Obviously if you have ever visited Good Books And Good Wine or have ever seen my twitter, you know how much of a Rae Carson fangirl I am. So, when I got an email asking if I would be the blogger to host Rae Carson for the Harper Collins Dark Days Tour, I totally did not hesitate with my yes. You guys, her Fire And Thorns trilogy is among my favorite EVER and if you read my reviews, you will totally know why. Of course, I totally had some questions and holy moly, the awesome insight from Rae’s answers definitely impressed me.
1. In your bio on your website, you mention cheerleading changing your life, and taking up flag football in college. I find participating in sports and in athletic activities to be such a positive thing. How do you think physical activity factors into your Girl Of Fire And Thorns trilogy — after all Elisa does change quite a bit due to her physical activity in the desert?
There’s nothing like sprinting out for a long-bomb pass and catching it for a winning touchdown with seconds to spare for building confidence. That kind of experience definitely factored into the book. Participating in sports, for me, was all about pushing my body beyond its mostly sedentary lifestyle and discovering that I was capable of so much more than I realized.
2. I think that most writers have a favorite scene or a favorite chapter in their books. What was your favorite scene to write throughout the whole Fire And Thorns trilogy?
I was seriously mean to Elisa, particularly in regards to her love life. This was because I had a Plan, and I was committed to this Plan, even though I knew it would take a long time for the Plan to find fruition. So when I finally got to write the scene where Elisa hooks up with her true love, it felt very earned. Also, hugely fun.
3. Elisa truly grows and develops as a character throughout the trilogy — will it be hard for you to say goodbye now that the final book, The Bitter Kingdom is releasing?
Oh, definitely. In my mind, these characters are still churning with stories. At the end of the trilogy, they’re confident, smart, and powerful, and their lives are just getting started.
There were a few things, though, that made being in Elisa’s head really difficult—like the fact that she’s religious and I’m not, or that she has such a crappy self esteem in the beginning and I don’t. So frankly, it will be nice to dip into someone else’s consciousness for a while. I’ll miss her, but she’s a grown-up now, and I don’t need to mold her any more.
4. If you weren’t writing in the fantasy genre, what genre do you think you would write in?
I write in all genres! It’s just that I’ve only been published in one so far. I especially enjoy post-apocalyptic literature with all its survival drama, and I always have one of those projects in the works.
5. The relationship between Hector and Elisa is one of my favorites EVER, yay for #goodguyHector. What made you decide to go the nice guy route instead of turning him into the typical bad boy?
Good question. I’m not gonna lie: I LOVE BAD BOYS. I will read books starring Bad Boys until the day I die. But I got to thinking one day that in real life Bad Boys don’t turn out so well. Women don’t save them from themselves, Bad Boys don’t find a softer side, and they don’t stop being total douchenozzles. Why do we girls (and a lot of gay guys) think we deserve this kind of crap? So I set myself the challenge of writing a love interest who was 100% idealized goodness. I wanted to see if I could make that sexy.
6. I think a lot of people who read book blogs might have dreams of being a writer. If you could give one piece of advice to young writers, what would it be?
If you want to publish books, all you have to do is practice writing every day. If you want to publish good books, you have to practice writing every day and learn as much as you can about cool stuff that interests you. That means going down the Wikipedia spiral, for instance, clicking interesting links until your eyes are crossed. If you have any kind of fascination (Boy bands? Skydiving? Russia? Dogs?) indulge it shamelessly, because learning the ins and out of any cultural system will make you a better writer.
7. Finally, whenever I go to signings at my favorite indie bookstore, Oblong Books, they always close out the Q & A section with the traditional what’s next question. What’s next on the horizon for you?
I have a new trilogy coming in 2015! This one is also fantasy, but it takes place in 1849 during the California Gold Rush. The main character Leah Westfall is a lot like Elisa—smart, determined, and full of secret magic. But Leah is a way more confident, and she kicks ass right from the start. I’m having a lot of fun with her.
About The Bitter Kingdom:
“The epic conclusion to Rae Carson’s Fire and Thorns trilogy. The seventeen-year-old sorcerer-queen will travel into the unknown realm of the enemy to win back her true love, save her country, and uncover the final secrets of her destiny.
Elisa is a fugitive in her own country. Her enemies have stolen the man she loves in order to lure her to the gate of darkness. As she and her daring companions take one last quest into unknown enemy territory to save Hector, Elisa will face hardships she’s never imagined. And she will discover secrets about herself and her world that could change the course of history. She must rise up as champion-a champion to those who have hated her most”
About Rae Carson:
The Dark Days are hitting blogs AND real life:
? 8/19: ASYLUM at Icey Books
? 8/26: THE BITTER KINGDOM at Good Books and Good Wine
? 9/8: NOT A DROP TO DRINK at The Broke and the Bookish
? 9/16: THE BURNING SKY at A Book and a Latte
? 10/7: THE BROKENHEARTED at Tales of the Ravenous Reader
Part One: Featuring Madeleine Roux, Rae Carson, Sherry Thomas, Michelle Gagnon, and Mindy McGinnis
Wednesday, September 25th @ 7:00 PM
Barnes & Noble
Las Vegas, NV
* Guest Appearance by TERA LYNN CHILDS– SWEET LEGACY
Thursday, September 26th @ 7:00 PM
Tattered Cover Book Store-Highlands Ranch
Highlands Ranch, CO
Friday, September 27th @ 7:00 PM
Blue Willow Bookshop
Saturday, September 28th @ 8:30 AM-5:00 PM
Austin Teen Book Festival
*“Team Dark Days” will compete against Macmillan’s “Team Fierce Reads” in a friendly game show style format, in addition to a Dark Days Panel!
Part Two: Featuring Rae Carson, Amelia Kahaney, and Mindy McGinnis
Tuesday, October 8th @ 7:00 PM
Books & Company
Wednesday, October 9th @ 7:00 PM
OH and as a reward for being freakin’ awesome and reading this great interview, Harper Teen is offering one copy of The Bitter Kingdom to a lucky reader within the US. Rafflecopter it up, y’all.