{Interview/Giveaway} THE OPAL CROWN by Jenny Lundquist

Tour Schedule

Week One:

10/20/2014- Tales of the MarvelousReview
10/21/2014- The Reading Nook ReviewsInterview
10/22/2014- A Dream Within A DreamReview
10/23/2014- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post
10/24/2014- The Paige-TurnerReview

Week Two:
10/27/2014- A Backwards Story- Interview
10/28/2014- Bibliophilia, PleaseReview
10/29/2014- Stories & Sweeties-Guest Post
10/30/2014- Jessabella ReadsReview
10/31/2014-  Me, My Shelf and I- Guest Post

An interview with
 Jenny Lundquist

Jenny Lundquist grew up in Huntington Beach, California, wearing glasses and wishing they had magic powers. They didn't, but they did help her earn a degree in intercultural studies at Biola University. Jenny has painted an orphanage in Mexico, taught English at a university in Russia, and hopes one day to write a book at a café in Paris. Jenny and her husband live in northern California with their two sons and Rambo, the world's whiniest cat.

What made you want to write about princesses and secret identities?

For The Opal Mask series, I didn’t start out wanting to write about princesses. The idea originated from an image that just sort of jumped into my head one day: That of a dirty, neglected girl sitting on a wooden stool. The door in front of her opened, the light fell on her face, and her features twisted with shock and awe when she saw what was behind the door. I was immediately intrigued, and swung what I call my “mental POV camera” around so I could see what she was seeing.  When I saw what was behind the door, I was shocked, too, and knew this was a story I needed to write. Eventually, I realized the story would have to include princesses and secret identities.

What has been your favorite scene to write? The hardest?

I don’t have any one particular scene in THE OPAL CROWN that is my favorite; but there are a lot from Wilha’s perspective that I absolutely love. In Book 1, THE PRINCESS IN THE OPAL MASK, Wilha is seen as more of an obedient, passive character, and while she grows a lot in that book, it’s nothing compared to the character growth she experiences in THE OPAL CROWN. It was insanely satisfying to write those scenes and let readers see a different side of her.

Now that I think about it, I guess my two favorites would be both Elara and Wilha’s ending scenes. Even before I started writing Book 1, I knew where the two girls were eventually going to end up. But with a series, you never know if an editor will acquire the project in the first place, or if they do, if they’ll want more than one book. So although I always knew what the ending scenes were, I didn’t always know if I’d actually get to write them. I remember getting a little choked up, when I finished THE OPAL CROWN because I felt so grateful for the opportunity to see the project through to the very end.

The hardest scenes to write were the ones leading up to the climactic scene at the end. There is a lot of action going on in a lot of different places, and I had to split the narrative between both Elara and Wilha’s perspective. Trying to balance all that, and making sure that it read smoothly and conveyed everything I wanted it to, proved to be a challenge, and it took me several drafts to get it right.

What are all of the tales that inspired you to write this duology? How did you go about twisting them into an original idea?

Like I said above, the initial idea was inspired by an image in my head, not by a particular fairy tale, or even by the fact that I wanted to write fantasy. At the time, I had no intention of writing fantasy. But at a certain point I Googled something related to the project, and got a hit for THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK. I immediately saw the connection (and was embarrassed I hadn’t noted it earlier), and decided to make my story a light (VERY light) reimagining of it. I even changed the title. Originally, Book 1 was titled The Masked Princess. But after making that connection, I changed the first book to THE PRINCESS IN THE OPAL MASK.

Do you go on Pinterest, etc. to find images for the types of masks the Princess wears?

Absolutely! I love Pinterest. I use it to help me create inspiration boards for my projects. You can view my inspiration board for both PRINCESS and THE OPAL CROWN at http://www.pinterest.com/jenlundquist/

Will you write more fairy tale-inspired novels in the future?

I don’t have any plans to right now. But you just never know where or when inspiration will strike!

What are your favorite fairy tales?

I think my favorite fairy tale would have to be Cinderella. Both THE PRINCESS IN THE OPAL MASK and SEEING CINDERELLA, my middle grade novel, are influenced by it. That particular tale has a lot of themes that I like to interact with: Girls being each other’s worst enemies (the ugly stepsisters) or greatest encouragers (the fair godmother); our own feelings of isolation and being misunderstood and mistreated; magic, mystery and midnight; and the idea of being rescued from difficult circumstances (although, I intensely dislike the idea of the prince saving the princess, and prefer to turn that trope on its head).

If you could attend a masquerade, what would you wear? ...And what would your mask look like?

It’s actually on my bucket list one day to attend The Carnival of Venice and go to one of the masquerades. If I could wear anything I wanted, I think for my dress I would choose:

(Image taken from DeviantArt)

For my mask, I would choose:

(Image taken from Polyvore)

Thanks so much for having me!

O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Jenny Lundquist
Release Date: Oct. 28, 2014
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Find it: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

In the year since she was betrothed to the crown prince of Kyrenica, no one has suspected that the Masked Princess has been a decoy. That Elara, the secret twin sister, has been pretending to be Princess Wilha all along. The royal family has kept Elara’s identity hidden from the world, and for the girls, swapping lives has not been easy. Galandra is quickly declining, and the sisters continue to be a pawn in the Guardian’s ever-changing endgames.

But the stakes rise when Elara and Wilha’s younger brother, Andrei, takes the Galandrian throne after their father's death, and he reveals the girls' deception to Kyrenica’s royal family. Viewed as traitors, Elara and Wilha realize they are now fighting for their lives—and for their country. However, with only one crown and one throne to overthrow, Elara and Wilha must decide who will become queen. Or rather, the next savior for their people.



Ready to fall in love with

(1)  Winner will receive a $25 Amazon or Barnes &Noble Gift card and a set of THE PRINCESS IN THE OPAL MASK and THE OPAL CROWN. 
(US Only.)

(4) Winners will receive a set of THE PRINCESS IN THE OPAL MASK and THE OPAL CROWN. 
(US Only.)

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  1. the book looks great, love the story line, thank you for the chance to win :)

  2. That is quite the dress for a masquerade ball! Good choice!

  3. looks great, thanks for the chance!

  4. Thanks for the giveaway!

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

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  7. The story behind the story--super cool!! I love that you were just as shocked as the girl sitting on the stool...and that you just knew this was something you *had* to write. Whether I win or not, I plan to devour these two novels...! (You can't see this, but I am freaking out about how cool this story sounds--for the SECOND TIME! I am that in love with it.)

    Thanks so much for touring and sharing your story(ies) with us!

  8. I haven't read the first one yet, but I'm excited to get to read these back to back! Love the cover too!


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