Interview With Heather Frost

Blurb:

Clare made a mistake when she saved the princess’s life . . .

In one horrible night, Clare is forced to give up her life as a kitchen maid to become the princess’s decoy. Thrust into a dangerous new world of royals and deadly politics, she must learn how to be the princess’s perfect double to ensure her betrothal to an enemy prince. Desperate to survive, Clare throws herself into self-defense training, taught by her distractingly attractive bodyguard, Bennick. The spark between them is undeniable, though a relationship is forbidden. When a ruthless assassin begins stalking her, it becomes frighteningly clear that some will stop at nothing to end the tenuous peace—and Clare’s life.

Across the northern mountains, Prince Grayson is his father’s ultimate weapon. His name inspires fear in all who hear it, but no one knows his heavily guarded secret. He carries out every brutal order only because his father holds power over the one person he cares about. Grayson’s silent obedience is tested, however, when his father reveals plans to exploit the marriage alliance between two of their greatest enemies. If Grayson submits, the blood of thousands will spill. If he resists, the girl who means everything to him will die.

The fate of Eyrinthia hangs in the balance. Some want peace. Some want war. All will be thrown into chaos.

Royal Decoy is the first in the Fate of Eyrinthia YA fantasy romance series told from multiple POVs. If you like swoon-worthy romance, complex characters, and non-stop action with epic twists, then you’ll love the captivating world of Eyrinthia.

Interview:

Tell us a bit about Fate of Eyrinthia. What inspired you to write the series?
Fate of Eyrinthia is a YA fantasy romance series. The seeds for this story came wondering if I could write a story from a secondary character’s POV. (For example, what if Harry Potter had been told from Ron Weasley’s perspective? How would that have changed the story?) I didn’t even know if something like this would work, but I began by thinking up a story where a princess is living in a dangerous time with lots of political upheaval, and she’s in the center of everything—including an arranged marriage. And then I thought, could someone else be the main character of this story? I instantly thought—a decoy. The princess could have a decoy, and the decoy could be our main character! I loved the idea, because it became an entirely new story simply by changing the focus of who was telling the story. And that’s how Royal Decoy was born.

You write the series from multiple points of view. How much different do you feel the story would be if you wrote it in first person? What made you decide on the viewpoints that you chose?
I think the story would be incredibly different if I could only tell one perspective. It would have been from Clare’s POV, since she’s the decoy and arguably the main character—especially at the beginning of the series. But we would have missed out on so much! The story would have been shorter, and narrower in scope. We wouldn’t know what was happening in the other kingdoms, we wouldn’t get to know all the layers to the other characters, and we wouldn’t have the same tension as these characters with different agendas converge. It can be a challenge writing multiple POVs and juggling different voices and storylines, but I think it makes this series so much richer.

As for how I decided on who got to share their viewpoint, it came down to figuring out who needed to share their story. I had to think through the entire series and weigh a few different factors; 1) Who had a story to tell that would directly and consistently impact the main storyline? 2) Who would ever be on their own, in a place we needed to know what was happening, when it was happening? 3) And finally, WHEN would their perspective be needed? That final question was key in figuring out who needed a POV in each book, since I knew I wanted to add new character perspectives in gradually. I had to consider which characters had secrets that I needed to keep (which meant delaying getting into their heads) and when characters would need to be in the forefront of the story.

What parts of the series were harder for you to write than others? What were easy?
Hmm, I’m trying to think what parts were hardest. I honestly just loved writing all of it, haha! If I had to pick a part that was the most challenging to write, it’s probably the beginnings. Mostly because I want to make sure they’re perfect. I want readers to be able to dive back into the world with key reminders of what happened in the previous books, without bogging down the current storyline with too many details.
As for the easiest to write: I love all the conversations! Dialogue is easy for me to write, plus I just love writing any scene where these characters are interacting with each other.

Did you have any character that spoke out to you more than all of the rest of the characters did?
Grayson and Desfan have both been strong characters from the very beginning. Grayson wasn’t even a character I planned on writing—he just showed up and said, “Hey. Here’s my story.” And now I can’t imagine the story without him! Desfan is another character that took me by surprise. Even though I knew about him before I started writing, his voice was just so strong. I always know what he’s going to say, what he’s thinking, and what he wants to do.

What are your upcoming plans for this series? 
There will be six novels in the series, with some assorted novellas. Book four—Royal Rebel—is what I’m currently working on. It will be out early 2023!

What inspired you to choose the covers for your books?
I knew I wanted to highlight a different character on each cover, since having multiple POVs and storylines is such a big part of the series. I took some time to pick who I wanted to highlight on each cover, and from there it was just a matter of finding the best models for the job. (Royal Decoy: Clare. Royal Spy: Desfan. Royal Captive: Mia.) The whole process of cover design is extra fun because my sister, the talented K.M. Frost, is my designer!

How long did it take you to write each book? Were there parts that took you longer than others?
This is a tough question. I’m generally a fast writer, so I can finish a book usually in a month or two. Editing takes me longer, because I’m a perfectionist, and I also have to wait to hear back from my beta readers. I first wrote Royal Decoy years ago, though it went through some major edits before it was released in the summer of 2020. I had written rough drafts of the other books in the series as well, so I work from those old drafts and weave in new scenes/storylines, plus polish the scenes that are already there. There are definitely scenes that take longer to write, whether because I’ve hit and wall and need to think my way out of it, or because I’m taking my time to get it just right.

Where did you come up with the names of your characters?
They come from a variety of places, but often it’s simply a matter of me just getting a sense of the character. Once I have a feel for them, I can usually decide what letter their name should start with, or how many syllables it should have. I often end up looking through a list of names I keep. In Eyrinthia, I also have the different kingdoms to consider; they each have a different culture and flavor that I want to capture for the characters who live there. Sometimes that means turning to Google for ideas, or me just making something up!

Have you considered having the series narrated?
Yes, I definitely have! There are some logistics I’m still working on, but I think it would be amazing to have audiobooks of the Eyrinthia series.

Do you have any other works planned outside of the series?
Yes! I have far too many plans and ideas, haha! In November you’ll be able to read Esperance, which is book one of a New Adult fantasy romance trilogy. It’s got slow-burn, enemies-to-lovers romance, forbidden magic, and non-stop action. I’m so excited to share it! You can learn more about Esperance, and my other books, on my website: www.HeatherFrost.com

About the Author:

Heather Frost is a #1 Amazon bestselling YA author who loves epic stories with breath-stealing romance. She is the author of the Seers trilogy and the Fate of Eyrinthia series. Her books have been Whitney Award Finalists and Swoony Award Finalists. She has a BS in Creative Writing and a minor in Folklore, which means she got to read fairy tales and call it homework. When she’s not writing, Heather likes to read, travel, and re-watch Lord of the Rings. She lives in a beautiful valley surrounded by towering mountains in northern Utah. To learn more about Heather and her books, visit her website: www.HeatherFrost.com

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