{Interview} The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist

The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist
The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist
Series: The Princess in the Opal Mask #1
Published by Running Press Kids on October 22, 2013
Pages: 352

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One Legend Determines the Fate of Two Lives

In the faraway village of Tulan, sixteen-year-old Elara has spent her entire life as a servant, trying to track down her real name. The name she was given before being orphaned. Meanwhile, in the kingdom of Galandria, Princess Wilhamina does not know why her father, the king, makes her wear a mask. Or why she is forbidden to ever show her face.

When a new peace treaty between Galandria and Kyrenica is threatened, Elara and Wilha are brought face to face. Told in alternating perspectives, this intricate fairytale pulls both girls toward secrets that have been locked away behind castle doors, while the fate of two opposing kingdoms rests squarely on their untrained shoulders.

Jenny stopped by Swoony Boys Podcast to answer a few questions for us!


Welcome, Jenny! We’re so excited to have you stop by Swoony Boys Podcast today 🙂

Thank you so much for having me, just seeing your blog header makes me swoon!

Thanks! We think it’s pretty swoony, too… Tell us a little about The Princess in the Opal Mask. Was it a fun book to write?

The Princess in the Opal Mask is a reimagination of The Man in the Iron Mask (with a few elements of Cinderella) as told from the POV of two teen girls. Wilha, the title character, has just been betrothed to the son of her father’s greatest enemy. Worshipped by some yet reviled by others, Wilha is a famous icon, but a lonely princess, and wonders why her father forces her to wear a jeweled mask over her face. Meanwhile, Elara, an orphan, has learned to wield a dagger and lie with ease. Most of all, she’s learned to shut her ears and her heart to the abuse her adopted family hurls at her. When an assassination attempt threatens an important peace treaty, the girls are offered the chance to switch identities—with surprising consequences for them both. As far as writing it, some days it was a blast. Other days it was the hardest thing I’ve ever worked on—those were usually the days when I broke out my emergency supplies of chocolate.

Totally understandable 🙂 We love fairy-tales! What is it about them that first caught your eye?

My favorite quote about fairy-tales comes from G.K. Chesterton which says, “Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” I left childhood behind a long time ago, but especially on those dark nights when it seems like the world is falling apart, I still need to hear that the dragons in my own life can be slain, that love conquers all, that good will (eventually!) triumph over evil. I suspect I’m not the only one :0)

Wow. We need that printed and framed. How would you describe yourself in three words?

Hmm…those three words would probably change depending upon the day. Today’s would be: Overwhelmed, Underprepared, and seriously Overcaffeinated.

LOL Which character makes you swoon the most (yours or someone else’s)?

For my characters, it’s a real toss-up between Patric (the soldier training Wilha to use a sword) and Stefan (the prince she’s been betrothed to). I’m a sucker for a knight in shining armor, or a prince who knows how to throw some attitude. (But not to worry, he’ll meet his match!) Outside of my own writing, I’m Team Peeta all the way. I heart the Hunger Games series like you wouldn’t believe, but that was my only complaint about Mockingjay: I wanted more Peeta!! Oodles and oodles of more Peeta!! Sidenote: Does anyone else ever wish that Suzanne Collins would pull a Midnight Sun and rewrite The Hunger Games from Peeta’s perspective? Seriously, who would not read that book?

OMG we should totally be friends. If you only knew how much we love Peeta! How do you build your characters? Do you know every single detail of their lives?

I don’t use character worksheets, those are too soul-sucking for me. And I’m disorganized anyway, so I would probably just lose them. Instead, at the beginning of a project I spend time interviewing my characters and writing journal entries from their perspective. It helps me get a sense of their voice. I wouldn’t say I know every single detail of my character’s lives, but I definitely know things that will never make it into the book. For instance, I know that the servant who first delivered Elara into the care of the Ogdens (her abusive foster family) was murdered shortly thereafter. That scene, and that character, never appear in the book. But it happened, nevertheless.

We love that. What can readers look forward to for Elara and Wilha?

They can look forward to some romance, adventure mystery, and a fun masquerade ball—some of my favorite things in life! But on a deeper level, they can look forward to seeing each girl work through deciding that who she’s been in the past does not have to define who she becomes in the future.

That is deep. And we love a good masquerade ball! Is there ever anything that you always wish someone would ask you, but they never do?

Why yes, yes there is, thank you for bring it up. That question is, “Would you like me to buy you and your swoony husband an all-expense-paid trip to Paris?”

My answer, of course, will be, “Yes! When does our flight leave?”

haha Why doesn’t anyone ever ask us this question, either? Thanks again for joining us today. We can’t wait to tell everyone about The Princess in the Opal Mask!

Thanks for having me, and if anyone would ever like to ask me that question, please feel free to email me at jenniferlundquist@gmail.com. No, seriously!

***About Jenny Lundquist***

Author Jenny Lundquist Jenny Lundquist was born and raised in Huntington Beach, CA. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Intercultural Studies with a minor in TESOL at Biola University. Lundquist has published two middle-grade books, Seeing Cinderella and Plastic Polly. She lives in Rancho Cordova, California with her husband and two sons.


Find Jenny Here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Jenny is giving away 15 copies of The Princess in the Opal Mask! Enter to win by entering the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, and don’t forget to check out all the other stops on the tour!


  1. A friend told me about this blog. As soon as I saw it, I thought, “Where has this blog been all my life?” Love the interview and the premise of this book.
    I love fairy tales.

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