Happy Tuesday and welcome to my stop on The Beholder blog tour!! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Anna Bright to share with you! Read on to find out what inspired her to write this book, what advice she would give to Selah if she could, and what book Selah would love!The Beholder by Anna Bright
Series: The Beholder #1
Published on June 4, 2019 by HarperTeen
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Retellings
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Selah has waited her whole life for a happily ever after. As the only daughter of the leader of Potomac, she knows her duty is to find the perfect match, a partner who will help secure the future of her people. Now that day has finally come.
But after an excruciatingly public rejection from her closest childhood friend, Selah’s stepmother suggests an unthinkable solution: Selah must set sail across the Atlantic, where a series of potential suitors awaits—and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t come home at all.
From English castle gardens to the fjords of Norge, and under the eye of the dreaded Imperiya Yotne, Selah’s quest will be the journey of a lifetime. But her stepmother’s schemes aren’t the only secrets hiding belowdecks…and the stakes of her voyage may be higher than any happy ending.
Interview with Anna
What inspired you to write this book?
General ruminations about romance. And how people get together, and why, and how outside pressures factor into it. Also, I was blow-drying my hair. You can really only let your mind wander while you blow-dry your hair.
How did you choose the names for your characters?
Selah’s name changed many, many times. But her name is a Hebrew word that translators think mean “pause” or “reflect,” and once I landed on it, I knew it belonged to her. And the Beholder is crewed by historical creators and collectors of fairy tales and folk tales and myths. I’ll let readers sort out who they are. 🙂
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
Ahahaha. I did so much research about horses. None of it made sense to include in the final version of the text—too much detail—but I did not hate goofing around and looking at beautiful photos of horses.
If Selah were to hang out with characters from other YA books, who would they be and why?
First of all: this is maybe one of my favorite questions I’ve ever been asked.
Second: Selah’s a sweetheart. She’s introverted, tends to play by the rules when she can, and cares a ton about her family and her home—but she also does a lot of growing and exploring. So I’d say she’d get along super well with Lara Jean Song from To All The Boys I Loved Before, Sophie Hatter from Howl’s Moving Castle, and Genie from The Epic Crush of Genie Lo. She would also adore but be slightly intimidated by Gansey from the Raven Cycle.
Do you have any advice you would give to the characters in your book?
Honestly? I would tell Selah she is FINE AS SHE IS, and to give herself time. Time to get more comfortable in ~society~, time to grow into her responsibilities, time to enjoy the stuff that she loves while she’s young. Not, of course, that I’m going to let her grow that slowly. 😈😈😈
What books would you recommend to your characters and why?
I think Selah would take a lot of comfort from The Silver Chair, by C.S. Lewis, which is one of my favorites. It’s about doing hard things and being brave and I love it. And then I’d also push I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella and Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison and It’s Not Me, It’s You by Stephanie Kate Strohm at her because Selah is a Very Serious Girl and she needs to, like, laugh sometimes.
Thank you so much for answering my questions, Anna!
About the Author
I believe in woods, mountains, highways, cobblestones, roller coasters, dancing, concerts, cherry Pop Tarts, books, and magic.
When I’m not reading or writing on my couch, I’m dragging my husband off on an adventure, communing with Salem (my kitten/spiritual familiar), or causing trouble at One More Page Books, where I work.