Monday, May 10, 2021

Jenn Lyons Interview - The House of Always

Photo Credit: Matthew & Nicole Nicholson, Dim Horizon Studio

Jenn Lyons’s childhood was spent in the safe havens of local libraries and bookstores, where even as her artistic talents began to develop she continued to nurture her love of science-fiction, fantasy, and noir detective stories. Being pale, not a friend of sunlight, and not much of a morning person, she set her sights on a career that would allow her to stay indoors or work at night (her favorite career pick was ‘cat burglar’) but she was devastated when she discovered that she would not, in fact, ever be able to marry Batman. Older but wiser, she turned from the life of a jewel thief to tackle a career as a graphic artist and illustrator, spending the next 20 years working in print media and advertising. A woman with too many hobbies (a list that included video games, fountain pens, table-top RPGs, LARPing, comic books, and costume design), Lyons was irresistibly drawn to making things up storytelling.

After making a dramatic shift in careers from graphic artist to video game producer, Jenn Lyons dedicated herself to writing. The Ruin of Kings and the Name of All Things, the first two books in Lyons’s five-book debut epic fantasy series from Tor Books, A Chorus of Dragons, are available now. The third book in the series, the Memory of Souls, arrives August 2020.

Jenn Lyons lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, Michael Lyons (who is also a writer — and may or may not be Batman), a bunch of cats, and a whole lot of tea.


Publisher : Tor Books (May 11, 2021)
Language : English
Hardcover : 544 pages
ISBN-10 : 1250175674
ISBN-13 : 978-1250175670


“Lyons has cleverly taken the epic fantasy tropes of prophecy and lineage and stood them on their heads, all while delving deep into her multidimensional characters and spinning great battles with high body counts.” ―Booklist, starred review


"[A] jaw-dropping, action-packed story of betrayal, greed, and grand-scale conspiracy . . . Lyons ties it all together seamlessly to create literary magic. Epic fantasy fans looking for a virtually un-put-down-able read should look no further." ―Kirkus, starred review

"Rich, cruel, gorgeous, brilliant, enthralling and deeply, deeply satisfying. I loved it." ―Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians

“It was one hell of a ride. I gobbled it up and was hungry for more.” ―Glen Cook, author of The Black Company

“The Ruin of Kings is a fascinating story about a compellingly conflicted young hero in an intriguingly complex world.” ―L. E. Modesitt, Jr., author of the Recluse series

"A thriller plot of revenge and loyalty with a get-under-your-skin and keep-you-reading-all-night mystery at its heart. I loved it."―John Gwynne, author of Malice

"The Ruin of Kings revs up with the glitz of a high-speed, multi-level video game, with extreme magic and a teen hero with angst." ―Janny Wurts, author of The Curse of the Mistwraith

Greatest thing you learned at school.
That you’re the only person who can truly decide if and how you learn.

When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
It’s more that I don’t remember a time when I didn’t think I had a creative calling. I could always draw, and it was always assumed I’d go into art in some fashion. It took a little longer for me to realize my passion for telling stories far exceed my desire for illustration.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?
I honestly don’t have one. Not a single favorite book. There’s so much out there – amazing, transcendent works—that each have their own strengths and weaknesses. I could never pick just a single one.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
The number of people who have contacted me to tell me how my books have touched them, how important those books have been in their lives. This was unintended. I wanted these books to be personal and meaningful, of course, but I didn’t expect that they’d be quite so inspirational. I’m absolutely humbled by the knowledge that they are.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
My job. I loved working in video games, but the hours (and the commute) in Los Angeles made it basically impossible to write. It wasn’t until I moved somewhere that had a much shorter commute that I started making real progress on my first novel.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Because storytelling shapes our values, our culture, what we think is important. Storytelling can either create empathy or destroy it.

Can you tell us when you started THE HOUSE OF ALWAYS, how that came about?
Much as I’d love to give you a sexy, fun story, the truth is that this is the fourth book in a five book series – it came about because I’d finished writing the third book. (Publishing contracts do not wait for the muse to strike.)

  • 1. Kihrin – is a seventh son of a seventh son (that might have meant more if this universe placed any great important on the number seven)
  • 2. Janel – has an adopted daughter (Ninavis) older than she is.
  • 3. Teraeth – has two living siblings, Xaloma and Sharanakal, who are both dragons.
  • 4. Thurvishar – is the only one of the main four who is not technically of any kind of royal blood (no, being the son of the Emperor does *not* count.)
  • 5. Senera – once traded murders with her childhood best friend. (i.e. I’ll kill yours if you kill mine.)
  • 6. Tyentso – the inspiration for the Glittering Feast came from “The Roses of Heliogabalus” a painting by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema depicting an infamous instance where a Roman emperor hosted a banquet where he then proceeded to kill all the guests by smothering them with rose petals.
  • 7. Talea – yes, WAS originally meant to be a minor character. Obviously that changed.
  • 8. Dorna – absolutely doesn’t want anyone to know that she was once married to a Joratese noble.
  • 9. Galen – was plotting with his wife Sheloran to take over House D’Mon before the start of book 1.
  • 10. Sheloran – See above.
For those who are unfamiliar with your series; A CHORUS OF DRAGONS, how would you introduce it?
The series is about a young man who finds out that he’s the focal point for a series of prophecies, but instead of saving the world, he’s supposed to destroy it – which isn’t really a thing he wants to do, especially since there’s a trapped dark god who seems like a better candidate for that role. Except that in trying to stop the release of that god, he’s been forced to reassess who’s right and who’s wrong in this scenario. At the end of book 3, he does a potentially rash thing to try to make matters right, and in book 4, he and all his loved ones pay the consequences.

  • 1. Talon was originally meant to die at the end of book 1. And during book 3. Basically, Talon’s so hard to kill I’m not even managing it and I’m the author!
  • 2. The fact that The House of Always was written about twelve people confined to a house they couldn’t leave while I too was confined to a house I couldn’t leave because of the Covid-19 Pandemic is entirely coincidental.
  • 3. The dragons featured in this book, Drehemia and Gorokai, are related to Argas and Taja, respectively.
  • 4. Thirteen people are inside the Lighthouse, not twelve.
  • 5. Once again, all interior artwork was drawn by me.
  • 6. The floorplan of the Lighthouse was inspired by several real-world examples.
  • 7. I cut around 30k of subplot involving pirates.
  • 8. Janel’s little sister Eledore was originally supposed to be a major character in this story, but was cut.
  • 9. The scenes that explained that Kalindra had married Jarith originally appeared in book 1, but had been cut – which I forgot when it came time to re-introduce Kalindra again!
  • 10. Nikali Milligreest is named after his uncle – who is secretly Teraeth’s father, “Doc” Terindel.
What is the first job you have had?
I worked as a graphic artist at an Alphagraphics, mostly making business cards and letterheads and such. Which I had no experience with at all. I was sat down in front of a computer with a stack of job orders and the program manuals and told I had a week to finish it all. I did.

When you looked in the mirror first thing this morning, what was the first thing you thought?
Is it actually time to get up or did I wake up too early again?

Most horrifying dream you have ever had?
I used to have what I called my Apocalypse Dreams. That was where I’d dream of some major, massive catastrophe. Earthquakes, or tornado swarms, or multiple nuclear explosions. Always completely devastating.

For fans of Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss, The House of Always is the fourth epic fantasy in Jenn Lyons' Chorus of Dragons series that began with The Ruin of Kings.

What if you were imprisoned for all eternity?

In the aftermath of the Ritual of Night, everything has changed.

The Eight Immortals have catastrophically failed to stop Kihrin's enemies, who are moving forward with their plans to free Vol Karoth, the King of Demons. Kihrin has his own ideas about how to fight back, but even if he's willing to sacrifice everything for victory, the cost may prove too high for his allies.

Now they face a choice: can they save the world while saving Kihrin, too? Or will they be forced to watch as he becomes the very evil they have all sworn to destroy.

You can purchase The House of Always at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you JENN LYONS for making this giveaway possible.
3 Winners will receive a Copy of THE HOUSE OF ALWAYS by Jenn Lyons.
Winner will receive THE HOUSE OF ALWAYS Storytellers BOX.
MAY 11th TUESDAY Kait Plus Books EXCERPT
MAY 12th WEDNESDAY Movies, Shows, & Books EXCERPT
MAY 13th THURSDAY Insane About Books REVIEW
MAY 14th FRIDAY Casia's Corner EXCERPT
MAY 14th FRIDAY The Momma Spot REVIEW

MAY 17th MONDAY The Bookwyrm's Den REVIEW
MAY 17th MONDAY I'm All About Books EXCERPT
MAY 19th WEDNESDAY Rajiv's Reviews REVIEW
MAY 19th WEDNESDAY Books and Zebras REVIEW
MAY 20th THURSDAY Nay's Pink Bookshelf REVIEW
MAY 20th THURSDAY Sarai's Hidden Treasures REVIEW


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