Welcome to my MTMC Tours stop for If The Walls Fall by K. Malady!
If The Walls Fall is a fun read for book lovers as it features a romance-reading-obsessed teen who portals into a fantasy world and then has to use her knowledge of tropes and prophecies and character archetypes to survive! It’s geeky and meta and full of all the favourite classic fantasy elements.
I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing K. Malady below, so be sure to come read. 📚😍
There’s no way I’m special enough for otherworldly heroine status. I can’t even create a generic romance out of my normal life, much less fulfil some fantasy plot.
Title: If The Walls Fall (The Ascend Trials #1)
Author: K. Malady
Publication Date: May 16, 2022
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If you live life like you’re in a romance novel, ending up in a fantasy saga would surprise anyone. For serial romantic and reader Grace, she’s less surprised and more disbelieving. When she arrives in the Kingdom of Dalner, she assumes it’s all a dream. After all, Dalner is a world full of magic and attentive love interests, something no rational seventeen year old could believe is real.
Even more improbable are the hints that Grace was brought to save the Kingdom from their northern enemies, magical immortals like the mysterious Woman, who seek to tear down the walls caging them in. But as a non-magical human with no special powers (unless turning every situation into a romantic plot counts), Grace can barely keep herself alive, much less harness the skills needed to save the world.
While Grace struggles to prove she’s not the girl they’re looking for, outside forces drag her towards a deadly conclusion, one that may cost more than just her new friendships. To escape the evils threatening to destroy the Kingdom and protect her first love, she must confront her own definition of heroism and discover her inner power before it’s too late.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
K., also known as Kay, is a native Oklahoman with a lifelong interest in all things fantasy romance. Kay is known in her family as someone who never sits still, as she is happiest when she is busy. Kay works full-time as an attorney and writes fantasy romance (and fanfiction) on the side. When she’s not spending time with her family, she enjoys reading, sewing, painting, crafting, baking, and cooking. Website |Twitter | Instagram
Hi K! So excited to chat with you today about your novel. 🤗 Tell us about yourself and how long it took If The Walls Fall to go from spark of an idea to finished novel on our shelves!
Hello! My name is Kay and I’m a newly published author, though I’ve been writing all my life. I’m an attorney, which doesn’t give me much of a creative outlet, so I love to read and write on the side. If The Walls Fall came to me in 2018 based on two thoughts: (1) after reading several prominent ‘chosen-one’ fantasy novels, I wondered “but what if the protagonist was not some super-powered brilliant person, but a ‘normal’ without special skills?” and (2) a daydream about how I’d react if I got dropped into a fantasy world: it all sounds great until you realise there’s no sunscreen or ibuprofen. So would I go along with it? Would I have a bit of a mental breakdown? Would I miss anyone back home? I wanted to inject a little logic, or as much as one could in a YA fantasy focusing on a hero’s journey
All drafts of If The Walls Fall had a similar overarching theme as the current published work–that the world believed Grace was their hero and she tried to react to that while a mysterious villain closed in, with a Tuath(a) Dé Danann setting (a setting I twisted to make my own, but those who are interested in that mythology will see the inspiration). But the first few drafts had a more dramatic love story, with a completely different final love interest. Subsequent drafts fleshed out the magic structure and gave supporting characters more depth. It started as “The Mistaken Valkyrie,” with Grace named “Val” (a little in-joke that everyone only thought she was the heroine because of her name) in 2018, then became Grace in “The Unintended Heroine” in the fall of 2020, when I came back to the story. Finally, I completed Grace’s ultimate story in mid 2021 where it became If The Walls Fall, a name that plays on several themes in the book.
That’s a really amazing journey (I love hearing book’s origin stories 😌). Introduce us to your main character, Grace!
Grace is a socially-awkward seventeen year old who loves reading romance and can turn any scenario into a romantic plot. She has a difficult relationship with her dad and, even though she doesn’t buy the ‘chosen one’ claim the fantasy world is trying to sell her, loves the idea of finding her place and her people. It’s this desire that lets her give in to the fantasy, rather than run screaming and beg to go back home. At least, in the beginning…
“We all wear masks. You had the opportunity to go without one for a time, behaving without fear of judgment. That was you, Grace.”
If you could recommend Grace three romance books, what would they be?
Because of her idiosyncrasies, Grace has a weird problem with (1) fantasy books and (2) classic literary romance. Some of her issues make sense, and are a way to protect herself, so I’d want to tread lightly in expanding her interests. Because of that, I’d recommend:
1. The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Yes, it’s a great movie but the book is on another level. I love how Goldman frames the fantasy, and the romance/friendships that are born within the main storyline. It would be a good introduction to fantasy with a clever narrator that gently infuses the reader in the magic, all the while giving Grace a lovely romance and the adventure HEA she deserves.
2. The Lord of Stariel by A.J. Lancaster. This is another book that would give Grace a light push into fantasy. (Can you tell I have an agenda? I mean, come on, she’s living in a fantasy world but never read a fantasy book that wasn’t assigned in school?) It’s also a story with political intrigue and a female protagonist who is trying to come to terms with becoming the Lord of her family’s estate (and discovering whether she was the correct choice), something Grace might appreciate. Plus, fae romance: yes please.
3. Camilla by Madeleine L’Engle. I don’t read a lot of non-fantasy novels anymore, so finding a non-fantasy romance to recommend Grace is difficult. This is one of the first romances I read but is a coming of age story masquerading as a romance. While the ending still irritates my inner-teenager, adult Kay really appreciates the story, and I think Grace, after grousing a bit, would too.
Love these recs 👏🏻 Which is your favourite to write: beginnings, middles, or endings?
The endings. When I write, the beginning could take me anywhere but the ending has to flow logically and requires a commitment to the character’s ultimate journey.
Endings are so satisfying to write too, seeing it all come together. Tell us a book you wouldn’t mind accidentally tumbling into!
Currently, Sense and Sensibility. I would LOVE to meet Colonel Brandon and kick him a little, until he realized that Marianne isn’t a prize to be won and not to attempt to replace his lost love with someone else. And if I happen to somehow become Mrs. Brandon, well, it’s my daydream.
Definitely a reasonable dream 😌 Do you outline your books or discover your plot as you go?
I have a general outline of how the story starts and where I want the protagonist to go/what the theme is. Once I’m about halfway in, I solidify it down to more specific details.
Can you give us a sneak peek about what you’re writing next?
I just finished a gender-bent Theseus and the Minotaur! It’s an NA romantic fantasy. The blurb is subject to change, but here is the current draft:
Every seven years, the immortal King Minos chooses seven strong women for his Collection, demanding they meet the Beast at the center of the Labyrinth. No one knows what happens to the chosen, but none ever come back.
Thalia, heir to her Island’s throne, should have been eligible for the Collection, but power kept her safe. When she discovers her omission, and learns her best friend’s partner will be taken instead, Thalia volunteers, hoping to stop the Collection, defeat the monster in the Labyrinth, and prove that brains are better than brawn. But her grand plans may be derailed by the secrets Minos and his Labyrinth protect. The beast is only the beginning of her troubles, and Thalia’s actions may not save anyone, least of all herself. With the future of her people and her own life on the line, Thalia must make it to the middle of the Labyrinth, meet the beast, and overcome Minos’ schemes before it’s too late.
That sounds incredible 😍🙌🏻 Already so excited! Last question… what has been your favourite author moment so far?
Seeing my book on an actual physical bookstore shelf.
It was lovely chatting with you, K.! ✨ Thanks so much for this interview and all the fun answers!!
Head over to my Instagram account to enter the tour giveaway where one winner will receive a paperback copy of If the Walls Fall + booksleeve AND another winner will receive a paperback copy of If the Walls Fall + a book corner bookmark! Ends on July 23rd, 2022. Winners will be announced on @mtmctours’ Instagram account.
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