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Our SPFBOX interviews continue with K. Malady, author of If the Walls Fall!

SPFBO (the Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off) is a free online contest run by author Mark Lawrence. 300 authors compete across ten judging teams to see who will be the winner! You can read more about the contest here.


Cover for K. Malady's If The Walls Fall. The title is promenantly featured in the centre of the image, with each word getting larger as they descend. They're surrounded by a pocket of dark maroon in an easter egg shape and a drawing of a butterfly sits atop them. The rest of the cover is filled with flat line drawings in a striking magenta hue: crowns, towers, dragons, flowers, arrows, an elk, stars, leaves, a dagger, and a book with a key.



Tell us a little about yourself and let our readers know which blog you’ve been assigned to for SPFBOX!

I’m Kay! I wrote IF THE WALLS FALL, which is in the Fantasy Faction blog group.

What inspired you to write this book?

First, I wanted to answer the questions I had while reading several YA fantasy novels (for portal fantasies, why does she accept everything instead of panicking at the new state of her life? Why doesn’t she care that she’s never going home? Why can she speak the language?? For all YAs, why does she always win? How does she go from hapless to badass in the span of 2 pages?), which evolved into a discussion on the idea of ‘Mary Sue’ MCs. Second, I wanted to write a book that took some of the usual conventions from YA fantasy books (with romance as a sideplot) and upended them. Third, I was motivated by spite. No further explanation needed. 😉




The framing story of Grace trying to make every scenario into a romance is exactly what I did as a romance-obsessed teen, and still do, so you’re getting a little look into my head too.


Who or what have been your major literary influences?
Holly Black and Sherwood Smith, both by a mile. Both write fantasy fantasies with romance that sticks with you.

What makes your SPFBOX book unique?
The framing story of Grace trying to make every scenario into a romance is exactly what I did as a romance-obsessed teen, and still do, so you’re getting a little look into my head too.


I wanted to write a book that took some of the usual conventions from YA fantasy books . . .  and upended them.

What do you hope readers take away from your SPFBOX entry?

I hope they like it! I hope it’s a fun romp that avoids some of the traps ya romantic fantasy books have, that makes them smile. (I also hope they appreciate that I created an entire language.)

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on book 3 for my SPFBO entry, a sequel to an urban fantasy/paranormal mystery I finished earlier in the year, and a few romantasy novellas I’m writing for a secret project.


If the Walls Fall

A romance obsessed teen. A fantasy world demanding she save it. Can Grace prove she’s not their prophesied hero without losing her life or her heart?

If you live life like you’re in a romance novel, ending up in a fantasy saga would surprise anyone. For serial romantic and reader Grace, she’s less surprised and more disbelieving. When she arrives in the Kingdom of Dalner, she assumes it’s all a dream. After all, Dalner is a world full of magic and attentive love interests, something no rational seventeen year old could believe is real.

Even more improbable are the hints that Grace was brought to save the Kingdom from their northern enemies, magical immortals like the mysterious Woman, who seek to tear down the walls caging them in. But as a non-magical human with no special powers (unless turning every situation into a romantic plot counts), Grace can barely keep herself alive, much less harness the skills needed to save the world.

While Grace struggles to prove she’s not the girl they’re looking for, outside forces drag her towards a deadly conclusion, one that may cost more than just her new friendships. To escape the evils threatening to destroy the Kingdom and protect her first love, she must confront her own definition of heroism and discover her inner power before it’s too late.


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Purchase If the Walls Fall on Amazon.

K. Malady

K., also known as Kay, has roots in the Midwest, splitting her time between Oklahoma and Arkansas. Kay is a mother, lawyer, and author who writes fantasy and paranormal stories with a romantic bent. She is known in her family as someone who never sits still, as she is happiest when she is busy (particularly when she is writing multiple romantic tales at once). When she’s not spending time with her family or writing, she enjoys reading, sewing, painting, crafting, and baking.

Steve Hugh Westenra

Steve is a trans author of fantasy, science fiction, and horror (basically, if it’s weird he writes it). He grew up on the eldritch shores of Newfoundland, Canada, and currently lives and works in (the slightly less eldritch) Montreal. He holds advanced degrees in Russian Literature, Medieval Studies, and Religious Studies. As a reader, Steve’s tastes are eclectic. He enjoys anything that could be called speculative, including fantasy, sci-fi, and horror, but has been known to enjoy a good mystery as well as literary fiction. He’s always excited to try something new or that pushes boundaries, particularly from marginalized authors. Steve is passionate about queer representation, Late Antiquity, and spiders.

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