It's time for The Skylighter Blog Tour! I am soooo excited to be apart of this one as I am very much looking forward to reading The Skylighter as well!! I was pretty fascinated by the idea that Sleeping Beauty inspired Becky to write this in a way, and that became my first question to ask her in this Q&A!
Q. I remember hearing somewhere that you said Sleeping Beauty sort of inspired you to write The Storyspinner. Can you describe in what way? As The Storyspinner seems to stand on its own instead of being a retelling.
A. I hope this won’t be too spoiler-y for anyone, but do you remember Chapter3? Where Johanna and Rafi have their…. let’s use the word ‘altercation.’ That scene stemmed from watching the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty too many times. You remember when Briar Rose is having her little sing-a-long with the forest creatures, and Prince Philip (literally) waltzes up, grabs her, and she’s a little nervous at first, but then ultimately goes along with him? That scene gets a big HELL NO from this momma bear. Do we really want to teach our daughters it’s okay let strangers grab them? Nope.
Chapter 3 was the first chapter I wrote. I wanted my three daughters to remember that strangers (even hot ones) equal danger. The rest of the story really developed from that point. Here are some other places that The Storyspinner and Sleeping Beauty overlap:
- Aurora/Briar Rose is taken from her home as a baby, so was Johanna. They were both raised outside of typical society.
- Both sets of caregivers are a little bit magical.
- They were both hunted by a sexy, scary witch.
- Their castles were wrapped in a hedge of unnatural thorn bushes.
- Maleficent and Vibora have inept minions who have been looking for their missing princesses for… like...ever.
- Both princess sing in the woods (though I think Johanna has a better reason).
- The movie and The Storyspinner have berry picking scenes.
- A monstrous reptile makes an appearance in both stories.
- There are even more veiled references in THE SKYLIGHTER, but that would be spoiler-y. ;)
Q. Did you do any fun research in regards to this duology?
A. Yes! I had to create a world that was both foreign and familiar. The animals, clothing, foods, names, and language are anchored in the Portuguese Middle Ages and the European colonization of Brazil in the 1500s. The northeastern coast of Brazil—specifically Recife, Fortaleza, and Olinda—was heavily influenced by the Dutch, and much of the culture and architecture of that time period is reflected in The Storyspinner and The Skylighter.
Q. You write from a lot of character's (third person) point of view, who is your favorite to write about?
A. For THE SKYLIGHTER, it’s definitely Dom!! On the surface he’s your classic rogue—handsome, charming, and a little bit selfish—but underneath he’s self-conscious, loyal, and passionate. Also, he’s hot. This is what I see in my head when I write his character:
Q. What was your road to publication like?
A. Painful. Can I say that and not sound like a jerk? THE STORYSPINNER was the fourth manuscript that my agent submitted to editors. We had two other projects get SO close, and then get cut at acquisitions. It made my physically ill every time my manuscripts went on submission, and I swore that if Storyspinner didn’t sell then I was going to quit. I think that sometimes we have to get to that precipice—that all-or-nothing point—to create the thing of which we are most proud.
Q. What can you tell us about The Skylighter? Like for instance, will I need a box or boxes of tissues?
A. You may need one box of tissues. There are some moments that were painful to write, and I hope (and this sounds awful) painful to read. There are also some kissing scenes that people really seem to enjoy. ;)
Q. What's your next project now that the duology is over?
A. I’m working on another fantasy, a sci-fi project, and a thriller. There may be other projects set in Santarem, but we’ll just have to see.
Q. What's your favorite dessert?
A. I love molten lava cake! Chocolate cake, fudge filling, topped with ice cream and caramel syrup! There’s nothing quite as wonderful as warm cake and melty ice cream!
Thank you Becky for taking the time to answer these questions! I cannot wait to read The Skylighter! Remember folks, The Skylighter releases March 22, so get your preorders in ASAP! ;)
Johanna and Rafi are in a race against time to save their country before a power-mad Keeper destroys everything they hold dear in the “enthralling magical world” (Cinda Williams Chima, author of The Heir Chronicles) introduced in The Storyspinner.
As the last of the royal line, Johanna is the only person who can heal a magical breach in the wall that separates her kingdom of Santarem from the land of the Keepers, legendary men and women who wield elemental magic. The barrier protects Santarem from those Keepers who might try to take power over mere humans…Keepers who are determined to stop Johanna and seize the wall’s power for themselves.
And they’re not the only ones. As the duchys of Santarem descend into war over the throne, Johanna relies more than ever on the advice of her handsome companion, Lord Rafael DeSilva. But Rafi is a duke too, and his people come first. As their friendship progresses into the beginnings of a tender relationship, Johanna must wonder: is Rafi looking out for her happiness, or does he want the throne for himself?
With war on the horizon, Johanna and Rafi dodge treacherous dukes and Keeper assassins as they race to through the countryside, determined to strengthen the wall before it’s too late…even if it means sacrificing their happiness for the sake of their world.
Title: THE STORYSPINNER
Author: Becky Wallace
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, audiobook
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