Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Kingdom Above the Cloud by Maggie Platt, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Kingdom Above the Cloud
Author: Maggie Platt
Publisher: Ambassador International
Release Date: April 17, 2020
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
What if the nine Fruit of the Spirit and the Seven Deadly Sins were locked in a battle for control?
Abandoned as infants, Tovi and her twin brother were raised by an eclectic tribe of warm, kind people in a treehouse village in the valley. After her brother’s sudden disappearance Tovi questions her life and her faith in an invisible King. Ignoring her best friend Silas’ advice, she decides to search for her brother in the kingdom on top of the mountain.
Above the cloud, the Council of Masters receives their orders. Tovi and her brother are the objectives. King Damien has a plan and Tovi is the key. The Council of Masters want her, but will she remain unscathed?
Amidst the glamour of the kingdom above the cloud Tovi is torn between her own dark desires and unanswered questions. It starts with a snake and a crown. When the ring is complete, will her life be over?
1) What inspired you to write Kingdom above the Cloud?
It really started with a daydream. What if there was a world full of characters who had mastered either a deadly sin or a fruit of the spirit? I started designing characters and imagining scenes, and it took on a life of its own. By the time I was done writing it, it was a deep dive into my Christian faith on a scale I never expected!
2)What did you learn when writing the book?
I learned so much! It took almost 13 years from idea to publication, and throughout that time God was using this story to speak to me and challenge me. While the circumstances are rarely the same as my real life, the questions, doubts, and emotions the characters feel are very much what I was wrestling with as I wrote those scenes and chapters.
3) Who inspired your Main character?
I often tell people that Tovi Tivka is NOT based on me. However, when I re-read my work, I think to myself, “Good grief. She is absolutely me.” Physically, she is not me at all. She is petite with dark coloring. I come from hardy Indiana basketball-playing stock, with the coloring of a Swede. Couldn’t be further from Tovi! However, as she broods and worries and doubts, it is clear that she shares some of my innermost thoughts. There are actually several characters who reflect different seasons of my life, and I would say Tovi is the Maggie of my late teens and early 20s.
4) What books or authors have most influenced your writing?
I love this quote from Richard Peck: “We write by the light of every story we have ever read.” It is so true! The stories I love most are those that take us into a fantastical world and lead us to amazing discoveries if we’re willing to read between the lines. I think of four Christian allegories that had the most impact on my writing and my faith: The Chronicles of Narnia series, Screwtape Letters, The Shack, and A Wrinkle in Time. Madeleine L’Engle (who wrote Wrinkle) has a nonfiction book called Walking on Water that delves into Christian art, and it has had a massive impact on me as well.
5) Have you always wanted to be an author?
Since before I can remember! When I was a little girl, I spent a lot of time reading and writing. I filled spiral notebooks and journals with ideas and chapters. I’m not a pack rat of other things, but I have never been able to throw away a story. So, I still have all of my writing from elementary school and beyond. STACKS of stories. I think it would be fun to someday go back and finish a few of them.
6) What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book?
World building is no joke! I had never done any world building before, and I started writing the story long before I put any intentional thought into the world of Adia and surrounding lands. I just wrote what I imagined for each location, and that created a bunch of obstacles once I really got into the story. I hadn’t thought through governance, currency, trade, agriculture… none of it. Thankfully, I have some wonderful friends who are excellent world builders (read: Dungeons and Dragons nerds), and they were my heroes in the revising process.
7)Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?
I LOVE ERYX SO MUCH. He became a pet of mine sometime in the middle of writing this story. He was very minor at first. He is one of the “bad guys” who lives on the mountain, and he represents wrath. One day, I heard the song “A Bad Dream” by Keane and the lines, “Baby, I’m a man, I was born to hate,” and “I was fighting, but I just feel too tired to be fighting, guess I’m not the fighting kind,” hit me so hard. It knew in that moment that Eryx has lived a life of wrath, but he is exhausted, frustrated, and longing for something different. I’m not totally sure why he became so dear to me. Maybe it’s the hope he represents. He’s a “bad guy,” but he wants to be better. Adwin (the God character in the story) goes out of his way, time and time again, to draw Eryx in. I hope we can really see them connect in a sequel, but we’ll have to see where Eryx takes us in the story!
8)What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
My hope and prayer is that readers feel even just one step closer to God after reading this book. God, Jesus, and Christianity are not mentioned by name, but the whole story is a vulnerable look inside my faith in Christ. I hope that the words of the story point readers to Jesus and the love, hope, joy, and peace that only He can provide.
9) What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel?
Yes! There is a sequel in the works. I know the ultimate ending, but I don’t yet know all of the steps to get there. So, we’ll see how many books are in the series. When I am done with the initial series, I would also like to delve into both the past and future of Adia. I can envision a series like Narnia that skips around different to different eras in the fantasy world’s history.
10) Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?
My main focus is completing the first draft of Book 2! I have the whole story outlined, and about 50% of the draft complete. I never realized how difficult it would be to juggle a full-time job (from home in this pandemic!), a book release, and the writing of the next book. Life is crazy, but oh so good!
Thank you so much for this amazing interview, Maggie! It’s been so much fun learning about your amazing characters and your writing process:) Can’t wait for book 2.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Maggie Platt is a writer, traveler, cancer survivor, and dreamer. Her greatest joys are being Auntie M to her amazing nieces and nephew and sitting with students and friends over cups of coffee and deep conversations. She works at her alma mater, Anderson University in Indiana, and she lives in a cozy little cottage nearby where students come to sit on her couch just to laugh, cry, and talk about life.
(1) winner will receive a signed copy of Kingdom Above the Cloud, limited edition map, laptop decal/sticker, and bookmark.
Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight May 11, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on May 18, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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