Brenda Drake talks about the surprise conclusion to the LIBRARY JUMPERS love triangle and more in our exclusive interview!
Brenda Drake‘s thrilling Library Jumpers series is coming to an end this month with massive conclusion to the fantasy trilogy, Assassin of Truths!
The series follows Gia Kearns, a teen sucked into the dangerous world of Mystiks, who battle dangerous mythical creatures threatening the human world with a little help from the hidden powers of libraries. But both the human and Mystik world are being threatened by an evil wizard out for revenge and Gia may be the only one who can stop him. She must collect seven magical keys from the library and from there, figure out how she can use them to crush Conemar and save one of her best friends along the way. Add in magical creatures of all sizes and dispositions, romantic drama, and lots of action, and we’re in for a wild ride!
The Fandom exclusively chatted with Brenda Drake about writing the series, bring it to its conclusion, and the surprises along the way.
Congratulations on the final book in the Library Jumpers trilogy! How did it feel bringing the series to a close and rounding out Gia’s journey?
Thank you! It was both exciting and sad. I’m thrilled to see the finished series. I’ve enjoyed writing Gia’s story, and I’ll miss being with the characters and their worlds. It’s been a long journey with them, so they almost feel real to me.
Have you known exactly how Assassin of Truths would play out since Thief of Lies, or did the story evolve a bit as you wrote it?
I’ve always have known the overarching plot for the series and how the story would end. I had a skeletal graph of the plot and let things develop as I wrote. I’ve vacillated several times over Gia’s choice between Arik and Bastien. It almost felt like Gia picked “the one” instead of me. Several scenes and actions in the book surprised me. I think book three is definitely my favorite of the series. I had so much fun writing it.
Library Jumpers has lots of fantasy elements and intense worldbuilding. How do you keep track of it all?
As I write, I keep notes on everything—from hair color to personalities to magical elements. I have a very messy worldbuilding bible. It’s full of notes that I’d scratched quickly as I went. Sometimes, I can’t even read what I wrote. It’s fun looking back at ideas I had that didn’t make it into the series.
We’ve got some love triangle drama in this series! What are your favorite things about Arik, Bastien, and their individual relationships with Gia?
I love that Arik is strong and a leader. He wants to do the right thing, sometimes to a fault. He guides Gia a lot when she first enters the Mystik realm. He cares for the Sentinels he’s responsible for and considers them as his family. He’s a wounded bird type. When he was younger, he felt powerless to save someone dear to him and he fears that the past will repeat itself. Arik and Gia have many special moments together when he’s teaching her how to use her battle globe and when they’re fighting together. They have a mutual admiration for each other.
Bastien is arrogant. Or should we say confident? He has the reputation of being the “rock star” of the Mystik world. Though he has a high opinion of himself, he strives to do the right thing. He makes sacrifices in the name of good. His haven’s people love him. While grieving a loss, he rises above his pain to show compassion for others. In book two, he sacrifices his own welfare for Gia. Bastien and Gia complement each other. They are into the same books and art. It’s fun to watch Bastien tease Gia. In a time when there seems to be no hope, they comfort one another and risk everything to protect the other.
Who are some of your favorite kickass leading ladies like Gia in fantasy novels?
There are so many great, tough girls in fantasy novels that I love. Some of my favorites are Katniss in the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, Tris in the Divergent series by Veronica Roth, Hermione in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Esperanza from Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan, Katsa from Graceling by Kristin Cashore, and Callie, Jessa, and Olivia in the Forget Tomorrow series by Pintip Dunn.Oh gosh, I could go on but I’ll stop. They all have their unique personalities and strengths. Their will to fight for what’s good and not give up in dire situations is their common ground.
On top of writing your books, you mentor a lot of up and coming authors. What’s some of your best advice for unpublished writers?
Learn your trade. The best way to do that is to read in the category and genre you write in and research how the publishing industry works. Write something every day. It doesn’t have to be much. Something as simple as a page a day would work, and you never know, by the end of the year, you’ll have completed a novel. If you can’t write every day, don’t sweat it—write at your own pace. Never give up. Keep writing and put out stories until the right one clicks. Find a critique group and exchange work. Getting opinions from writers and readers who isn’t a family member or friend is invaluable. Join a writer’s community around your home or online like #PitchWars. Then query agents. And learn patience—you’ll need it.
What’s the writing process like for you? What inspires you to write?
Before I start a story, I do short character bios and setting research. Next, I do a four-act plot graph. It’s skeletal and I only use it as a road map for the story. Then I write, letting the characters and inspiration lead me on that road, fleshing out the story as I go. Sometimes, I go off-road and take a detour, but the direction I’m going usually stays the same. I have a writing partner, Pintip Dunn (author of the New York Times bestseller, FORGET TOMORROW). We keep each other motivate and help each other through plot issues and other writerly things. We word sprint together, where we write non-stop for a set amount of time and tally how many words we get in during the sprint. It gets us out of our slumps. And then, I revise.
Assassin of Truths (Library Jumpers #3) is out now. Read an exclusive excerpt on the site, then you can order it via..
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | IndieBound | Kobo | Entangled Teen
ABOUT THE BOOK
The gateways linking the great libraries of the world don’t require a library card, but they do harbor incredible dangers.
And it’s not your normal bump-in-the- night kind. The threats Gia Kearns faces are the kind with sharp teeth and knifelike claws. The kind that include an evil wizard hell-bent on taking her down.
Gia can end his devious plan, but only if she recovers seven keys hidden throughout the world’s most beautiful libraries. And then figures out exactly what to do with them.
The last thing she needs is a distraction in the form of falling in love. But when an impossible evil is unleashed, love might be the only thing left to help Gia save the world.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brenda Drake, the youngest of three children, grew up an Air Force brat and the continual new kid at school until her family settled in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Brenda’s fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write young adult and middle grade novels with a bend toward the fantastical. When Brenda’s not writing or doing the social media thing, she’s haunting libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops or reading someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).