Published: October 11th 2016 by Delacorte Press
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Length: 304 pages
Amazon | Goodreads
Jae is a slave in a dying desert world.
Once verdant with water from a magical Well, the land is drying up, and no one remembers the magic needed to keep the water flowing. If a new source isn’t found soon, the people will perish. Jae doesn’t mind, in a way. By law, she is bound by a curse to obey every order given her, no matter how vile. At least in death, she’ll be free.
Lord Elan’s family rules the fading realm. He comes to the estate where Jae works, searching for the hidden magic needed to replenish the Well, but it’s Jae who finds it, and she who must wield it. Desperate to save his realm, Elan begs her to use it to locate the Well.
But why would a slave—abused, beaten, and treated as less than human—want to save the system that shackles her? Jae would rather see the world burn.
Though revenge clouds her vision, she agrees to help if the kingdom’s slaves are freed. Then Elan’s father arrives. The ruler’s cruelty knows no limits. He is determined that the class system will not change—and that Jae will remain a slave forever.
I’m so happy to welcome Becky Allen to my blog as a part the Sunday Street Team! Thank you to her and SST for giving me the chance to interview her!
1 – So this is your first book that’s being released. How are you feeling?
Both very excited and very nervous! I’ve been writing for just about as long as I can remember – I definitely wanted to be an author since at least middle school, if not before. Which is, well… let’s just say 20 years. So this is really fulfilling a huge life goal!
But putting something I’ve put so much time and energy and love into out into the universe for people see and, well, judge, is definitely a bit intimidating. It’s a very vulnerable feeling – like the kind of dream where you realize you’re naked in school.
2- Give us the elevator pitch for your book. Why should people read it?
The elevator pitch is, “A desert world is losing its water – and the only girl with the magic to save it has every reason not to bother.” I think people should give it a read if they want to see a hero is truly angry – what happens when the only person who can save the world would rather just see the world burn?
3 – Have you ever been mistaken for a celeb? If so who?
Nah. But in college I had brown hair, glasses, and did sketch comedy, so I was occasionally asked if I was going for a Tiny Fey thing. (I wasn’t doing it on purpose, but I didn’t exactly object to the comparison!)
4 – What’s the weirdest thing you have googled? or that might get you put on a to be watched list? 😉
Sadly, I feel like my answer to this is not very exciting. Most of what I googled was related to the worldbuilding — lots and lots of stuff about deserts. But recently I went from “how do you use a sickle or scythe” to “can you kill someone with a sickle?” (You can.)
6 – Who are some authors that have inspired you/that you look up too?
What a good question! I think for authors who inspire me, I look at some of the women who’ve been writing SFF in the last few years, especially NK Jemisin. She (and others) who looked at the traditions and tropes of the genres, said, “Nah, I’m gonna do my own thing,” and found space to tell stories unlike the ones that already existed – especially stories about women, queer people, people of color (and combinations thereof). I think that’s so incredible and I’m so glad the genres I love are starting to expand, and grateful to the writers who are making it happen.
7 – Would you want to live in your world? Or is it something kinda more like Game of Thrones, where you enjoy reading/enjoying but no way in hell would you like to live there?
Ha ha ha, NO. I mean, don’t get me wrong – I’m a summer person, I love heat, especially if it’s not humid. But the desert world of BBB&S and pretty awful, to be honest. Also: no air conditioning. So I think I’ll stay in New York, thanks.
8 – What is your ideal setup for writing? Like what do you like to snack on? Listening to music? In bed or at a cafe?
I’m definitely a cafe writer. My apartment has too many distractions (TV, wifi, my cat, the urge to nap…) so a few times a week I drag my computer to a cafe and set up camp for a few hours. I get a drink (herbal tea if it’s an evening, since I can’t do caffeine after about 5 PM if I want to sleep at night, and usually chai or a latte if it’s earlier in the day), find a table, and get to work. I wear headphones and listen to an album I know well enough to tune out – the music helps me keep the rhythm as I’m writing, and drowns out the sound of everyone else in the cafe.
9 – Pokemon?
Nah, but I like to say I’m playing vicariously – all of my friends are, so I get to see the fun without draining my phone battery.
About the Author
Becky Allen grew up in a tiny town outside Ithaca, New York, and graduated from Brandeis University with a major in American studies and a minor in journalism. She is the website director of TheBody.com, an online HIV resource, and loves New York, brunch, and feminism. Becky lives in New York City.