We are so excited to finally be bringing y’all our bookstagram and blog tour for In Deeper Waters by F. T. Lukens. We’ve been over-the-moon excited for this book’s release, and we’re honored to have the chance to share it with y’all. Below, we’ve got an exciting interview with F. T. Lukens themself, and an exciting giveaway!
If you haven’t already, make sure to pre-order a copy and add this title to your TBR! It’s definitely one you won’t want to miss out on.
In Deeper Waters
by F.T. Lukens
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Releasing on April 20th, 2021
YOUNG ADULT FICTION–Historical, Fantasy, Romance, Adventure
REPRESENTATION: Bi/Pan, Gay, Queer, Depression
A young prince must rely on a mysterious stranger to save him when he is kidnapped during his coming-of-age tour in this swoony adventure that is The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Pirates of the Caribbean.
Prince Tal has long awaited his coming-of-age tour. After spending most of his life cloistered behind palace walls as he learns to keep his forbidden magic secret, he can finally see his family’s kingdom for the first time. His first taste of adventure comes just two days into the journey, when their crew discovers a mysterious prisoner on a burning derelict vessel.
Tasked with watching over the prisoner, Tal is surprised to feel an intense connection with the roguish Athlen. So when Athlen leaps overboard and disappears, Tal feels responsible and heartbroken, knowing Athlen could not have survived in the open ocean.
That is, until Tal runs into Athlen days later on dry land, very much alive, and as charming—and secretive—as ever. But before they can pursue anything further, Tal is kidnapped by pirates and held ransom in a plot to reveal his rumored powers and instigate a war. Tal must escape if he hopes to save his family and the kingdom. And Athlen might just be his only hope…
Can you tell us a bit about you and In Deeper Waters?
Hi. I’m F.T. Lukens. I’m the author of In Deeper Waters which is a high fantasy romance adventure featuring royalty, magic, political intrigue, and pirates.
Is there a scene in your book that you found to be easier to write than others?
I don’t want to spoil anything but there is a scene at the very end of the book that I had imagined from the beginning stages of the drafting process and I was so excited when I finally reached that point when writing the first draft. Once I reached that scene, it had lived in my imagination for over a year, and I was ready to put it on the page. It was definitely the easiest one to write by far. Hint: it involves a beach and magic and a kiss.
If there was one fictional place you could travel to for a day, where would it be and why?
Do I really only have to pick one? Right at this moment, I’d pick The Shire because I am here for second breakfast and elevensies. Other potential answers would be The Heart of Gold for the improbability drive, the four kingdoms in the Avatar: The Last Airbender universe because I’d love to watch bending and meet a flying bison, and the fictional town on Bob’s Burgers where they hand out full candy bars on Halloween.
Can you give us some insight into what your writing process is like?
Each book is a little different, but I tend to start with an idea, like a ‘what if…’ kind of question. And then I flesh it out in my imagination first before I commit it to paper or the computer. Once I have some basic worldbuilding, conflict, tropes, and characters, I begin to develop the plot and come up with story beats, details, and scenes. I use a lot of notecards and graph paper to work out pacing, plot points, and character arcs and once I have a basic outline, I start to write. Once the actual writing begins is when I realize that some of the things I’d planned don’t work or that characters want to do their own thing instead of following the plot and I just go with it for the first draft. Some of my books follow the original notes/plot/etc I make to the letter while others are drastically different. But either way, having the initial structure is what helps me the most.
Is there a reoccurring theme that can be found in In Deeper Waters?
In Deeper Waters may be a fantasy adventure romance, but it’s also a journey of self. There is a strong theme about self-discovery amid expectations from both family and the broader world. At the beginning of the story, the main character, Tal, is in a space where he is unsure of his place within his family/kingdom. He also has a secret burden that makes him feel alone and removed from his brothers and sisters. He is afraid this secret will dictate his future. Throughout his journey, and with the help of the mysterious and beautiful Athlen, he works to overcome his fears and solidify his understanding of who he is and what he’d like his future to be. There are also themes around family acceptance and remaining kind despite the harshness of the world.
Is there anything you’re currently working on, and if so, can you give us any hints or details?
I’m working on edits for my upcoming book, So This Is Ever After which is a comedy fantasy that I’m really excited about sharing with the world. It’s about a ragtag group of questors who fulfill a prophecy, defeat the bad guy, and save their kingdom then have to figure out what happens next. I have a couple of works in progress that are in various stages of development but include a contemporary fantasy and another fantasy romance.
Lastly, what do you hope readers will learn/take away from In Deeper Waters after reading?
I really hope that readers will just enjoy it. We’re in a stressful place in the world, in the middle of a pandemic, and everyone has been affected in some way. I hope that readers will pick up In Deeper Waters and just be happy when they read it. I hope they take away feelings of love and acceptance and kindness and can take those feelings into their day/week/month with them.
F.T. Lukens is an award-winning author of Young Adult fiction. A sci fi enthusiast, F.T. loves Star Wars and Star Trek and is a longtime member of their college’s science-fiction club. F.T. holds degrees in Psychology and English Literature and has a love of cheesy television shows, superhero movies, and writing. F.T. lives in North Carolina with their spouse, three kids, three dogs, and three cats.
F.T.’s urban fantasy novel The Rules and Regulations For Mediating Myths & Magic won several awards including the 2017 Foreword INDIES Gold Award for Young Adult Fiction, the 2017 IPBA Benjamin Franklin Gold Award for Best Teen Fiction and the 2017 Bisexual Book Award for Speculative Fiction. It was also named to the 2019 ALA Rainbow Book List.
Up for grabs, we have ONE (1) physical copy and ONE (1) digital copy of In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens. This giveaway will end on April 26th at 11:59 PM CST. The physical copy will be available to win by US residents only and the digital copy will be available to win by INTL residents only. To enter, click the button below!