Hi everyone! YA Sci-Fi & Fantasy Addicts is so excited to be a a part of the book tour for The One and Only Crystal Druid by Annette Marie. Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for hosting and Annette for answering all of our burning questions. In this interview, we talk everything from NA fantasy to lesser known details about her books :)
Blurb for The One and Only Crystal Druid
I’m not your average girl.
My best friend is my switchblade. My favorite hobby is using it on the cruel, the abusive, and anyone who gets on my bad side. I’m a convicted murderer with a chip on my shoulder and a dangerous lack of restraint.
And then there’s Zak.
His rap sheet makes mine look tame. The bounty on his head is worth more money than I’ll ever make, and the deadly fae that shadow his every step wield more power than I’ll ever know.
He’s the Crystal Druid, and his first mistake was setting foot on my turf.
His second was saving my life.
And his final mistake will be failing to realize that however dark, however ruthless, however broken he is…
Interview with Annette Marie
A special thank you to Annette for joining us on the blog today and answering so many questions! We always appreciate it when authors make the time to visit us :)
Our readers love tropes! What's your favorite? Which ones will we find in The One and Only Crystal Druid?
My favorite trope is definitely forbidden love. There’s some form of it in basically everything I write. In the Crystal Druid, the heroine is a knife-wielding, foul-mouthed, gives-no-sh*t trauma survivor, but without a lot of power to back up her ferocity—so by necessity, her approach is usually “attack first, ask questions later.” Opposite her is a dark, dangerous, and notorious criminal badboy. Paired together, they create a fierce enemies-to-lovers slow-burn with a side of second-chance romance. Their world combines hidden magic in a modern city setting with mysterious fae magic in an immersive wilderness setting.
What do you think about the current state and future of the new adult genre? Where would you like to see it go?
I don’t pay a ton of attention to genre trends, but I love New Adult, and I want to see an even greater variety of stories being told, from college romances to high-adventure urban fantasy to everything in between. NA characters are in the most exciting time of their lives—getting out there into the world, having new experiences, and finding themselves, often with more maturity and independence than the teen characters of YA.
Your main character is a murderer. What drew you to write from her perspective? Would you say she's morally grey or a full-blown villain?
Saber Rose is morally grey for sure. She has a strong sense of justice, but it’s paired with a very “eye for an eye” mindset. Some readers find her choices sympathetic, while others don’t. She might be my most controversial heroine to date, which is completely understandable—Saber is ruthless and mercurial, but she’s also fragile, compassionate, and struggling to be the person she wants to be. Those polar extremes are what make her so interesting (and challenging) to write.
Who is this book for?
Crystal Druid isn’t a soft, sweet read, but it’s perfect for readers who like morally grey characters with big flaws to overcome. Along with the slow-burn romance is a heady dose of angst, intense conflict between the heroine and hero, and blurry lines between right and wrong. All my books have character-driven, adventure-style plots with the romance subplot as a delicious seasoning sprinkled throughout.
You've got a spectacular backlist. What does your writing/release schedule look like?
Well, last year I could sum up my schedule in one word: insane. I may have overdone it a bit with three ongoing Guild Codex series at once and a pair of series finales released in
the same month. This year, I’m trying to be a bit more chill (i.e. realistic) with my writing schedule (which has allowed me to cram in a bunch of side projects, haha). The next book in The Guild Codex: Unveiled is coming out in January, and I plan to write 3-4 books in 2022.
Which character is your favorite? C'mon, we know you have one! (We won't tell the others.)
No way. A favorite character? It changes day to day depending on what series and/or book and/or scene I’m working on. At the moment, though, my favorite character is the winter king from The Long-Forgotten Winter King, sequel to The One and Only Crystal Druid. He’s all kinds of contradictory in all the best ways, and I love it.
Who was the last fictional character to make you swoon?
If we’re talking any fictional character, then the most recent was Kayden from the webtoon Eleceed. But if we’re talking books, then the sexy, smooth-talking demon Zen from Amber Lynn Natusch’s A Curse of Nightshade. And for a fictional hottie in the YA genre, then Rory from Shannon Mayer and KF Breene’s Shadowspell Academy.
How many books can we look forward to in this series?
I’m planning four books for The Guild Codex: Unveiled! But if you count all the other books available in the larger Guild Codex world, this series will bring the total to...twenty? The different series can all be read independently or as part of one big interconnected saga, depending on how you like to roll. ;)
Out of all of your books, which are you the most proud of and why?
Oh man, tough question. I’m proud of different books for different reasons, so it’s impossible to choose one in particular. The Steel & Stone series has this huge, sweeping adventure on a scale bigger than any other series I’ve written so far. The Spell Weaver trilogy is my only dual-narration series, and I love the interplay between the hero and heroine’s perspectives. Red Winter is my favorite world and I adore the characters so much. The four Guild Codex series are so different, each with their own charm, and I’m really proud of the complexity of the interweaving plots—which was a huge challenge. So, yeah, it really depends on what day you ask me. xD
About the Author
Annette Marie is the best-selling author of The Guild Codex, an expansive collection of interwoven urban fantasy series ranging from thrilling adventure to hilarious hijinks to heartrending romance. Her other works include YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter.
Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada with her husband and their furry minion of darkness. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.