American Royals IV: Reign By Katharine McGee
Closing the book on September…
HOW is it the end of September! We are fully into fall and it’s all just so fun… and this month’s book pick was also the best of everything the season has to offer. American Royals IV: Reign by Katharine McGee delivered, just as I knew it would. It’s always bittersweet to begin the end of a series (and one I just love so much), but I was also excited and hopeful to read what was on the horizon for some of my favorite characters. I won’t give too much away but the end was every bit as satisfying as I was hoping for, with all the drama and intrigue we’ve come to expect, and the story had me guessing until the very end.
I just can’t wait to hear what you thought of Reign. Also! I was able to catch up and chat with Katharine about all the things, and I’m so excited to share her thoughts on the conclusion of the American Royals series. We just adore her here at ABBC and it was a joy to speak with her.
Be sure to read my first interview with Katharine here, and here’s a peek of us together years ago in NYC shortly after the release of the very first American Royals book! It really feels full circle hearing how she wrapped up the royals’ story with Reign and how she feels about the series ending. Thank you, Katharine, for taking the time to chat with us!
Behind The Book (Author Q&A)
About The Author
Katharine McGee is the New York Times bestselling author of the Thousandth Floor series. She studied English and French literature at Princeton and has an MBA from Stanford. She’s been speculating about American royalty since her undergraduate days, when she wrote a thesis on “castle envy”: the idea that the American psyche is missing out on something, because Americans don’t have a royal family of their own.
Katharine lives with her husband in her hometown of Houston, Texas.
Follow Katharine on Instagram here!
Q: How does it feel now that the series is complete? I have to admit I’m a bit sad to leave all of the characters behind!
A: I still can’t believe it’s over! These characters have been in my head for over a decade; I wrote the first chapter of American Royals back in 2011, inspired by Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton. We have all grown up since then—the characters, who learned and changed so much from the first and final book, but also me! In the years since I first started working on this project, I have gotten married, moved back to my hometown of Houston, and had two boys! It feels like the American royals have been with me for all of it, and I’m sad to say goodbye to them. I definitely shed some tears writing the final lines of the epilogue.
Q: Did you have an idea of how the series was going to end when you started?
A: I mostly knew where everyone would end up in the finale, especially how all the love triangles (and love quadrangles!) would resolve. But there were some surprises, even for me. For instance, I hadn’t expected Prince Jamie of Canada to play such a big role in Reign, until I had so much fun writing him that I kept adding him to more scenes.
Q: Reign is full of plot twists, drama, romance, and duty. And we adored it! Did all the characters receive the ending you were hoping for?
A: It took a number of drafts before I felt like I really did right by all the characters! Daphne’s ending was the last one to click into place, and I’m so happy with where we left her.
Q: Were there any scenes or characters you wrote for Reign (or the series!) that didn’t make the final edit?
A: My laptop is littered with deleted scenes! Since I’m juggling four narrators, I have to make sure that every chapter moves the story forward in a clear and compelling way: any scene that doesn’t have “big” action from one of the characters usually gets cut. I’ve tried to use some of these scenes, like Beatrice’s bachelorette party or Sam and Marshall’s incognito date, as rewards for readers who preorder my books—you can access them on my website! There was also a really fun scene in Majesty of Daphne and Ethan making a Cruel-Intentions-style bet about their relationship, but I never could find the right place for it.
Q: When did you know you were going to be a writer and author?
A: I have always been a voracious reader, and dreamed of being an author since I was little. After college, I worked in book publishing as an assistant editor for four years, until I finally took the plunge and tried writing something of my own. I feel so lucky that I get to do a creative job which lets me connect with so many fantastic people!
Q: What are you reading right now?
A: I finally read Madeline Miller’s Circe this year and absolutely loved it. Another recent release that I’m obsessed with is The Daydreams by Laura Hankin, which follows a group of child stars as they reconnect in their thirties to film a reunion episode of their hit TV show. The perfect escapist read!
Q: What’s next on the horizon for you?
A: I’m currently working on a new project which will come out next fall. I can’t say much about it yet, except that if you enjoy the glamour, drama, and romance of American Royals, you’ll love this one too. Meanwhile, I also have a five-week-old at home, and taking care of him is a full-time job of its own!
Thank you so much, Katharine! We just adore you and your work. We’re so excited to see what’s next for you and congratulations on your new little one!
American Royals IV: Reign Book Club Questions
I love diving deeper into the books we read, and below are a few questions I was thinking about when reading. Feel free to answer in the comments below, over on the Ashley Brooke Book Club Instagram or with your IRL bookish friends.
1. What surprises did you encounter throughout the story?
2. Ultimately who was your favorite character? Why?
3. Gah, the ending! How did you feel as the series came to a close? Did the ending leave you satisfied? Do you think the characters all received the endings they “deserved”?
What To Read Next
We loved the entire American Royals series so much, it’s hard to say goodbye to Beatrice, Sam, Nina, and Daphne! But these books are giving us all the royal vibes so they’ll be next on the TBR list: The Heir Affair by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan and Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory.
And check back in a few days for our October Book Club Pick! It’s a really good one.