Interview with Mary Pearson Author of The Remnant Chronicles + Giveaway

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I’m so excited to be hosting The Remnant Chronicles Read Along with these amazing bloggers- Bridget from Dark Faerie Tales, Christina from The Book Hook Up, Stacee from Adventures of a Book Junkie, and Jamie from Two Chicks on Books.

Interview

The Kiss of Deception stands out from your other books since it is set in a different world than our own. Can you describe some of the difficulties or advantages writing outside of our reality?
This is a tricky question to answer, because even though the Remnant world doesn’t look like our world, it is based very much on our world, really, in the same way so much of fantasy is. Often fantasy worlds are metaphors for our own, and let us see our reality in a new light.

In Remnant’s case, it was like our world in a very real sense too, because it grew out of the ashes of our present one, along with whatever snips of memory and tradition the few survivors of the “Devastation” had to pass on, and with the scrabbling to survive for generations, much was lost—except story. But in the Remnant world, as in our own, the story changed as it was passed along, or sometimes it was purposely twisted to serve another purpose, and what started as a hazy memory told in story, became the history and belief system of many nations.

As with our own histories, trying to parse out the truth thousands of years later can be an impossible task. Until we can master the trick of time travel, some truths are lost forever. (Ah, time travel! Maybe that will be the next story . . .)

So yes, the Remnant world looked and operated differently in so many ways and writing that part was a fun challenge, but in so many other ways—especially in the ways in which we love and hate each other—it was still very much the same. Some things are timeless.

This August the last of The Remnant Chronicles, The Beauty of Darkness, releases. How does it feel to be saying goodbye to this series (*sniff*)?
It is hard to say goodbye.  I’m still not sure I have.  A few characters keep whirling in my head, voices, snips of dialogue, story beginnings.  Just because you write “the end” it doesn’t mean that a world vanishes overnight or the gears in your brain stop turning.

On the other hand, it is enormously satisfying to see the stories come to completion, the full arc realized. Even when you think you know how a story will end, you are never entirely certain it is all going to come together how you hoped, not so much from a plot standpoint but from an emotional point of view. And of course I was juggling three main characters arcs—not just one. It was a challenge but I was happy with the outcome for each of the characters. It felt true and complete, and typing “The End” was satisfying, even if it was bittersweet to say goodbye.

Did the story and characters go as you had planned or did they surprise you as you wrote?
Oh, there were always surprises. Secondary characters came on the scene who threw me curve balls. In the last book, both the Komizar and Aster grew into much more full-bodied characters than I expected. Aster hadn’t even been planned. She first appeared in my head when she dropped boots off at Lia’s doorstep. I had no idea she would steal my heart. That is what I love about writing. If I had every detail planned it would feel robotic. The world and the characters have to inject their own life into the story, and I follow their leads.

In The Beauty of Darkness there were some surprises too—a character who appeared in the first book, Natiya, returned, and I saw a young Lia in the making. It was interesting for me to see Natiya’s transformation. Her experiences had made her stubborn and fierce which we got a glimpse of in the first book. It exasperated Lia to deal with someone so much like herself.

Also, the demise of a certain character, and the way this character died had not been planned, but it almost fell into my lap as the most perfect way for this person to die. (Yes, I revel in certain deaths. Scary, huh?)

And finally, in The Heart of Betrayal, Aster stole a book from the piles in the caverns. In The Beauty of Darkness, I had to find a “description” for this book and I brainstormed tons of them with both my editor and agent and it seemed nothing was quite right and finally one came to mind that was not only perfect for the story, but perfect for Aster too.

So some surprises are always part of the writing process, even when you think you know the direction you are going and how everything will play out.

What do you have coming next?
Ideas are simmering. A few have taken hold. I’m waiting to see which one rises to the top and wins my undying attention.

Are you as excited as I am about The Beauty of Darkness? It releases NEXT MONTH. I can’t wait.

Check out these other posts I’ve done about this series

Giveaway

To enter to win these two prizes you just need to join the read along and fill out the rafflecopter from below! (FYI, these won’t be the only prizes we’ll be giving away. There will be great prizes up for grabs during the twitter chats and for the Instagram challenges, so make sure to participate in those to get a chance to win some other goodies!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway