When we heard the news that romantasy writer Rebecca Ross was working on an enemies-to-lovers duology about journalists, we assumed the protagonist, Iris, would fall in-and-out of love with "journalism." But alas, it is a man she eventually falls for. A journalist man named Roman Kitt, her workplace rival, who found personal letters she wrote and left for her war-torn brother near a wardrobe dresser. This opens the door to Iris and Roman's hellish and magically steamy romance.
That was Divine Rivals. In the follow-up sequel, Ruthless Vows, our two journalists get neck-deep in a war that leaves an amnesiac Roman by himself in a strange world, unsure of his place within it. The same wardrobe under which Iris used to leave letters for her brother is where Roman now places his correspondence. He and Iris draw closer, but Roman is left with a big task: figuring out his role in the war, and therefore, who to give his loyalty to.
Right??? We're so excited to have Rebecca here on the BAM! Blog to answer our questions about this Letters of Enchantment duology!
How do you keep your writing style separated from that of Roman and Iris when they are writing their letters? Do you find it challenging?
It wasn’t as challenging as I anticipated it being! I think it stems from the fact that both Iris and Roman felt so solid and alive to me that I naturally could differentiate their voices from one another.
How did you decide you wanted this to be a duology, as opposed to a series?
I initially thought Divine Rivals was going to be a standalone, until I was halfway through drafting it and envisioned how the book needed to end. That’s when I knew I was going to need another installment. I’m a discovery writer at heart, so drafting a book is always an exciting experience for me, and I often don’t see the endings until I’m deep in the woods of the manuscript. But I also think that is what makes writing so magical.
I also really love the symmetrical feeling a duology gives. Ruthless Vows mirrors Divine Rivals in a way, and I didn’t want to unnecessarily drag events out over a course of multiple books when I could tell a solid, emotionally satisfying story in two.
"I’m a discovery writer at heart...I often don’t see the endings until I’m deep in the woods of the manuscript."
How did it feel when Divine Rivals hit #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list?
Surreal. It was a complete surprise to me. I wasn’t expecting the book to hit #1 at all, and when I got a call from a New York number on a Wednesday evening, I thought it was a spam call and didn’t answer the phone! Little did I realize, it was my editor calling to tell me the news. (I have since saved my editor’s number in my phone so this never happens again, lol). But honestly, I feel very humbled and honored that the book has resonated so deeply with readers. I’ve been professionally writing since 2016, publishing books since 2018, and never expected this in a million years.
I keep coming back to the golden field. That was such a magical moment in book 1. Will we get to see anything similar in book 2?
Yes! There is a reunion scene in this book that has the same electric energy of the golden field moment in Divine Rivals. I’m very excited for readers to experience it.
Did you pull any inspiration from your life to write these books?
I’ve always loved typewriters (and have started collecting them over the years!). I also love snail mail and knew that one day I would write a book with epistolary elements. I was just waiting for the right inspiration, and thankfully Iris and Roman found me when they did!
Can you give us something that readers can look forward to in book 2? Will we get to meet any new characters?
We’ll see more magic, more of the gods, more yearning, longing, angst, courage, danger, and (of course) romance. And yes, I’m so excited for readers to meet him! I’ll drop a hint: his name is Tobias Bexley, and he races motor cars and is also a “post runner,” meaning he drives from Oath to surrounding towns to deliver mail and packages. He is very important to Attie and Iris as the girls resume their reporting.
What project will you be working on next?
I’m currently working on my next young adult fantasy. It’s still very much a secret, but hopefully more news about it will be coming soon!
How hard was the goodbye to this duology? Do the magic of books like this stay with you?
It was very hard to say goodbye. I feel like Iris and Roman are still very much with me, and writing a new book has been quite challenging. Their voices and story still feel vivid in my mind, but I think that is also a marker of creating such fleshed out, real characters. They stay with the author (and hopefully the readers) long after the final word has been written and read.
Check out all of Rebecca Ross's captivating fantasy and romance books for teens and adults!