INTERVIEW with EM Castellan author of In the Shadow of the Sun

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Hi, thank you so much for agreeing to be on my blog, Can you tell us about In the Shadow of the Sun?

Hi Liv! Thank you so much for the interview!

My debut IN THE SHADOW OF THE SUN a YA Fantasy Romance novel set in 17th century Versailles, wheremagicians thrill nobles with enchanting illusions.

Exiled in France, 17-year-old Henriette of England wishes she could use her magic to gain entry at court. Instead, her plan is to hide her magical talents, and accept an arranged marriage to the French king’s younger brother.

However, Henriette soon realizes her fiancé prefers the company of young men to hers, and court magicians turn up killed by a mysterious sorcerer who uses forbidden magic.

When an accident forces Henriette to reveal her uniquely powerful gift for enchantments to Louis, he asks for her help: she alone can defeat the dark magician threatening his authority and aid his own plans to build the new, enchanted seat of his power—the Palace of Versailles.

What inspired you to write this story?

I grew up in France, and I’ve always loved both French history and the Palace of Versailles. I’ve also been interested in the biography of Louis XIV – the Sun King – for a very long time. I find especially fascinating the fact that he seized full control of his own kingdom at such a young age, then used rituals, fashion, and parties to control the noblemen who could have been a threat to his power.

Sometimes when I read a book, I recognise myself in a character. Is there any character in your book that you see yourself in?

My main character is Henriette of England, who comes to the French court to marry the Sun King’s brother and has to hide her magical skills from everyone there. As such, you’d think she and I don’t have much in common! Yet we do share quite a few character traits, and I can also see myself in some of the secondary characters.

If you could have magic for a day what would you do with it?

This is such an interesting question, because I honestly don’t know, and I wrote IN THE SHADOW OF THE SUN in part to try and answer it. Henriette is faced with such a dilemma: she has magic…what should she do with it? Should she keep it a secret? Should she tell everyone about it? Should she use it to help herself? Or to help others? Is magic going to solve everything, or just create more problems? I know what she decides to do in the end, but I’m not certain what I would do if I were in her shoes.

Is there any advice you would give to the main character of your book?

Henriette struggles to trust her instincts and her intuition. If I met her, I’d tell her to follow her heart more.

Finally, if anything, what do you want readers to take away from this book?

I like to be immersed in another world when I read, and to forget about reality for a while. As a writer, I create worlds full of magic, glittering gowns, mysteries, and fireworks, hoping readers will want to follow the characters and unlock their secrets…

Thank you so much for the interview, Liv!

You can add IN THE SHADOW SUN on Goodreads here

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