Official Dark Days Interview With RAE CARSON

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.

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson | Good Books And Good Wine

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”

via Goodreads

About Rae Carson:

Rae Carson is the author of the Fire And Thorns trilogy. She is totally awesome. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

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

・         9/2: DON’T LOOK NOW at A Life Bound by Books

・         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

Dark Days Books

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


Thursday, September 26th @ 7:00 PM

Tattered Cover Book Store-Highlands Ranch

Highlands Ranch, CO

Friday, September 27th @ 7:00 PM

Blue Willow Bookshop

Houston, TX

Saturday, September 28th @ 8:30 AM-5:00 PM

Austin Teen Book Festival

Austin, TX

*“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

Dayton, OH

Wednesday, October 9th @ 7:00 PM

Joseph-Beth Booksellers

Cincinnati, OH

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.


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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. Great interview! My favorite YA fantasy is a tough decision. I’ve enjoyed Carson’s trilogy very much, and Seraphina by Rachel Hartman was great too. I’m sure there are others I’ve loved too. Probably A Wrinkle in Time is my favorite fantasy.

  2. Thank you for this interview! I loved the first book and looking forward to finishing this series! 🙂 One of my favorite YA fantasy book is Graceling by Kristin Cashore.

  3. My fav YA fantasy is Chronicles of Nick series

  4. Besides the Fire and Thorns trilogy, one of my favorite is Seven Realm Series by Cinda Williams Chima.

  5. Lovely interview! I’m very excited about this upcoming California Gold Rush novel!! As far as my favorite YA book goes….yeah, it’s definitely “Girl of Fire and Thorns” right now.

  6. Thanks for the interview and the giveaway too. My favorite YA fantasy book of all time is Joanna Russ’ Extra(ordinary) People. Have you read it, it’s great?

  7. sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Shadow & Bone!

  9. I love the GoFaT series but my fav of all time would probably have to be Graceling!

  10. Hillary Reyna says

    I’m not sure if I’ve read a fantasy book before. Unless a MG series like The Lightning Thief counts 🙂 That’s all I can seem to come up with.

  11. Holy cow, I loved this series. Elisa’s character development was absolutely fantastic — and wow, Rae really was mean to the poor girl in the love department. I was worried for a moment there that things wouldn’t go as they were supposed to (but I knew Rae would come through!).

  12. Peeking at your interview and review because I haven’t read it yet/waited until it’s out to binge read! I love the genre question because that’s what I ALWAYS wonder with authors. I am so excited to read it! I think my current fav YA fantasy is Siege and Storm.

  13. City of Bones is one of my favorites.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  14. Awesome interview! Fire and Thorns is one of my favorite series ever, so I’m really glad I got the chance to learn more about it. Cheers! 🙂

  15. I loved the interview April! My favorite question has to be the one about Hector, because, you know, he’s so swoony. As for favorite YA fantasies… Throne of Glass, Graceling, Sabriel, anything Tamora Pierce… I could probably go on for a while if I wanted to. The Girl of Fire and Thorns is definitely on there too!

  16. Cannot wait to get this! I am all about Awesome Ladies in Fantasy. And while there have been many to keep me up at night lately my all time faves will probably remain my first loves. Robin McKinley’s The Blue Sword and The Hero and The Crown probably top my list with too many more vying for that place to count.

  17. I love Carson’s comment about exercise-I’ve been experiencing similar feelings through my fitness. It’s amazing how your body responds when you push it like that!

  18. Shadow and Bone! 😀

  19. This trilogy is definitely one of them! I haven’t read Bitter Kingdom yet and I’m dying to! I’m so going to the Dark Days tour!<3 I'm so excited! I also love Julie Kagawa's books as well. They are all so good!