Book Tour Q&A: The Lost Sentinel by Emma L. Adams
Today we're taking part in the book tour organized by Escapist Book Tours for The Lost Sentinel by Emma L. Adams! Continue reading for the book blurb and a Q&A with the author.
About the book
They say the country of Zeuten no longer has any need for heroes.
Quests have been completed, the great Powers have withdrawn from the world, and the Sentinels who guard the last Relics are largely forgotten. Unlike their neighbours in the country of Aestin, whose Invokers wield the magic of the deities in exchange for glory and prestige, they leave the gods alone, and the gods extend the same courtesy to them.
When Zeuten's last Sentinel disappears, Zelle, her granddaughter, intends to track her down. Instead she runs into an Aestinian stranger with no memories of his past, who claims to be looking for a long-lost Relic hidden in the mountains by the first Sentinels. To Zelle, the rumours of lost Relics are just stories told to trick gullible travellers, but the hordes of enemies on the stranger's tail suggest otherwise. Armed with nothing but her grandmother's sentient (and temperamental) magical staff, Zelle finds herself tasked with keeping them both alive.
Between monstrous beasts, magical storms, and an enthusiastic but inept aspiring assassin and her dragon sidekick, Zelle has her work cut out if she wants to survive long enough to save her grandmother and prevent the destruction of a nation.
Maybe Zeuten is in need of a few heroes after all…
On to the interview...!
Thank you so much for joining us for this Q&A! We’ll start off with one of our standard podcast opening questions–tell us something great that’s happened recently.
I started learning to draw again for the first time since I was at school. I needed a creative non-writing-related hobby and I’m having a lot of fun with it so far! (We won’t talk about my actual skill level, which is zero. :P)
I also finished the first book in my next epic fantasy series, Death’s Disciple, which I’ve been working on for over a year.
What are you currently reading or what’s up next on your TBR? What made you pick up this book?
I just finished A Day of Fallen Night by Samantha Shannon. I love Shannon’s vivid worldbuilding and approach to detail and character.
I’m currently rereading Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy. It’s been a few years and I want to do a complete reread of the series before diving into The Lost Metal. I love how interconnected all the stories of the Cosmere are, and I’ve never read all the books back-to-back to really appreciate all those plot details and connections.
And next up on my list is the final book in Devin Madson’s Reborn Empire series, We Dream of Gods. I thoroughly enjoyed the other three books in the series and I’m excited to find out how it all ends!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to start writing?
I’m Emma, I write weird fantasy books, and I’ve always been a writer. Even before I was old enough to pick up a pen, I was always wandering around daydreaming and telling stories to anyone who would listen. Usually, those stories featured my teddy bears, who were full-fledged characters with backstories and their own fictional country - complete with its own language. I don’t think anyone who knew me as a child was surprised that I ended up being a fantasy author!
How do you spend your free time when you’re not reading or writing? Do you have any hobbies or interests that you can talk to us about?
When I’m not reading or writing, I’m playing video games (often with a fantasy theme, like Skyrim, The Witcher, etc). I also love to travel whenever possible. And like I said, I recently started learning to draw, though I’m still at the ‘stick figure’ phase and will probably stay there for a while.
Who are your favorite current writers and who are your greatest influences?
So many! I grew up reading Diana Wynne Jones, Garth Nix, and Philip Pullman, who I think had the biggest impact on how I approach writing and worldbuilding. In terms of current writers, I have a wide-ranging taste. A few of my favourites include Brandon Sanderson, Seanan McGuire, Leigh Bardugo, Shannon Chakraborty, V.E. Schwab, and countless more that I’ve probably forgotten.
How much do you plan when you write? What’s your writing process like?
I’m an outliner, but there’s also an organic component to my process too. I like to keep my outlines flexible and adjust them as I go along to give the characters room to breathe. I always know the ending and several points along the way, but I also like to be surprised!
What comes first to you when you’re writing, the world, the characters, or the storyline?
For me, stories happen when several elements I’ve been percolating on collide at once, but the part I usually start with is the world. I often have an idea for an intriguing worldbuilding or magic element, and then I branch out from there to find the character and plot that will work best within that framework.
Can you give us an elevator pitch for your book?
A bookish loner is forced to team up with a sarcastic talking staff, a warrior with no memory of his past, and an inept aspiring assassin to stop an army of angry gods from overrunning the world.
How different is the final version of this book from the first draft?
Very different! The first version of The Lost Sentinel was an older manuscript that I wrote in 2015 and the draft was very flawed, and I ended up putting it away for a few years until I figured out how to fix it. That process entailed rewriting the book from the ground up, changing major character storylines and adding others (would you believe the talking staff wasn’t in the original version of the book?). Some basic plot elements stayed the same, but that’s about it.
Can you tell us a little bit about your characters? What are your favorite kinds of characters to write?
Zelle is a no-nonsense, reserved, and intelligent young woman who has no doubt that she’s in over her head when it comes to all things magical. Rien is brave, a little rash, and won’t let a setback like losing his memory prevent him from achieving his goals.
It might be obvious that I tend to like writing underdogs, and I’m partial to characters who end up drawn into events through luck or timing rather than being chosen for a special destiny. Zelle isn’t the family member chosen to be the next Sentinel – that’s her sister, and the title is meaningless to most people regardless. When the story starts, there hasn’t been any need for a Sentinel to guard Zeuten’s magical Relics in hundreds of years.
Of course, that changes, but it wouldn’t be half as interesting a story if everyone had it easy!
If you could choose one worldbuilding detail (a place, ability, or creature, for example) from your book to exist in the real world, what would it be and why?
Without a doubt, the Sanctum – a giant magical library in an ancient tower that defies ordinary dimensions and contains endless secrets.
Is there anything you can tell us about any current projects you’re working on?
I’m currently working on an all-new fantasy series called Death’s Disciple, set in a world of deadly war dragons and elemental magic.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for us! Do you have any parting thoughts or comments you’d like to leave for our readers?
Don’t worry if you haven’t got around to reading a book yet. Authors are grateful for any readers that pick up our books, even if they’ve been out a while! (Am I also trying to assuage my guilt towards my towering TBR pile? Perhaps.)
And finally, where can you be found on the internet if our readers want to hear more from you?
My base is my website, but I can usually be found procrastinating on Twitter or Instagram. Here are my main links:
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ELAdams12?ref=hl
Where to buy the book:
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/TheLostSentinel
Author Direct (eBook): https://www.emmaladams.com/products/the-lost-sentinel-relics-of-power-book-1-ebook
Author Direct (Paperback): https://www.emmaladams.com/products/the-lost-sentinel
The Broken Binding (signed bookplate edition): https://www.thebrokenbinding.co.uk/product-page/the-lost-sentinel-emma-l-adams