Victoria McCombs is the author of The Storyteller Series and The Royal Rose Chronicles, and is signed by Enclave Publishing. She loves stories about traitorous princes and roguish pirates, anything dark and twisty, and will devour enemies to lovers like its coffee. Speaking of coffee, she’s usually found drinking white chocolate mochas or peppermint hot chocolates, reorganizing her collection of books, or planning the next way to capture reader’s hearts. Fairytales were her first love. She became obsessed with the idea that if one was brave enough, they could defeat dragons, and that true love was real.
In this interview, Victoria talks with us about her latest book, Oathbound, book number 1 in her new The Royal Rose Chronicles Series.
FF: What inspired the story in your book Oathbound?
When looking for something to read, I found myself craving pirates and realized I’d never read a pirate book. The idea took off from there. Of course, then I saw pirate books being released everywhere, but I was already so in love with these characters that I had to write it.
FF: What can you tell us about the main characters in your book?
It’s told from a dual POV. Emme’s mother was one of the most feared pirates on the seas, and she loved the waters more than she loved her children. Now Emme hates the sea. But she’s forced to sail across them with the help of pirate captain Arn to find something to heal her sickness. Both characters are hiding lots of secrets from each other, but I love their brokenness and how they open through the story.
FF: Which character surprised you the most?
Probably Emme. I hadn’t realized how much of myself I put in her, including her disease, so it was really raw to write about her feelings that came with it.
FF: Why do you think storytelling is such a powerful way to share truth?
It lets us speak in a way that other people listen, and to tell our experiences though a beautiful story. Because of books, people are able to understand other’s perspectives better.
FF: What can readers expect from the rest of this series?
Both main characters will come to face ghosts of their past and both will go on this incredible and difficult path to become someone different from who they started as.
FF: What kind of research did you do for this book?
I had to search a lot about the structure of ships, everything from material to layout, regulations for when they landed at port, time it took to cross certain distances, and what life on deck was like. I had documents I had to continually reference to keep myself straight!
FF: What are the biggest challenges for you as an author writing in YA fantasy?
Right now, YA fantasy is so heavily saturated that it’s incredibly difficult to stand out, and there are some amazing books to compete with! Another problem I find is indecent scenes are becoming normalized for YA, and a lot of readers expect or want that, so when they find that I don’t write that, they pass me over.
FF: What authors or books have inspired you as an author?
Adrienne Young is a big one. I love the pace of her books and how strong her characters are. I also love the world-building of Caraval by Stephanie Garber and the characters that Leigh Bardugo writes in Six of Crows.
FF: How has your faith or world view impacted the way you tell stories?
I never want my books to deter people from Jesus or the way he has called us to live. In a market where morally gray characters thrive, I want to maintain a level of goodness in my characters, or show the hurt that comes when they choose wrong. I want to create characters that are not only strong, as Christian must be in a world that tells us we are wrong for many of our beliefs, but also characters that are good. Far too often I see characters who are kind but weak OR strong but bordering on heartless. I want my characters to be fighters and kind spirited.
The Royal Rose Chronicles #1
Genres: YA/Teen, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Release Date: February 15, 2022
Beware the waters. The dangerous deep brings ruin to all.
Emme has spent her life avoiding anything to do with pirates. But the fates are cruel, and now a hidden sickness leads her to partner with pirates for the one thing that can save her—a cure on an island none are certain exists.
The pirate captain’s secrets are darker than the deep and threaten to kill them all. His obligations are tinged with betrayal, for his oathbind must be fulfilled. To ignore it is to invite peril of unimaginable destruction.
As the adventure unfolds, the sea takes more than she expects and the sea gives more than he wants.
Buy Oathbound from the FF Store HERE!
Buy Oathbound from Amazon HERE!