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Interview with KayLynn Flanders, Debut YA Author of SHIELDED
Jul 23rd, 2020 by Liza Wiemer

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About Shielded from Goodreads:

For fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Furyborn comes a thrilling new fantasy about a kingdom ravaged by war, and the princess who might be the key to saving not only those closest to her, but the kingdom itself, if she reveals the very secret that could destroy her.

The kingdom of Hálendi is in trouble. It’s losing the war at its borders, and rumors of a new, deadlier threat on the horizon have surfaced. Princess Jennesara knows her skills on the battlefield would make her an asset and wants to help, but her father has other plans.

As the second-born heir to the throne, Jenna lacks the firstborn’s–her brother’s–magical abilities, so the king promises her hand in marriage to the prince of neighboring Turia in exchange for resources Hálendi needs. Jenna must leave behind everything she has ever known if she is to give her people a chance at peace.

Only, on the journey to reach her betrothed and new home, the royal caravan is ambushed, and Jenna realizes the rumors were wrong–the new threat is worse than anyone imagined. Now Jenna must decide if revealing a dangerous secret is worth the cost before it’s too late–for her and for her entire kingdom.

Interview:

Share with readers a novel secret—something that readers will never know just from picking up the book.

Awesome question! Okay, here are some fun behind-the-scene details for Shielded:

  • I chose Turia’s kingdom colors to be brown and gold because those are the school colors of my husband’s high school. 
  • Jenna’s eye color is based off my daughter’s.
  • Cavolo, a curse used in Turia, means cabbage in Italian.

What drew you to writing a fantasy novel?

I’ve always loved fantasy novels. They were the books that sucked me in when I was a teenager. And while fantasy novels are pretty complicated with worldbuilding and magic systems, etc., it was a lot of fun to put Jenna in some fantastical situations and see what happened next.

What have you enjoyed the most about the publishing process?

The people! My agent is extraordinary, my editor is a complete champion of my book and me, authors and bloggers have reached out and given guidance and support, and it’s all been amazing. Book people are the best.

Bonus round: (Feel free to explain if you would like)

Dancing, walking, sailing, running, ice-skating, snowboarding?

Ice skating! I took lessons when I was little, and can still skate backwards and do a *very* little jump.

Soups: chicken noodle, egg drop, French onion, lentil, split pea, tortilla, other?

Tortilla! I love Latin food (even if it’s not authentic). I used to speak Spanish fluently, but it’s been a lot of years since I spoke the language daily. 

Concert, movie, musical, play?

I’ve been social distancing since Feburary—can I choose all of the above? 

Music: Classical, hard rock, soft rock, hip hop, jazz, country, other?

I listen to a wide variety of music, but my favorites are usually alternative or soft rock—my favorite band is Keane. Since becoming a parent, I mostly listen to Disney soundtracks with my kids. 

About KayLynn Flanders

KayLynn Flanders has a degree in English Language and editing, and has been a freelance editor and book designer for over twelve years. Her debut novel, a YA fantasy, will be published by Delacorte Press (Penguin Random House) July 21, 2020. KayLynn and her family live in Utah between some mountains and a lake, and she is directionally challenged without them. She loves reading, writing, traveling, and volleyball, and thinks there’s
nothing better than a spur-of-the-moment road trip.

Connect with KayLynn on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

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