Katy Rose Pool author photo

The last time I featured Katy Rose Pool, her debut novel, There Will Come a Darkness had just come out. Katy has now published a few other books, the latest of which, MASQUERADE OF THE HEART, is the second and final installment in her Garden of the Cursed duology and releases tomorrow, June 17, 2024!


Since fleeing the gilded halls of Evergarden for the muck-filled canals of the Marshes, Marlow Briggs has made a name for herself as the best godsdamn cursebreaker in Caraza City. But no matter how many cases she solves, she is still haunted by the mystery of her mother’s disappearance.

When Adrius Falcrest, Marlow’s old friend and scion of one of Caraza’s most affluent spell-making families, asks her to help break a life-threatening curse, Marlow wants nothing to do with the boy who spurned her a year ago. But a new lead in her mother’s case makes Marlow realize that the only way to get the answers she desperately seeks is to help Adrius and return to Evergarden society—even if it means suffering through a fake love affair with him to avoid drawing suspicion from the conniving Five Families.

As the investigation draws Marlow into a web of deadly secrets and powerful enemies, a shocking truth emerges: Adrius’s curse and her mother’s disappearance may just be clues to an even larger mystery, one that could unravel the very foundations of Caraza and magic itself.



Cursebreaker Marlow Briggs must deal with the aftermath of her fake romance with one of the most powerful nobles in the illustrious—and deadly—Evergarden society , all while uncovering the mystery behind her mother’s disappearance. T his edge-of-your-seat duology finale is perfect for fans of Veronica Mars , These Violent Delights, and Chain of Iron .

Caraza sits poised on the edge of chaos. Tensions rise between the Five Families and trouble brews in the Marshes—and Marlow is at the center of it all. In the tragic aftermath of the Vale-Falcrest wedding, Adrius refuses to speak to her, publicly vowing to find a wife before the year is out. Despite her heartbreak, Marlow is still intent on breaking his curse. To do so, she’ll have to play loving daughter to the man who cast it. But the closer she gets to her father, the more she starts to question if he’s really the villain she’s made him out to be.

Marlow has learned by now that in a city steeped in secrets and lies, not everything is as it seems. As the lines between enemy and ally blur, Marlow must decide who to trust—and how high a price she’s willing to pay for the truth.



In our last interview, you said your characters are usually the first thing you start to figure out in a story. What happens when your characters are reluctant to reveal themselves?

This is such a good question, and honestly very relevant to me right now as I’m working on a brand new something that’s been percolating for some time. When it comes to main characters, I really can’t start working on a project until I’ve cracked their kind of…essential DNA. I of course discover plenty of things about my characters as I write, but when it comes to the core of who a character is and what they want and what they fear most, I find that that’s really the key to understanding the story I’m trying to tell. So if I don’t have that, then the story idea usually needs to go on the back-burner for a while until I can figure it out.

For secondary characters, or if I’m writing a book with more than one protagonist (as with The Age of Darkness series) then often I’ll be able to kind of use one character to help unlock another. I like to use characters as narrative foils and mirrors of each other, so the deeper I understand one character, the more I can start to tunnel into another, if that makes sense. In fact, for the Garden of the Cursed series, I did an exercise early on where I sort of defined some of the core concepts that drive Marlow–things like “control” and “truth” and “facades”–and then went through the entire cast of secondary characters (including Adrius, Swift, Marlow’s mother, Silvan, etc.) and wrote out how I felt each of those characters related to those concepts. It ended up being a very useful tool when it came to plotting out the series and even just writing specific scenes.


I love this “character tunneling” idea! As mentioned above, MASQUERADE OF THE HEART is the final installment in the Garden of the Cursed duology. What did you find were the biggest challenges of wrapping up plot threads in a second and final book?

Oh man, I really was so cocky going into Masquerade because I’ve written a series ender before, one that, at least in my opinion, did a good job of wrapping up a lot of plot threads. So I went into Masquerade with the mindset of like, I’ve done this before, this series isn’t even as complicated as my first one, this will be a snap!

Well, spoiler alert, it was not a snap. In Garden of the Cursed, Marlow basically has two mysteries to solve. By the end of that book, the mysteries themselves are solved, but the consequences are just beginning. And one thing I knew I needed to do in book two was show just how many layers there were to those consequences, both for Marlow herself and for the city of Caraza. And because Marlow is who she is, she’s managed to draw the anger of a lot of different people in the city, and she’s essentially fighting battles on many fronts. It then became a puzzle of, how are all these battles and scores to settle interconnected? How do I weave this all together cohesively and, more crucially, in a way that propels Marlow as a character forward? It took lots and lots of brainstorming and wrong turns to fully sort it all out–but by the end of the process, I was able to have some fun with it, and to have some of those magical writing epiphanies where the answer to a problem just sort of materializes effortlessly, like you’ve been consciously writing towards it all along.


It’s always so great when that happens! I love your website. How did you know what elements you needed and what kind of artwork/images would fit your brand?

Thank you so much! I have to shout out Spellcaster Designs, which is run by the wildly talented Alexis Castellanos, who is not only an amazing graphic designer, but also an author and illustrator in her own right (her contemporary YA debut comes out this September!) I came to her knowing I wanted to redesign my website, but with very little idea what I wanted it to look like. She really helped me gather my ideas and hone them into a cohesive visual style.

I’ve always been very drawn to the Art Deco aesthetic, and since that’s a big visual influence on the Garden of the Cursed duology, it seemed like a good direction to go in. At the same time, I obviously have a previous series, and I know I will be writing more books past this duology, so I didn’t want my website to seem too bound to a particular book or series aesthetic. I think Alex was able to strike the perfect balance with the branding, where it really compliments the Garden aesthetic while also standing on its own and serving as an overall author brand for whatever Katy Rose Pool Era comes next…


Excellent! I also signed up for your pre-order campaign for MASQUERADE OF THE HEART. What do you wish more readers knew about pre-order campaigns?

Thank you so much! Pre-order campaigns are really a labor of love for authors, and I think readers would be surprised to know how many pre-order campaigns are completely run and funded by the author themselves. I’ve been lucky enough to have publisher support for many of my pre-order campaigns, but even with that, it takes a lot of time and energy to run one. Since Masquerade of the Heart is the second book in a duology, I thought it would be fun to offer bonus material for the readers who have already read the first book and are invested in the characters. Plus, as a reader, I just love bonus content–alternate POV scenes, deleted scenes, alternate endings, you name it.

I also really wanted to celebrate the paperback release of Garden of the Cursed, so I decided to make the bonus chapter available for people who choose to preorder either that or Masquerade. And this bonus chapter has honestly been such a fun writing experience, and way for me to kind of bid a final farewell to the Garden cast. I can tease that it’s in Adrius’s POV (a POV we’ll get to see more of in Masquerade!) and that it takes place before the events of Garden of the Cursed. I think if you’ve read that book you might have some idea what happens in this bonus chapter…but let’s just say it involves a certain birthday party…and the aftermath of said birthday.








For more about Katy Rose Pool and her books, go to https://katyrosepool.com/

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