Interview with Bronwyn Eley, Debut Author of Relic
I am super psyched to introduce you to the lovely Bronwyn Eley who is the debut author of Relic! I was lucky enough to snag some of Bronwyn’s time to answer questions I had about her life as a writer as well as behind the scenes of her oncoming book! Also, please feel free to follow her on her socials! All of her info. can be found below the Q & A section of this post. Grab your favorite drink, sit back and relax, and enjoy reading all about her and her book Relic!
Q & A
Ashley: Where did you get your first inspiration to write Relic?
Bronwyn: Honestly I don’t remember the moment of inspiration and the story has changed so much over the years that it’s hard to pinpoint. What I do know is that a lifetime of loving fantasy – books and movies – has slowly and surely built the inspiration for Relic!
Ashley: That makes sense, stories can take awhile to build up to where you have some kind of plot to make sense of! Okay, I want to know who/what are your favorites that helped inspire you to write in the first place!
Who are your favourite authors? What are your favourite books?
Bronwyn: In terms of fantasy, I love Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman, Leigh Bardugo, V.E. Schwab and Maria V. Snyder. But I read so widely these days! I also love Stephen King, Aaron Blabey (for his Pig the Pug children’s series), J.M. Barrie (because Peter Pan is my absolute favourite), Thomas Malory (who wrote Le Morte d’Arthur), Emily St. John Mandel, Neil Gaiman (Stardust!!!) and I’ve surely forgotten so many more.
Ashley: Love it! I like how Peter Pan is your favorite, I feel like there’s a lot more going on in the story than people truly know.
How many books do you plan to write for the Relic series?
Bronwyn: There are three books in The Relic Trilogy that I’ve planned. I will say that I have a few potential ideas for prequels and sequels, if there’s ever any interest from my readers/publisher/myself.
Ashley: That’s great! I feel like people are really digging the before and afters for stories now. Us readers can never get enough!
What’s your current work-in-progress?
Bronwyn: Book two in The Relic Trilogy! It was hugely fun to write and I’m just about to start the first round of edits.
Ashley: That sounds like a lot of work, I wish you good luck!
What are the top 5 books in your TBR pile?
Bronwyn: Angel Mage by Garth Nix, The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie (it’s been too long), Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve and Backyard to Backpack by Evie Farrell!
Ashley: Yes! I love me some Garth Nix, I remember reading the Abhorsen series growing up and The Starless Sea sounds intriguing!
What advice would you give to aspiring YA fantasy authors?
Bronwyn: Know it’s hard, know it’s worth it, know you can do it!
Ashley: Short and simple - the perfect kind of advice.
What have you learned through your own personal experience with the publishing process being a debut author versus working within publishing?
Bronwyn: I admit working in the publishing industry is definitely helpful and eye-opening for aspiring authors. It shows the harsh realities of it but also shows a lot of hope! My own experience taught me that what you think is working ‘hard enough’ is never hard enough. You can always do more to help yourself develop as an author.
Ashley: Well said and I couldn’t agree more, there’s always room for improvement.
Are you a panster, planster or plotter? Any tips for the prewriting phase?
Bronwyn: I am a plotter for the big things and a pantser for everything else. I make sure the big plot points are sorted but one I set my characters on the path towards those plot points, I let them decide how they want to get there. It’s more fun that way!
My advice would be don’t get too bogged down in world-building or over-planning. Don’t get me wrong – world-building and planning are essential, but you can always improve and change and build... If you don’t start eventually, you will plot forever.
Ashley: Yes, I know exactly what you mean!
What does research for your book look like?
Bronwyn: A lot of internet research around medieval times – mostly articles and images, some videos. I did a weekend blacksmith course to get in the mindset of my protagonist Kaylan, who is a blacksmith in the story, and that was the best thing ever! I definitely want to create characters in the future that give me excuses to try out cool stuff!
Ashley: That sounds like loads of fun! I’m super jealous! And what an awesome way of looking at writing.
I read that you’ve travelled a lot – have any particular places helped shape the setting and world building of Relic?
Bronwyn: Not overly in regards to Relic (however, I have been inspired by my travels in regards to other stories I want to one day write) but I will say that there is one castle that is absolutely inspiring and I definitely picture it when I write Relic.
That castle is Château de Pierrefonds in France. It was a very fiddly place to get to – thankfully I speak French, which helped – but it was worth the trek! I am obsessed with this castle because it is the setting of Merlin, a TV show I love, but it is a stunning castle. Not many people seem to know about it and when I was there, it was virtually empty, which was fantastic because it meant I got photos of me without anyone else in the shot!
Ashley: Oh, wow! That castle is gorgeous! *swoons* I’ve never seen any castles in person, but I could only imagine actually being in one!
What’s your favourite go-to snack and drink while writing?
Bronwyn: Water and chocolate/biscuits!
What’s your favourite writing spot? Do you have a picture? I love envisioning an author in their element!
Bronwyn: I write at my desk mostly – it’s not that glamorous. But I have attached a photo anyway! I’m not sure I could work in a beautiful outdoor spot because I’d want to just look at the view!
Ashley: Ooooooh! A stack of books! *stares* And your typewriter is the best decor for a writer! Loving this mood for sure!
When does motivation usually hit you? Are you an early riser or night owl?
Bronwyn: I’m more of a night owl – but I never stay up late to write! I write at night after work for a few hours. Inspiration has, at least for this series, always been at the ready! Sometimes if I write at night and then go to bed, I find my mind is still in a creative setting and I lie there thinking of new ideas. I will always type them as a note on my phone for the next morning. But inspiration hits whenever it wants! I have a lot of notes on my phone (all saved, of course)!
Ashley: Wow, that’s awesome, considering I hear a lot of writers have trouble with writer’s block. Kudos to you!
Did your experience in the military play a big part in writing Relic? If it did, how?
Bronwyn: Not for Relic, no! A few things made it into the book – like this moment when Captain Thorn explains to Kaylan that his men are bound by a rule: ‘one in, all in’. That is something we learnt in the military, that if one person makes a mistake, we all suffer the consequences because it teaches unity and to work as a team. That sounds a bit dark, I know! But it really did work.
Ashley: I wouldn’t say that’s dark, I think it puts military into perspective to be better prepared for any kind of situation which is really important.
So I heard there’s some romance in your book – which are my favourite scenes to read! Who will we be shipping?
Bronwyn: Romance isn’t the central focus of Relic but I have to have some romance in whatever I read/write/watch! Keep an eye out for a certain tall and dirty nobleman who has a big smile for Kaylan. My hope is that your stomach will do little flips when he arrives on the pages, as he does for me!
I’m actually interested to see if people ship any of the other characters – either with Kaylan or someone else – because a few comments have been made by some friends and reviewers in the past that have surprised me. I find it interesting to see who people fall for and who they ship!
That concludes the Q & A I had with Bronwyn Eley! I’d like to give a huge thank you to Talem Press for reaching out to me to work with them and thank Bronwyn for taking time out of her busy schedule to do our Q & A! It was my pleasure to have Bronwyn as my very first author feature on my website and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!
Keep scrolling below for more behind the scenes and info.!
RELIC, Bronwyn Eley's debut fantasy novel, is slated for release September 12.
In the city of Edriast, there is no deadlier duty than to serve as the Shadow.
As the personal servant of the powerful Lord Rennard, the Shadow's life is all but forfeit. Rennard possesses one of five rare and dangerous Relics – a jewel that protects his bloodline, but slowly poisons everyone else in its proximity. When the current Shadow succumbs to its magic, nineteen-year-old blacksmith Kaylan is summoned to take his place.
It's an appointment that will kill her.
As the time Kaylan has left ebbs away, hope begins to fade... That is, until she discovers a plot to destroy all five bloodlines in possession of the Relics.
A rebel force plans to put an end to Rennard's rule and Kaylan suddenly finds herself embroiled in a cause that might just be worth fighting for. But no cause is without its costs…
As her life hangs in the balance and rebellion bears down on Edriast, Kaylan must decide where her loyalties lie – and how she'll leave her mark on the world.
Relic is the absorbing first novel in The Relic Trilogy, a thrillingly dark YA fantasy series.
*BONUS BOOK EXCERPT*
One thing above all drew people to the Announcements: curiosity. The tension strangling the crowd was palpable, but the fear and the pain were the bait. They were hooked.
The crowd was in the hundreds. Merchants, labourers, Noblemen and students; there was no segregation today. Everyone was here for the same reason, their eyes reflecting a familiar mix of apprehension and fascination. A polite rumble of applause began at the front of the crowd, rippling deeper as their Lord came into view, moving toward the centre of the wooden stage built especially for him. He wore a smile big enough to be seen by everyone there, but his energy emanated prestige and power more than anything. One simple gesture from him was enough to silence the crowd. This was fine by them, as it was easier to listen and observe the man they rarely, if ever, saw.
Their gazes fell as one, taking in the weight of the jewel around his neck, its colour made somehow more beautiful by the sun.
The Relic was the reason they were all here.
As the Lord launched into his speech, the crowd was taken in by his words for only a second before something stole their attention away: his Shadow, slinking onto the stage. Shoulders slumped and head low, the Shadow took his position slightly behind his master, melting into the dark shades around the Lord.
Eyes flicked between him and the yellow jewel around his master’s neck.
The Shadow’s eyes remained on the floor.
Wherever he went, a morbid curiosity followed the Shadow as closely and silently as he followed his master. How many people in the crowd had come solely to see him?
The Shadow brought a hand up to his chest, eyes clenching shut.
A mother with wide eyes watched him closely as he curled forward with apparent pain. The woman wrapped an arm around each of her children, pulling them closer to her body. They were no more than infants. They were safe. She was afraid for herself.
A wave of courteous laughter skipped across the crowd, like a pebble dancing atop water.
The Shadow sputtered blood, droplets of red decorating the wooden stage below. Attention shot to him as his hand flew to his mouth, eyes flicking toward his master. Even now, at the end, he was afraid of the man.
The Lord stopped his speech mid-sentence, but didn’t turn to face his Shadow. Instead, he took a deep breath and brought his hands together in front of his body. The picture of patience.
The Shadow fell to his knees with a violent thump that the crowd seemed to feel, many flinching at the sound of bone cracking against wood. His bloodied mouth was now on full display, but the sight of blood was nothing new to the people of Edriast.
The crowd drew back slowly, moving as one, an undeniable tide. The Shadow, the man, was finally succumbing to his illness, and all anybody cared about was themselves.
Apprehension silenced even the smallest murmur from the crowd – not because the Shadow was dying, but because of what it now meant for them all.
Character Mood Boards & Colours
About the author
Bronwyn joined the military right out of high school, where she learnt (among other things) to disassemble and reassemble a rifle blindfolded. After that she spent a lot of her time travelling around the world. Her favourite places (so far) are Scotland, Mongolia, Iceland and Ireland.
Bronwyn finally found her natural habitat when she landed her first job in the publishing industry. While she has always been a writer, it was only when surrounding herself with books that she realised her life's dream was to become an author. Relic is her first novel.
Bronwyn lives in Sydney and spends her time eating chocolate, reading and practising her martial arts.