Blog Tour: The Queen’s Choice – Author Interview

March 17, 2014 Author Interview, Blog Tour 27

Blog Tour: The Queen's Choice - Author Interview

Welcome to the first stop on the blog tour for Cayla Kluver’s The Queen’s Choice! I’m thrilled to be on this tour. Not only is Cayla a talented author… she’s a Wisconsin girl too! 🙂 I have an interview with her about this new series. First, more about the book!

About the Book:

The Queen's Choice coverMagic was seeping out of me, black and agonizing. I could see it drifting away. The magic that would let me pass the Road to reach home again.

When sixteen-year-old Anya learns that her aunt, Queen of the Faerie Kingdom of Chrior, will soon die, her grief is equaled only by her despair for the future of the kingdom. Her young cousin, Illumina, is unfit to rule, and Anya is determined not to take up the queen’s mantle herself.

Convinced that the only solution is to find Prince Zabriel, who long ago disappeared into the human realm of Warckum, and persuade him to take up his rightful crown, Anya journeys into the Warckum Territory to bring him home. But her journey is doomed to be more harrowing than she ever could have imagined….


The Queen’s Choice
Heirs of Chrior tumblr
Add it to your Shelf: Goodreads
Get a Copy: Amazon |  Barnes & Nobles Indie Bound BookDepository

Author photo

About the Author:

Cayla Kluver is the author of the Legacy Series (LEGACY, 2011; ALLEGIANCE, 2012; SACRIFICE, 2012).

Her new book THE QUEEN’S CHOICE will be published by HarlequinTEEN in winter 2013/spring 2014.

Cayla spends her free time singing, reading, dancing, and horseback riding. Her office is filled with twinkly lights. She travels frequently to speak at middle and high schools, libraries, and book conventions. New York City is one of her favorite places on the planet.

Goodreads |  Website | Twitter | Facebook

Author Interview:

• The Queen’s Choice is your fourth novel overall but the first in a new series. What was your favorite part about starting this new series?

I had a ton of fun creating new characters. After three books with the same cast, it was an adventure being at the drawing board again in terms of raising personalities out of the dust. The Queen’s Choice also represented a fresh opportunity for world-building, and I threw myself into it – this new book is higher fantasy than my original Legacy trilogy, and I experimented more with magic and mystical creatures.

Anya seems like not-your-average faery. Can you tell us a bit about her and what it was like writing her? 

Anya is the niece of the Faerie Queen, so she’s grown up with the best of both worlds: all the perks of being royalty, and none of the pressures of inheriting the throne. She’s sixteen when we meet her in The Queen’s Choice, and she’s told that because the Prince has fled the Realm, she is now the heir apparent. The queen’s death is impending, and Anya panics. She has always been independent and carefree, a lover of travel, happy to play a supporting role in the realm’s politics, and she does not react well to the prospect of sacrificing her freedom. She runs, and tragedy promptly strikes, preventing her from going home ever again.

Writing Anya was difficult. She’s a flawed character, who simultaneously has staunch principles that she sometimes unfairly unloads on others, coupled with an abiding fear of responsibility and of being controlled. As selfish as she can seem, however, she also has an incredible capacity for empathy, and even after she had been the victim of a violent crime, has a hard time bringing herself to hate. She goes through the ringer in this novel, so often I felt I was discovering things about her at the same time she was.

In The Queen’s Choice we have the Faerie Kingdom as well as a human realm. Was it difficult to do world building for both? Did you enjoy writing one more than the other?

The Faerie Kingdom is Anya’s idea of paradise, but she’s entranced by the ups and downs of the human world. Her perspectives mirror mine as the author. I loved spending time with the Fae in Chrior, and I have diagrams of how their treetop homes are designed, the way the catwalks rope around the city. Fae are connected to nature, and imagining what that visceral closeness to the elements might feel like, and how it might influence the minutiae of day-to-day life was challenging but refreshing. The human world, by contrast, is driven by industry, restricted by a corrupt government, and inspires something akin to awe in Anya, who can hardly fathom existing under such circumstances. Navigating it, for her and for me, was a bit like digging up graves – I never knew what I would find, and quite a bit of it was horrific. Still, I think the human world was more compelling for me to write – I spent more time there in The Queen’s Choice, and it felt very raw and honest.

Who was the most interesting character for you to write? What about the characters who you had the most fun writing interactions between?

Zabriel was so interesting to write – and so challenging! I rewrote his first scene at least six times because his voice is a complex one. He and Anya were close as children, but their approaches to life are opposite. Their philosophies seem to be in direct contrast. Writing in first person from Anya’s point of view made it tricky to present Zabriel both accurately and sympathetically (although not everyone will sympathize, I’m sure). It follows that his interactions with the other characters were some of my favorites to write – he puts Anya in her place and dumbfounds her with some frequency, and he and Shea bicker like children. For me, he brings a unique light into the story.

The ending is a cliffhanger! What are you trying to do to us?!?! 🙂 Was it difficult to leave the story there?

Maybe I’m sadistic, but that ending gave me a rush. I had it in my head from the very beginning, and I love to give a punch in the gut and then run. Although I think this cliffhanger might be less cliffhang-y than Legacy’s ending. That one got me in trouble with a few people… but apparently didn’t teach me a lesson. Sorry!!

Anya is on a journey in the story. What was the best journey you’ve ever been on?

I’m from Wisconsin, and I decided (on a whim, really) to go to college in Pennsylvania. It was outside my comfort zone, I’d never lived on my own, I’d never spent any real time on the east coast, and I didn’t know anybody when I walked onto campus. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. There were definitely ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

• The Queen’s Choice is a faerie story. I’m a sucker for these! What is/are your favorite faerie story/stories?

I’m a HUGE fan of classic fairy tales. In Sleeping Beauty, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather are like little secret agents who save everybody behind the scenes and keep the plot moving. Peter Pan of course introduces us to the fairy as a bit of an antihero. My favorite modern fairy tale is Artemis Fowl. Talk about reinventing a culture! Absolutely brilliant work.

Each tour stop is offering up a copy of The Queen’s Choice, and one winner will receive a fantastic grand prize package including the following Harlequin Teen titles: 2 copies of The Queen’s Choice, a copy of White Hot Kiss and Grim, a signed copy of Heartbeat and a complete set of The Legacy trilogy from Cayla Kluver.

Please enter via the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway is open to US/Canada.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Monday, March 17th – YA Bibliophile
Wednesday, March 19th – Mundie Mom’s 
Friday, March 21th – Two Chicks on Books 

Monday, March 24th – Melissa’s Eclectic Book Shelf 
Wednesday, March 26th – Refracted Light Reviews 
Friday, March 28th – Such A Novel Idea

27 Responses to “Blog Tour: The Queen’s Choice – Author Interview”

  1. Cassie Hileman

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Which is more difficult to write, the first book in the series or the second?

    • Cayla Kluver

      Definitely the first. By the second book, I know the characters, and the plot is well underway. The first book is the introduction and exposition, and it’s always a bit of chaos trying to balance and interweave those things with the main thrust of the book. Strangely, I think of book 1 as a really long prologue to book 2. 😛

  2. Kristie M

    I love the sounds of this book! I enjoy books about royals ( faerie or not lol) Why did you decide to do a Faerie Kingdom in this series?

    • Cayla Kluver

      My first series was fantasy, but without those high fantasy elements of mythical creatures or magic (for the most part). I wanted to let myself go a little nuts, and Faerie wings are so shiny and pretty!

    • Cayla Kluver

      Not all of them… but a lot of them. 😛 I always view a book series as one continuing story separated into parts, and once the plot is underway, I don’t feel there should be an easy (or non-cliffhanger-y, I guess) way to end a book. But by the end of the last book, everything should be wrapped up. I guess that’s my style!

  3. Danielle Ginther

    Thanks for an awesome giveaway!!! I would love to ask…. How do you deal with an extreme case of writers block?

    • Cayla Kluver

      I lay on my kitchen table and cry. (You think I’m joking, don’t you? I’m actually not!) It helps to get out the frustration, then sit down and force yourself to write SOMETHING. Literally anything. Maybe it doesn’t progress your story, but grab one of those awesome character questionnaires off the internet and answer the questions. Write a scene that won’t even be in the novel. Explore your world and the people you’re writing about. Or write something completely unrelated. Get the gears of your mind turning in some way. It’s sort of like applying oil to them. Then (hopefully) they’ll be back in working order for the job that needs to be done!

  4. January

    Pretty cliche question to ask a writer, but when did you realise that you wanted to be an author, and why?

    • Cayla Kluver

      I’ve always been writing, and because of my wonderful, supportive mother, I never even considered that I COULDN’T be an author. Literally, writing was something I loved, so it seemed natural to me that it would someday be my career. I didn’t realize it was a little outside the box in terms of the careers most people think of pursuing. Way back in elementary school, I was walking the halls thinking, “I’ll be an author when I grow up,” like it was the most normal thing in the world.

  5. Sierra

    This book looks amazing! What sets your book apart from all the other faerie type books?

    • Cayla Kluver

      I think my book veers a bit further from traditional Fae lore than a lot of what’s out there. It was actually a concern of mine that lovers of faerie books like Wicked Lovely and the Iron Fey might reject mine as a result, but that hasn’t been the case (phew!). They’ve been really warm and open and supportive, which is wonderfully exciting. A lot of books in the genre also deal with humans discovering and entering the Faerie world, while mine is exactly the opposite – Anya loses her magic and gets trapped in the human world.

    • Cayla Kluver

      I love Philippa Gregory because of her prodigious historical knowledge and her ability to bring the past to life. I adore J.K. Rowling because in addition to be a super fantastic, super successful author, she’s a humanitarian and I feel like she’s never lost sight of where she started. And I’m a big fan of Mo Hayder because she’s a study in contradictions – she seems so sweet and down-to-earth and she’s a devoted mom, and then she writes these horrific crime novels. 😛 I get such a kick out of that, and she’s so talented.

  6. Rain Jeys

    I suppose I’d like to ask if your faeries are closer to traditional mythology or more “edgy” like the Wicked Lovely faeries? I’d read it either way (’cause faeries) but I’d so prefer the former and am curious.

    • Cayla Kluver

      I guess I wouldn’t describe my Fae as “edgy”… but I sort of tried to invent my own mythology around them. So neither I guess! 😛 I took a more high fantasy route than the urban settings of books like Wicked Lovely and Tithe. I guess I’d say mine are more traditional than that, but I’m not 100% sure how best to categorize them. Can I get an award for best non-answer answer? Haha I hope something in there helps you out!

      • Rain Jeys

        You can absolutely have that award! :)Well, I wasn’t a fan of Wicked Lovely, though Tithe was excellent, but I prefer more traditional, fantasy-like faeries. So I’m glad.

  7. Alice

    Thanks for the giveaway! I can’t wait to read this. : ) What was your inspiration for this book?

    • Cayla Kluver

      There were two elements I really wanted to explore. First, the idea of someone privileged (with magic, influence, beauty, etc.) who has everything taken away from her. I wanted to explore how she would cope, what she would cling to in order to keep going, and if/how she would recover. Second, I wanted to create a juxtaposition between two worlds that, on the surface, look like perfect examples of heaven and hell. The Faerie Realm is pure, nature-focused, and seems to engender happiness and contentment, while the human world suffers corrupt politicians, cruel laws, pollution, and everything rough-and-tumble. But nothing is ever that simple, and I created these worlds so that I could strip away the layers of each of them and show their cores. This is a process I’m planning to continue through all three books, and that hopefully will leave readers to draw their own conclusions.

    • Cayla Kluver

      I listen to so much music in so many genres, but for this book, I listened to a lot of Sia (in particular the songs I’m in Here and Soon We’ll Be Found) and Florence + the Machine (especially Never Let Me Go and What the Water Gave Me). I also played a lot of Birdy. The playlist for The Queen’s Choice includes a lot of heady, heavy music.

  8. Ann S

    I enjoyed the interview, I can’t wait to meet Anya and Zabriel. Who is your favorite character?

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