YOU ASKED, I ANSWERED!
It’s been so long since I’ve done a Q&A, I am so happy we got to do one again, especially now that I have another series out in the world. We chatted about The Fair Isle Trilogy, what’s my next series will be about, quirky writing habits, and more. Thank you to everyone who sent me their questions! Now, let’s get on with the answers!
NOTE: This Q&A was originally streamed live on Facebook. If you want the FULL experience and my much more in-depth answers, please check out the 30 min video below (you can also watch it in the Royal Readers FB Group (it’s a pinned post!)
Otherwise, if you prefer written content, here is the summarized Q&A below.
Q: What is your next series going to be like? Will it be more like Lela or in the Fair Isle wheelhouse?
A: I must first start with the caveat that ALL OF THIS COULD CHANGE! My concepts tend to go through major transformations by the time they get to the actual outlining stage, so the actual series could look very different from how I imagine it now. Especially since I’m trying NOT to give it much thought until December, because if I get too invested in my next series ideas, I could get sidetracked from finished To Spark a Fae War. And that would be a CRIME! So here’s what I know about my next series…
- It WILL be set in the world of the Fair Isle (woohoo!!!)
- It will most likely be set modern day, as opposed to the timeline of Evie’s Fair Isle (which resembles a late Victorian/early Edwardian earth). And since the Fair Isle is on a made up earth-like-but-not-earth world, my “modern day” will be similar to Sarah J Maas’ Crescent City, where it will be familiar technology/language/society, but in a non-earth magical world.
- The male romantic interest will be Franco from To Wear a Fae Crown (swoon!!!)
- The female main character will be of human-fae lineage.
- She will be cursed by an unfortunate fae bargain that greatly gets in the way of her love life.
- There will likely be supernatural coven and academy/university elements.
And that’s pretty much what I know, without giving away too much about the end of To Spark a Fae War.
Q: Would you travel to Faerwyvae?
A: If I were younger, single, and childless I TOTALLY would go have an adventure in Faerwyvae! However, now that I’m a mom and a homebody, I’d have to pass. My fiercely protective mama bear instincts keep me happily at home writing about magical worlds I’d never have the guts to visit in real life.
Q: Which character would you most like to hang out with from your books?
A: Without a doubt, Foxglove and Lorelei. Back in my drinking days, I would have loved to go to a fae bar with them, get tipsy on fae wine, listen to Foxglove blab about all the pretty boys he has crushes on while holding Lorelei back from getting into bar fights with fellow patrons. Nowadays, I would still love to hang out with them, but I’d be their designated driver.
I’d also enjoy taking a magical ride with Valorre, or having Teryn and Cora over for couples night. I think with Evie, I would just argue with her the whole time, and I’m WAY to argue to hang with any of the brooding fae royals from the Fair Isle. No way.
Q: What inspires you?
A: Overall, I’m super inspired by art, film, and mythology. I’m also super inspired by being a mom and seeing how my creativity influences my daughters. It’s amazing to realize I can have such a positive impact on her relationship with art, writing, and reading, just by being creative myself.
As for the books themselves, each book had different sources for inspiration.
For the Lela Trilogy, this was my first series, so it was basically a sum of the most magical loves from my childhood, such as…
- The Book of Atrix Wolf by Patricia A. McKillip.
- The Last Unicorn animated film.
- Aladdin, and Jafar in particular as inspiration for Morkai.
- The movie Stardust, and Tristan’s romantic journey from being obsessed with the snobby Victoria to finding his true love in Yvaine.
For Twisting Minds…
- This book began as a literal dream, and was further shaped by my fascination with neuroscience and psychology.
For To Carve a Fae Heart/The Fair Isle Trilogy…
- This book also started as a literal dream, one of the most moving and visceral ones I’ve ever had.
- K-dramas, particularly Boys Over Flowers.
- Pride and Prejudice, in particular the relationships/major events between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy (Evie and Aspen), Lydia and Mr. Wickham (Amelie and Cobalt), and Lady Catherine DeBourgh and Lizzy Bennet (Melusine and Evie.)
- Beauty and the Beast
Q: Do you listen to music or munch on snack while you write?
A: Music – I wish I could listen to music while I wrote, because it sounds so romantic and magical to me. BUT I need total silence and very little distractions, which means I can rarely write in public places like cafes either. I love being holed up in my “office” with no sound (aside from daily life.)
Muchies – now this I DO participate in, particularly because I often get so in the zone that I can’t bring myself to take a long enough break from writing to eat a proper meal, which spells disaster for my digestion. But, what can you do? I always have a beverage on my desk, usually kombucha, but I also love fancy teas and sometimes coffee. For snacks, I like me some chocolatey protein bars that are basically just chocolate desserts disguised as health food and POPCORN! Best writing snack ever, aside from the popcorn toppings that get all over my keyboard.
Q: Do you have a playlist for each book that helped inspire scenes? Or certain songs in general?
A: I’ve always struggled to pair music with my writing, which might have to do with the fact that I write old-timey fantasy but listen to contemporary music (I love me some indie folk rock, 1960s garage rock, synth, soul, psychedelic pop, and Kpop). The only time I’ve paired my writing with music was with Twisting Minds, which is a futuristic dystopian. I think this one was so easy to pair with music, because it had the feels of certain films/shows, like Blade Runner, Dark, Black Mirror, Vanilla Sky. It was easier for me to imagine each scene as it would play out in a movie and what music would go with it. Perhaps, with my next series taking place in a more modern time, I’ll have better luck pairing music with it!
Q: Who would you pick as your dream cast if your books were optioned?
A: This question used to be way easier for me to answer, but has gotten so much more difficult lately. A lot of the actors/actresses I like have aged out of the roles of my characters. Also, I constantly blown away by the new talent that keeps popping up, I would love for my characters to be played by little known rising stars.
But, for the sake of funsies, these are some of the actors who really stand out to me today.
- Zendaya: I would love for her to play Cora. I just really love her acting and think she’d make a really awesome version of Cora.
- Gemma Arterton: another possible Cora. She was one of my visual inspirations when writing the Lela Trilogy.
- Ivana Baquero: This Spanish actress is another I would love to see play Cora. However, her role in the Netflix show Alta Mar/High Seas was major inspiration for Evie. I could totally see her playing a feisty Evie as well.
- Lee Min Ho: I mentioned Boys Over Flowers was a big inspiration while writing To Carve a Fae Heart, and Lee Min Ho, who played Gu Jun Pyo, has long been my visual inspiration for Aspen. In fact I would die of happiness if To Carve a Fae Heart was turned into a fantasy kdrama. So it’s only natural that I would want to see him play Aspen!
- Henry Cavill: I mean, duh. If we’re going American casting, I can’t imagine anyone to better play Aspen than him. He already has the stoic “I only speak in grunts” persona from the Witcher.
And lastly, these are two fun facts that no one knows about The Fair Isle Trilogy…
- The Fair Isle and Lela are connected! This will probably never make it into the books, but I always imagined that the same event that pushed Lela into the human realm had a ripple effect across several dimensions, including the original world the people of Faerwyvae are from. That same spell that Satsara wove, pushed the Fair Isle into the human world, which is why it’s the only land mass populated but he fae and why it was discovered near mainland Bretton over a thousand years ago.
- SPOILER WARNING: If you haven’t read To Wear a Fae Crown, do not read this until you’ve finished it! Ok…I didn’t know Evie had fae blood when I originally plotted out To Carve a Fae Heart. It wasn’t until that first scene where Evie is arguing with her mom about going to university on the mainland that I realized her mom was being super ominous. Yes, even my own writing tends to surprise me. When her mother warned her never to lose faith in magic, it all came to me: Evie was fae through her mother’s side, and it became a MAJOR plot point for the rest of the series.
All right, I hope you guys enjoyed that Q&A! I had so much much answering these questions 🙂