Author Spotlight: Katy Rose Pool talks AS THE SHADOW RISES (The Age of Darkness 2)
I'm over-the-moon excited to welcome the lovely and talented, Katy Rose Pool, on today's blog! Katy was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in history, Katy spent a few years building websites by day and dreaming up prophecies by night. Currently, she resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she can be found eating breakfast sandwiches, rooting for the Golden State Warriors, and reading books that set her on fire.
AS THE SHADOW RISES (book 2 in The Age of Darkness Series) is available now wherever books are sold.
Praise for The Age of Darkness:
A Morris Award Finalist for best debut young adult novel!
FOUR STARRED reviews!
A Tor.com Best YA SFF/Horror Book of the Year!
A Kirkus Best Book of the Year!An Indigo Best Book of the Year!
Six of Crows meets Graceling with a dash of Winter is Coming in Katy Rose Pool's second installment of the action-packed and swoon-worthy Age of Darkness series--As the Shadow Rises.
The Last Prophet has been found, yet he sees destruction ahead.
In this sequel to the critically-acclaimed There Will Come a Darkness, kingdoms have begun to fall to a doomsday cult, the magical Graced are being persecuted, and an ancient power threatens to break free. But with the world hurtling toward its prophesized end, Anton’s haunting vision reveals the dangerous beginnings of a plan to stop the Age of Darkness.
As Jude, Keeper of the Order of the Last Light, returns home in disgrace, his quest to aid the Prophet is complicated by his growing feelings for Anton. Meanwhile, the assassin known as the Pale Hand will stop at nothing to find her undead sister before she dies for good, even if it means letting the world burn. And in Nazirah, Hassan, the kingdom-less Prince, forms a risky pact to try to regain his throne. When the forces of light and darkness collide in the City of Mercy, old wounds are reopened, new alliances are tested, and the end of the world begins.
The Age of Darkness trilogy is perfect for fans of Throne of Glass, Children of Blood and Bone, and An Ember in the Ashes.
Hi, Katy! Welcome and congrats on As The Shadow Rises. Can you tell us a little about the story and what readers can expect in this sequel?
There Will Come a Darkness follows five characters—an exiled prince, a ruthless killer, a reckless gambler, a duty-bound soldier, and a dying girl—who are all, in one way or another, tied up in a prophecy that predicts the Age of Darkness.
In the sequel, As the Shadow Rises, we’ll get to meet allies, new enemies, and brand new places in the Six Prophetic Cities--from the Floating Gardens of Endarrion to the shimmering sands of the Seti desert. Some familiar characters from There Will Come a Darkness will also resurface, and we’ll get to learn a lot more about the history of the Prophets, the Four Bodily Graces, and what, exactly the Age of Darkness portends. You can also look forward to some burgeoning romances--some of which won’t be a surprise after the events of TWCAD, and some of which will! Plus, each of the five main characters will have to reckon with the paths they have chosen and their roles in the impending Age of Darkness.
Your world building is incredible in The Age of Darkness books. What’s your best piece of advice for fantasy writers struggling to enrich their settings?
Thank you so much! Worldbuilding was definitely a huge challenge in this series, because the Six Prophetic Cities is a pretty big, sprawling world with a lot of history and lore that plays a big role in the plot. My best piece of advice is that your settings—whether the macro-setting of a sprawling world or a micro-setting of a single room—should be dynamic. They’re not static, and they’re not just backdrops. The characters should interact with them, should change them in some way, and be changed by them. In As the Shadow Rises I got to play with a lot of new settings, and this was a really fun way to pull out new sides to the characters. A notable example that stands out is a sequence in which Jude and Anton have to attend a rather fancy party (for plot reasons, I swear!). Seeing them in this completely new situation was a great way to showcase and highlight their differences. I would also say that small details can go a long way, and thinking about the minutia of a setting—what something smells like, what small details jump out to the characters—can add a whole new dimension to it.
I'm a firm believer in the idea that every story teaches the writer something new, so what did writing As The Shadow Rises teach you?
I also believe this! The process of writing As the Shadow Rises was a new one in a lot of ways—it was the first sequel I’d ever written and the first book I’d written entirely under contract. Especially after the lengthy process of writing There Will Come a Darkness, the idea of writing a book in a year (and a middle book at that!) was a little terrifying for me. I was basically scared the entire time I was writing As the Shadow Rises, but at the heart of that fear I started to figure out how to trust myself as a writer and a storyteller. In part because I didn’t have a choice—I didn’t have three years to hem and haw over plot lines and character arcs. I had to trust in what I had planned for the book, and the series beyond. And when those plans changed (and some of them certainly did) I had to trust that I would find solutions that not only worked but felt right. Having that level of trust in myself as a storyteller was a brand new experience, and I’m immensely proud of As the Shadow Rises—I think it’s the perfect sequel to TWCAD, and the perfect predecessor to what I have planned for the third book in the trilogy.
What are you reading, or otherwise currently infatuated with?
I’m re-reading King of Fools by Amanda Foody to prepare for the last book in the Shadow Game series! I love the way this sequel expands the mythology and the scope of this series and I cannot wait to see what happens in the final book (please let Enne be happy!) There are a bunch of other new releases I’m excited to get my hands on.
And finally, what’s the most important lesson you’ve learned (so far) in your publishing career?
I mean, it may sound cliché to say so, but I think my most important lesson has been to make sure I’m focusing my time and energy on what actually matters most—and that’s the writing. There’s a lot of things that you can get easily distracted by as an author—reviews and awards and marketing and festivals—but at the end of the day I didn’t become an author to do any of those things. I became an author to write stories that mattered to me, as best as I possibly can. So when I feel like I’m losing the thread of what I’m here to do, I always remind myself to go back to the words.
So many thanks go out to Katy for taking the time to tell us more about the work that went into AS THE SHADOW RISES, as well as for sharing writing tips and lessons she's learned along the way in her publishing journey. Be to sure to add AS THE SHADOW RISES to your Goodreads list, or (better yet!) order your copy (WRITE) NOW from retail sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or request it at your library, or local independent bookstore!
And, as always,