Interview with Lori M. Lee, Debut Author of Gates of Thread and Stone

So today is a pretty cool day. And no, not because it’s the anniversary of Charles the Fifteenth getting crowned king of Norway. (After the tenth Charles you should probably stop counting.)


I have been waiting to read this for literally forever (and yes, I mean literally forever, since the dawn of time) and here’s why:

Gates cover FINAL smIn the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe.

In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.

Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.

You are correct, universe. This book DOES sound amazing. And it’s out today. And you can read it. Congratulations, you! Actually, congratulations to me, because I just bought it and will have it attached to my face for approximately the amount of time it takes to complete.

Also, congratulations to Lori M. Lee herself, who was kind enough to participate in an interview where she shares some of the inspiration behind GATES OF THREAD AND STONE!

Can you tell us a little about the inspiration for your debut book?

The character of Kai was inspired by something a friend said in passing about time. Unfortunately, I can’t actually tell you what she said because it would spoil the book! But I basically meshed this idea of a girl who can manipulate time with another idea about mind-controlled super soldiers, and it all made sense!

How did you come up with your title? Were there any you considered first?

The book was originally titled Harbinger, which my agent and I both liked except literally right before we went on submission, another young adult book released under that title. So it had to be changed, and I’m glad it was because I LOVE the current title. Several people at the agency and myself threw around some ideas, and we eventually settled on Gates of Thread and Stone.

What was the hardest part of writing GATES?

The ending, because I struggled with certain elements that I wasn’t sure I wanted to keep. And I know that’s the vaguest answer ever, but I don’t want to spoil anything haha.

Is there anything that helps you get into the writing zone – music, for example?

Music is great for getting the mood of a scene right, but I can’t actually listen to music while writing. It’s too distracting. Mostly I just reread a bit of what I wrote earlier, and that’s enough to get me back into the moment.

What is it about young adult fiction that draws you in as a writer?

I’ve always written young adult fiction. Even when I was a little kid, well before “young adult” was a category, I was writing about teens having adventures because that’s what I wanted to do when I was their age. And then long after, I was still writing about teens because that’s just the time period in our lives that resonates the strongest with me. Basically, I can’t imagine not writing young adult fiction.

Was there ever a time when you seriously considered giving up on your writing dream?

Weirdly enough, when I was a teen! There was a period of a couple years after my brother passed away when I didn’t write anything. Then, once I’d rediscovered that passion, I almost gave up my dream for a boy, which would have been the dumbest thing I’d ever done!

Do you have any advice for writers trying to get published?

If it’s truly your passion, don’t let anyone stand in the way of your dreams, even the people you love. Although ideally, the people you love will be cheering you on 🙂

Can you say anything about your next project/s?

I can’t say anything about the sequel, but I’m also working on a new fantasy that I’ve been wanting to write for ages. I’m recycling some mythology from a shelved project, and it’s been fun breathing new life into the ideas.

lori_smallLori is the author of young adult fantasy Gates of Thread and Stone, coming August 5, 2014 from Skyscape. She has a borderline obsessive fascination with unicorns, is fond of talking in capslock, and loves to write about magic, manipulation, and family. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, kids, and a friendly pitbull.

Thank you so much, Lori!

You can follow Lori and her writing on her website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Goodreads.

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2 Responses to Interview with Lori M. Lee, Debut Author of Gates of Thread and Stone

  1. I finished reading this yesterday and it is everything you could ever want in YA Fantasy novel.

  2. Great interview and the book sounds amazing, so intriguing and mysterious. Best of luck with it Lori. 🙂

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