What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Kingbreaker?
This story takes place in the Fae world that I’ve explored in the other eleven novels of my series, but it’s a standalone tale that longtime readers will recognize as a legend from the main timeline. Over the past year, I was going through an incredibly challenging time in my life, as so many people were. Writing became my lifeline and my anchor. Saela’s story of journeying into the wilderness alone to save her people paralleled my story of traveling into the darkness of my struggles alone to save my own soul. I knew this book was going to be inspired by dark fairytales and Norse mythology, and like the best fairytales Saela’s story became an allegory for intense personal struggle and triumph.
If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Kingbreaker, what would they be?
Saela would be “You Can’t Stop the Girl,” by Bebe Rexha, because she’s left on her own to discover the depths of her own power. Ramryk, the wolf-warrior prince, would be “Wild Child” by The Struts—he’s full of himself and has that cocky confidence that both attracts and repels Saela (at first). Most of the other main characters are animals!
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
My favorite genre is fantasy, and that’s what I write too! I don’t know who originally said it, but I think as writers we create the books we need as readers.
What books are on your TBR pile right now?
I’m rereading “Ninth House” by Leigh Bardugo, and I have the third book in Naomi Novik’s Scholomance series on preorder. I just finished “The Beautiful Ones” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, which was fabulous, and I’m looking forward to reading “All Systems Red” by Martha Wells.
What scene in your book was your favorite to write?
The final battle scenes are always my favorite, because I’ve been on this epic journey with my characters and then I finally get to see it all come together. I do a general outline of my plots but the details come to me as I write, so it’s like getting to watch the climactic scenes of a really great movie — I’m often surprised by the way things turn out.
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)
I always go to a coffee shop and listen to epic cinematic music to write. It’s been part of my writing process for over a decade, so it’s like flipping a switch in my brain when I sit down at the coffee shop and pull out my laptop.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
“This isn’t the dress rehearsal.” It’s my motto because I don’t ever want to be complacent about creating the life I truly want to live: we don’t get a second shot, this is it and we have no idea how much time we have on this earth.
If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?
The power within us is always stronger than we think it is.
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