I Cannot believe that it is that time of the year again and that I am Celebrating my 6 year Blogoversary. Total Craziness. I have had a tradition for the past few Blogovesaries now with kicking them off with a debut author. This year I am really please to start is off with an author who is extremely imaginative and willing to go away from the norm and expected in her novel Hour of Mischief. Please Welcome to Blood Rose Books:
If there was one author you could co-write a novel with (they can be alive or dead) who would you choose and why?
Brandon Sanderson. I’m just so in awe of his world building and magic systems. He’s so great at weaving in these complex worlds into his stories. I’m always jealous of his writing when I read it. Collaborating him would be amazing.
Steampunk seems to be the new up and coming genre, what about the genre appeals to you? How do you think Hour of Mischief stands out from the rest of the crowd?
When it comes to fantasy, medieval settings are kind of overplayed. They can still work but we’ve seen them a million times before. I’m intrigued by fantasy worlds that play with different levels of technology. In steampunk’s case I was attracted to the aesthetic, especially the gear work and clocks. Hour of Mischief isn’t steampunk though, mostly because I just picked and chose the bits I wanted. It’s not really influenced by Victorian times because I found that period more limiting. I basically sculpted a world around what I needed so I wouldn’t say it fits into “typical steampunk”.
I was shocked to learn that you are a sophomore in College and doing a triple major (nicely done, but holy you must be busy). Was hour of Mischief published before or after you started college? Have you found that attending college has helped you hone your craft as a writer?
I started my senior year a few weeks ago (I need to remember to update my blog info more), but I did get my book deal when I was a sophomore. Hour of Mischief was drafted my senior year of high school, but most of the publishing process happened once I entered college. I’m definitely busy but I write more that way. It forces me to be more intentional about my writing time. It’s also been nice to be surrounded by other people my age who love writing. I didn’t have that outlet in high school.
What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
For me, probably historical fiction. With fantasy I can make up the world and choose my history but historical fiction requires a ton of research to make it believable and accurate. You have to pick from what’s already there and you can’t just change things to suit your needs. I find that amount of research very stressful. There is some great historical fiction out there, and I don’t think I’m the one to write it.
What I really enjoyed about Hour of Mischief was not only the use of Gods, but the fact that you mixed Gods from different cultures and did not stick the stereotype for each one. What type of research did you do in order to choose which Gods to feature in your book? Are we going to see even more in the books to follow in this series?
Its funny, because I don’t think I did much research with the gods and their cultures. I knew I wanted a very diverse cast and because it was a fantasy world it was easy enough for me to make it happen and detach them from any stereotypes. When I chose the gods, I mostly wanted to subvert gender roles. For instance, you usually see Gods of War, not Goddesses. You usually see a Goddess of Love and not a God. I wanted to flip a lot of those to see what would happen. And yes, you will be seeing many more gods in the future.
Janet is loyal to fault to her friends, this is a strength and also a weakness in her, is she based on someone you know? Was this the main aspect of her character that you wanted to get across to your readers?
Janet’s loyalty is definitely her defining characteristic. She will die for her friends, and sometimes she almost does. When the people she cares about are in danger, she doesn’t think and she acts on instinct, which puts her in a lot of bad situations. I love traits that can be considered both a virtue and flaw as it allows for a lot of fun, character development and plots. Janet isn’t really based off a person so much as a character archetype. We all know the tough, wisecracking hero who never lets anything get to them. I idealized heroes like that a lot when I was younger, not realizing the flaws that came with that. I used to write a lot of those characters too. So I thought, hey, why not take this archetype and imbue her with insecurities and anxieties? Why not have her crash and burn because she doesn’t think things through? I like making flawed characters rather than role models. They’re always more relatable.
Your novel Hour of Mischief has some darker theme elements in it (racism, caste system, prostitution ect) what appeals to you about the darker aspects of human nature and culture? Will all the books in this series have a similar dark feel to them?
My books have always been a little darker. Hour of Mischief is probably one of my more light hearted titles, at least in tone, but it does have a natural dark undercurrent to it (and it gets darker as it goes on). I think the underside of humanity is most interesting because it allows for some very significant character arcs. Characters coming from the bottom have so far to go and they can either take villainous or heroic routes. There are a lot of possibilities. And I think it’s also important not to shy away from darker aspects of life. Though I always include hope, optimism and humor to lighten it up.
Throughout the book we see what an asset and a saviour Janet’s arm is to her. If you had a mechanical arm, either required or for fashion, what would be one element that you would make sure the arm was able to do? Did you use some inspiration of the technology and designs today to help create her arm and what it could be capable of?
Oh, I would love to have a blade attachment to my arm. I’ve been collecting knives and swords since I was in middle school so I have an affinity for them. I actually took a lot of inspiration from other fiction when it came to Janet’s arm. In my favorite anime, Fullmetal Alchemist, there is technology called automail that’s quite similar. I gave Janet’s arm a slightly more retro feel and it has a few more limitations, but it’s easy to see where I got the blade arm idea. Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share? Well I should have word on the other three books in the series up on my blog soon! I can say that Janet’s journey takes her further than her home city so there’s a lot more exploration of the world of Memoria (particularly the other realms). There’s also a lot more gods and Janet’s crew also take more of a spotlight. It should be fun! What is one book (other than one of your own) that you think should be a must read for everyone? For fantasy lovers, I would say Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson and A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E Schwab, which are my current obsessions (and have been for a while). Sorry, that’s more than one, isn’t it? I just can’t choose! Thank you once again to Aimee for taking the time to be part of my Blogoversary and I know I am excited for the new book in her series. Aimee has very nicely provided a giveaway to go along with her interview. Please fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter.
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