New York Times best seller Lauren DeStefano excels in transporting her readers into creative worlds. Her novels are beautifully written with lyrical prose and characters that are questing for knowledge and self-discovery. Along with her two young adult series she has now embarked on a middle grade book that looks amazing. I’m honored to have Lauren here to talk about her newest release, Burning Kingdoms and a bit about her other books.
About the Internment Chronicles:
In the Internment Chronicles series a group of people live on an island far up in the sky. What inspired this idea of a city in the clouds?
One of the main sources of inspiration was a game I used to play in my head when I was a kid. Whenever I had to go somewhere that frightened me, or do something I didn’t like, I used to imagine that my house was its own island and that nobody could enter or leave. Over time, all the “what ifs” of that scenario manifested into pieces of a story.
While reading I kept thinking of how claustrophobic it would be to know you’d never be able to approach the edge or leave. How were you able to harness this feeling so well and express it in your writing?
I think most people can relate to that feeling of restriction in one way or another. We all have reasons—emotional, physical or otherwise—that we feel held back on occasion. For me, I struggle with anxiety, and sometimes my own unreasonable worries restrict me from choices I’d like to make. The human mind is its own floating island.
Burning Kingdoms has your heroine, Morgan, experiencing life below on the ground and seeing incredible things that Internment didn’t have. You did a wonderful job conveying the wonder and fear your characters felt. Was this difficult to accomplish?
Yes and no. Many of the things that Morgan saw were mundane to me, like the idea of a round planet and the vastness of the ocean, but at the same time I’ve been awestruck by things, so I tried to find a balance and see though her eyes.
Speakeasies, two kingdoms at war—your world below has many intriguing elements that evoke the past though you throw in some unique aspects to make it obviously not our world. Could you talk about some of the inspirations for this world?
While a particular time period is never specified, I’m fascinated with the 1920s and that inspired a lot of the scenes. I wanted Morgan to arrive in this new world at a time when liberations and freedoms were being tested, especially for young women.
What was your favorite thing to have your characters experience on the ground?
In this series, one of my favorite aspects are the sibling relationships you’ve developed-Morgan and Lex plus in the Burning Kingdoms the Piper children. Are siblings interactions some of your favorite to write?
Definitely. Family dynamics have always interested me, maybe because my own family always felt very standard, and when I was growing up I wanted to know more about how families—especially large ones—interacted.
Could you give us any hints about the next and final book in the series?
About A Curious Tale of the In-Between and writing in general
You have just written your first middle grade book, A Curious Tale of the In-Between. When you began did you set out writing for a younger age group or did it develop in that direction?
I had no idea what this story was going to be, at all. It was a rare, wonderful experience to write without worry (I’d like to try that again sometime). I hadn’t seriously considered publishing it at first, but when I told the story to my little cousin, who was in second grade at the time, her excitement and interest really motivated me to write for younger readers.
Out of all the series you’ve worked on do you have a favorite or one that comes easier to write than the others?
A Curious Tale of the In-Between.
Have any of your characters taken on a life of their own and go off the original path you had set for them?
Only all of them.
Thank you so much Lauren!
About Burning Kingdoms
After escaping Internment, Morgan and her fellow fugitives land on the ground to finally learn about the world beneath their floating island home.
The ground is a strange place where water falls from the sky as snow, and people watch moving pictures and visit speakeasies. A place where families can have as many children as they want, their dead are buried in vast gardens of bodies, and Internment is the feature of an amusement park.
It is also a land at war.
Everyone who fled Internment had their own reasons to escape their corrupt haven, but now they’re caught under the watchful eye of another king who wants to dominate his world. They may have made it to the ground, but have they dragged Internment with them?
Releases today, March 10, 2015
This is an international giveaway. The winner may choose either Perfect Ruin or Burning Kingdoms
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