I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke Blog Tour hosted by TBR & Beyond Tours.
Check out my Author Interview below!
About the Book
Ren Kolins is a silver wielder—a dangerous thing to be in the kingdom of Erdis, where magic has been outlawed for a century. Ren is just trying to survive, sticking to a life of petty thievery, card games, and pit fighting to get by. But when a wealthy rebel leader discovers her secret, he offers her a fortune to join his revolution. The caveat: she won’t see a single coin until they overthrow the King.
Behind the castle walls, a brutal group of warriors known as the King’s Children is engaged in a competition: the first to find the rebel leader will be made King’s Fang, the right hand of the King of Erdis. And Adley Farre is hunting down the rebels one by one, torturing her way to Ren and the rebel leader, and the coveted King’s Fang title.
But time is running out for all of them, including the youngest Prince of Erdis, who finds himself pulled into the rebellion. Political tensions have reached a boiling point, and Ren and the rebels must take the throne before war breaks out.
Find it Here:
What have been the most exciting, surprising, and stressful parts of your journey to publication?
The most exciting part of the whole publishing process has without a doubt been getting to see readers connect with a story that for so long lived only inside my head. I’ve received some truly lovely messages and had some of the best interactions with readers who fell in love with this book and these characters, and it’s honestly mind-boggling when I sit back and think about it. I still don’t entirely believe that I wrote someone’s new favorite book.
I think both the most surprising and most stressful part of my publishing journey is learning how little control I actually have as an author. While my publisher has been great about obtaining my input, there are so many things that remain out of my control. I can’t control the reception of my book or how well it sells. I can’t control if I make it onto most-anticipated of best-of lists.
Writing is personal but publishing is a business, and it can be scary to reconcile the two when all you want to do is protect this little piece of your soul that you worked so hard on. At the end of the day, the only thing you can control is what’s on the page. It’s your job as an author to make that the best you possibly can. The rest is just noise that will drive you to some dark places if you let it.
What does your writing process look like? Are you a pancer or plotter?
I’m a pantser to my core. I don’t plot unless forced and even then you can be sure I’m going to complain about it. I usually have a general idea of the direction of the story and a vague sense of the ending, but I don’t plot out books before I write them. It’s just not the way my brain is wired. I find plotting incredibly difficult. It’s a lot easier for me to start writing and to let my instincts and characters lead the way. As a result, I have multiple false starts in every project. I made it a good 15k words into OF SILVER AND SHADOW before realizing what I was trying to write wasn’t working. I scrapped it all and started over, and then I did that one more time for good measure. I made it 12k into my current project before doing the same. It’s a risk I take by not plotting beforehand, but I don’t mind getting it wrong before I get it right.
However, I do eventually hit a point, after the halfway mark or so, where plotting becomes necessary. I get stuck unless I figure out how the rest of the story is going to unfold, and this is usually because the threads I’ve been weaving are in danger of becoming knotted. The groundwork that I’ve been laying needs a clear direction before I build a bridge into the side of a
mountain. At this point I’ll figure out what’s going to happen chapter by chapter until the end, while also giving myself the freedom to play with specific scenes.
What drew you to writing fantasy?
I love getting lost in a new world and I love the limitless potential of fantasy. As long as you approach it correctly, you can create quite literally anything you want in a fantasy world because you’re not operating within the confines of reality. There’s something really exciting to me about being able to set all the rules and breathe life into a place that didn’t previously exist. And because I am a little bit dramatic, I love the type of conflict you usually see in fantasy worlds. War! Rebellion! Sociopathic kings hellbent on taking over the world! Magic blowing holes in ships! One last ill-advised kiss before running headfirst into certain doom!
Also the lack of cell phones. Screw cell phones. Props to contemporary writers because everything gets so much harder when your characters can text. I want none of it.
Book events look a little different these days due to the pandemic, what are your plans for launch day?
There’s going to be a virtual launch party hosted on Zoom by Main Street Books Davidson! I’ll be chatting with Kalyn Josephson, author of THE STORM CROW, and Lora Beth Johnson, author of GODDESS IN THE MACHINE about the book for an hour or so. Afterwards everyone who preordered OF SILVER AND SHADOW from Main Street Books will be invited to chat with
me one-on-one and get their books signed. I think it’s such an inventive solution to not being able to have in-person events where a big part of the appeal is getting to meet authors in person. The signing line makes this event a little more personal, which I love.
Also, a virtual event makes it so much more accessible! So many people who wouldn’t have been able to
attend my launch party before are coming now.
If you’re able to tell us, what are you working on now?
I can’t say much! The book isn’t finished so there’s nothing official happening yet, but I’m very hopeful for this project. It’s been extremely challenging to write for a number of reasons and it’s taking me a very, very, very long time to complete (many apologies to my agent), but I do think the wait will be worth it. I will say that it is another fantasy novel but it’s unrelated to OF SILVER
AND SHADOW, and I can’t wait for the day I get to see it on shelves.
What are you currently reading? What is currently your favorite book?
I’m currently reading four books, which really isn’t the norm for me. Usually I’m only reading one physical book or ebook and one audiobook at a time, but somehow I’ve found myself in the middle of four. Don’t ask me how this happened because I have no clue. They’re all excellent though, so we’ll go with it. I’m listening to DATING-ISH by Penny Reid, a delightful contemporary romance that makes my runs go by faster. I’m reading MISTBORN by Brandon Sanderson, which I picked up as research for the project I’m currently drafting. I’m also reading TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS: ADVICE ON LOVE AND LIFE FROM DEAR SUGAR by Cheryl Strayed. I’d recommend this one to anyone going through anything challenging in their life. It’s insightful and often moving. Lastly, I just started THE BONE HOUSES by Emily Lloyd-Jones. I’m enthralled by both the gorgeous cover and the equally gorgeous prose.
Oh man, I love so many books, but my favorite of all time is probably THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern. I reread it once every Christmas or two and I find something new to love each go around. I love the prose, I love the story, I love the imagery, I love how sensory it is, I love the vivid cast of characters. One ticket to Le Crique De Reves, please!
About the Author
Jennifer Gruenke is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara, where she studied communication and writing. She grew up among the redwoods of Northern California, and now lives in Charlotte with her books and the houseplants she hasn’t killed yet. If she’s not writing or reading, you’re most likely to find her in a cafe, music venue, or the aisles of Trader Joe’s.
Tour Schedule – Bloggers
We Write At Dawn – Promo Post
Ash and Books – Book Look & Top 5 Reasons to Read Of Silver and Shadow
Kerri McBookNerd – Review & Favourite Quotes
Mallory Books – Review & Playlist
Musing of Souls – Review & Favourite Quotes
Literary Delirium – Review
Phannie the Ginger Bookworm – Review, Top 5 Reasons to Read Of Silver and Shadow, and 15 Reactions While Reading Of Silver and Shadows
The Booksnom – Mood Board & 15 Reactions While Reading Of Silver and Shadow
AndOnSheReads – Review
Sadie’s Spotlight – Promo Post
Stuck in the Stacks – Interview
Becky’s Book Blog – Review
A Court of Coffee and Books – Review & Favourite Quotes
Laura’s Bookish Corner – Review & Top 5 Reasons to Read Of Silver and Shadow
Fangirl Pixie Blog – Review
Always, Bookish Lovers – 15 Reactions While Reading of Silver and Shadow
Luminosity Library – Review & Mood Board
alexiophiles – Review & Favourite Quotes
PopTheButterfly Reads – Review
The Book Dutchesses – Review, Top 5 Reasons to Read of Silver and Shadow & Favourite Quotes
Avni Reads – Review
Books Over Everything – Review
Balancing Books and Beauties – Review & Book Look
The Writer’s Alley – Favourite Quotes, Mood Board, & Top 5 Reasons to Read Of Silver and Shadow
Prettygalsread – Review & Favourite Quotes
Windows to Worlds – Interview
Read in the Clouds – Review
Grownup Fangirl – Promo Post
Loveleighreading – Review, Favourite Quotes, Book Look & Top 5 Reasons to Read Of Silver and Shadow
Nine Bookish Lives – Review, Mood Board & Top 5 Reasons to Read Of Silver and Shadow
Tour Schedule – Bookstagram