Today I am very excited today to be bringing you a guest post from Bronwyn Eley about her upcoming book RELIC, (released September 12th) the first novel in a new YA dark fantasy trilogy, which sounds incredibly interesting and already has heaps of five-star reviews from Arc copies! Bronwyn has been kind enough to let us in on the inspiration behind RELIC and all of its influences!
The Inspiration Behind RELIC
Over the years I have had many ideas for many different stories. For most of them, I remember the light-bulb moment; one was from a song, another from a building, and even one inspired by a billboard about a dry cleaning business. I hate to admit that I don’t remember the light-bulb moment for Relic, because I honestly would love to remember what inspired this story so close to my heart.
What’s interesting is that I do remember the original idea, which was very different to what it is now. What I wouldn’t give to remember how I came to that wild and wacky idea. I resisted writing Relic for a few years (because I was working on another novel) and over that time the idea morphed into what it is today.
What I can tell you is that many of the books and movies I have read and watched over the years have definitely inspired not only Relic but my love of the fantasy genre too.
Maria V. Snyder is an American author who wrote The Study Series. The first book in the series – Poison Study – was one of the first YA fantasy books I read that made me realise how much I love the genre and how much I wanted to live, breath and write in that world. While I don’t remember the original light-bulb moment for Relic, I do remember that when I read Poison Study I knew that I wanted to write something like it.
One thing I loved about Poison Study was the idea of the body being poisoned and the fear and pain around it. Not only that, but the main character Yelena is trapped inside a castle serving out her prison sentence, unable to leave without fear of death. In Relic, I wanted to explore this similar idea of being trapped inside a castle with people who threaten your life on a daily basis. This idea of craving freedom but seeing only darkness ahead of you.
Another story that influenced me was The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien. I can only hope that one day I can write something as epic and incredible as LOTR and until then I will do my best to work towards it. I admit I never read the books, because I was shown the movies before I became aware they were books and then never got around to reading them. They are on my TBR list though! I grew up watching the movies and utterly loving this dark world Tolkien had created.
The Ring stuck with me over the years. This idea of magic being a dark force that poisons the mind, body and soul of everyone it touches. This idea of it being indestructible and irresistible, intelligent and ambitious. How people find it both fearful and fascinating. How the Ring slowly convinces you of your need for it.
Magic is one of the main elements of YA fantasy and it is often represented as powerful, beautiful, mysterious and desirable. If it is seen as dark and dangerous by some characters, those characters are often the naive and fearful ones who don’t understand the true nature of magic. What I wanted to do was to take that idea of darkness and magic being one and the same. The magic in my world is not beautiful or desirable, it is pain and fear.
Another important aspect of my trilogy is the idea behind good versus evil. I didn’t want it to be so simple. When there is a rebellion in a story, they are often the good guys fighting the evil regime. The protagonist will often side with the rebellion and be part of the mission to save the world from said evil. However, I prefer to live in the grey. I didn’t want things to be so simple for Kaylan. I wanted her to question everything, to be unsure of her decisions and to not know who to side with. That is a dilemma she struggles with throughout the story and I’m not going to spoil it for you beyond that!
But this is why, when you read Relic, there might be a few characters who confuse you. You might not know whether to hate them or to feel sympathy for them. This is intentional. Because bad guys who are simply bad guys are great, but I prefer bad guys who are more grey. Bad guys who make you question your own sense of right and wrong and who make you understand where they’re coming from. I did this because it’s so confronting to feel sympathy for someone you see as ‘bad’ or ‘evil’.
Having a deadline and actually publishing a book is so helpful because I can imagine just editing and changing this story again and again until the end of time. There is always something to improve, to change, to edit. It’s hard to let go and say ‘this is the best I could do at the time’ but it is necessary!
With less than a week until my novel is out in the world, I must say I’m extremely excited to see how people react to these elements and to see which side – if any – they choose.
RELIC, Bronwyn Eley’s debut fantasy novel, is slated for release September 12.
In the city of Edriast, there is no deadlier duty than to serve as the Shadow.
As the personal servant of the powerful Lord Rennard, the Shadow’s life is all but forfeit. Rennard possesses one of five rare and dangerous Relics – a jewel that protects his bloodline, but slowly poisons everyone else in its proximity. When the current Shadow succumbs to its magic, nineteen-year-old blacksmith Kaylan is summoned to take his place.
It’s an appointment that will kill her.
As the time Kaylan has left ebbs away, hope begins to fade… That is, until she discovers a plot to destroy all five bloodlines in possession of the Relics.
A rebel force plans to put an end to Rennard’s rule and Kaylan suddenly finds herself embroiled in a cause that might just be worth fighting for. But no cause is without its costs…
As her life hangs in the balance and rebellion bears down on Edriast, Kaylan must decide where her loyalties lie – and how she’ll leave her mark on the world.
Relic is the absorbing first novel in The Relic Trilogy, a thrillingly dark YA fantasy series.
About the author
Bronwyn joined the military right out of high school, where she learnt (among other things) to disassemble and reassemble a rifle blindfolded. After that she spent a lot of her time travelling around the world. Her favourite places (so far) are Scotland, Mongolia, Iceland and Ireland.
Bronwyn finally found her natural habitat when she landed her first job in the publishing industry. While she has always been a writer, it was only when surrounding herself with books that she realised her life’s dream was to become an author. Relic is her first novel.
Bronwyn lives in Sydney and spends her time eating chocolate, reading and practising her martial arts.
Follow These Links!
Add RELIC on Goodreads -> https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46218744-relic
Talem Press: https://talempress.com/
Writer’s Edit: https://writersedit.com/