Fierce Reads Tour Author Interview
I was fortunate enough to be contacted by the publicist for the Fierce Reads tour to interview four of their authors before their tour stop at a local book store. We sat around a table and had a nice chat about all manner of things.
All 4 of the authors agreed that it was much more fun to travel and do appearances with a group, rather than individually. In addition to the camaraderie, they felt that it diversified the experience and increased the quality of both the questions they get and the answers they give. Leigh Bardugo mentioned that in the beginning the Fierce Reads tour was all fantasy authors, and she was glad they had decided to mix things up a little and have different genre writers travel together. As someone who’s traveled on tour a lot she said that it was much less stressful and just more fun to be in a group. This was Emma Mills’ first tour, but all three of the others had some interesting stories about their other tour experiences. Josie Angelini referred to her first tour (also a group tour) as a slumber party with wine. Leigh Bardugo told the story of her first tour, with a group entirely consisting of debut authors. They were apparently very nervous until Lish McBride (also a debut author) joined them. She must be very soothing. Leila Sales commented that she especially appreciated this tour experience because she enjoys being with groups of women.
I asked if they had any funny stories from their tour, and all agreed that their first Uber ride had been an ‘experience.’ It was apparently the driver’s first day with Uber – or maybe first day driving? They didn’t elaborate. They all also said that Leila Sales was the one most likely to find something interesting, or talk with someone unique, on tour. She claimed that it was because of her life’s philosophy of “when in doubt, just stay out” because you already know what’s going to happen if you go home. Leila also used to have a chocolate blog and would get sent samples of chocolate to review. Leigh mentioned that she would like to have a jam blog. We talked a bit about Emma’s video blogs (available here, and here) mostly because I’ve been a fan for a while.
When asked who their favorite character to write is, all of the authors began to offer their favorites from each other’s books and it became immediately apparent that they really enjoyed them. Leila’s favorite character from her new book is Peter, the blogger, because his moody, over-the-top blog posts allowed her to be in touch with her adolescent self. All began to comment about how much they liked how Peter was written and began to tell me things that are definitely spoilers, so I won’t repeat. Emma’s favorite character to write is Foster, the young cousin of her novel’s protagonist, because of his youth, innocence, and unabashed authenticity. Josie said she most enjoys writing Carrick, because people get him in all of his fun, creepy weirdness. And finally, Leigh enjoys writing the character of Matthias because of how extreme he is as a character. She feels that in another life he would have been a knight romantic because he is so cause oriented. She loves to make him work against archetype and banter with Nina.
I asked if anyone had a specific routine that helped them write. Emma is still unsure, although she is getting more of a feel for it as she works on her second book. Leigh tends to write in 2 to 3 week bursts with breaks in between. Josie writes in the morning and edits at night, working around her baby’s schedule. She tries to write 2000 words a day, although she says she doesn’t often meet that goal. Leila has to write around her full time job as an editor, so she writes one evening a week and one weekend day. They all agreed that writing retreats are fabulous.
All 4 authors offered sound advice for aspiring authors. Emma classically answered ‘write what you want to read,’ but elaborated with the fact that she loved to write high school drama – especially at a formal dance. Leila advised that writers should make sure that the theme of their work is something relevant to their own life. Josie’s advice was to finish the first draft of your first book, and Leigh agreed, saying that it’s important not to get distracted by new ideas that want to lure you away from what you’re currently writing. She further advised that you tell yourself the story first and that you read widely.
You can look forward to hearing a lot more from these authors in the future. Leigh is set to write a sequel to Six of Crows and is then planning on taking a break from the Grisha universe. Josie is in the planning stages for another series – this time high fantasy that could turn out either young adult or adult, she’s not sure which yet. Leila has several books in the works, including her first middle grade, Once Was a Time, due out in the spring. And Emma has had two more stand alone novels accepted for publication.
You can look forward to Karen’s review of Tonight the Streets Are Ours (with a signed giveaway) as well as my reviews of the other three titles by these authors.
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About Robin Willis
After working in middle school libraries for over 20 years, Robin Willis now works in a public library system in Maryland.
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