Q&A with debut #LoveOzYA author Bronwyn Eley

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 practicing her martial arts.

Jade of @romanceanddragons had the opportunity to interview Bronwyn as part of the pre-release celebrations for RELIC.

Q: Where did the inspiration for Relic come from?

A: Sadly I don’t remember the exact inspiration moment but over the years I have been influenced by amazing stories from authors like Maria V. Snyder, Tolkien, Leigh Bardugo and Jay Kristoff.

Q: Did much change from the first draft to the final copy of this book?

A: Did it ever! The original idea of Relic was actually very different to what it is now. I never actually wrote the original idea. The story developed over time before I even wrote anything. The first physical draft was about 82,000 words and now it sits closer to 110K! I did a few drafts myself before submitting the novel to Talem Press and, working with my publisher and editor, it has had a few edits since.

Q: Was there anything that surprised you when writing this book?

A: How hard it was to follow through on some decisions I had made about certain characters. I don’t want to spoil anything but there was one character in particular that, before I started writing, I decided certain things about and when it came down to actually following through, it was hard! I still think I made the right decision but once you start writing, you grow attached to certain characters.

Q: Do you have any habits to help you write?

A: Good music helps. Nothing with lyrics, I always pop on a great instrumental mix on YouTube –something soft and quiet, like a LOTR mix playing the lovely Hobbit-ish themes. If the music gets too dramatic or epic (for example, I tried music from The Last of the Mohicans once) then I can’t concentrate because all I want to do is listen!

Q: Did you always want to be a writer?

A: Absolutely. I’ve been writing since before I can remember. In primary school one of my teachers told my parents that I was ‘too creative’ (what?) – I think because I wrote insane stories with aliens in them. I wrote my whole life but I didn’t realise that I wanted to be an author until a few years ago. I think deep down I knew but one day it just clicked. Since then I have spent every free moment working towards that goal and even now, being published, this is only the beginning of a very long journey! I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

A: When it comes to writing, you have to listen to your heart. For years I resisted writing Relic because I was trying to finish this other novel. When I finally embraced Relic (and my first attempt at writing YA fantasy), the floodgates opened and I have been inundated with ideas ever since. Don’t write what you think you should write; write what you want to write. Write the story you want to read and your passion for it will ring off the page.

Q: Is there anyone’s writing that you admire or are influenced by?

A: So many authors! In terms of writing style, I love how Juliet Marillier, Garth Nix and Neil Gaiman all write. They have this fabulous way of telling stories that whisk me away. In terms of story plots, I love Jay Kristoff, Leigh Bardugo and Maria V. Snyder. Their stories are always so full of adventure and heartache, how could you not love them!?

Q: Was there a particular chapter or scene that was hard to write?

A: We are in spoiler territory but yes! I won’t tell you details but there were a few chapters near the end of the novel that were hard to write for a few reasons. The first is that they were emotional scenes and hard things were happening to my characters. The second is that you can’t have experienced every emotion in the world, right? So as an author, you have to do your best research to write as true to an experience as you can. The last few chapters really tested me in this regard.

Q: If you could choose any book world to live in which one would you choose and why?

A: I’m always changing my mind and debating this question! I think I would choose Narnia in the end because it is a beautiful world full of amazing creatures and magic. I would like to be a Queen of Narnia too, if I had the choice! 

Thank you so much to Bronwyn for taking the time to answer Jade's questions! I'm sure we're all looking forward to reading RELIC!

46218744. sy475 Relic by Bronwyn Eley
Genre: YA Fantasy, #LoveOzYa
Publication: September 12th 2019
Publisher: Talem Press

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.

Jade's thoughts on Relic:

There was a lot happening throughout this book that I ended up reading it in one sitting. I did enjoy most of it but there were parts that I did not like. There was a lot of time jumps that although short, confused me at times and gave the impression that it was rushed. There wasn’t an overpowering amount of world building, just enough to understand what this world is like and intrigue you into wanting to read more.

When first introduced to the main character Kaylan, we see her as a strong-willed character who would do anything for those she cares about. As the story goes on there are times where I didn’t really see that personality anymore (which could have been due to the events), but I think that there could have been a little more character development instead of the time jumps. Jesper is my absolute favourite character throughout the whole book, I love the relationship that she has with Kaylan and it made the story more interesting to read. I also loved Markus, who I have a feeling is going to be important, but am still unsure at this stage (I just really liked how many dogs he has!)

There is still so much more to learn about both the world and the characters, I would like to see a different point of view to be able to see the events from a different perspective. Although I did feel as though the ending was rushed a little, there was so many things that I really loved about this book and I really look forward to reading the next one.

Add RELIC on Goodreads

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1 comment

  1. Lovely interview!
    I love hearing about authors and their writing processes and what they find hard, spoilery or not lol.


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