More From This

Works in Progress
The Corrupted Prince
(The Bonds that Bind Us #2)

Coming April 15th!
Novel: The Blood Princess (The Bonds that Bind Us #1)
Release Date: April 15th, 2024
Available for Preorder, or add it to your wishlist!
About the Author: S.A. Gonsalves is a Canadian author from Ontario. While The Blood Princess is her debut novel, it is not the only book she has planned. She can’t wait to bring more of the world of Vartugaul to you along with tons of other stories that bang around in her head just waiting to get out. In her spare time if she isn’t writing (which doesn’t happen often with a toddler at home), she tries to junk journal, paint, design, catch up on her ever-growing TBR list, anime list and game list. While also trying to balance mom life and fitting in dates with her husband when they aren’t just sleeping instead or being potatoes on the couch and re-watching Naruto.
Q & A

The Inspiration Behind Vartugaul and it’s Characters

What inspired the creation of Vartugaul and did that world influence your main characters or the main characters influence your world?

When it comes to worldbuilding, Gonsalves unveils a talent for immersive storytelling. Vartugaul’s genesis started with a humble beginning: a fictional place and a land map written by a teenage girl obsessed with anime and fictional love interests. Since then, it has grown into a world so far into the future that technology can’t exist.

Gonsalves states, “I decided that Vartugaul was what Earth was called now after an event I named “The Shift”. In a future far more advanced than our own, where fossil fuels no longer exist and everything is by the natural energy of the environment, a freak natural disaster happened in the form of thousands of major earthquakes for a couple of years. This resulted in most continents losing mass and then prompted the earth to revert back to its original shape. The earth experienced Pangaea and is forever known as “The Lost World.”

Cutting out our actual map and following a video that theorized which continents went where, I created the map and based the four continents on the merging of actual countries to create the environment.

For my characters, this primarily affects weather (things like acid rain, sudden ice/snow storms, raging rain or sand storms, and even shardstorms. Shardstorms are sand and tiny pieces of glass, heatwaves etc). There are some major toxic lakes that trap The Lost World’s pollution but make those bodies of water unusable. It also helped bring about many animals that were previously extinct or evolved into more intelligent beings. It also creates more evolved humans as well which results in a few “elite humans.” Somehow, my characters influenced the world, but the world also influenced the creation of most characters.”

The Spark that Influenced The Blood Princess

What sparked the initial idea for The Blood Princess, and how did personal or historical influences shape the world you’ve built?

Many authors have those who influenced them. For Gonsalves, it was Eragon. While it may not have been the story itself, the idea that a fifteen-year-old Christopher Paolini could write a story inspired her to do the same. Gonsalves wanted to create a female lead that would inspire others regardless of gender. After some scrapped handwritten chapters, Gonsalves created Sulwyn with the alias of Kintana.

Developing Sulwyn

In developing Sulwyn’s character, did you draw from any personal experiences or literary influences to craft her complex persona?

Like many authors, you’ll find some of Gonsalves in Sulwyn. “…but mostly [she’s] someone I wish I knew or could be.” The best characters in novels have faults, and Gonsalves doesn’t deny this. While giving Sulwyn empathy, dedication, and the ability to care, Sulwyn is logical and can sometimes lose her cool.

With such a large world and immersive narrative, Gonsalves stayed true to the character. “I found that easy because it is HER story.” Sulwyn wants to save people even though another story intertwines with hers.

As Gonsalves wrote her manuscript, Sulwyn evolved. Though she started writing around age fifteen, it wasn’t until she started the rewrites at age twenty-three that things changed. “I also wanted her flawed. Because we all are, no matter what we do. She’s brave and strong in a way I don’t think I am, but she’s impatient, mostly action before thought, impulsive, and way too curious.”

The Blood Princess is more than a flawed character wanting to do what’s right. It’s about facing their past, family, and the dangers of the world to make a dark fantasy story that pulls you in and leaves you wanting more.

Written by Matthew Angelo, a prolific author of urban fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Grimdark, and Cyberpunk. He is the voice and face behind the podcast Neon Shadows & Eldritch Whispers, an experience that blends all the genres he writes in. Subscribe to his substack and podcast at Whispers of the Looking Glass.