If you’ve read my review, you know I LOVED Falling Kingdoms, so I’m super happy to welcome Morgan Rhodes for an interview on the blog today!
Falling Kingdoms was one of my favorite read this year, how hard was it for you to write high fantasy, as opposed to your previous novels?
Thank you so much! I wouldn’t really say it was “hard” as much as it was a challenge. I have written contemporary paranormal and urban fantasies before this, so I was well-versed in “fantasy.” Taking this fantasy and putting it into a completely imaginary world, plus giving it a medieval flavor, was something that took a lot of forethought, research, and worldbuilding before I even wrote a single word of the plot, but I was definitely up for this challenge!
The lore you created was particularly enticing, how did you come up with the Goddesses idea?
The goddesses (two rival goddesses that represent two elements each – one fire and air, the other water and earth) who existed a thousand years before the events in Falling Kingdoms were an essential part of the worldbuilding – the religion! I wanted to show that one kingdom, Limeros, still worshipped regularly (in fact, it’s kind of forced on them by their king), while the rival kingdom, Auranos, has strayed from religion, mostly due to their easy lives and affluence. This is contrasted with the middle kingdom, Paelsia, which doesn’t worship any deity. The lore of the goddesses in book one is mostly background, but I promise it will play a large part in future books, especially when it comes to the mythology of the immortal Watchers.
I particularly loved how your narration allowed to view each character from multiple perspectives, was it the main reason why you chose third person narration?
Originally, I considered writing the book entirely from Princess Cleo’s POV, but ultimately decided that the world of Falling Kingdoms was a very large canvas to paint on and limiting things to one character’s viewpoint would prevent me from showing readers what is going on in other parts of the story. It became a multiple viewpoint story out of necessity – and I’m glad I went in this direction! I think this definitely sets FK apart from other YA fantasy novels…and in a good way, I hope!
Did you have a favorite character when writing the book?
All of the characters have their merits, but my two favorites to write in Falling Kingdoms (and again in the sequel) are Princess Cleo – since she has a good heart and a brave soul that she’s only beginning to discover…her character arc is more of a roller coaster! Also, Prince Magnus – who is so dark and conflicted and sarcastic, and he likes to ignore my outline and do his own thing. I never know what to expect from him!
Can you tell us a bit about the next novel, Rebel Spring? I’m so anxious to read it!
Well…. it’s book #2 of the Falling Kingdoms series and will be out Fall 2013. What? You want more? LOL! Thing get off to a wild start in Rebel Spring, so even telling you what happens in chapter one would be a mega spoiler. I’ll just say that it picks up the story about three weeks after Falling Kingdoms ends. In Rebel Spring I also introduce a couple new characters who will directly impact the characters readers have already met in ways both good and bad. Also, there will be some unexpected twists which I hope will delight readers – but they also might also be a little bit mad at me.
Thank you so much Morgan for taking the time to answer my questions! I can’t wait to get my hands on Rebel Spring!