Hello and welcome back to zee bloggity blog - today I have the pleasure of posting some Q&A answers from the author of The Shadow Queen, (the review for which can be found here) - C.J Redwine.
She has kindly and brilliantly answered some questions about writing, books and sneaky passage from her novel *waggles eyebrows*.
Enjoy! And be sure to stop by the other lovely blogs as part of the blog tour.
What sort of things influence your writing; can you for example concentrate with music in the background, do you need silence, is there a set mood that suits you?
I use Spotify playlists. I build a new playlist for each book I write (and I have a list of playlists I’m constantly adding to for future books). I find that by having a certain selection of songs playing in the same order, I have this handy short-cut into the world of the story. As soon as I start the playlist, I’m immediately back in the mood of the story.
Here’s a link to The Shadow Queen’s playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/1213294486/playlist/45ndtCyow4I33vDWDXv7nR
What's the best, worst, easiest and hardest part about writing?
The best part is finally seeing the story on the page look like the story I wanted to write all along. It take a lot of revising to get there! The worst part is usually beginning a new story because that’s also the hardest part (for me). It often takes me two months just to write the first 15k, but once I get past that point, I can draft the rest of it fairly quickly. The easiest part of writing … is there an easy part? Lol. Maybe the idea part. Those usually come pretty easily to me.
When you read The Shadow Queen for yourself for the first time after being published, how did you feel?
It had been nearly a year since I’d had anything to do with the story because I was working on the next book in the series, so it was fun to remember how much I loved the characters and the world of Ravenspire.
If you didn't go into writing, what other career path would you have chosen?
I was a teacher (high school English) for a while, and I’ve always loved teaching, so I might have stayed with that. (Although younger me REALLY wanted to be a race horse jockey and a princess with a dragon. Simultaneously. So, I had options.)
What's your favourite book?
This is a sadistic question! ☺ I don’t have a single favorite. I have shelves of favorites. Here are a few: The Chronicles of Narnia, Little Women, the Harry Potter series, Anne of Green Gables
What do you love most about your characters and what do you think readers will enjoy most about them?
I love the courage that both Lorelai and Kol display. For different reasons, each is forced to contend for the salvation of their kingdoms, and both of them are fully committed. Even though they have doubts about their ability to pull it off. I think readers will love them for their courage as well, but also I think readers will enjoy how Lorelai and Kol learn to bring out the best in each other. (And maybe you’ll love the kissing too.)
How far do you think the themes and concepts of the book reflect on society today?
I think it’s very relevant to discuss the theme of doing what’s right even when it costs you deeply. There are so many places both at home and across the globe where doing the right thing can take every bit of courage we possess. If we don’t find that courage, we lose our chance to be a light in the darkness.
Is there a particular reason why you chose to do this fairytale retelling over others?
I was disappointed after I saw Snow White and the Huntsman. I wanted to see a strong, opinionated Snow White. I wanted her to be the queen’s equal so we could have a showdown of two female characters of equal power rather than a powerful queen and a nearly voiceless damsel in distress. After listening to me rant about it, my husband finally said, “If you want it done that way, why don’t you write it?” So I did.
What do you hope readers will take away from your story?
Well first, I hope they are fully captivated by the story and they get to escape their lives for a few hours. I also hope they see the parallels between Queen Irina and what she chooses to sacrifice for her goals and Lorelai’s sacrifice for what she wants. The two mirror each other in many ways. But mostly, I want readers to believe that they don’t go into battle because they’re guaranteed a victory. They go because it’s the right thing to do.
What’s your favourite quote from the book?
“You don’t go into battle because you’re sure of victory. You do it because it’s the right thing to do.”
If you could pick 1 sentence/passage only from the book to convince others to read it, what would that be?
The magic spilled out of her. The thistle and bone did her bidding. And when she looked down once more at the mirror’s surface, the defiant fool of a prince was on his knees, his face twisted in agony, as he pulled frantically at the collar around his neck.
Irina concentrated, sending every bit of rage that flooded her body straight into the collar. Let him burn from the inside out. Let him hurt in places he never knew could feel so much pain.
Let him understand the cost of betrayal.
He fell forward, his body spasming, his mouth open in a scream Irina could enjoy even if she couldn’t hear it. Talons grew from his fingertips, and she imagined the dragon’s fire in his chest scorching him, begging him to shift though his queen refused to let him.
And then the princess was there. Falling to her knees beside him. Reaching for his chest and leaving her own heart exposed.
Irina clenched the bits of thistle and bone so hard she felt them crack as she snarled, “Kill her. Kill her now, Kolvanismir. Use your talons to rip her heart out of her chest, and the agony will stop. Eldr will be saved. Just kill her.”
She pushed more agony into his body, and a stab of pain shot through her own chest in response.
The prince opened his eyes and locked gazes with the princess.
There was nothing but hunger for blood on his face.
Is there a particular book out there that you wish you had written yourself?
Harry Potter! What an incredible world. Basically, I just want to live there.
What are 3 common misconceptions people have of authors?
That we’re rich, that we have control over our covers or how much our books cost, and that publishers send us all on tour.
Finally, what is one book you are looking forward to reading yourself?
I can’t wait to finish Marie Rutkowski’s THE WINNER’S CURSE series.