About the Author:
Priya Ardis loves stories of all kinds–but especially the gooey ones that make your nose leak and let your latte go cold. Her young adult novel, My Boyfriend Merlin, comes from a childhood of playing too much She-Ra and watching too much Spock. She started my first book at sixteen, writing in notebooks on long train rides. While reading My Boyfriend Merlin or most books, she recommends pajamas first and a pumpkin spice anything for taste. Her favorite Arthurian piece is the poem The Lady of Shalott by Lord Alfred Tennyson and a gorgeous song by Loreena McKennitt. A hopeless romantic, she’s a longtime member of the Romance Writer’s of America.
1. Of all the PNR possibilities, what made you choose Merlin?
I’ve wanted to read a YA Arthurian where the girl was a central focus for a long time. Besides the Mists of Avalon, most Arthurians tend to revolve around the male characters. In My Boyfriend Merlin, I gave voice to those who wanted to see a kick-butt heroine take the spotlight. Bringing Merlin forward to our age evolved from that idea. I wanted to tie what was going on in the present with the legend we already knew. And who better to bring forward than the all-powerful wizard and put him through the hoops of a modern relationship?
2. What inspired the idea of your story?
Seriously, one day I was driving and I had the thought what would happen if the sword and stone fell in the middle of London today? I guess I needed an Arthurian fix 😀
3. Are you a history-buff by any chance, how went the research for the historical part of the story?
I do love history. It’s always been my favorite subject. When writing a book, I’ve found it’s the little details that really make the book sparkle. Usually these are the lines everyone skims past (I know I do), but it adds flavor by being there. I had loads of fun with this.
4. Can we persuade you to tell us a bit about Vane? Would you describe him as the bad boy of your novel?
Oh, Vane. He’s totally the bad-boy brother. You don’t know if you should hate him or love him. He is Merlin’s foil. Where Merlin strives to be noble, Vane is daring. Where Merlin drives a motorcycle, he has an SUV. Where Merlin doesn’t like gadgets, Vane’s into video games. Everything is a competition between these two.
5. Ryan has one tremendous name. How did that come about?
All the great heroes seem to have big names. She has to live up to hers.
6. Would you tell us a bit about your Matt? What’s he like? What would he wear when going shopping? 😀
Matt is a jeans and t-shirt guy. He’s a bit of a bohemian with his fake leather jacket, but really he’s a professor at heart. Also, he’s pretty much always right. It’s a good thing he’s cute.
7. Matt seems to be rather anti-gadgets, would you say he’s a romantic for favoring tomes instead?
Oh, yes. Matt is technology challenged. It does make him a bit of a throwback. His head is too full to tackle technology. He would bring you roses on Valentine, if he dug his nose out of a book!
8. Avalon Preparatory – a fabulous idea. Perhaps you could tell our readers a bit about it? What is it, how do things work there? 😀
Avalon Prep is the seat of the Wizard Council and affectionately termed as wizard school. It’s a secondary school so for students about thirteen and above. It is located in southwest England near Glastonbury, a place with many ties to the Arthurian legends. (It’s where King Arthur’s body may have been brought back after his death. Glastonbury Abbey may have been where Lancelot retreated to after Arthur’s death.) In My Boyfriend Merlin, Merlin takes the Candidates to hide out and train at Avalon Prep. I think after Harry Potter “wizard school” invokes images of castles, etc. Avalon Prep is more like a university campus. Oh, and all the students have iPads. The school runs on tablets (much to Merlin’s chagrin).
9. Who (and what, lol) is Morgan and how is he relevant to the story? Maybe you can tell our readers why would I have loved to see him duel it out with Matt? *evil grin*
Morgan is a gargoyle and Ryan’s ex-boyfriend. He’s the reason she calls herself a “relationship loser.” Morgan reminds me of the bogeyman. He’s the fear Ryan has to get over to move on. Unfortunately, Matt can’t do it for her 🙂
10. And the regular questions of all interviews, have some exciting new plans for a novel? Give us something to look forward to.
I am putting the finishing touches on Book 2, My Merlin Awakening, as we speak. It delves deeper into Ryan’s relationship with Merlin and Vane and also explores the story of the Fisher King. Make sure to add it to your to-read on Goodreads. I’ll be doing a cover reveal there soon!