Customer Service Representative by day and writer by night, Arley Cole is the author of several short stories and the newly released fantasy novel The Blacksmith’s Daughter. She has spent far too much time in school and has written most of her life for other people. Now she is writing for herself.
Everybody always wants to know where I got the idea for The Blacksmith’s Daughter. They always ask me if my dad was a blacksmith. Trust me, that one is getting old.
The honest truth---not to sound like Stephenie Meyer or anything---is that I literally dreamed the opening part one night. The next morning I said to myself, “That would make a good book.” So I started brainstorming it out over the ironing board until I had it.
I would have to say that the magical system of the book was what took the most work and head-scratching. It comes a good bit out of my personal interest in the idea of the human body as an electromagnetic organism. I also asked myself what powers magic. Is it just born into a person or does it rely on an outside force to give it strength? What if that outside force were something present in the natural world? The Blacksmith’s Daughter just starts the exploration of magic in that world. More answers are to follow in the sequel, The Merchant’s Son.
It is fantasy which means it makes perfect sense to place it under Urania, the speculative fiction imprint at Musa. But I was a little perplexed when the editor decided to place it primarily in Euterpe, the Young Adult imprint.
After all, the characters in TBD are not your typical YA characters. For one thing, they aren’t teenagers. The book explores character choices that just aren’t appropriate for teenager characters---like the protagonists getting married right at the beginning. The development of the romance between Enith and Acwellen takes a very different turn than it would if they were 16 or 17.
But despite the fact that there is an adult relationship in the book, it is also not graphic by any means. Nobody is going to get embarrassed reading it. At worst, you might squee a time or two. That also helps make it YA friendly. Plus, I’ve never yet met a teenager who wasn’t interested in relationships!
And on reflection, I believe the book offers a lot for YA readers thematically. One of the major themes is finding out what you are meant to do and who you really are. Although I know 40 and 50 year olds who are still trying to answer that question, YA readers certainly are interested in figuring this out.
The least YA aspect of the book is probably the violence. The fights are bloody and I hope realistic. I get really out of patience with the sanitized TV violence we see. The killer pops a cap in somebody and they bloodlessly fall down twenty feet away. Nobody gets dirty. Nobody lies on the ground screaming until they finally bleed to death. I think that trivializes life. It makes us callous. Even though there are lots of baddies in TBD and lots of killing takes place, none of this happens without cost to the other characters. Life is valuable, and death is permanent. It does us good to remember this.
I am really glad that The Blacksmith’s Daughter found a place at Euterpe and at Musa Publishing. E-books are the future and Musa is building a brand and a library of good books that readers can come to time and time again to find something that they know will be good. They don’t have to wade through a sea of e-titles, hoping to find a buried treasure. I am thrilled to be here and hope everyone else is too!!For our Halloween treat, we are giving out a copy of The Blacksmith's Daughter! Just leave a comment here, and Like us on Facebook at Euterpe YA Books, and it could be you who gets this great read for FREE!