Friday 17 May 2019

Blog Tour: Interview with Claire Legrand Author of Kingsbane

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Kingsbane, the sequel to Furyborn by Claire Legrand. This is the second book in the Empirium Trilogy and comes out on the 21st May. I have an interview with Claire today and if you like the sound of what she has to say or the synopsis of the book below, you can click here to order your copy now! Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews...

Here's what it's all about: 

The anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller Furyborn!
Two queens, separated by thousands of years, connected by secrets and lies, must continue their fight amid deadly plots and unthinkable betrayals that will test their strength―and their hearts.
Rielle Dardenne has been anointed Sun Queen, but her trials are far from over. The Gate keeping the angels at bay is falling. To repair it, Rielle must collect the seven hidden castings of the saints. Meanwhile, to help her prince and love Audric protect Celdaria, Rielle must spy on the angel Corien―but his promises of freedom and power may prove too tempting to resist.
Centuries later, Eliana Ferracora grapples with her new reality: She is the Sun Queen, humanity's long-awaited savior. But fear of corruption―fear of becoming another Rielle―keeps Eliana's power dangerous and unpredictable. Hunted by all, racing against time to save her dying friend Navi, Eliana must decide how to wear a crown she never wanted―by embracing her mother's power, or rejecting it forever. 

Thank you so much to Claire for stopping by today to answer some of my burning questions...

First question-bit of a cliche-how did you get into writing?

I wrote all the time when I was a child. Even from an early age, I loved listening to film scores and coming up with stories inspired by music (which I how I still tend to brainstorm ideas!). I especially loved writing (and reading) stories about horses and unicorns. I always answered with “writer” when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, but it wasn’t until college that I started writing seriously, with the goal of getting published.

Do you write full time & if so, have you always done this?

I do write full-time, in that writing—and everything that comes with it—is a full-time job. However, I also have a master’s degree in library science, and currently I work part-time at a public library. Many people are shocked when they learn how little authors make, and that even bestselling authors often have to supplement their writing income with another career or side-hustle.

Do you have a particular writing style or genre that you prefer?

When it comes to what kind of books I prefer to read, I love darkly fantastical stories about complex female characters, told through atmospheric, lyrical prose. And it just so happens that those are the kinds of stories I prefer to write, as well!

How do you develop your characters as you write, are any of them based on real people?

I spend a lot of time thinking about a story and its characters before I ever begin writing. That long, slow brainstorming period allows me to get to know my characters organically as I take my time to develop their story. And then, of course, I get to know them even better during drafting and again during revisions. It’s an ongoing and lengthy process.

Some of my characters are inspired by real people, particularly in my middle grade novel Some Kind of Happiness, much of which was inspired by my childhood and my cousins.

What was the inspiration behind the Empirium trilogy?

When I was eighteen years old, I had just graduated from high school and was flying home from a family vacation. While daydreaming, and listening to Howard Shore’s score for Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, I had a vision of a powerful young woman surrounded by fire and quite obviously about to make a terrible and profound decision. I was immediately arrested by the image of this woman and started asking myself questions about her. As I answered those questions, the character of Rielle Dardenne was born, and the rest of the trilogy grew around her.

What is your writing process-do you plan it out first? Write a bit at a time?

As previously mentioned, I spend a lot of time brainstorming a story—through music, daydreams, and art—before I ever sit down to begin writing. Once I’m ready to start writing the first draft, I put together an outline that covers what I think will be the major plot points of the story. Some of my outlines are more detailed than others, and once I feel like I have enough outlined material to get started, I begin writing. What I came up with during the outlining stage always changes as I get into the actual writing, which is sometimes frustrating, since sometimes I have to stop, regroup, and rethink my outline while drafting. But without that outline to help me get started, the blank page is way too terrifying for me, so I’ve learned to accept my somewhat messy and roundabout process.

How much of you is reflected in your writing?

You can learn a lot about me through reading my writing. I write to create stories that readers will love, yes, but I also write for me—to understand myself and understand the world around me. By reading my books, you can therefore see a lot of my fears, desires, questions, and beliefs reflected in my writing.

What kind of research did you have to do before/during writing this trilogy?

This trilogy had been in the works for fourteen years before it was published. During that time, I did a lot of work planning the story, developing the characters, and building the world, but I didn’t conduct a lot of what you might think of as “research.” I do, however, frequently revisit my favourite action scenes from films and television shows to help me engineer and execute the numerous action-packed scenes in the Empirium Trilogy.

How much attention do you pay to the reviews that you get?

I try not to seek out reviews. Reviews aren’t for me; they’re for readers. I don’t get on Goodreads, nor do I seek out reviews by searching for my name or my books’ titles on social media. I listen to my agent, my editors, and my trusted author colleagues. Their helps me untangle plot knots and guides me when I need guidance. Other than that, it’s about keeping my head down, practising my craft, and reading as many books as possible.

Are friends and family supportive of your writing? 
I’m extraordinarily lucky to have a huge network of supportive friends and family. They cheer me on, comfort me when the publishing world kicks me in the shins, and are so excited every time a new book hits the shelves. I couldn’t do this without their love and encouragement.
How do you feel leading up to your publication day?

Kingsbane will be my eighth published novel, so I’ve done this a few times by now and am therefore feeling pretty calm. I’m incredibly proud of this book—and this trilogy overall—and am so excited for people to read it!

Which other authors inspire you or are there any you particularly enjoy reading?

A few authors who inspire me are Kristin Cashore, Philip Pullman, Frances Hardinge, Libba Bray, A. S. King, Karen Russell, Lindsay Eagar, Corey Ann Haydu, Lauren Groff, Elana K. Arnold, and Naomi Novik. I’ve also recently devoured my first Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie novel—Americanah—and fell head over heels for her writing.

Finally...what are you working on right now?

A young adult horror novel and the third book in the Empirium Trilogy!

Thanks again to Claire for stopping by the blog today and remember to check out the other blogs on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews. 

To pre-order your copy of Kingsbane, just click the link: UK or US

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