We’re just under one month away from the release of Relic by Bronwyn Eley! I can’t wait to start this one!
Make sure to keep an eye out for my review in the next few weeks!
Author: Bronwyn Eley
Publisher: Talem Press
Genre: YA Fantasy
Comparative Titles: Throne of Glass,
Queen of the Tearling, An Ember in the
Ashes, Red Queen, The Hundredth Queen
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.
Find it: Amazon | Goodreads
1. As a person who loves to travel, what is one place you haven’t been to yet but hope to one day?
Guatemala, 100%. One of my previously written novels (unfinished) is set in Guatemala,
specifically in a little place called Flores and in the famous site of Tikal. I am desperate to go and spend a few months living in the little town of Flores, talking to the locals and learning about Mayan culture. I want to experience the sounds and the weather, the food and the language. I can’t wait to go!
2. Has travelling inspired your writing? If so, in what ways?
I think what travelling has done for me is that it has challenged me and exposed me to different places, different people and different ways of thinking. Travelling is one of the most important things to me in the world and I think everybody has to travel. I think everybody should also travel alone, at least once, which I love to do. It’s so freeing.
I could easily sit here and say that the locations have inspired my writing – and they have! There’s this amazing place in Spain I went to that when I stepped inside the building, I knew that it was the setting for one of the other series I’m planning. But it’s so much more than that. Travelling always exposes you to, as I said, different people. And with different people come their different ways of thinking. If you only ever spend time with people who grew up in a similar way to you then you’re never going to learn a different way of looking at the world, at least that’s what I believe! What we know, what we don’t know, how we think, how we react… So much of these are so ingrained in us that they can often be subconscious. I remember this one time in Mongolia; we were asking some of the local herders about their lives. Of course, we had someone translating for us – they only spoke Mongolian and we only spoke English. We asked them if they enjoyed what they did for a living (which was living in the Steppes and being herders, farmers, workers of the land) and I’ll never forget how they all looked at each other. They paused. They were so confused by our question. They said they didn’t understand what we meant, because for them this was their whole world. It never occurred to them that they could do something else, or be somewhere else. Most importantly, they didn’t want to do anything else or be anywhere else. Whereas, for us, we are told we can do anything or go anywhere. We can change our career path ten times in our lives if we want to. Most of us can sit down at the buffet that is our life and choose. But for them, they were given their life and they took it gratefully without question. It was a beautiful moment and it showed me that I had been living in a bubble. It made me want to meet more people to learn how they saw the world. I think it translates across to my writing because when you write, you don’t want to write just one type of person – or character. I want to build on that idea and try and include some of these amazingly different perspectives in my writing.
3. How many manuscripts did you have before Relic was published?
Manuscripts of other books, you mean? Only one serious manuscript – which is the one I
mentioned earlier that is set in Guatemala. It needs a lot of work before it sees the light of day. Apart from that, I wrote a few shorter books in primary and high school. The first draft of Relic was 82,000 words and was written in 82 days. Then I edited it on and off for a year or so before I started sending it out.
4. What was the most surprising thing about being a debut author?
I have had a rather unusual experience because of my work at Booktopia. I spend my days with other authors – many of whom are debut. It’s been both comforting and sobering to talk to these authors and hear their stories. Knowing how things work behind the scenes in the publishing industry has been both a blessing and a curse, at times. Sometimes knowing too much isn’t a good thing. I know the realities of publishing,
the success rates, the standards and what sells… so for me that has really skewed my experience. Nothing was really surprising but it’s been a joy and challenge none-the-less.
5. What is your writing process like? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I am mostly a pantser but I definitely do both. I plot the big things – the major plots – but I pants the rest. I like to be surprised when writing my own work. I give my characters a rough direction to head in but I let them decide how they’re going to get there. In saying that, I think I’ll need to plot a bit more strictly for the third and final book in The Relic Trilogy because there are a lot of plot points that need tying up.
6. What are you currently working on now?
The Relic Trilogy is dominating my life right now. Relic is out in a few weeks, so that’s mostly done. Book two has been submitted for the first round of edits and very soon I will be working on those. As soon as I get that first round out of the way, I plan to start on book three. I also have a few other ideas for series that I’d love to do next and I want to pick one to start tinkering on because I think it will be constructive to have a few projects going at once.
7. What are you currently reading?
I am reading an ARC copy of Monuments by Will Kostakis, an amazing Australian YA author! It’s a really fun, fast-paced read and I am flying through it. The main character is this relatable and loveable character who I think people are really going to bond with.
8. Did your training and experience in the military make it into Relic?
Not as much as I’d like but I do think, on reflection, that Rennard is a little like some of the instructors I had. I mean this in a positive sense – because I know Rennard is the antagonist – because he has many qualities that I wouldn’t call positive but I also wouldn’t call negative. He is structured and strict and determined. All of my instructors were like this in varying degrees and while they definitely doled out the ‘tough love’, I really respected and appreciated how they handled us. In one of my final edits for Relic, I did add a direct link to my military life through Captain Thorn. He mentions to Kaylan that his guards live by a rule: ‘one in, all in’. This mentality is something that we were taught in the military. I want to include more of my military experiences in future series!
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 practicing her martial arts.