This is going to be a very, very cool adventure.
The Order of the Key by Justine Manzano releases today in the Urban Fantasy, Young Adult genre.
Jacklyn Madison never expected to be attacked by a beast on an evening snack run. Add a rescue mission enacted by a trained regiment of teenaged warriors, and her night officially becomes just like a scene from one of her beloved comic books. Turns out, her parents were once members of the Order of the Key, gifted humans that protect humanity from creatures spilling through inter-dimensional rifts. Unable to control her newfound abilities, Jacklyn and her family rejoin the Order.
After an attack on their headquarters leaves Jacklyn questioning their leadership, Kyp—the boy who led her initial rescue—reveals a darker secret. The Order’s leader may be corrupt, and Jacklyn’s questions could put her family in danger. Drawn into the search for proof, Jacklyn must use her guts and magical brawn to protect her family, her friends, and herself from the monsters spilling from rifts, and those hiding within the Order.
AUTHOR BIO:Justine Manzano is a YA author and editor living in Bronx, NY with her husband, son, and a cacophony of cats. Her novel, The Order of the Key will be available from Black Rose Writing in July 2020. She can normally be found at her website, www.justinemanzano.com,and she’s on all the usual social media haunts. If you’ve looked in all these places and can’t find her, she’s probably off reading fanfiction. She’ll be back soon.
As I read the plot, I felt a dash of Harry Potter (family part of a secret group, protecting the world and so on). Was it an inspiration for the story? If not, where this story comes from?
It’s the most popular question every author is asked–where do your stories come from? To some extent, the answer is…nowhere. Threads of reality are pulled from the ether and we find ways to weave them together to make a story. But then there’s always inspiration. Everyone has inspiration. My wonderful host today, Viviana, asked if Harry Potter had any influence on this book, and that was definitely cause for discussion.
The simple answer is no. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone came out in 1997. But I didn’t even know it existed until years later. I think the first time I paid attention to HP, I was in a Barnes & Noble, being shoved out of the way by adorable kiddos looking for The Order of the Phoenix. By that point, I was well into dreaming up my beloved main character, Jacklyn.
What was actually a far larger influence on my story was my teenage obsession which I still love with all my dear heart: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Before that moment, I had never truly understood the meaning of fangirl. As a full blown geeky adult, this was the birth of my ridiculous geek culture self. A strong female lead? Kicking monster ass? Magic? Family and found family? It’s all here.
My obsession with the show didn’t create a need to recreate it, like a lot of the early influences did, driving me to fanfic. This show inspired me to create something similar, something with the same clever dialogue and wit, but more based in all the comics I read as a child. Superheroes and magic with a kick ass lead female and the kind of entertaining dialogue you’ll be quoting for years? It was the perfect combination of everything I found interesting.
It took me a long time from then to get it right, plenty of false starts, tossing things out and starting them all over again, revision and revision after revision. My original idea had more characters than I want to think about. I’d created an entire X-Men mansion of characters. And then, finally, I found the right balance of everything.
Did Harry Potter have any influence? By now I’ve enjoyed every book and seen every movie. But I think you’d be hard pressed to find any similarities upon reading the book, aside from teens learning magic and living together.
The Order of the Key is a dark, cutting adventure, with humor and magic that I’m proud of having created. A product of a lifetime of geektastic adoration and my natural sarcastic attitude, Order is just the beginning of this world. I can’t wait to show people more.
This post is part of a tour. You can find the schedule here (http://xpressobooktours.com/2020/04/22/tour-sign-up-the-order-of-the-key-by-justine-manzano/)
- 2x ebook copies of The Order of the Key (INT)
- Print copy of The Order of the Key + Swag (US only)