I am super excited to be hosting a stop today on the Indie Summer Blog Tour! I am even more excited to have Moira Katson, author of the awesome Shadowborn, the first book in the Light & Shadows series (my review!), here for an interview. I'll admit I had not heard of Moira's book prior to becoming a part of the tour, but I finished it the other day and it's just awesome! It's a great fantasy that incorporates court intrigue, assassins, epic battles, and friendship. (It's free for your Kindle, too, so there's no reason you shouldn't be reading it!) I've already bought the sequel, Shadowforged, and can't wait to dig in! :) So, after the synopsis, enjoy the interview! (And stick around for not one, but two giveaways!)
About the book:
“You, Catwin, no longer exist. You no longer have a fate of your own, a will of your own, or indeed a soul of your own. You will go where Miriel goes, you will watch instead of being watched, you will hear instead of being heard.”
Catwin has always been good at being unseen…that is, until one fateful mistake brings her to the attention of the Duke of Voltur: the commander of the bloodiest battle in living memory, a man of legendary ruthlessness who is determined to be the power behind the throne. To this end, he has chosen Catwin to be a Shadow—spy, shield, and blade—to his niece Miriel as she works to catch the eye of the King.
But the Duke’s carefully laid plans are only a piece of the intrigue swirling within the royal court. Shadows gather: legacies of the centuries-long rivalries for power, old betrayals, the endless plots of the courtiers, and the murmur of rebellion in the southern provinces.
Greater forces than Catwin can imagine are massed against her, determined to eliminate Miriel and impose a new order of their own. If Catwin and Miriel are to survive, they must learn quickly who to trust, and when to turn their skills against the very people who have trained them...
Buy the book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBookstore
And I’m excited to be here – thank you for hosting! Shadowborn was inspired by stories I have known and loved, of women who were meant to be no more than pawns in someone else’s game, who ended up escaping. But I wanted to shake it up a bit! In the very first concept of the story, the narrator was another woman at court, a distant cousin of Miriel’s. I wanted her to be someone who would be entirely overlooked, however, and that was how Catwin came into being – a peasant, practically an orphan. I scribbled down the first line in a notebook, and her voice just came into being with a vengeance. Miriel, as well, came to life in ways I had never foreseen at the start, which was wonderful!
I read in your FAQ of your love of Robin McKinley (who I have sung the praises of more times than I can count on my blog; it's sad, really) and her novel, Beauty. If you were to write a retelling of a fairy tale, like Robin McKinley did with Beauty and the Beast, what do you think you'd choose and why?
Well, it’s funny you should ask… This question reminded me that I had an unfinished short story version of Snow White sitting on my hard drive! If I was starting from scratch, however, I think I’d have to go with Sleeping Beauty. She is really an entirely voiceless character in the original tale, and I would love to spin a tale of a girl who was absurdly sheltered, yearning for more and falling into the trap while attempting to escape! You have to think that she felt so stifled, being shut away.
What are some of your favorite books? And what are some books that have influenced you as a writer? (Maybe they're both!)
Oh, my. The list comes out! I have many favorites lying dog-eared around the house, and almost all have provided fodder in one way or another.
- For YA books: Beauty, Dealing with Dragons, Alanna, the Chrestomanci series, So You Want to Be A Wizard
- For epic fantasy and sci-fi: Kushiel’s Dart, Cyteen, River of Stars, Dune, the Pern series
- For character writing and language: The Concubine by Norah Lofts, Snow Crash, any Jeeves & Wooster novel, Deep Secret, anything by Madeleine L’Engle
From what I've seen, a lot of authors have their own specific way of writing, be it a special spot or a drink they must have. Do you have anything you just can't write without? And what's your writing process typically like?
I write on the bus in the mornings and afternoons, during my lunch breaks, all of that – so by the evening, I have a whole bunch of notes to transcribe down, and I’m usually on the couch surrounded by scraps of paper, typing away! I confess to a love of tea, and scotch is a perennial favorite…but the best thing that can happen is for me to get so absorbed in my writing that I get completely absorbed, and come to a few hours later with a some new pages and an untouched drink!
What book(s) are you most looking forward to reading this year?
Well, it’s hardly a new series, but I’ve been dying to read Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles; they’ve been recommended by almost all of my family (I come by my nerdy tendencies honestly). Also, I loved Hunter & Fox by Philippa Ballantine, and the sequel (Kindred and Wings) just came out!
And just for fun (I just love these answers!), can you tell us one random, silly fact about yourself?
I've gotten incredibly addicted to lychees recently. (In my defense, they are delicious!) Gummies, candles, perfume, tea – anything lychee, I must have!
A big, big thanks to Moira Katson for letting me ask my random questions and being so patient! :)
Moira Katson writes Fantasy and Science Fiction novels. Born and raised in the farmland of the eastern United States, she is now a transplant living in the oft-frigid wastes of the midwest, where she is learning to love hot dish, fried food on a stick, ice fishing, and the hilarious faces her friends make when she tells them about winter temperatures.
And NOW, I have two giveaways to share with you! The first is for ecopies of the entire Light & Shadow trilogy, and the second is the tour-wide giveaway for a Kindle Fire!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway