Today, I talk about love, friendship and fantasy with YA author Cecilia Agetun.
Table of Contents
Title and Genre of the book you’d like me to feature
Forgotten Memories, YA Romantic Fantasy
Short Author Bio
Cecilia has always been interested in writing and spent many hours writing poems and short stories throughout her teenage years. She has always had an interest in fantasy, mythology and witchcraft which she takes inspiration from in her stories.
Elevator pitch for Forgotten Memories
A demon navigates teenage life to protect his best friend’s daughter, hidden away in the human world and unaware of her own abilities.
Back cover text of Forgotten Memories
Being a demon isn’t easy, especially when you’ve grown up learning the importance of love and friendship. When Jax gets summoned by his best friend and asked to protect his only child, Cassie, who’s been hidden away in the human world, he agrees. He thought it would be simple – protect the girl while she learns the truth about herself and the abilities she holds.
What he hasn’t counted on is the shock that runs through him when they touch, immersing him in feelings and memories he can’t place. As he tries to figure out the nature of the bond that connects them, he realises that something else is at play – a magic that could be working for or against them. Will he be able to honour his promise and keep Cassie safe?
Q: If I’m not mistaken, Forgotten Memories just celebrated its first anniversary. What are you doing to celebrate that milestone?
A: yes. Its first year anniversary was on 29th September. I’m celebrating it by having a £0.99 ($0.99/€0.99) sale of the book until the end of October.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about the world-building in “Forgotten Memories” and how it sets the stage for the story’s unique elements?
A: This is a hard question for me, as I didn’t feel like I did too much worldbuilding. It was already in my head. For me the characters come first, and as I get to know them the world around them follows. I think one unique element is that there are several realms, so even though the main setting is based around a small town in England, the world is extended by all the supernatural beings.
Q: A demon navigating teenage life to protect his best friend’s daughter. That sounds interesting. Could you share more about the main character, Jax, and the challenges he faces?
A: Jax was an orphan that was taken in and cared for by a magical being called Freya. He spent his childhood in her realm being sheltered from the prejudices of being a demon. He was sent on a mission to investigate a powersurge coming from the human world, and during this time he befriends and teaches a boy, Nick, how to use his newly acquired abilities. They become best friends, and as Jax tries to figure out who Nick’s real father is, he gets impressions in Surtr’s realm, but learns that Nick is a descendent of the fire giant.
During the imprisonment, Jax’s demon side takes over, but Nick manages to get him out. Since then Jax has spent most of his life as a crow avoiding reality. And even though he is a couple of hundred years old by human standards, he is very much still a teenager and has a lot of growing up to do. When Nick asks Jax to protect his only daughter, Jax feels compelled to do so due to the bond they share.
Going back to the human realm, and especially school, means that he needs to navigate teenage life and all the emotions that come with it, including letting a bully walk all over him, out of fear that someone would find out what he is or why he is there. So in a way the book is about Jax’s struggles with himself, with life, and with love and friendship.
Teenage life is rough, and school is a recipe for disaster when you’re different. You can’t go far wrong with a book about that.
Q: You mention a bond between Jax and Cassie that goes beyond protection. Could you tell me a bit more about this magical connection and how it affects the overall plot?
A: I can’t tell too much as it’s part of the plot twist, but their magical connection causes him to get flashes of feeling and images that he doesn’t understand.
Love, Friendship and Fantasy
Q: You told me that, while “Forgotten Memories” is a YA romantic fantasy, the romance isn’t the primary focus. Can you elaborate on the main storyline and the themes explored beyond the romance subplot?
A: The main plot is Jax protecting Cassie, as she learns to use her powers which makes her vulnerable. One of the reasons she needs protection is because she is Nick’s daughter and if anyone finds out who she is, they may use her to get to Nick. But it goes deeper than that. As Jax gets to know Cassie, he learns that all her adoptive siblings are also supernatural, and there’s something going on in the house they live in.
Q: Love and friendship are important themes in your book. How do these themes shape the characters and their journeys in “Forgotten Memories”?
A: I think in a way everyone deserves love and friendship, and sometimes we see the bad within ourselves that we struggle to appreciate what everyone else sees and that is a big part of this book. Jax is struggling with self acceptance, and is terrified of showing the demon part of him that he keeps buried, but over the series he is forced to embrace the whole of him, the good and the bad.
Q: Are there specific scenes or moments in “Forgotten Memories” that you feel particularly proud of or that you believe resonate with a broader fantasy audience?
A: I’ve had a lot of readers mention that they didn’t see the plot twist coming and that they like how everything is connected.
Background and Writing
Q: If I remember correctly, you love cats and have a day job as a veterinary nurse at a cat clinic. Does any of that bleed over into your writing?
A: I do love cats and my job. As my partner is allergic, I can’t have any cats myself, so getting to work with cats all day is a good compromise. I’m not sure how much it has bled through in my writing, but there are two cats that will appear throughout the series.
Q: Your author bio mentions an interest in fantasy, mythology, and witchcraft. How have these interests influenced the world and magic systems in your novel?
A: It has influenced it a lot. My grandad used to tell me bedtime stories about the Norse gods, and as the series progresses, it will become more and more obvious that the backbone of the series is very related to Norse mythology.
For example, Jax’s best friend is the descendant of Surtr, the fire giant. And though it’s not straight out stated, the woman that raised Jax is the goddess Freya. And as we move further into the series, there will be mentions of Fenrir and the different realms, but I like to be open minded, so there are beings from other mythologies too. With regards to witchcraft, most of my actual magic system is built on that but supercharged.
How very cool that you’ve included so much mythology in your story! I love mythology. And the mix with witchcraft makes it all even more interesting.
Q: My target audience is invested in diverse themes, loves character driven stories, and smooth prose. They are not necessarily interested in romance. Can you give me some compelling reasons why they should read your book?
A: I feel that love and friendship is such an important thing in everyday life, that I would struggle to write a book without those themes but the series has a very complex overall plot (which hopefully I can do justice), and though Forgotten Memories has a fairly prominent romantic subplot on the surface, it’s about looking deeper and understanding Jax and his journey. And just to put it out there, my book does not contain any spice (though some of it is implied), as it is geared towards younger people.
Q: As a fellow fantasy author, what advice would you give to aspiring writers who are looking to create engaging and well-balanced sub-plots like the romance in your book?
A: I think having a good understanding of plot structure is important even if you’re a pantser. Personally I talk to my characters, I never really know how things are going to happen until my characters tell me. So I think my main advice is to listen and let things happen, have an open mind and don’t question anything until it’s down on the paper.
That’s very good advice. But of course, I was going to say that, because that’s basically how my writing happens, too. My characters talk to me all the time, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s their story, and our only job is to write it down.
Q: Do you have a website?
Q: Where can we find you on social media?
A: @ceciliaagetun on Facebook and Instagram
Q: Anything else you’d like to share with us?
My second book in the series will be out in February 2024. I will be looking for ARC readers for that in December, so if you are interested let me know.
Exciting! Good luck with all the preparations for the launch. You’ve got some seriously busy months ahead.
Thank you so much for this interview. I really enjoyed learning more about you and your books.