characters don’t even know how to feel about him and the reader is also meant to feel those shades of grey surrounding him. Don’t be surprised if you don’t know how to feel about him!
The easiest to write was probably Markus because he is hopeful and happy and loving – plus has a lot of dogs – and I am generally a hopeful and happy person. He is so likeable and it was a pleasure to write his scenes.
Q: Since Relic is a dark fantasy, what are some of your favorite dark fantasy books?
A: I still find it so funny that people think Relic is a dark fantasy. Personally I didn’t think it was that dark (what does that say about me?) until everyone started saying how dark it was! Oops.
My favourite dark fantasy series has to be The Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff. It’s like Harry Potter meets John Wick. Check it out!
Q: Finally, what is the one message you want your readers to take away from Relic?
A: Be in control of your own life. Fight for what you want and don’t let anyone ever take your freedom away from you.
About Bronwyn Eley
Bronwyn joined the military right out of high school, where she learnt (among other things) to disassemble and reassemble a rifle blindfolded. After that she spent a lot of her time travelling around the world. Her favourite places (so far) are Scotland, Mongolia, Iceland and Ireland.
Bronwyn finally found her natural habitat when she landed her first job in the publishing industry. While she has always been a writer, it was only when surrounding herself with books that she realised her life’s dream was to become an author. Relic is her first novel.
Bronwyn lives in Sydney and spends her time eating chocolate, reading and practising her martial arts.
Are you excited for Relic?
Now it’s your turn to answer one of my questions: what fictional character do you think influenced your life the most?