Guess what day it is…
Meaning it’s time for a debut author interview!!
I really need to come up with a cool graphic for these…
Anyway, today I got to chat with Danielle Jensen, debut author of STOLEN SONGBIRD, Book 1 of The Malediction Trilogy. It’s a YA fantasy, and it’ll be out from Strange Chemistry on April 1st!
For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.
Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.
But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.
As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.
Can you tell us a little about the inspiration for your debut book?
STOLEN SONGBIRD was somewhat inspired by a dream I had about a city covered by rubble, but mostly it came swimming out of my imagination. It makes me wonder what else is hiding in there!
How did you come up with your title? Were there any you considered first?
This book has had so many titles! Its very first title was TROLL, and I actually still call it the troll-book most of the time. It had a different title when my agent offered me representation, which any intrepid Google searcher can probably find. My agent and I tried out a few different titles while we were going through edits, and then when it sold to Strange Chemistry, it was agreed at the outset that the title would change again. Lists circulated around and around, but credit for STOLEN SONGBIRD actually goes to my agent. The series as a whole is called THE MALEDICTION TRILOGY, which was one of the original titles I pushed for.
What was the hardest part of writing this particular book?
The revise, resubmit part. My agent didn’t offer me representation the first time she read STOLEN SONGBIRD. She gave me a list of things she thought needed work, and told me she’d read it again if I made the revisions. It’s embarrassing to admit, but it took me a bit of time to get over myself and actually make those changes. So I guess for me, the hardest part about this book was figuring out how to tame the ego-monster and accept critique.
Is there anything that helps you get into the writing zone – music, for example?
I have a procrastination routine that involves circling the Internet a few times before settling down to work. I prefer to write in absolute silence, but when I’m editing, I listen to classical music. Anything with words, and I start singing. And believe me when I say, no one wants that!
What is it about writing for young people that draws you in as an author?
Young people are much more open-minded about what they read – they’ll pick up anything as long as it interests them.
Was there ever a time when you seriously considered giving up on your writing dream?
Find me a writer who HASN’T felt like giving up! I was actually in an absolute pit of despair a few days before I got THE CALL from my agent offering me representation. One of those what am I doing? Why do I bother? I’m never going to succeed moments that I think are all too familiar for querying writers. What has helped me stay the course is the desire to spend my life doing something I love. I don’t want to look back on my life when I’m old and feel that I gave up on my dreams because of a few years of rejection. I would rather work harder doing something I love than have an easy ride doing something that bores me. Nothing worth having ever comes easy, right?
Do you have any advice for writers trying to get published?
The best thing you can do is to keep working at becoming a better writer, because that’s the one thing you really have control over.
Can you say anything about your next project/s?
I am currently working on finishing the sequel to STOLEN SONGBIRD. I have another project on the backburner, but I haven’t mastered the art of working on more than one project at the same time.
Thanks, Danielle! 🙂