Teen Read Week 2018: Author Chat with Andrew Shvarts (Royal Bastards), Plus Giveaway!
Today we're excited to chat with Andrew Shvarts (Royal Bastards)
as part of YABC's Teen Read Week!
Read on for more about Andrew, his novel, plus a giveaway!
Meet Andrew Shvarts!
Andrew Shvarts is a writer of novels, short fiction, and video games. He works at Pixelberry Studios as a Designer on the popular mobile games High School Story and Hollywood U. His short fiction has been published in Nossa Morte and the anthology Harvest Hill. Andrew lives in San Jose, California. Find him on Twitter at @Shvartacus.
Meet Royal Bastards!
Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children.
At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax’s floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father’s side, resplendent in a sparkling gown, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits with the other bastards, like Miles of House Hampstedt, an awkward scholar who’s been in love with Tilla since they were children.
Then, at a feast honoring the visiting princess Lyriana, the royal shocks everyone by choosing to sit at the Bastards’ Table. Before she knows it, Tilla is leading the sheltered princess on a late-night escapade. Along with Jax, Miles, and fellow bastard Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the north, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness.
Rebellion is brewing in the west, and a brutal coup leaves Lyriana’s uncle, the Royal Archmagus, dead—with Lyriana next on the list. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries; their own parents have put a price on their heads to prevent the king and his powerful Royal Mages from discovering their treachery.
The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart—if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey . .
~ Interview for Teen Read Week ~
YABC: What book or books were your go-to choice when you were a teen?
My most vivid memories of reading as a teen were just vividly devouring the completed works of Stephen King. I feel like this was pretty common among people in my age bracket, who were big on reading at a time before YA was a widely established space. King's books were pretty perfect for teen readers: accessible but complex, pulpy but still nuanced, full of plenty of shocking content but often grounded in relatable characters and emotions. I think King's basic frame of 'realistic compelling characters in impossible horrifying situations' is still, honestly, my main mode as a writer.
YABC: WWhat current YA book would you recommend to your teenage self?
My teenage self would've absolutely lost his mind over SIX OF CROWS or CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE. Like I would've been the WORST raving fanboy.
YABC: What do you love most about the YA genre?
To me, YA is far and away the most exciting, progressive, original place in the publishing world. There's that great tweet that's like "Adult literature is 'mayhaps I shall cheat on my wide', YA is 'destroy the government and smother its Maoist successor'", and I think that's so hilariously on. YA feels like the place that's leading the way on all fronts: both in terms of meaningful activism and fighting for important things like marginalized voices, and in terms of cutting edge storytelling and narrative exploration. I feel like YA is the tip of the spear for the publishing industry, full of so many passionate driven people, and it's just... the best place to be.
YABC: What advice would you give teens who might want to be a writer?
The advice I always give is to go outside your comfort zone, both as a reader and a writer. I think one trap a lot of teen writers fall into is finding one specific genre they like and just sort of obsessively committing to that. I know I did with horror. And it really limited me as a writer because all I sort of knew were the tropes of that genre and never grew beyond it, not until I got a job that had me writing middle-grade teen comedy. I think writing unfamiliar genres forces a writer to really find the heart of good storytelling, and then you can apply that back to whatever it is you love most.
By: Andrew Shvarts
Release Date: May 30th, 2017