Priya Ardis and My Boyfriend Merlin
Today's guest is the debut author of a terrific fun YA spin on the Camelot myth. Priya Ardis' MY BOYFRIEND MERLIN is out now. Read on to find out about this cool re-imagining of modern-day Merlin and his ex-girlfriend!
Simone: Tell us a little bit about My Boyfriend Merlin.
Priya: My Boyfriend Merlin is a YA paranormal romance set in today’s world. Merlin goes to high school to recruit Candidates to pull the sword from the stone—one of them his girlfriend.
In this modern Arthurian, 17-year-old student president Arriane, aka Ryan, DuLac finds out her badass biker boyfriend, Matt, is a little older than he was letting on. By a few eons.
In fact, he is really Merlin--the Merlin, King Arthur's Merlin, the greatest wizard who ever lived. But Ryan's not impressed. Tired of being a relationship loser, she'd rather kick his legendary behind.
Sure, the world has been crazy ever since the sword and the stone fell out of the sky like a meteor. But despite gruesome gargoyles, a new world of magic, and the guy driving her crazy, Ryan knows that family is everything. Will Merlin sacrifice hers to save the world? Will she be able to stop him?
But don’t let me just tell you—watch the “If you can’t trust your boyfriend, who can you trust?” book trailer for My Boyfriend Merlin on youtube.
Simone: What inspired you to write such a clever twist to the Arthur story?
Priya: I’ve grown up reading a lot of sword and sorcery. One of my favorites is the young-adult Alanna series by Tamora Pierce. However, I love romance and have been a long time member of RWA. Recently with all the great YA books, I really wanted to tell a coming-of-age story. I thought—hey, why not a modern Merlin? After all Merlin can handle everything, but can he handle being a teenager? Even the most powerful wizard in the world has relationship trouble.
Simone: What is your writing schedule like?
Priya: I’m a write-a-holic. I usually sit at a coffee shop (my office), have a latte, and type away. Once I start I don’t get up for several hours. Usually once I stop, I’m done for the day. But when a story really gets flowing, I tend to write in whatever pocket of time I can find.
Simone: Describe your favorite reading spot.
Priya: I’ve always had this romantic notion to read on a cushioned window seat on a rainy day with my favorite throw. Of course, I don’t have a window seat. But lucky there are enough rainy days and my comfy throw…not to mention some pumpkin spice tea.
Simone: What inspires you daily?
Priya: I’m inspired everyday by stepping outside my house and having the freedom to get in my car and go. There are many places in the world where that in itself is a major challenge—especially for a woman. (I’ve been to a few of those places! And another reason why my books have strong female leads.) That’s why I usually write at a coffee house--not only is the energy great, but getting out really helps me focus.
Simone: What are the three best books you've read lately?
Priya: I’m tearing through the Vampire Academy series. It has to be the best series I’ve read in awhile. I also finished up Nalini Singh’s third Archangel book. Although adult paranormal the series has been excellent. I just started Craved by Stephanie Nelson, also a YA paranormal, and it’s really fun. I saw that the Haunting of Maddy Clare is coming out in March 2012. Congrats, Simone! It looks like a really cool book. Modern ghost-busting. Love it.
Simone: Thanks! What is your favorite aspect of the Arthurian legends?
Priya: I love the idea of Camelot, the chivalry, and have a morbid fascination with how everything imploded in Camelot through the decisions of characters. I see a lot of very relatable aspects wrapped up in this familiar legend—teamwork (the Knights), idealism (Arthur), mentorship (Merlin), ambition (Arthur & Merlin), jealousy, and love. In My Boyfriend Merlin, this is what I try to bring out. I do have an element of Arthur-Lancelot-Guinevere…I just couldn’t help it! I do write YA. Love triangles are us. Mine has a twist so hopefully it’s not too much of an old trope.
Simone: What's next for you?
Currently, I am finishing up the next book in the My Merlin series to be released in late March. In My Boyfriend Merlin, Ryan really comes a long way but there are plenty of challenges ahead. Book 2 asks—If you haven’t broken the rules, have you really lived? So stay tuned!
Thanks, Priya! So, today's question - if you could make one magic spell, what would it be? (And "world peace" doesn't count - we'll assume we'd all pick that one, lol!)