April is here! Wahoo! There are so many wonderful books this month! Are your eyeballs ready?
We Rule the Night
by Claire Eliza Bartlett
Seventeen-year-old Revna is a factory worker, manufacturing war machines for the Union of the North. When she’s caught using illegal magic, she fears being branded a traitor and imprisoned. Meanwhile, on the front lines, Linné defied her father, a Union general, and disguised herself as a boy to join the army. They’re both offered a reprieve from punishment if they use their magic in a special women’s military flight unit and undertake terrifying, deadly missions under cover of darkness. Revna and Linné can hardly stand to be in the same cockpit, but if they can’t fly together, and if they can’t find a way to fly well, the enemy’s superior firepower will destroy them–if they don’t destroy each other first.
April 2nd, 2019
Introduce yourself and your debut novel!
Hi! I’m Claire, an author and tour guide living in Copenhagen! My debut, WE RULE THE NIGHT, is a YA fantasy about two girls who join an all-women’s air regiment flying magical planes in an epic war. They’ll face off against traditional enemies and the men who are supposed to be their allies - but they won’t be able to come out the other side until they learn to trust and work with each other.
What’s the most surprising part about your debut journey so far?
How supportive everyone wants to be! I kept hearing how alone authors are on certain parts of the publishing journey, but so many people have shared this with me, from friends to collaborators to total strangers. It’s so wonderful.
Give a shout-out to a fellow debut!
Just one?! I can’t possibly do fewer than three. I want to shout out first to Hanna Alkaf, who’s a voice of strength in our community and who wrote a fantastic historical debut, THE WEIGHT OF OUR SKY. I started crying on page 30 and I didn’t stop till I closed the book. I personally felt that Joan He’s DESCENDANT OF THE CRANE is a masterful political fantasy, everyone needs to go read it right now. And I HAVE to shout out Kelly Coon, whose book GRAVEMAIDENS will be out at the tail end of the year. It’s another kickass female fantasy and she is the most wonderful, supportive person!
Who is your favorite character?
Magdalena the mechanic. I’m hoping readers will get to see more of her in one form or another ;)
What's a cool thing about your book that isn't in the blurb?
There is no romance in this book. NO ROMANCE. When I was a young adult I wanted to read a romanceless book, and now I’ve been able to write one!
What was the hardest scene to write?
The climactic scene - I can’t get more specific, but. I struggled to balance out what my two main characters are dealing with and how they overcome it. And I completely rewrote it in our final phase of edits, after heavy edits on the rest of the novel revealed its weak links. I’m so happy with how it turned out, though!
What advice would you give to a new writer?
Keep writing, because that’s what writers do. Even if you have a book deal, even if you think you’ll never get a book deal. And if you have trouble writing, reach out. The community cares about you even if we haven’t met you yet!
Describe your writing space.
Messy, like my brain. I have an adjustable desk so I can stand or sit, and a large screen so I can usually have an outline/google/something distracting on one side, and Scrivener on the other. And I have a lot of stuff on my desk that shouldn’t be here!
How do you develop your plot and characters?
I start with a concept, and usually that concept comes with a character type or trope. As I flesh out the concept, more characters come into place - and when I start thinking about specific dialogue, I know I’m ready to start. I usually draft ‘keystone scenes’ first - scenes that have a clear purpose, usually scenes that are important for character development (and the fun thing is, as I draft one scene I usually come up with an idea for more!). When I run out of scenes, it’s time to create an outline and see what I’m missing. It’s messy. I usually write 30-40,000 words more than I need. But whatever works?
Who is your favorite author?
What book or author has most influenced your own writing?
Right now, perhaps Guy Gavriel Kay. His blend of not-quite-history is amazing.
Share a link to a favorite song!
You want to enter into the world of WE RULE THE NIGHT? Check out some electro-swing, starting with a favorite of mine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZZ8V2AFUq0
Thanks Claire! Everyone, go read about magic pilots on 4/2/19!