Legend Undone by Angie Day Genre: New Adult Urban Fantasy
Readers are calling it "creative" and "engaging!"
Mara wasn’t just a Legend who survived on human energy, she used to be a dangerous Shadow who wielded more power than she wanted. When she discovered that Alec, the leader of the Shadows and her childhood love, held a dark secret about her past to keep her prisoner until he could use her against the humans, she ran.
As the first Legend to escape the Shadows alive, Mara must keep moving, hiding among the humans that every Legend learned to hate, while she searches to understand her past. Under the alias Kate, she meets Kylan and his way of life challenges everything she used to know. As she falls for Kylan, she finds clues about what happened before she became a Shadow.
But the closer she gets to an answer, the faster Alec can destroy everything she has grown to love.
“What are you?” she asked me. I took a step back as I looked at her. She wasn’t scared of me. She was angry. She didn’t struggle with the seatbelt that had locked up and kept her pinned. She didn’t throw her hands in the air to stop me. I looked into her eyes and all I saw was hatred brimming out of the surface. I saw myself, except for one major difference. She was a human. Sometimes I caught myself thinking they couldn’t all be as terrible as we made them out to be. This was not one of those times. A life with the Shadows had taught me that they are all the same. If given the chance, they would kill us because, in the end, their own inferiority terrifies them. I walked up to her and ripped the seatbelt off of her. I grabbed her throat and hoisted her out of the vehicle and held her up to my face. Her feet dangled in the air. “Haven’t you heard the whispered stories? The monsters that come to steal your souls? Of course, you have. You humans just refuse to believe we even exist,” I threatened her. “You think this kind of power should be exterminated or controlled, not appreciated. If you knew what I was capable of now, would you think I deserved to live?” I actually wanted to hear her answer. I wanted to hear the lie seep through her teeth, saying that she would save me. That she would care about me. “No,” she spoke through her strained throat. I released my grip on her and she collapsed to the ground. “No? You admit it then?” I stared down at her. I was shocked at her honesty, considering I held her life in my hands. Most people groveled at this point. She made one final effort to look me in the eye. “Not because of your power, but because of what you do with your power.” She was coughing between words and rubbing her throat as she spoke. “You are heartless. You kill people. Why do you deserve to live?” I looked in her eyes, and the anger melted away. She looked up at me like I was the one that needed help in this situation. If I didn’t know better, I would say she looked like she cared about me. My eyes narrowed at her. “You’re good.” I commended her on her deceit. “I almost believe you.” I leaned down to the ground and brushed my finger across her face. She slumped to the ground after a few seconds. I stood and shook off what just happened. I looked at the last girl in the back seat. She was still just lying there unconscious. I looked up at Alec, who had made his way down the hill. “Did you want anything? She doesn’t have much left,” I called to him. He shook his head. I looked at her and checked the pulse on her neck. It was faint. I laid my hand on her neck and felt the last bit of energy she had pulse into my hand. I don’t know what it was that made a human’s final energy sweeter than the rest. I could feel all the power swirling inside me like a hurricane. I could lift a skyscraper I was so strong. I closed my eyes and enjoyed the high for a moment. Something inside me had awakened. It was like I had not been this alive in decades.
Angie Day found her love of writing while in college where she studied psychology and eventually went on to a master’s degree. She noticed the need for romantic and fantastic adult stories that were still wholesome and clean. So, she took matters into her own hands. LEGEND UNDONE is her debut novel. When she’s not devouring the next book, she is spending time outdoors with her husband.
Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I think I’ve always liked writing, but I didn’t imagine I could actually be finishing and publishing a book. I have a tendency to surprise myself on what I am capable of doing. But that’s also the fun part of life, finding and stretching your limits. I love being outside, eating, swimming, and spending time with my family. I’m so glad that I found writing and am thrilled for what’s ahead.
What is something unique/quirky about you?
I love physical contact and have to remind myself that other people have a personal bubble larger than mine.
Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you!
I have had the opportunity to travel to six foreign countries. My absolute favorite was Spain.
What are some of your pet peeves?
I hate it when certain foods touch on my plate. Some things just need to be separate. The flavors don’t mix and they just don’t belong together. My pet peeve is when I create a clear spot on my plate for the food and the person dishing it up just slathers it across everything.
Where were you born/grew up at?
I was born and grew up in Nevada. When I was in high school, my family moved to Utah and I loved it so much that I stayed in the state.
If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
I would call my family and say goodbye, but then I’d spend all day in the sunshine with my husband. No phones, no work, just us two.
Who is your hero and why?
This may be cheesy, but my mom is my hero. She is the queen of supporting my dreams. She cheers so loud for all of us and still works on her own goals too.
What kind of world ruler would you be?
I like the idea of a democracy, but then someone that makes the final decision on their own or with a small team. As long as you have a good person in charge, I think it could work.
What are you passionate about these days?
I’m following my passion by writing and creating. I love design and have totally fallen in love with building worlds and characters that I can control. It is a thrill that I didn’t realize I needed in my life. Besides that, I love swimming. I swam competitively all growing up and I still enjoy water any time I can be around it.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Netflix, snacks, or the best option is going on a walk with my husband. We hold hands and talk about our days as well as our future goals. It puts everything else out of my mind and I can just relax.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Accepting, honest, funny, creative, and smart.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I started writing Legend Undone a couple years ago. I had written a few scenes here or there, just to try it out but I never stuck with it. After I graduated college, I had some free time on my hands and decided to make it look more like a real story. I still didn’t consider myself a writer—maybe just like a really interesting journal-er. But then my husband noticed I was spending a lot of time just writing and wanted to know what it was about. After I finished it, I finally got up the courage to share it with him. And he read it. In a few days, he had read the whole thing and said it was good. His opinion means the world to me and not a lot of stuff impresses him. This first show of support changed my entire look on writing and I really owe this whole journey to him. From that day on, I considered myself a writer. Someone who could tell a story really well through written word.
Do you have a favorite movie?
Phantom of the Opera. No contest. I recently saw the play on Broadway with my best friend and it was a jaw-dropping experience. We met the actor who played the Phantom after and I just melted.
Can you imagine your novel being made into a movie?
Yeah, I think it would make a great movie. But I think I’m far too picky and attached to the story to let a studio try and change it.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
A mermaid. Also no contest. I love water and swimming, so that part’s a no brainer. Plus, I love all the myth and lore surrounding them. There are so many different takes on the same creature and all of them fascinate me. Let’s be honest, if you weren’t jealous of the Ariel’s hair in The Little Mermaid, you’re lying.
What inspired you to write this book?
I am a really touchy person. And I know this sounds like a tangent, but I have a point. I love sitting right next to people and I can’t go more than a few minutes in public without finding my husband, touching his arm or hugging him and then running off again. My mom would always make a comment that I get my energy from touching other people. So I thought, what if that were a story? Bam. Legend Undone began. I had already had a few scenes and some vague characters in my head from dabbling in writing, but now they had a grounding piece of the story. People that need to siphon human energy to survive.
What can we expect from you in the future?
So far, I like this writing thing and I think I’ll keep doing it. My plan is to continue the Legends & Shadows Saga with a few more books. I already have the second one in the works. Then we’ll see what other stories and fantasies I can cook up.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
Up until a few weeks ago, my answer would have been no. But in Legend Undone, there is a character who I just love. His name is Thayer and I can’t wait for everyone else to meet this charming, scheming, and loyal person. I like him so much, I’ve been toying with the idea of a spin-off book from his perspective.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Legend Undone?
The main character Mara is a Legend that needs human energy to survive. She was also a Shadow and used to murdering humans for sport and testing the limits of her power. Mara is strong, intimidating, and hates being surprised.
Alec is the antagonist of the story and the leader of the Shadows. He is the best liar anyone has met and has been keeping secrets from Mara about why he wants her as a Shadow. He is desperately in love with power and Mara, and when he loses her, he will stop at nothing to get her back.
Kylan meets Mara under the alias Kate, and the two slowly fall in love. They find that the two of them are more alike than they are different and they happen to be just what the other person needs. But Kylan is resilient, kind, pure, and everything Mara could ruin.
We have some interesting side characters as well. Thayer, the ultimate flirt and surprisingly the most gullible Shadow. Nikki, the cold and cruel Shadow that is underappreciated but is determined to change that. Derek, the loveable brother. Lisa, the shy at first but impressively clever human that everyone loves to underestimate.
How did you come up with the characters for the book?
I honestly couldn’t tell you. I just knew the outline of the story and what types of people needed to be there to help or get in the way of the goal. The rest just kinda filled itself in as I wrote.
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
I wanted unique but still easy to pronounce names. My favorite name is a tie between Thayer and Alec.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Reading the story back to myself. This isn’t meant to be narcissistic, but I loved reading what I wrote. I liked seeing how to improve it and enjoying what I thought I did well.
How did you come up with the title of your first novel?
I wanted something with either Legend or Shadow in the title. I went through so many different options before I finally landed on Legend Undone. The thing that really tipped the scales was that I wanted the following books in the series to have a similar format of a title.
Who designed your book covers?
My cover was designed by Sarah Hansen from Okay Creations. She did an amazing job. I told her some things I wanted the cover to encompass and she totally nailed it.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Of course I would! The problem of being a writer and spending time with a book is that you can change anything you want to and the entire story is up to you. Sometimes, I read it back and I think of a million ways I could do it better. But at some point, you have to call it done if you ever want to move on to another book or another world.
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned that I did not know as much about writing as I thought I did. The editing process with my professional editor also taught me so much. Overall, I learned that I loved learning and I love writing. So publishing a book allowed me to do both of those.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I think there are a lot of actors and actresses that could do a smashing job of playing the characters in my book. I couldn’t possibly narrow any of them down.
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I wrote this book because I didn’t want these people to only live in my mind. I want to talk about them. I want to hear from you. There are a lot of ways to get in contact with me: social media, email, leaving a review.
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
Pretty much any scene with Alec is my favorite. I don’t want to spoil what happens, but as things go on in the book the conflict gets more intense as secrets start getting revealed, and I love it.
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
My main character Mara/Kate would be so much fun to just follow around and watch what she does. However, I could also get on board with spending a day with Thayer as well. It’s a toss-up between those two.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
I don’t like basing characters off of people that I know. If that person were to read the book and they could tell it was a version of them, they would think whatever happened to that character was how I personally felt about then. With family and friends, that just gets messy. These characters are based off parts of myself. One tiny piece of my personality or a certain time in my life is blown up into an entire person.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
I always feel like I have control. That’s one of the reasons I love writing: to create something that every single thing is completely in my control.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
This book has a little bit of everything. Romance, action, murder, energy highs, secrets, betrayal, revenge, you name it. In this story you get to feel what it is to be betrayed by a best friend, you experience a thrilling energy-high, you fall (or trip all the way down) in love for what seems like the first real time, and all the other guilt, mind-numbing pain, joyous relief, and intoxicating excitement. When it all gets to be too much, another plot twist comes and makes you need to keep going just a little further.
Have you written any other books that are not published?
I have a few stories started, but Legend Undone is my first completed novel.
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
Fresh rain. It can bring up nostalgia, forgotten memories, and a clean slate. Everything that Legend Undone promises.
What did you edit out of this book?
I cut some characters that were just making it too many people. I cut a few scenes that weren’t helping move the plot along. Of course, I cut a lot of wordy sentences that just didn’t need to be there.
Is there a writer which brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
In recent reads, I have loved Leigh Bardugo and Sarah J. Maas. Sitting down with either of these women would be incredible.
Behind the Scenes:
The Legend power. Originally, I had the Legends have limitless power and the energy was just how they ate food, but it didn’t affect their abilities. But having no limits meant too many things were possible and it created plot holes. Per the advice of a beta reader, I made it so the powers were tied to the amount of energy in the Legend’s system. If they didn’t have enough energy, they couldn’t use their powers well.
Kylan’s POV. Most of the story is told through Mara/Kate’s perspective. She was the only main character when I began the story. It started as a convenient way to explain things that Mara wasn’t there for but still keep a first-person POV. The more I got to know Kylan, the more I needed to tell his story as well. In later books, he really starts to flourish.
What are your top 10 favorite authors?
In no particular order (seriously, I can’t decide): Orson Scott Card, James Patterson, Lisa Mangum, Aimee Carter, Stephenie Meyer, Kim Chance, Leigh Bardugo, Suzanne Collins, Scott Westerfeld, and Sarah J. Maas.
What book do you think everyone should read?
I have a wide range of tastes in books. I absolutely loved Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card and I think it did a great job of characterization and plot. But I also loved The Host by Stephenie Meyer for the warring main characters that love each other in the end and all the romance drama.
How long have you been writing?
About three years now.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
Some of them come as I write, but more accurately, they come to me as I daydream about the book. On long drives, or trips to the gym, I have some free mind time and that’s when I do my best thinking and creating.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
I start writing first and then find out what I need research to prove. If I am making it up, then I don’t worry about doing research, since I want mine to be unique anyway. For the parts I want to anchor the story in reality and be accurate, I definitely do some reading up on the topics so I don’t write myself into a corner.
Do you see writing as a career?
I see it as a side-career. My dream is to be a mom, and writing will never surpass that desire. But for now, I am so excited about where this can go.
What do you think about the current publishing market?
I think there are some changes heading our way. Ebooks are huge, self-published authors can launch in a way they never could before. The internet has changed so many things. A huge trend I see coming is the New Adult bandwagon. All those YA readers have grown up, and while new ones are coming, the market is changing along with it. I know for myself, I am starting to lean away from stories about 13 year olds or even 18 year olds that deal with actual adult things. I think it’s time for NA to grow even more than it has in the past few years.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
I love reading! I cannot get enough of it. My favorite genre is urban fantasy, or regular fantasy that isn’t epic or high fantasy.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
Noise, for sure. Either music or bustling people, really any stimulation around me helps me focus.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
I only invest most of my energy in one book at a time. The others can have some vague scenes or characters starting, but not a full story yet.
If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?
My book! I like writing my own story and I don’t want to take credit for something someone else did. Also, I couldn’t pick my favorite story to say I wanted to be the author of because then I couldn’t enjoy it as a reader. As nice as those royalties might be, I like my life the way it is.
Pen or type writer or computer?
Computer. Oh my goodness, computer. I would die if I had to write and REWRITE everything with pen and paper.
Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
I have a hard time narrowing down a favorite one. I love the villains of the story. I love their motivations and their complicated plans. I especially adore when I can sympathize with the reasons why they are doing what they do. When I can understand a villain, I just fall in love and I almost want them to win.
What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?
I like writing. I am fascinated by starting my own business and I like change. This was definitely the right decision for me at this time in my life.
A day in the life of the author?
I wake up, go to work, eat lunch, back to work, come home, write or read or spend time with my husband or love on my dog, eat dinner, wind down with reading or writing or Netflix or a good long walk, and then bed time. Do it all again the next day. Weekend in the life this author? Camping, paragliding, kayaking, game nights with friends, swimming, sun-bathing, remodeling the house, visit family, love on that precious dog, and anything else that pulls my attention that day.
Advice they would give new authors?
Write if you love it. If writing is causing you stress or you dread going back and editing things, maybe find a new hobby. But if you love it, then go for it! Be prepared to rewrite so much and edit until your fingers hurt (literally). After you’re done with all that, get people to read it. Friends, family, Twitter followers, whoever you can get. The best way to find out how good you are or how close you are to publishing is to get feedback. And good luck!
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
Pantser for sure. I have a loose plot in my head and none of the details are fleshed out until I actually start to write.
What makes a good story?
I think it’s a mix between good characters and a compelling plot.
What are you currently reading?
I just finished the Grisha trilogy and I loved it. Right now, I am in the middle of Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth and I am surprisingly loving the characters.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
I think quitting too soon or shooting too far. Meaning, they start writing and it doesn’t come as easy as they imagined, so they give up. Or they start writing and get so excited about publishing that they start making their cover, picking the dream cast for their movie adaptation, and everything else that comes so many steps down the road. For now, just focus on the writing and then work on the next step later. That was what helped me focus long enough to actually finish this book.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
I am totally obsessed for writing the relationships in the story. Platonic, friendship, and romance, everything. I love writing how people are connected to each other and how that connection will drive them to do things outside of their norm. I love reading it as well.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I write a story that I want to read. If I find other readers that want to read the same thing, then that’s just icing on the cake. But honestly, these books are for me more than anyone else.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Buckle up, it’s gonna be a fun ride.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
I wanted to make sure that it sounded accurate, and when I focused on them as a man, I struggled. When I focused on their story as a human being, it was a lot easier. I think sometimes we are a lot more similar than it seems.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. It just depends on how much time I have to devote to it. There are only so many things you can set aside to write a book before real life comes barging back in.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes, but I don’t think it should stop you. If you can’t write in that story, go read a book instead or start another story. We all hit walls sometimes, but you can get up and move on to something else or you can keep banging your head against the brick until you split the mortar or your skull. Your choice.
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