Author Chat with F.T. Lukens (Otherworldly), Plus Giveaway! ~ US ONLY (No P.O. boxes)!

Today we are very excited to share an interview with author F.T. Lukens!

Read on to learn more about the author, the book, and a giveaway!




Meet the Author: F.T. Lukens

F.T. Lukens (they/them) is a New York Times bestselling author of YA speculative fiction including the novels Spell Bound, So This Is Ever After and In Deeper Waters (2022 ALA Rainbow Booklist; Junior Library Guild Selection) as well as other science fiction and fantasy works. Their contemporary fantasy novel The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic was a 2017 Cybils Award finalist in YA Speculative Fiction and the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Gold Winner for YA fiction and won the Bisexual Book Award for Speculative Fiction. F.T. resides in North Carolina with their spouse, three kids, three dogs, and three cats.

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About the Book: Otherworldly

A skeptic and a supernatural being make a crossroads deal to achieve their own ends only to get more than they bargained for in this lively young adult romantic adventure from the New York Times bestselling author of Spell Bound and So This Is Ever After.

Seventeen-year-old Ellery is a non-believer in a region where people swear the supernatural is real. Sure, they’ve been stuck in a five-year winter, but there’s got to be a scientific explanation. If goddesses were real, they wouldn’t abandon their charges like this, leaving farmers like Ellery’s family to scrape by.

Knox is a familiar from the Other World, a magical assistant sent to help humans who have made crossroads bargains. But it’s been years since he heard from his queen, and Knox is getting nervous about what he might find once he returns home. When the crossroads demons come to collect Knox, he panics and runs. A chance encounter down an alley finds Ellery coming to Knox’s rescue, successfully fending off his would-be abductors.

Ellery can’t quite believe what they’ve seen. And they definitely don’t believe the nonsense this unnervingly attractive guy spews about his paranormal origins. But Knox needs to make a deal with a human who can tether him to this realm, and Ellery needs to figure out how to stop this winter to help their family. Once their bargain is struck, there’s no backing out, and the growing connection between the two might just change everything.





~Author Chat~


YABC: Who is your favorite character in Otherworldly?

I know I’m not supposed to say everyone is my favorite character, but I really do love them all. I think Ellery and their personality is the most relatable to me as well as their character growth and journey. I love Knox and his humanness despite not being human. I love Charley and her outlook on the world and her want to help others. I love how Zada is the steadying presence for the other three chaotic personalities and I love her kindness. And I enjoyed writing Lorelei and Bram. But not Hale. No one should like Hale.


YABC: Which came first, the concept, landscape, characters, or something else?

For Otherworldly, the whole novel was born from an idea for a scene where a human unwittingly intervenes in supernatural business and then later the supernatural character shows up to disrupt their life. That was all I had in the beginning and built the story from there. The scene as initially envisioned ended up fairly different in the book, but I like how it turned out. When brainstorming, I also knew I wanted to utilize a crossroads deal and wanted to blend in a romance based on the Eurydice and Orpheus myth. And I wanted the tension of a paranormal romance where one character is supernatural and the other is a skeptic. Originally, I had written the first few scenes as if the book would be set as a high fantasy, but it wasn’t working. So, the setting was changed to a contemporary fantasy, and it turned out much better.

YABC: What scene in Otherworldly are you most proud of, and why?

The scene I’m most proud of is the first alleyway scene where Ellery intervenes with the Shades and saves Knox from being taken back to the Other World. It’s an action scene but there are also hints embedded that are important later in the narrative. Like Ellery using the pipe and the behavior of the Shades, and Knox using magic. Also, I’m very proud of the whole structure of the novel. There are scenes that when reading feel like one part of the narrative, but then information in them comes back around to be used later to build toward the climax.


YABC: What research did you to do to write Otherworldly?

I actually did a ton of research for Otherworldly. I re-read Doctor Faustus which was the ‘deal with the devil’ myth I was most familiar with due to a Shakespeare class in college where we studied it extensively. I also did research on Hecate and Persephone who were the goddess archetypes used for the goddess of the Other World in the novel. I re-read the Eurydice and Orpheus myth and also did more research about the classical underworld. I researched different folklore for the other supernatural beings mentioned in the novel – such as the redcap/Powrie for a specific scene that happens in the abandoned mall. I also researched locations like the stone corn statues which give a big hint on where this fantasy contemporary story might take place in our world. I know it doesn’t seem Otherworldly would be a research heavy novel, but there was a lot of thought put into details of the worldbuilding and character creation.


YABC: What’s up next for you?

I just turned in my manuscript that will become my announced book, The Future Tense (title subject to change) out in 2025 and am waiting on edits for that one. And I’ve started working on my next manuscript.


YABC: If you could only write one genre for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Anything in the fantasy genre. There is so much that can fall under the fantasy umbrella:  paranormal romance like Otherworldly or contemporary fantasy such as Spell Bound. And then of course high fantasy like So This Is Ever After and In Deeper Waters. And fantasy can utilize elements of romance, comedy, suspense, mystery etcetera.


YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to write in Otherworldly?

The most difficult was the entire third act. The third act is the emotional climax for Ellery which was difficult in itself to write because conveying the character’s turmoil and grief then resolve was a challenge. But in the original manuscript, the third act just didn’t work. The tension of the plot was lost, and I struggled with finding how to introduce it back while keeping the narrative beats I wanted and keep the audience guessing about what might happen. My amazing editor, Kate Prosswimmer, and I worked it out together and through rewrites were able to create a really beautiful and emotional climactic end.


YABC: What can readers expect to find in your books?

Readers can expect queer characters, found families, fantasy elements in either a fantasy world or a contemporary fantasy world, and a heavy dose of romance tropes.


YABC: What do you do when you procrastinate?

I fall into YouTube blackholes. I watch a ton of crochet videos. And I also go on research deep dives for a very specific detail in the book or for something I just want to know that has no bearing on anything in the narrative.


YABC: Is there anything that you would like to add?

Thank you for having me. I hope readers enjoy Otherworldly. Please request it from your library and recommend it to your friends!




Title: Otherworldly

Author: F.T. Lukens

ISBN-13: 9781665916257

ISBN-10: 1665916257

On-sale date: Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Imprint: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Ages: 14 and up; Grades 9 and up




*Giveaway Details*

Three (3) winners will receive a copy of Otherworldly (F.T. Lukens) ~ US Only (No P.O. Boxes)!


*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway!*


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2 thoughts on “Author Chat with F.T. Lukens (Otherworldly), Plus Giveaway! ~ US ONLY (No P.O. boxes)!”

  1. Morgan says:

    I cant wait to read this

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