The Shadows Between Us
By: Tricia Levenseller
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publication Date: February 25th, 2020
Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power:
1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.
No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.
But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?
- Congratulations on your new release! What is different about writing your fourth book compared to your first and what is the same? Is there anything that hasn’t changed no matter what book you are working on?
One of the biggest differences is being on deadline! When you write your first book, you don’t have any obligations yet. You are writing entirely for yourself and at your own pace. Now I get to sell books before I finish writing them, so I have strict deadlines to meet. I also understand my writing process a bit better now. I know what I struggle with and what I have the most fun doing. I know what to expect when edits come my way. The strange thing is that each book doesn’t get easier to write; it gets harder. I think we writers naturally like to challenge ourselves and tackle harder projects. And each book is different, so we have to solve new problems with every new book.
- 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?
There aren’t really any deleted scenes. I was lucky this time around in that I got to keep all the content I wanted. I mostly added things during revisions. The entire plotline with Myron didn’t initially exist (though he did exist as a character for that crucial opening scene). My editor and I decided we needed more conflict in the beginning of the book (aside from the romance). These scenes also doubled in showing just how conniving Alessandra is. There are also a couple extra scenes between the Shadow King and Alessandra in the beginning, like the scene in the orchards. I added some more things with the king’s dog, Demodocus. Because who doesn’t love dog sidekicks?
- Who was your favorite character to write and who gave you the most trouble? If you could ask a character of your choice from THE SHADOWS BETWEEN US one question what would it be?
My favorite is definitely Alessandra. Discovering her voice and personality was such a delight. I loved that there were so few lines she wouldn’t cross. There’s a freedom in writing a character who does things you would never do.
The most trouble probably came from Alessandra’s group of guy friends: Leandros, Petros, and Rhouben. They all needed their own mini plots in the book and also needed to feel unique.
If I could ask a character any question, I would ask Alessandra if she would make me a dress.
- 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?
My favorite scene is actually the beginning! Beginnings can be so hard because you’re still trying to figure out so much about the characters, setting, voice, etc. I had a unique writing experience when sitting down to start TSBU because the first chapter just flowed. I started writing about Alessandra reminiscing about the first boy she killed, and the rest just came. I remember finishing that first chapter, showing her interactions with Myron and her father and just feeling like I’d done something right. I don’t think anything really changed in that first chapter from when I first wrote it to publication.
Surprisingly, the ending was difficult, because I don’t think I was ready for this story to end. But I had to write it and do it right.
- What is your favorite part of the world you created for THE SHADOWS BETWEEN US? Was there an aspect that you struggled with but still felt compelled to include?
I loved the Gothic Victorian-esque–atmosphere I gave the book. Before I started writing, I’d read a ton of Regency romances. I think that really comes through as you read. I also had lots of fun picking out Greek names for all the characters.
I had a hard time writing all the descriptions of clothing in the book! I made Alessandra a seamstress, but I know next to nothing about sewing. My mother is the expert in the family, so I relied on her to help with that.
Tricia Levenseller is the author of the Daughter of the Pirate King duology, Warrior of the Wild, and forthcoming The Shadows Between Us. She likes to describe her books as young adult alternate–world historical fantasies with heavy romantic subplots.
Initially from a small town in Oregon, Tricia now lives next to the Rocky Mountains with her bossy dog, Rosy. She received her degree in English Language and editing, and she is thrilled that she never has to read a textbook again. When she’s not writing or reading, Tricia enjoys putting together jigsaw puzzles, playing volleyball, playing Overwatch with her siblings, and watching shows while eating extra-buttered popcorn.
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