A Few Questions With RAE CARSON, author of The Crown Of Embers

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You know that feeling you get when you end up scoring an interview with an author you really admire? THAT FEELING RIGHT NOW YOU GUYS! After falling in love with The Girl Of Fire And Thorns, then getting in it deeper with The Crown Of Embers, it is my absolute pleasure to have Rae Carson on the blog for a few questions.

1. Your writing is compared to some of YA fantasy’s heavyweight writers – Tamora Pierce, Kristin Cashore, and Megan Whalen Tuner, do you feel the pressure? Why or why not?

Whoa, Nelly, it is definitely a lot of pressure. Those ladies are AMAZING, and asincredible as it is to be compared to them, it’s also a little scary.

I have to admit, though, that my goal is not to reinvent the wheel so to speak, but to build on the pioneering work of those authors. I’ve struggled with whether or not to admit this kind of thing in interviews, because authors—especially women—are often considered arrogant for stating their ambitions. But the truth is I want to earn the heck out my right to be mentioned in the same breath with the heavyweights. And someday, I want someone to ask a new author, “So, you’ve been compared a lot to Rae Carson. How does that feel?”

2. You certainly don’t take the easy way out with your books, I’m looking at you GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS, as a writer how do you feel making tough decisions about your characters? Do you have a certain attachment to them?

I do have an attachment to my characters, and doing mean things to them is hard. For example, something happens to someone in THE BITTER KINGDOM (*is cryptic*), and leading up to it, I was all, “Noooo, I don’t want to dooo eet!” But it’s all in service to the greater story, and I know it was the right choice.

3. Hector is quite different from King Alejandro and Humberto. Of the three, who would you kiss? Who would you marry? And who would you kill?

Of the three, Hector is the hottest to me. Hands down. I have a thing for men who manage kindness, warmth, and loyalty without sacrificing a bit of strength. I’d marry him in a heartbeat. Alejandro would be fun to kiss—you know, the noncommittal kind of kissing that gets you unfairly labeled in high school. Humberto is a great guy, buthe’s just a boy, and the idea of kissing him is majorly squicky. As far as who I’d kill… Well, I’ll kill anyone if it serves the story. Anyone.

4. If you could pick a theme song for The Crown Of Embers, what would it be?

Definitely Beyoncé’s “Who Run the World.” (GIRLS!) Actually, a lot of that song espouses a broken, wimpy form of feminism, ie., “My persuasion can build a nation.” WTH? I like to think we’re past the point of believing a woman’s power lies in her “persuasion.” But the chorus is rad.

5. After reading The Crown Of Embers, I am on tenterhooks for The Bitter Kingdom. Can you tell us anything about The Bitter Kingdom just yet? Even share a sentence?

Okay, so it was hard to find something that isn’t spoilerrific! But here is an itty snippet where Elisa, at long last, is starting to overcome her fear of horses. She won’t admit it yet, but she’s becoming fond of her lazy mare (no guarantees about this making it into thefinal manuscript!):

Until recently, I believed all horses were alike. They’ve been giant, four-footed animals with ugly dispositions and alarmingly large teeth for so long that it’s a bit startling to notice how different they are from each other. Mara’s mare, for instance, is a chestnut bay except for a wide white blaze down her nose that makes her seem perpetually surprised. My huge plodding mount is a dark brown near to blackcreature, with the most unruly mane I’ve ever seen. Her shaggy forelock covers her right eye and reaches almost to her mouth.
Mara’s mare head-butts her in the chest. Grinning, Mara plants a kiss between her wide, dumb eyes, then murmurs something.
“Have you named her?” I ask.
“Yes! Her name is Jasmine.”
I grimace. “But jasmine is such a sweet, pretty flower.”
Mara laughs. “Have you named yours?”
“Her name is Horse.”
She rolls her eyes. “If you want to get along with your mount you have to learn each others’ languages. That means starting with a good name.”
“All right.” I pretend to consider. “What about Imbecile? Or Poops A Lot?”

6. So, what do you have up your sleeve after the Fire And Thorns trilogy is over?

I signed with Greenwillow for a new trilogy! I think of it as Little House on the Prairie jacked up on meth. It’s about a 16-year-old girl whose magical ability to find gold causes her to head west in a covered wagon during the California Gold Rush; at the same time, she must elude those who would stop at nothing to use her power for themselves. The first book is tentatively scheduled for Fall 2014, one year after the release of THE BITTER KINGDOM.

Y’all, as your faithful blogger, I think my head just exploded with the excitement over a sneak peak at The Bitter Kingdom and Rae’s new trilogy.

Follow Rae Carson On Twitter
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Visit Her Website Here

Haven’t read Rae Carson’s books yet? I totally have reviews of them and they should convince you that reading her books are A GOOD LIFE CHOICE:

The Girl Of Fire And Thorns

The Crown Of Embers

You can check out the rest of the tour stops by clicking the links below:

9/10 One Page Reviews— This or That
9/11 Pure Imagination— This or That
9/12 Candace’s Book Blog— Interview
9/13 Two Chicks on Books— Character Interview, Hector
9/14 Books with Bite— Interview
9/17 Laura’s Review Bookshelf— Interview
9/18 Short and Sweet Reviews— Guest Post
9/19 The Non Reluctant Reader— Interview
9/20 Book Chic— Interview
9/24 Short and Sweet Reviews— BONUS TRACK! Author Interview
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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. “As far as who I’d kill… Well, I’ll kill anyone if it serves the story. Anyone.”

    Damn. She is brutal. I LOVE it:)

    And this new series (“Little House on the Prairie jacked up on meth”) Yeah. I’m definitely reading that one.

  2. Great questions…I’m so in love with this series. I’ve been re-reading (slowly) so I don’t have to leave that world for too long. Elisa is just one of the best characters I’ve ever read and I enjoy being on her journey. And Hector. Oh, Hector. So much love for him. Can I just say that I can’t wait for The Bitter Kingdom…but I’m also fine in waiting because who knows what’s going to happen. Must prepare. 🙂

  3. “Well, I’ll kill anyone if it serves the story. Anyone.”

    *curls up in a ball around Hector and sobs* I am so scared to read The Crown of Embers because Rae Carson is VICIOUS when it comes to killing my favourite characters.

  4. Am I the only one who is MAJORLY afraid that Rae will kill off anyone? *cringes* I am so scared to read Crown of Embers now, but very excited too. I think Rae’s new trilogy sounds fantastic as well as it seems to be like Libba Bray’s mixtures of fantasy and historical fiction!(: Plus, I just LOVED Rae’s answer to #1! I hope someday people ask that question around too! 😀

    Wonderful questions, April, and thanks for all the incredible responses, Rae! I just loved this interview! 🙂