Hello everybody! Today, I’m so thrilled to finally be bringing you another post as part of my #AreYouWithUs initiative, which will now likely continue into June as I just haven’t been able to fit everything I have planned into May. Today is an interview with 2023 debut author Jenny Ireland, who wrote one of my favourites of the year so far. Onto the post!
Hello everybody! Today, I’m delighted to be part of the blog tour for the Starlight Stables Gang, the first in a new equestrian middle grade series by influencer Esme Higgs and author Jo Cotteril. Onto the post!
Hello everybody! Today, I am SO excited to be sharing my interview with Sarah Todd Taylor with you all, which came about after she responded to one of my tweets where I was being shameless and saying how much I love doing interviews. Onto the post!
Hello everybody! Today, I’m so thrilled to be the last stop on the blog tour for the wonderful Mia and the Lightcasters, with my interview with the author Janelle McCurdy. Onto the post!
1. Hi Janelle, thank you so much for being here today!! To start us off, can you describe Mia and the Lightcasters for us in 5 words?
Emotional, magical, mystical, scary, adventure!
2. Umbra are creatures made of starlight, who bond with tamers, in the world you’ve created. Where did the idea for this concept come from? Would you say you’re particularly interested in astronomy/astrology?
I’m fascinated by the universe. From the stars in the sky to all the planets and galaxies beyond our world. I don’t believe we’re alone in the universe and I love creating imaginary worlds because of it. The possibilities are endless as to what’s out there in the stars. The concept of the umbra actually came from my love of Pokémon and my love for stars and constellations. I wanted to create a creature that literally embodied the beauty of the stars, and the hidden darkness of the universe itself, because we don’t know what’s completely out there.
3. Something I particularly loved about the umbra as well is that they’re kind of hybrids between different animals. If you were to have your own, what would you want them to look like?
I think my umbra would be a mix between a dragon and a red panda, since red pandas are my favourite animal and dragons are my favourite mythical creature.
4. And since Lux and Nox are absolute top tier animal companions, I thought it would be fun to find out who your top 3 are, from any form of media?
Haha thanks! I LOVE Lux and Nox. My top 3 animal companions are:
Pichu from Pokémon
Kirara from Inuyasha
Kuro from Ao no Exorcist
5. As I follow your social media channels, I know you’re a big fan of both gaming and cinema, and I thought that was reflected in your worldbuilding. Do you think your love for these contributed to the book? And in what way(s)?
The action packed adventure and how I created the kingdom of Lunis was inspired by games like Final Fantasy and Tomb Raider. I love exploring big, gorgeous, open worlds and seeing the magic of the worlds unfold on your travels is mesmerising. I wanted that same feeling with my books so I tried to work in the details of the world without it being overbearing. In terms of the influence cinema has with my writing, when I write, I play the scenes out in my head like a movie and try to capture it in words. It can definitely be difficult sometimes, but I really enjoy it. Sometimes it’ll be like a birds eye/ third person view where I’ll see Mia, Lucas and the other characters on the move, and sometimes I’ll try and embody Mia and see things through her eyes, and that moreso connects to the first person POV in games, rather than cinema, but they go hand in hand.
6. You won the FAB prize a few years ago, which is how you got your publishing deal I believe? Can you talk a little bit about that experience? What advice would you give other writers entering prizes? Yes! My publishing deal actually came from an auction, but Faber first spotted my book from the FAB prize. So, before I got an agent, I applied with an older version of my manuscript to the FAB prize and then I ended up getting an agent a few months later. Because I’ve never gotten to the next stage in a writing competition, I had actually forgotten I had entered the FAB prize! I just automatically assumed I didn’t get through to any next stage, let alone win it. So, my agent and I were editing the manuscript together and had sent it out to other editors when I found out I won the prize! I was over the moon! My main advice for anyone considering entering prizes is to just do it! You’ve got nothing to lose! Put yourself out there because you never know, you could have a winning manuscript on your hands.
7. And now that you are being published, what moments are you most looking forward to as the book comes out? What’s your biggest dream as an author?
I’m most looking forward to actually going into a bookshop and seeing my book there. That’s going to be one of the biggest moments of my life, because after ten years, I’ve finally made it. It’s a dream come true.
One of my other biggest dreams as an author is to have a child come up to me and say they love my book. It would mean the world to know that I put a smile on a child’s face and maybe even inspired them to write their own stories. A secret cheeky dream of mine though, is to have my books turned into a video game one day. That’d be so cool! I’d probably never stop playing it haha! Imagine playing as Mia and Lux and Nox in a video game!
8. Also on the theme of writing, what’s your writing routine like, if you have one? Do you have any unusual habits or quirks?
If I’m not on a deadline then I usually like to write first thing in the morning after meditating or late at night. If I’m on a deadline then I usually write first thing in the morning and then take a break every two hours until about 5-6pm. I don’t think I have any unusual quirks. I always write to a specific music playlist that I have, but that’s about it haha!
9. Finally, can you give us any hints about what might be happening in the next book in the series?
I can’t wait for it after the epilogue! I will say this. There will be potential heartbreak in the next one. You’re in for a wild ride!
Favourite ice cream? Cookie dough!
Best thing about summer? Sitting in the park and catching up with friends outside.
If you could go book shopping with anyone, fictional or real, who would you pick and why? Bree from Legendborn
Top 3 books you’ve read so far this year?
Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun by Tọlá Okogwu
The Unexpected Tale of the Bad Brothers by Clare Povey
Rebel Skies by Ann Sei Lin
3 2022 releases you’ve not read yet but are looking forward to?
Amari and The Great Game by BB Alston
Bloodmarked by Tracey Deonn
Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Taking the Blame by Louie Stowell
Thank you so much for reading! Have you read this, or is it on your TBR? What kind of umbra would you want? I’ve decided mine would be a dog-tiger vibe, and I’d love to chat in the comments!