Thursday, January 22, 2015

Book Blitz + Interview: The Queen's Gift by T.R. Allardice

I'm excited to be a part of this book blitz for The Queen's Gift by T.R. Allardice, because it's a dark fantasy novel that's centered around genies. I've only read one other fantasy where that was the subject and it was Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios. It was one of my favorite books that I read last year, so I thought this book looked really interesting and I have high hopes that it's going to be as good. T.R. Allardice is a new-to-me author and I'm hoping that I'm going to end up really enjoying this book, which I plan on reading in the next few months. 

There's so much that happens in this novel from reading the synopsis alone, that I'm chomping at the bit to starting reading it soon. Buried secrets, choices to be made, incredible powers, and an unwanted Monarchy that could possibly return makes The Queen's Gift look absolutely amazing in theory. I'm happy to have T.R. Allardice here on the blog today, to share a little more insight into Jean's world and how she came up with the idea behind her world building in this interesting YA dark fantasy. So, I think I'll let her take over from here.

Interview with T.R. Allardice
Author of The Queen's Gift

Out of all the characters in The Queen’s Gift who is your favorite?
I’d have to say Karen Kim. She’s so conflicted and desperate to fit in, when there’s no chance of that happening.

Why place the book in Tokyo?
Because it’s one of the coolest cities I’ve ever been to by far. The scale of the city is mindboggling. It’s the only place I’ve ever traveled that you cannot see the end of the city no matter what direction you look. I also really like the Japanese people, though that may not come through in the first book.

Will the other books be set in Tokyo, too?
It’s funny, but I’m actually trying to decide that now. When I originally planned The Queen’s Gift, I intended to change the location for each year she’s in school. There would be specific mythology based on each location. I even have the other cities picked out, photographs and all. When I entered a writing contest—The Queen’s Gift won First Place YAY—one of the things the judges brought up was keeping the book in Tokyo. It came up enough that it made me wonder if I was doing the right thing with changing locations. Ultimately, I think it will be up to the characters.

How did you come up with the lead character, Jean?
Jean started with one question: What would happen if you were a Genie and couldn’t grant wishes? To make it worse, I made her mother one of the most skilled Genie’s in the world. 

How did you come up with the idea for Jean’s world?
I wanted to write a story that poked fun of a lot of books that I’d read over the years. I looked at all the characters that have populated books and noticed most were portrayed in a positive light. What I mean by that is that most were super cool, amazing looking, great at everything, love triangles, etc.

No characters seemed to be suffering from typical school issues like zits and other maladies. None of the characters really had to face not getting the guy or girl of their dreams. Every time I read one of these books, I thought about my high school experiences. I realize I was reading fiction, but it made me go in another direction.

For example, Karen Kim is a ghoul with greenish colored skin who dreams about being a super model. She’s the size of a linebacker. She will always be the size of a linebacker. Stefan is a fainting vampire. He’s always forgetting to get his iron shots from the school nurse. Chloe has to worry about bursting into flames every time she sneezes or farts. Like I said, I wanted to write something a little different, so I did. 

You said that you wanted to make fun of the tropes you’ve read about, yet there is a love triangle in your book. Why?
I do have a sort of love triangle happening in The Queen’s Gift. The big difference is that it’s resolved by the end of the book…maybe. ;)

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
I have so many places I want to travel to right now. My top six are: Thailand, Vietnam, New Zealand, China, Egypt, and Jordan. Given the unrest in the entire Middle East, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to make it to Jordan and Egypt, but I’d really love to see Petra and the pyramids before I leave this place.

Do you have any travel plans?
I spend quite a bit of time in the United Kingdom. I’ll be hitting it again in the summer.

What are you working on now?
I am currently working on the first book in a new young adult series. I’ve had the idea for quite a while and I need to get the first book done so the characters stop bothering me.
inal question. 

What do you do for fun?
I read. I go to the movies a lot. And I travel.  Thank you for having me.

About the Book

The Queen's Gift
by T.R. Allardice
Publisher: Self Published
Published: December 15, 2014
Age Demographic: YA Fantasy
Pages: 294
Buy Links: Amazon + Barnes&Noble

Fifteen-year-old, late-bloomer Jean Elliott dreams of becoming a Genie like her mom. When her family relocates to Tokyo, Jean is forced to use sleight-of-hand tricks to fool everyone at school into believing that she’s a normal Preternatural or risk expulsion. When her power finally appears, it comes in the form of the Queen's Gift--an unspeakable magic that strips power from all Preternaturals and heralds the arrival of the new queen.

After an absence of two hundred years, not everyone wants the monarchy to return and they're willing to go to great lengths to keep the status quo. When buried secrets rip Jean's family apart, she has a choice to make: Walk away and hope for the best or embrace the power that's known to lead to madness in order to save her family.

Jean's greatest dream has turned into her biggest nightmare and no matter how hard she tries, there'll be no wishing the Queen's Gift away.

Places to Visit T.R. Allardice

T.R. Allardice writes young adult, new adult, and humorous horror stories. Most of what she writes incorporates several genres. The content won't always be 'safe'. What's the fun in that? She is a member of the Horror Writer's Association, Novelist Inc. and the Author's Guild. She has thirty-one books published under another pen name. To find out more about her upcoming work, please visit her website.

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