Monday, January 20, 2020

Charlie N. Holmberg Interview - The Will and the Wilds

Photo Content from Charlie N. Holmberg

Born in Salt Lake City, Charlie N. Holmberg was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters who also have boy names. She is a proud BYU alumna, plays the ukulele, owns too many pairs of glasses, and finally adopted a dog. Her fantasy Paper Magician series, which includes The Paper Magician, The Glass Magician, and The Master Magician, has been optioned by the Walt Disney Company. Her stand-alone novel, Followed by Frost, was nominated for a 2016 RITA Award for Best Young Adult Romance, and her novel The Fifth Doll won the 2018 Whitney for Speculative Fiction. She is a board member for Deep Magic Ezine and lives with her family in Utah.


Print Length: 265 pages
Publisher: 47North (January 21, 2020)
Publication Date: January 21, 2020
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English


“…An immersive, dangerous fantasy world. Holmberg draws readers in with a fast-moving plot, rich details, and a surprisingly sweet human-monster romance. This is a lovely, memorable fairy tale.” —Publishers Weekly

“Holmberg ably builds her latest fantasy world, and her brisk narrative and the romance at its heart will please fans of her previous magical tales.” —Booklist

What inspired you to pen your first novel?
My very first one, unpublished and green as can be, was inspired by anime. Anime is what made me want to write—I watched The Vision of Escaflowne when I was thirteen and yearned to create a story like that one.

My very first finished book, unpublished, was called “The Oracle Seals” and was inspired by the video game Tales of Symphonia.

My very first published book, The Paper Magician, was inspired by a general love of origami and the thought, what if this paper crane could come to life?

Tell us your latest news.
The Will and the Wilds, my standalone fantasy romance, releases January 21st! After that I have the first book of my new duology, Spellbreaker. It’s a historical fantasy and releases September 8th. 

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
Two of my biggest influencers have been Hayao Miyazaki and Brandon Sanderson. I love that they tell different stories in a different way, and I strive to be unique in my storytelling as well. I want to write books people haven’t read before. I want to take readers by surprise.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Truthfully and honestly, it’s seeing complete strangers praise a book I wrote. Goodreads, blogs, social media. It still boggles my mind that people I’ve never met, sometimes who are on the other side of the world, have read and enjoyed a story I’ve penned. It’s an amazing feeling.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
I want them to feel like they’re in a fairytale. I want it to feel familiar, even though there’s new things to discover. I want them to hurt for the characters, because I love it when books tug at my heartstrings. If I can make a reader cry, I feel like I’ve done my job.

Can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about your new book, THE WILL AND THE WILDS?
Absolutely! The Will and the Wilds is about an amateur scholar named Enna who is fascinated by mystings, or otherworldly monsters that often trespass the wildwood near her home. But one day a mysting gets too close. To combat him, Enna hires a mysting of her own—a demon named Maekallus. Their deal creates a magical bond between them. But Maekallus gets trapped in the mortal realm, which begins eating him alive. With his life tied to Enna’s, she’s at risk as well. The only way to stave off the realm’s feasting is to give Maekallus pieces of her soul, which she can only do by kissing him. Now Maekallus is starting to feel for the first time, while Enna is losing herself little by little.

What part of Enna did you enjoy writing the most?
Her desire to know. Her yearning to learn and to study and to be taken seriously as an academic. She didn’t really have those traits in the first draft of the book, and once I gave them to her, the novel really came to life. We’re able to better experience the world through Enna’s eyes because of her thirst to discover.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
You know, it might be interesting to introduce Maekallus to Ignifex from Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. I think they’d be good friends. ;)

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
Love yourself. Don’t be afraid to embrace your quirks. Be unashamedly you. God doesn’t make mistakes; He has purpose in everything.


  • “Monsters are only ever fascinating from afar.”
  •  “The mortal realm will devour a mysting’s body. The monster realm will destroy a human’s mind.”
  • “What is a soul, if not an extension of the heart?”
  • “Only Maekallus can mend my soul, if such a thing is possible.
    “Could Tennith mend my heart?”
  • “To understand my father’s sacrifice, why he risked so much for a simple stone, one need only look to the horror in which I came into this world.”
  • “Of all the injury I’ve suffered, none of it compares to the misery of that disintegrating hope.”
  • “Do I lose the man Maekallus has become by retrieving my own soul? The man who bathed in my tears, who held me as I fell asleep, who kept the nightmares away?
    “Does that man even exist?”
  • “Without my soul inside him, what has he become?”
  • “It would take only one kiss. One kiss, and I could feel his arms around me, his mouth against mine. A moment of bliss for a piece of my dwindling spirit.”
  • “There can be no happy ending for us.”
Best date you've ever had?
Me and my husband’s first date was pretty stellar! It was 11.5 hours long. We went to an amusement park with another fun couple and then out to frozen yogurt afterwards. I’d had a crush on him for six years, and it was Halloween season… so I got to cling to his arm through all the haunted houses!

What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?
Princess Anne of Bohemia started the side-saddle riding trend for women in the 14th century. She thought it would protect her virginity.

Where did you go on your first airplane ride? 
Virginia! Only a few years ago, too.

Favorite things to do alone?
Talk to myself. That might sound weird, but I figure out a lot of personal and book stuff when I talk it out.

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be?
I would give my junior high self a backbone. I would stand up for myself more.

What according to you is your most treasured possession?
One of them is definitely this “Santa dog” stuffed animal I have. I got it for Christmas before my second birthday and it’s stayed by my side ever since.

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep?
Either a story idea or my hair. ;)

A spellbinding story of truce and trickery from the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Paper Magician series.

Enna knows to fear the mystings that roam the wildwood near her home. When one tries to kill her to obtain an enchanted stone, Enna takes a huge risk: fighting back with a mysting of her own.

Maekallus’s help isn’t free. His price? A kiss. One with the power to steal her soul. But their deal leaves Maekallus bound to the mortal realm, which begins eating him alive. Only Enna’s kiss, given willingly, can save him from immediate destruction. It’s a temporary salvation for Maekallus and a lingering doom for Enna. Part of her soul now burns bright inside Maekallus, making him feel for the first time.

Enna shares Maekallus’s suffering, but her small sacrifice won’t last long. If she and Maekallus can’t break the spell binding him to the mortal realm, Maekallus will be consumed completely—and Enna’s soul with him.

You can purchase The Will and the Wilds at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you CHARLIE N. HOLMBERG for making this giveaway possible.
3 Winners will receive a Copy of THE WILL AND THE WILDS by Charlie N. Holmberg.
JANUARY 21st TUESDAY A Court of Coffee and Books REVIEW
JANUARY 22nd WEDNESDAY Random Bookish Banter REVIEW
JANUARY 24th FRIDAY J.R.'s Book Reviews REVIEW

JANUARY 27th MONDAY Nay's Pink Bookshelf REVIEW
JANUARY 28th TUESDAY Wishful Endings REVIEW 
JANUARY 31st FRIDAY Life Within The Pages REVIEW

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