Author Interview: Curious Tides by Pascale Lacelle
Curious Tides is a new magical fantasy thriller, where magic is tied to the lunar phases and tide levels! We had the pleasure of asking debut author Pascale Lacelle a few questions to celebrate the release of this YA fantasy this Tuesday, October 3rd! And there is a free prequel novella you can check out now! Scroll to the end to find details about preorder incentives & signed copies!
Thank you Simon Teen for the advance copy!
Curious Tides (Drowned Gods, #1)by Pascale Lacelle
Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books
on October 3, 2023
Genres: Fantasy, Thriller, Young Adult
Ninth House meets A Deadly Education in this gorgeous dark academia fantasy following a teen mage who must unravel the truth behind the secret society that may have been involved in her classmates' deaths.
Emory might be a student at the prestigious Aldryn College for Lunar Magics, but her healing abilities have always been mediocre at best--until a treacherous night in the Dovermere sea caves leaves a group of her classmates dead and her as the only survivor. Now Emory is plagued by strange, impossible powers that no healer should possess.
Powers that would ruin her life if the wrong person were to discover them.
To gain control of these new abilities, Emory enlists the help of the school's most reclusive student, Baz--a boy already well-versed in the deadly nature of darker magic, whose sister happened to be one of the drowned students and Emory's best friend. Determined to find the truth behind the drownings and the cult-like secret society she's convinced her classmates were involved in, Emory is faced with even more questions when the supposedly drowned students start washing ashore--alive--only for them each immediately to die horrible, magical deaths.
And Emory is not the only one seeking answers. When her new magic captures the society's attention, she finds herself drawn into their world of privilege and power, all while wondering if the truth she's searching for might lead her right back to Dovermere...to face the fate she was never meant to escape.
Author Interview: Pascale Lacelle
1. Fans of Curious Tides can’t stop talking about the world you’ve built. Talk to us about how you created the world and characters in Curious Tides.
I had so much fun creating this world, and I’m glad it seems to be resonating with readers! The magic system was the first thing that really took shape in my mind. I wanted it to feel like the zodiac but based solely on moon phases and tide levels, and so I did a lot of research to come up with all the different magical abilities tied to each lunar phase.
The two main characters, Emory and Baz, came to me almost fully formed. In a lot of ways, they’re both extensions of myself, which is funny because they’re so different from one another. It was interesting to explore how opposite these two are, while still being able to find common ground between them.
2. How did you decide on the starting point of the story?
I always had this clear image of Emory arriving at the college for a new school year, feeling adrift and alone after the events that led to her best friend’s death, but ready to do whatever it takes to find answers. That first chapter of hers hasn’t changed much over the years. But now, Curious Tides starts with a short prologue where we see Emory washing ashore, surrounded by drowned students, realizing she’s the only survivor of these mysterious drownings the story revolves around. This prologue was written specifically for Pitch Wars, a mentorship program I took part in back in 2021. I needed a short, punchy excerpt to pitch my manuscript to literary agents, and this seemed like a haunting way to draw readers in.
3. What books did you read as a kid that led you to write a fantasy novel?
I was a big Eragon kid. One of the first books I ever wrote featured dragons; I was obsessed with them. And of course, like many, I had my vampire phase, with Twilight and Vampire Academy being some of my favorites.