Friday, January 10, 2020

Blog Tour + Interview + Giveaway - Beyond the Shadowed Earth (Beneath the Haunting Sea) by Joanna Ruth Meyer

Find the tour schedule here.

Beyond the Shadowed Earth (Beneath the Haunting Sea) by Joanna Ruth Meyer
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Release Date: January 14th 2020
 Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy


It has always been Eda’s dream to become empress, no matter the cost. Haunted by her ambition and selfishness, she’s convinced that the only way to achieve her goal is to barter with the gods. But all requests come with a price and Eda bargains away the soul of her best friend in exchange for the crown.

Years later, her hold on the empire begins to crumble and her best friend unexpectedly grows sick and dies. Gnawed by guilt and betrayal, Eda embarks on a harrowing journey to confront the very god who gave her the kingdom in the first place. However, she soon discovers that he’s trapped at the center of an otherworldly labyrinth and that her bargain with him is more complex than she ever could have imagined.

Set in the same universe as Joanna’s debut, Beneath the Haunting Sea, Beyond the Shadowed Earth combines her incredible world building and lush prose with a new, villainous lead.

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How did you come up with the idea for Beyond the Shadowed Earth? 

Earth is a companion novel to my 2018 debut Beneath the Haunting Sea. In that book, the MC gets banished from her homeland by an evil usurping empress named Eda. When I was pitching new projects to my publisher, I included a pitch for a completely separate companion novel set three hundred years earlier than the events in Sea. My publisher liked the idea of a companion novel, but wanted something more closely tied to Sea, and suggested a story about Eda. I was initially resistant to that concept, because I absolutely hated Eda’s guts, but then I jotted down a few ideas, and then a few more ideas, and before I knew it an entire plot was taking shape. Turns out Eda did have a story to tell, and it took a ridiculously short amount of time for my hatred of her to completely evaporate as I began to see things from her point of view. As for the actual plot, I wanted to write a redemption arc for Eda, while exploring a different branch of the world’s mythology I invented for Sea. So Eda’s deal with the god Tuer was born… 

Did you do any research for Beyond the Shadowed Earth? 

The most extensive “research” I did was my panicked re-reading and hi-lighting Beneath the Haunting Sea to make sure I got world-building details consistent! If I had known of the existence of Earth while writing Sea I would definitely have made some changes to the latter to save myself multiple headaches. I still might have missed some things—and I knowingly fudged one detail—but I’m really pleased with how Earth came out, and I love how it complements Sea. I did actual research on mountain terrains and steamships, as well as looking up lots of pictures of different kinds of temples around the world. 

Do you have a favourite character in Beyond the Shadowed Earth?

I really do love Eda—she’s fierce and angry and determined and sarcastic. She knows what she wants and she goes after it. Her passion, however misguided at times, is compelling to me. I also adore Morin, my book’s token adorable cinnamon roll. :D 

Do you have any advice for new writers? 

Write as much as you can, but take breaks when you need to. Finish projects, don’t just start them. Follow your passions, not trends. Find a critique partner who can give you feedback in a way that is useful to you (and vice versa). Rough drafts are meant to be rough—don’t worry, you can fix it!! 

What's your favourite book? 

A difficult question for any book lover to answer, so I will give you three, in no particular order:
The Queen of Attolia, by Megan Whalen Turner (really, the entire Queen’s Thief series—I’m obsessed)
Middlemarch, by George Eliot
The Return of the King, by J.R.R. Tolkien

About the Author

 Joanna Ruth Meyer hails from Mesa, Arizona, where she lives with her dear family, a rascally feline, and an enormous grand piano. When she’s not writing, she’s trying to convince her students that Bach is actually awesome, or plotting her escape from the desert. She loves good music, thick books, looseleaf tea, rainstorms, and staring out of windows. One day, she aspires to own an old Victorian house with creaky wooden floors and a tower (for writing in, of course!).

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