Last Updated on August 18, 2023 by Louisa
We are so excited to be hosting Amparo Ortiz on the TBR and Beyond Book Tours in which we will be interviewing Amparo about her latest book, Last Sunrise in Eterna.
Affiliate Disclosure: This post is a sponsored post in conjunction with TBR and Beyond Book Tours. It may contain affiliate links, meaning we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase.
About the Book:
- Author: Amparo Ortiz
- Title: Last Sunrise in Eterna
- Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
- Publishing date: March 28, 2023
- Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indigo | IndieBound
- Rep: Puerto Rican
Three teenagers are invited to spend seven days on the secluded island floating off the coast of Puerto Rico to learn the magic of the elves.
All they have to do is give up their dreams.
Seventeen-year-old goth Sevim Burgos hates elves. Everyone else on earth loves the elves (especially their handsome princes) and would give anything to participate in Eterna’s annual Exchange, where three teens can trade their dreams for a week of elven magic.
But Sevim knows things most people don’t. She can see through the illusions the elves use to conceal their crimes. Ever since elves killed her father, Sevim has longed for revenge. So to help support her single mother, she has been selling abandoned elf corpses on the black market.
But it turns out that the elf prince Aro has noticed Sevim bodysnatching, so he kidnaps her mother in retaliation. To get her mother back, Sevim must participate in the Exchange.
In the home of the elves, Sevim will have to surrender her dreams and put her trust in the charming prince who took the last family member she has in order to master the art of elf magic. And in working with him, she will discover how the royal elves might be more tied to her own history than she ever suspected.
**Disclaimer: trauma, handling corpses**
The Last Sunrise in Eterna is about the coexistence of humans and elves and follows a storyline about how humans can participate for the chance to live with the elves for a week in an annual competition – what inspired this story? What was the biggest influence?
I’d say my inspiration for this particular version of what elves look like, as well as for my main character’s arc, was one of the major plot twists in the story.
As soon as I realized what I was hoping to shape this book into, everything else fell into place.
In terms of biggest influence, I knew I wanted to write about Puerto Rican elves long before I ever knew which story to put them in!
I grew up obsessing over the Lord of the Rings films, then read some of the books, and I also kept devouring fantasy films/shows/other movies.
The genre itself has always made me want to play around with its tropes.
Many of your books feature stories or characters from Latin American influence and are mostly set in Puerto Rico. How important do you think it is for writers to represent their heritage in their writing?
I think it’s a personal decision to do so, as it has been for me, mainly because of the lack of my cultural identity on fantasy shelves.
I’d say that each author can write the story they wish to, but for most BIPOC creatives, we’re constantly pulled toward this need to write our truths accurately and respectfully.
However, just because an author is BIPOC doesn’t mean they can only write about their specific identity or experiences in order for publishing to take them seriously or give them the chance to see their work on shelves one day.
It looks like this book has some themes of revenge and family loyalty, but what other themes do we see in this book? Perhaps a hint of romance?
Definitely romance! It’s not super swoony, but I’d say it’s my most romantic book yet, and it’s mostly because of the elf prince, Aro, and how hard he crushes on my main character, Sevim.
Other themes are the same as in my previous duology, BLAZEWRATH GAMES and DRAGONBLOOD RING, which are about exploring power, privilege, self-concept/identity, and a loooot of unhealed trauma.
What lessons do you think the readers can learn from reading The Last Sunrise in Eterna? What is the main takeaway?
I mostly want them to enjoy the ride, ask themselves whether they’d do the same things as Sevim or Aro in their particular situations, but there’s also a bit of Puerto Rican history that I haven’t seen discussed too much in other fantasy books for young adults.
I’m excited to see the reception to it!
What do you love, or hate, about writing fantasy fiction? What draws you to this genre?
I love world-building, for sure! The chance to imagine an entire society and its rules/customs? Iconic.
I do hate drafting any book, so first drafts are my worst experience, and especially with fantasy because of the continuity mistakes I know I’m making yet will fix during revisions.
I’m always drawn to endless possibility—even with rules, nothing is off-limits as long as it makes sense for the story.
About Amparo Ortiz
Amparo Ortiz is the author of BLAZEWRATH GAMES and DRAGONBLOOD RING. She was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and currently lives on the island’s northeastern coast.
She’s published short story comics in MARVEL’S VOICES: COMUNIDADES #1 and in the Eisner-award winning PUERTO RICO STRONG. She’s also co-editor of the upcoming OUR SHADOWS HAVE CLAWS, a young adult horror anthology featuring myths and monsters from Latin America. When she’s not writing, she teaches ESL as a college professor and watches a lot of Kpop videos.
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