So I have been mentioning this for a while but in March I met the talented and lovely Audrey Coulthurst, the author of the amazing ‘Of Fire & Stars’. I had the great opportunity of asking her some questions about the book and her writing process and here are her answers below.
She was also super generous and I have a signed hardcopy of ‘Of Fire & Stars’ for one lucky reader to win!! Just click here to enter for the chance to win a signed copy of the book!
The giveaway will run from today until Sunday 2nd of July at 12:00am! So get your entries in! You can enter through commenting down below your favourite book so far this year and then by tweeting me your favourite part of ‘Of Fire & Stars’ @wedgesoflemon to gain extra entries!
Now to the interview, I hope you enjoy her answers, I certainly did – and if you ever get the chance to meet her – DO IT! She is such a lovely person!
1) Out of the main two girls, which do you identify more with, and which one came first to you?
Mare and Denna each represent different parts of me. As a teenager, I was much more like Denna–bookish, academic, and on the quiet side (go team Ravenclaw!). Unlike Denna, I was riding horses by then. I spent most of my time outside school at the barn. It took a lot longer for my brash, more Mare-ish side to emerge. Both characters came to me at the same time, which I haven’t had happen in a project since. I always knew I wanted to write a story about two very different princesses who fell in love when it was the last thing they were supposed to do.
2) How did you come up with the magic system?
Developing the magic system went hand-in-hand with the religion in Of Fire and Stars. The political plot of the story has to do with the dangers of what happens when people persecute those different from them. What the people in the book fail to realize is that that people’s gifts are very much tied to the gods–or at least were a long time ago. I don’t want to say too much more at the risk of spoiling my second book!
3)Is there anything you wish you had included now that it’s published?
Not really. There are a few scenes I was a little sad to lose during revisions, but the book is stronger without them.
4) Was there a point when you were at a crossroads and you had no idea which road to take? And could that have changed the story dramatically?
There were a lot of crossroads during revisions, and it’s always hard to know which path is right. Sometimes it’s more like a five-way intersection than a crossroads, too! One thing that always stayed at the heart of the story was the romance between Denna and Mare. The slow burn and the unfolding of their feelings for each other has always been essentially the same. Most of the changes had to do with the political plot and how that unfolded, and it certainly could have been different if I’d chosen another path.
5) Do you have a favourite part of the novel in particular?
One of the scenes I enjoyed writing most (that isn’t spoilery) is the one in which Denna plays the harp for Mare. It’s the first time Mare sees Denna in a different light. I love that Denna brings out some of Mare’s more subtle talents, like singing, and gets to see a more tender part of her.
6) When you were writing, did anything evolve that surprised you that you didn’t expect or intend to happen?
Until I got published, I’m not sure I fully appreciated how many people it takes to make a book – not just the wonderful people at HarperCollins, but also the support network I have outside of that. One of the most challenging parts of writing the book was figuring out all of the history behind the politics, religion, and magic in the Northern Kingdoms. Fortunately, I have some very smart friends and critique partners who were a huge help. It would have been impossible to finish the book without them.
Thank you so much Audrey for your time!
You can buy the book on Amazon here.
Good Luck in the Giveaway!! I hoped you enjoyed the interview.
Love, Em x