Welcome to our weekly special feature post, Author Of The Week!!
Each week we will be interviewing a different YA author and highlighting their upcoming release!
We will also be hosting a giveaway of the book we are highlighting!!
Introducing Jessica Cluess , YABC's Author of the Week!!
JESSICA CLUESS is a writer, and a graduate of Northwestern University and the Clarion Writers’ Workshop. After college, she moved to Los Angeles, where she served coffee to the rich and famous while working on her first novel in the Kingdom on Fire series, A Shadow Bright and Burning. These days she sits around thinking about dragons far too much. Visit her at jessicacluess.com and follow her on Twitter at @JessCluess.
Meet House Of Dragons
Five royal houses will hear the call to compete in the Trial for the dragon throne. A liar, a soldier, a servant, a thief, and a murderer will answer it. Who will win?
When the Emperor dies, the five royal houses of Etrusia attend the Call, where one of their own will be selected to compete for the throne. It is always the oldest child, the one who has been preparing for years to compete in the Trial. But this year is different. This year, these five outcasts will answer the call....
THE LIAR: Emilia must hide her dark magic or be put to death.
THE SOLDIER: Lucian is a warrior who has sworn to never lift a sword again.
THE SERVANT: Vespir is a dragon trainer whose skills alone will keep her in the game.
THE THIEF: Ajax knows that nothing is free--he must take what he wants.
THE MURDERER: Hyperia was born to rule and will stop at nothing to take her throne.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
This really is almost impossible to answer, since I love all of them in different ways. I’m going to be bad and give you two, Ajax and Hyperia. Ajax is the small little 15 year old gremlin boy, and I relate to his way of feeling and thinking entirely too much. Meanwhile, Hyperia is the polar opposite, the regal and elegant young woman who’s willing to do anything—or kill anyone—to get the throne. I like characters with drive, even if it’s scary drive.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
There’s a scene towards the middle of the book where the five competitors have some down time. Faced with the mounting stress of the competition, they have a little party for themselves, get drunk, have some laughs, and argue with one another. I love this scene because a. it’s got a lot of funny moments in it, and I like funny, and b. it allows the characters to play off one another in ways they normally wouldn’t. The party scene’s the last relaxed moment of the book, and it’s very necessary.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel. I was actually supposed to write something else for my publisher, but after we’d worked on it for a while we decided to shelve it. I came up with House of Dragons on the fly and wrote it without a clue of what we were going to call it. It was an interesting way to work, for sure, but lots of fun surprises were had.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
Everything! The swords in particular. I love how all of the hilts are designed to look like a different dragon. The swords even get some of the characters’ personalities and their different cultures across, which is some incredibly detailed work. I like to pick the book up every day and just stare at the cover for a while. Random House has really spoiled me with great covers over the years.
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
I can’t really say because it’s such a spoiler, but something happens to one of the competitors’ dragons that is hard for me to read to this day. My friends always texted to yell at me when they got to that scene.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
If I really focus on what time I want to wake up when I fall asleep, I will wake up at that time without an alarm clock.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I’m finishing the conclusion to the House of Dragons duology, which should be out next summer. I’m also sketching out a YA fantasy project, and I’m trying my hand at adult fantasy as well.
YABC: Is there anything that you would like to add?
Honestly, I’d rather subtract.
Houe Of Dragons
By: Jessica Cluess
Publisher: Random House BYR
Release Date: May 12th, 2020