Friday, March 25, 2016

Celebrating Debutantes 2016: Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh (Author Interview + Giveaway)

Hi guys! I'm featuring another one of my most anticipated debut novels for 2016: Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh. It's one of a kind and it sounds absolutely intriguing. Julie did extensive research to write this book. I have always been drawn to history and anthropology, so that's another reason why I'm looking forward to this debut.

Ivory and Bone is set in the Ice Age period. What kind of research did you do for the novel?
I did lots of different things for research, from visiting museums to reading articles in science journals. I read four books about the first people to come to North America from Asia across the Bering Land Bridge. (It's not mentioned in the book, but that's the part of the world where the story takes place.) The book that I think gave me the most insight was FIRST PEOPLES IN A NEW WORLD, COLONIZING ICE AGE AMERICA by David J. Meltzer.

Could you tell us about your writing style?
Ivory and Bone is written as a story within a story. The main character—Kol—is telling the story to another character. I chose to write Ivory and Bone this way because it suits the time period—a time before written language—and it also lends intimacy to the voice. I wanted readers to feel like Kol was talking to them.

How different was the original version of Ivory and Bone from the final version? What changed?
To be honest, it didn’t change a lot! It did change from my original outline as I drafted—some scenes that distracted from the main story were cut. I liked those scenes mainly because they gave me a chance to dig into some minor characters more, so I saved them for Book Two. Once I was in revisions with my editor, most of the changes were for the sake of clarity. There are some secrets and lots of interwoven backstory, and my editor gave me some incredible advice to help me make all of that clearer for the reader.

Could you tell us about the social system/hierarchy, if any, in the book?
The world of Ivory and Bone definitely has its own social structure. Each clan has a council of elders, leaders chosen by the High Elder for their wisdom and selflessness. A High Elder can be male or female, and their leadership is considered ordained by the Divine, the female deity who created the clans and everything else.

Could you tell us about the culture and tradition of the period?
Most of what scientists believe about the daily life of the people who inhabited the Americas 12,000-13,000 years ago is based on artifacts found in a few significant archaeological sites. The interpretation of those sites can vary greatly depending on the archaeologists involved. The latest theories are reflected in the book—that the first people to come to this continent used boats to fish and to travel along the coast, and their lifestyle was more varied than simply hunting mega fauna like mammoths. Kol’s camp in Ivory and Bone is inspired by a real life archaeological site in Monte Verde, Chile, which dates to 13,800 years ago.

Could you tell us a bit about Kol?
Kol is the oldest son of his clan’s High Elder and the oldest of four brothers. He knows he will likely be the next leader of his clan and he takes that responsibility very seriously. He wants the best for the clan’s future, and when he meets Mya, he thinks maybe she could be part of that future, too. Unfortunately, as much as Kol is insightful about the world around him, he has a hard time understanding Mya.

Did you encounter challenges in writing about Kol? What are these and how did you deal with them?
When I write, I try to get the character talking to me in my head so I can tell their story. It may sound a little pretentious to say that I let Kol tell the story through me, but that’s how it feels to me when I’m writing. So as long as I was working on a part of Kol’s story that he wanted to open up about, it came easily. But the parts that were more private or maybe things Kol himself didn’t truly understand… those things I had to fight harder to get right. But Kol is a very thoughtful, reflective character, and little by little he gave me the story.

Romance is one of my favorite elements in a book. How do you manage the slow simmering romance?
Romance is one of my favorite elements, too! Kol and Mya’s romance could be called an unlikely romance, or even a star-crossed romance, because despite how they may feel in the present, there are so many aspects of the past that conspire to keep them apart. They also have to contend with a complex and delicate balance of power between their clans. Duty and responsibility are major forces in their lives, and sometimes those forces interfere with romance.

Thank you, Julie!

About the Author:

Julie Eshbaugh once produced an online video series for teens which received several honors from the Webby Awards. Now, she focuses her time on writing. Ivory and Bone is her debut novel.

Find Julie: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Book Description:

Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: June 14th 2016 by HarperTeen

A prehistoric fantasy—with allusions to Pride and Prejudice.

Hunting, gathering, and keeping his family safe—that’s the life seventeen-year-old Kol knows. Then bold, enigmatic Mya arrives from the south with her family, and Kol is captivated. He wants her to like and trust him, but any hopes of impressing her are ruined when he makes a careless—and nearly grave—mistake. However, there’s something more to Mya’s cool disdain…a history wrought with loss that comes to light when another clan arrives. With them is Lo, an enemy from Mya’s past who Mya swears has ulterior motives.

As Kol gets to know Lo, tensions between Mya and Lo escalate until violence erupts. Faced with shattering losses, Kol is forced to question every person he’s trusted. One thing is for sure: this was a war that Mya or Lo—Kol doesn’t know which—had been planning all along.


Thanks to Julie for this giveaway!
What's up for grabs: Pre-order of Ivory and Bone + swag package
Scope: International

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2016 experience. Click the image below for the full schedule and links to the posts!


  1. I am looking forward to reading this novel because of its unique pre-historic setting. As a fan of all forms of historical fiction, I am looking forward to a novel adventure in this read, as it were. ;-) Thanks so much, Kara S

  2. I have never read a book set in the Ice Age. About time I did.

  3. I love everything prehistoric. I am excited to feel the emotions like in the Pride & Prejudice

  4. I love classic books, and pride and prejudice was one of my favourites so this looks great!

  5. I am most looking forward to what sounds like a wonderful and captivating story. Also the author seems lovely! :-)

  6. I have been looking forward to this book for months! I love historical fiction novels!

  7. I am so excited for this book to be released! The story sounds fantastic and it has a beautiful cover!

  8. I'm looking forward to reading this because the Prologue and first chapter sucked me right in. The summary is incredible, the cover is gorgeous. Thank you for the interview. I always find it fascinating how an author comes up with ideas about a book and how they create their characters. Thanks to Ms.Eshbaugh for doing it.

  9. Really looking forward to this, based on all the amazing reviews

  10. I'm looking forward to really the plot in this book. It has been recommended by so many readers that it puts me in suspense. Thanks for the giveaway!

  11. I was excited about this book before, and now I am desperate to read it! Thank you for the amazing interview!

  12. I'm excited about the setting! The Ice Age period is so unique and I haven't read anything close to it. Thanks for the chance :D

  13. I honestly cannot wait for this book! I am in love with this already!!! Not long now!