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Author Spotlight

10 Years of FALLING KINGDOMS: a Q& A with Morgan Rhodes!

The first book in the Falling Kingdoms series came out–wait for it–TEN YEARS AGO! For old fans and new, we asked author Morgan Rhodes about the journey in writing her beloved fantasy series. Scroll down for an exclusive Q&A!

New to the Falling Kingdoms series? Click here for more info!

And make sure to check out Morgan’s newest books, Echoes and Empires and Legends and Liars!

10 years since the first Falling Kingdoms book!! What has been your all-time favorite moment from writing the series?

Good question. The writing itself can be a challenge, so my favorite moments are definitely when the words flow, the mundane world falls away, and I’m in Mytica writing from the points of view of my cast of characters. I think my favorite moment was, early on in book one, when the writing was flowing like magic (which rarely happens, alas!) and I discovered that Magnus had a scar, which wasn’t in my outline. That scar, and its backstory, helped to shaped his character into a much more layered and interesting character than I expected him to be. 

Which was your favorite book in the series to write? Which was the hardest?

Each book had its charms and its challenges. I think I hit my stride by book three and all the puzzle pieces for the series were starting to fit together, so Gathering Darkness stands out as a favorite. The hardest book to write was the last book, Immortal Reign, since I needed to say goodbye to the characters I’d spent years with (cue: tears), and I needed to make sure all the loose ends of a complicated six-book story were satisfyingly tied up (cue: stress).

Do you have a favorite fan interaction or memory? 

I have so many favorite memories that I can’t pick just one! From three Penguin Teen group tours, to attending ComicCon (both NYC and San Diego), and traveling to Argentina and Brazil to talk about the books, not to mention the many conferences and conventions I was lucky enough to be invited to, that I’m overflowing with gratitude to have been given the opportunity to meet with so many wonderful and enthusiastic readers and fans. 

Have you re-read the series since writing it, and did anything about re-reading it surprise you? 

The last time I skimmed the series was probably more than five years ago when I was writing the final book, just to make sure I had all my facts straight, so it’s been a while! However, I have to admit that I am still surprised how well the Cleo and Magnus slow-burn romance works on the page. Serious sparks between those two and they were so much fun to write I almost wish the entire series had focused solely on them. (Even though I also loved writing all the other characters as well!)

What can Falling Kingdoms fans look forward to discovering in your new duology, Echoes and Empires & Legends and Liars?

Falling Kingdoms fans should be aware that the Echoes and Empires duology is actually a part of the Falling Kingdoms universe — the magic system is the same (elementia) and there are several easter eggs that reference the Falling Kingdoms series. I see the Echoes and Empires world as being another world that’s accessible by the magical stone gateways that allowed the immortal, magical Watchers to enter Mytica. The Echoes and Empires duology is full of adventure, mystery, magic, romance, and snark that I know FK fans will love!

What is one thing about the Falling Kingdoms series fans would be surprised to know?

Originally, Cleo was supposed to end up with Jonas instead of Magnus!! Also, Magnus was going to be more of a full-on villain (think Joffrey in GOT) than the conflicted and angsty (anti)hero he decided to become. 

Penguin Teen