Curbing curiosities, or an interview with Danielle L Jensen author of Dark Shores (and a giveaway)


dark shores

Dark Shores (Dark Shores #1)

By: Danielle L Jensen

Publisher: Tor Teen

Publication Date: May 7th, 2019

High seas adventure, blackmail, and meddling gods meet in Dark Shores, the first novel in a new YA fantasy series.

In a world divided by meddlesome gods and treacherous oceans, only the Maarin possess the knowledge to cross the Endless Seas. But they have one mandate: East must never meet West.


Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense and heir to the Maarin Triumvirate. Her people are born of the seas and the keepers of its secrets, but when her closest friend is forced into an unwanted betrothal, Teriana breaks her people’s mandate so her friend might escape—a choice with devastating consequences.


Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his family, but even they don’t know the truth he’s been hiding since childhood. It’s a secret he’ll do anything to protect, no matter how much it costs him – and the world.


When an Empire senator discovers the existence of the Dark Shores, he captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they sail in pursuit of conquest, forcing the two into an unlikely—and unwilling—alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice.


1) Describe your book in 5 words or less 

Ships. Legions. Battles. Gods. Kissing.


2) Do you have a special story, a discovery you made while doing research, or an innocuous thought that grew into something bigger that is behind your inspiration for DARK SHORES?

When I first started writing in the DARK SHORES world back in 2007, it was a portal story with a character from the real world ending up in the DARK SHORES world by falling into a super deep sleep. The xenthier concept in DARK SHORES was partially inspired by that early (very bad) novel.


3) Family and found family play a large role in both main characters’ motivations in DARK SHORES, why was it so important to you to build your story on that?

Interestingly, family plays a huge role in every book I’ve ever written. I think part of the reason is that my own family is so deeply important to me. But a bigger reason is that I tend to focus a great deal on the relationships between characters. Not just romantic relationships, but the relationships between friends and family members. So much of what we choose to do or not do is dependent on the people in our lives, and I think weaving in the complications of those relationships into the primary conflict of the novel makes the characters seem more real and relatable.


4) A book goes through a lot of different versions and rounds of editing before it’s complete.  What are some “fun facts” or behind the scenes info you can share about the characters from your book or the world you created for it that may or may not have made it to the final draft of the book?

Teriana is called a pirate twice in the novel, but no justification for the label is given because it got removed during one of the many rewrites (big oops). The reason the Maarin are known as pirates in the East is that they are sometimes caught selling goods that are known to have been on ships that have gone missing. It’s assumed that the goods were taken in acts of piracy, but it’s actually that the Maarin have the unique ability to salvage wrecks. They can’t admit this ability, because it is SECRET, so they let the rumors that they are pirates stand.

5) Who was your favorite character to write and who gave you the most trouble? If you could ask a character of your choice from DARK SHORES one question what would it be?  

Marcus is my favorite to write, although I have a deep fondness for Teriana’s aunt Yedda. I’d say Felix caused me the most trouble. There is A LOT going on in that boy’s head, including some really complex feelings about Marcus that create conflict with Teriana. Not being able to write from his POV made it challenging to show the depth of his character as I know it, and I’m really looking forward to being able to spend more time developing and unpacking his history and friendship with Marcus in subsequent novels.


If I could ask any character anything, it would be to ask Magnius why he had Teriana give Lydia that book! Of course, I already know the answer…


6) What scene from the book are you most proud of (because of how you handled the atmosphere, characters, dialogue, etc)? Is there a scene that you had difficulty with and just had to “power through” to finish the book? Or a scene that made you very emotional?

Most of those are toward the end, so I can’t talk about them without spoilers. But one of my favorite early ones is when Marcus meets up with his older sister Cordelia. She has the very unique ability to put him in his place, which I love, but what I really like is how she holds him accountable for the things he’s done. One of Marcus’s weaknesses is that he believes he only has agency within the limitations that the Empire has placed on him, but Cordelia questions that belief. And in doing so, she forces him to see that he’s more culpable for the damage he’s caused than he wants to admit. Basically, Cordelia makes Marcus own his own shit, which not only impacts his character, it impacts the ultimate plot of the series.


Danielle L. Jensen is the USA Today bestselling author of The Malediction Novels: Stolen Songbird, Hidden Huntress, Warrior Witch, and The Broken Ones, as well as The Bridge Kingdom (Audible Originals). Her latest novel, Dark Shores, will be released by Tor Teen in May of 2019. She lives with her family in Calgary, Alberta.


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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us.

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