Today I’m thrilled to welcome S.A. Klopfenstein to the blog as we kickoff The Shadow Watch Book Tour presented by Storytellers On Tour! This week we’re celebrating the release of book four of the Shadow Watch series, The Well of Shadows, by showing the series as a whole a bit of love. A few months ago I had the pleasure of joining in the cover reveal for The Well of Shadows – be sure to go give that beauty a look! If you’re a lover of both Epic Fantasy and YA Fantasy, then this may be just the tale for you! I can’t wait to hear what readers have to say about this one, so stay tuned for some fantastic features from our Roadies – it’s going to be an awesome week.
S.A. Klopfenstein stopped by for a chat where we discuss how this story of his came to fruition, some of his favorite characters he’s written, what lies ahead, and more! Keep scrolling to learn more about the book and author, check out the awesome interview, and enter to win yourself a copy The Shadow Watch!
We’ve enlisted a group of wonderful and talented bloggers and Bookstagrammers to help us feature The Shadow Watch. This is what we have going on, so make sure to check out each and every one throughout the week for some brilliant content, including reviews and more.
MAY 16TH – THE KICKOFF
Whispers & Wonder (@whispersandwonder)
Beneath A Thousand Skies
A Bookworm’s Paradise
The Caffeinated Rareder (IG: @thecaffeinatedrareder)
MAY 22ND – THE ENCORE
Queen’s Book Asylum
For more info, visit the official tour page at Storytellers On Tour.
A fierce sorceress on the run. A charismatic rebel with dangerous ambitions. Will their revolution save the realm or bring it to ruin?
Ripped from her homeland and sold for a handful of coins, seventeen year old Tori Burodai grew up a slave in a foreign empire. All her life, surrounded by injustice and cruelty, she has ached for the chance to fight back.
When her only friend’s life is threatened, a buried power awakens, catapulting Tori into a harrowing new reality. For the first time in centuries, magic has returned to the world, and Tori may finally have the opportunity to change her fate.
Desperate for answers, Tori joins forces with a charismatic rebel bent on righting the scales. Soon, she is thrust into the heart of a magic revolution. But magic is not the only power that has returned from the depths of the world. And some secrets should never be uncovered.
War is coming. But does Tori have what it takes to defy an empire?
Filled with complex characters, slow-burn romance, wild plot twists, and epic battles, the Shadow Watch series is perfect for fans of Throne of Glass and the Grishaverse.
Welcome to the breathtaking world of the Shadow Watch, where sorcerers are hunted, monsters rise out of myth, and the fate of all hangs on love and betrayal. Start the Four Book series now!
S.A. Klopfenstein grew up on a steady dose of Tolkien and Star Wars. As a child, he wrote his first story about a sleepwalking killer who was executed by lethal injection. He lives in the American West with his wife and their dog, Iorek Byrnison. He can be found exploring the peaks of the Rocky Mountains, or daring the halls of the high school where he teaches English and mythology.
Thanks so much for stopping by for a chat, S.A. Since we already have your official bio, care to tell us about yourself in ten words or less?
Husband. Dad. Dog person. English / Mythology Teacher. Hiker. Traveler. Nerd.
Give us an idea of how The Shadow Watch came to fruition.
It all began with the gallows in the opening scene. At the time, I was looking for a new story. I’d written one book that I had given up on. I’d tried a couple others that stalled out about fifty pages in.
I had been thinking about the ways a setting can be loaded with inherent conflict, and I randomly visualized such a scene, with two slaves building a gallows. I didn’t know anything about the world or the slaves. I had no idea that I would write about it, and no idea where everything would go. It was just a setting that sounded interesting.
But that first visual of the gallows made me want to find out more about those slaves. So I started writing.
I had an inkling that I wanted to write an epic fantasy. Very loose versions of Tori and Darien (and Kale and Kirra, for that matter) had existed in a previous story, and I still really loved the idea of their characters. So the two slaves became Tori and Darien.
I needed to know about those two slaves and why the world was so cruel to them, and what they would do about it. And I was pretty sure I wanted there to be magic. And probably some form of resistance.
And that was the birth of the Gallows Girl and the Watchers.
Can you share with us something about The Shadow Watch that isn’t in the blurb?
For simplicity’s sake, the blurb really focuses on Tori’s perspective and the revolution. But there are two more POV characters in this book (and two more get added in later books), which really broaden the scope and tone of the story.
What comes first, the plot or the characters?
I actually start with the setting. I believe the setting shapes the sorts of plots and characters that can emerge from it. I don’t get very exhaustive before developing the characters and plot, but I’ve always had at least a vague sense of place before anything else. That being said, I think compelling characters with believable motivations matter much more than the plot itself.
Do you have a favorite character you’ve written? If so, who? What about them sets them apart from all the others?
In Book One, I loved writing Kale’s perspective. He is not as enamored by the return of magic and the idea of revolution, and that contrast to the main storyline was really interesting to explore in this book.
In the other books, Mischa’s perspective is added, and she may have been my favorite to write in the series. She is loyal and hopeful, in the midst of a lot of trying circumstances and a tragic past.
However, the fan favorite is probably Lir’ghe the demon faerie, who arrives in Book Two. We don’t get his POV, but readers love him, and I definitely had a lot of fun writing him into the story.
If you could go back and change how you approached writing your debut novel, what’s the one thing you’d do differently?
Hmm. That’s a great question. I love Book One and its characters. But it was my debut and has some weaknesses too. I learned a lot from writing it.
Book One has been critiqued for leaning a little too much into some plot and character tropes, and I totally agree with that critique. It was definitely a case of starting with things you love and things that have worked well, and trying to bring something new as the story progresses.
By the end of Book One, I think you see that this is not going to be a standard magic academy or revolution story, and these characters are not going to fit those molds. If I were to do it over again, I would have probably tried to break the mold sooner with a few elements.
Needless to say, the rest of the series does not receive that same critique.
Writing can be a stressful pursuit. Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
Consistency is seriously your best friend. At least it is definitely mine. If I write every day, the book comes so much easier. If I am inconsistent, I get stuck.
Ok, let’s see what kind of person you truly are.
Coffee or Tea?
Winter or Summer?
Physical books or Ebooks?
Prefer physical, but I read both, and audio too.
Mountains or Oceans?
That feels unfair, because both are awesome. But. I’ll go with Mountains.
Beer or Wine?
Books or Movies?
Cowboys or Aliens?
Pie or Cake?
Rural or Urban?
Urban, but got to be able to get away into nature.
Work hard or Play hard?
Well, writing is hard work, but also a lot of play involved.
Thank you again for taking the time have a chat, S.A. Tell us what lies ahead for you!
The Shadow Watch series just finished, and I am already diving into new projects. The first one is a LitRPG fantasy called Pantheon: Den of Thieves. It’s like D&D meets Assassin’s Creed, and it has been a really fun break from the epic fantasy I’ve been writing.
But I’ve got more epic fantasy in the works too. A Watcher follow-up series I’m plotting, and a new epic fantasy called Blade of Fire, set in a world where half the world is in perpetual daytime, and half is perpetual night.
So, don’t worry, I am definitely not slowing down now that the first series is done.
Enter to win a copy of The Shadow Watch by S.A. Klopfenstein! Grand prize winner gets a signed paperback and few runners-up will take home an ebook!
International! • Ends 5/23
That’s all I got for ya! Be sure to keep an eye on the official The Shadow Watch tour page over at Storytellers On Tour (https://www.storytellersontour.online/2021/04/18/tour-schedule-the-shadow-watch-by-s-a-klopfenstein/) to see what the other bloggers and Bookstagrammers have to say!