Interview with S. M. Boyce

Yesterday, I reviewed Treason, book #2 of the Grimoire Trilogy, and earlier in 2012, I reviewed book #1, Lichgates. Today, I wanted to share some questions that I recently asked Boyce.


1. So the Grimoire Trilogy: Did you have all 3 books totally outlined before you started Book 1, or has it changed after writing each book?

Yes, I had everything outlined before I even wrote the first book. However, things change while you’re writing. The ending has since changed, as have characters and other plot developments. That just happens, but the core story is the same. I think the key with writing is to stay flexible as plot points evolve and characters mature.


2. Kara and Braeden are awesome, deep and rounded characters. Did they ever commandeer your plot, force you to write things a different way?

Haha, thanks! Actually, no. Kara & Braeden have worked with me for the most part. If I have something in mind, I always have to ask myself if that’s something they’d do. If it isn’t, then yes—I have to adjust. But usually, they’re kind enough to work with me.


3. Putting them both aside, whom else is your favorite character? Why?

Stone. Definitely. I mean, Deidre is evil and a blast to write, but Stone’s neutrality lends a certain humor to his character and to his scenes. I laugh nearly every time he enters.


4. As a writer and a storyteller, what lessons did you learn from Lichgates that you applied to Treason?

For me, every book is an experiment. Lichgates was an experiment to see what it would take to write and publish a full novel. That aside, I was able to widen my experiments. Treason is an analysis of the various types of betrayal in literature and in life, and that was so much fun to explore.


5. Which of the two books do you prefer, and why?

Probably Treason. I think I’ll always prefer my latest novel, though, simply because I improve as a writer with each one. I see my improved understanding of copyediting and style in Treason, and I’m sure that will improve with every book thereafter as well.


6. What advice would you give to authors contemplating or starting a series?

My biggest advice is twofold: get an editor and develop thick skin. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been writing or how good you think you are—everyone needs an editor. Find someone who works with you and challenges what you know, and swap services if they’re a bit pricey.

Make sure you check out Boyce’s Guide to Writing for more. It’s a blog I update weekly with tips, tricks, and discussions on new developments in the industry. Feel free to go check it out and subscribe—it’ll always be free.


7. What, for you, was the hardest part of writing a fantasy series?

Tying up all the loose ends. My plots are pretty complicated, and they have side stories as well. Making sure I answered all the questions that needed answering was really tough, and it’s my big challenge for Heritage (Grimoire Trilogy #3).


8. So what’s next, after Heritage? Tease us!

Okay, so I’m really excited about this—I’m going to release the first in a new series around the same time I release Heritage. It’s an urban fantasy fairy tale, and it’s going to be intense. If you want to learn more and stay tuned, make sure you follow my bookworms-only blog  or sign up for ARCs of all my future works.


Review of Treason (Grimoire Trilogy #2)

After reviewing Lichgates, book #1 of The Grimoire Trilogy, back in April 2012, I was very excited to be asked to participate in author S.M. Boyce’s blog tour for book #2, Treason. To be fair up front, I received a free review copy from Boyce, but don’t worry, that doesn’t bias this review. :)

5 of 5 stars: Incredible fantasy world full of fascinating intrigue and intricate characters.

OK, now the punch line is out of the way… From chapter one, I was sucked back into the world of Ourea, fondly remembering it from Lichgates, as if I had never left. Straight away, we encounter our favourite main characters, Kara and Braeden, and the pace continues masterfully from there – no heavy-handed recap.

Treason has a huge cast of characters but each was superbly rendered and differentiated, such that I never got confused, but instead enthralled by the tangled web of relationships, friendships and betrayals. Boyce must have kept an amazing spreadsheet to track them all, because it all flowed smoothly and believably.

The intrigue is what I enjoyed most about this book, and why I rank it above the already great Lichgates. We are treated to royal politics without the usual fantasy stereotypes. It was enormous fun to predict who was gaming whom. What conniving folks, the lot of them! Despite scenes full of characters, Boyce wove their interaction with grace and clean, powerful, and often witty, dialog, showing us the rich, emotional depth of each person. The plot never felt contrived.

Behind the fragile alliances and fight for domination of Ourea, lies the ever-complex romance between Kara and Braeden. These two just aren’t destined to be together. Not only are events trying to pull them apart, but each must withhold their love to save the other’s life.

The world is richly described without slowing the pace, and, like in Lichgates, there is plenty of traveling, which I love. Boyce’s world building makes me savour the details, especially when we visit new places. Ironically, one of the sections I just couldn’t put down, reading long into the night, took place in our world. There are a couple of scenes in there where I nearly dropped my iPad in shock. Gripping stuff.

Definitely in the top 5 reads of 2012 for me.

Take a look at my interview with S. M. Boyce.


About Boyce

S.M. Boyce is a fantasy and paranormal fiction novelist who also dabbles in contemporary fiction and comedy. Her B.A. in Creative Writing qualifies her to serve you french fries, and she updates her blog a few times each week to keep you entertained.

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