Ginger has lived in seclusion, with only her aunt Malgarel and her blue cat, Halcyon, to keep her company. Her sheltered, idyllic life is turned upside-down when her home is attacked by messengers from the world of fae. Accompanied by Halcyon (who may or may not be more than just a cat), an irascible wysling named Azrael, and a loyal fire elemental named Salazar, Ginger ventures into the world of fae to bring a ruthless Queen to justice.
Without further ado, here's the dedicated, talented authoress herself . . .
Tell us a little about yourself! Personality, interests, how you take your coffee—whatever.
I'm an INFP - a severe introvert who adores people. Writing is my greatest love, but when I’m not writing I'm probably making art or reading. (I'm currently reading Jennifer Freitag's 'Plenilune' for the first time since I beta-read it. I'm in love all over again. She inscribed it to me and called me the 'kitty-cat foxy bomb diggity,' which probably says more about my personality than I ever could.) I take my coffee black and strong enough to eat the spoon.
Because many of us here are on our own writing journeys, could you share a little bit about yours?
I was always an avid reader, and I fiddled with writing now and then. I never finished anything until I turned twelve, and wrote a short story called 'The Pegasus on the Mantle.' I submitted it to Girl's Horse Club, an online gathering for horse-loving girls, and I consequently forgot about it - until I received the notification I'd won! After that, I couldn't stop writing. It was the push I needed. It's been rocky and I've had phases (I once went through a depressing phase where everything was…well, depressing) - in fact, after writing for over a decade, I've only recently fallen into something I can call a 'groove'!
What was the Paper Crowns journey like, specifically?
It was more of a jaunt than a journey. It took a total of one month to complete, and was far from grueling - it was a literary vacation. Most of my novels are definitely grueling journeys, no matter how much I love them, but Paper Crowns was something else.
What are some of the sources of inspiration that fueled this story?
I started reading Julie Kagawa's 'Iron Fey' series, which inspired me to also write something fey-ish. I'm not a fan of Julie's writing, but the concept was fun, and there are a million different ways to work it. Owl City's 'Sky Sailing' album prompted the idea of Ginger's Blessing.
What’s your favorite part of writing?
The characters. Everything I write is very character-driven (occasionally they're so character-driven that the world-building suffers during the first draft, but that's what first drafts are for, right?).
What’s the hardest part?
For me, the hardest part is always editing and revising. Editing, because I'm really terrible at seeing my own typos and errors. Revising, because when I write something, it (usually) feels 'set in stone.' Changing it feels like sacrilege. (When I break this rule, however, I break it in really spectacular ways and end up with two entirely different novels.)
If you could spend a day with one of the Paper Crowns characters, who would it be and why?
It would definitely be Azrael. He would infuriate me half to death, but it sure wouldn't be boring.
Your book deals with magic (wysary). Can you talk about how this fictional magic meshes with your Christian faith?
I think many Christians believe modern fictional 'magic' conflicts with Christian faith. Most of the time, this isn't true. Many years ago I did extensive research on this, because every time I dug into magic and Christianity, it seemed like a 'Christianity vs. Magic' fight. It's a fight that's completely unnecessary the majority of the time. 'Magic,' as we know it in most fiction today, simply isn't in the Bible. Not anywhere. Necromancy, communication with demons, and divination - these things are condemned in the Bible, but turning someone into a bird or creating paper objects that fly? That kind of magic simply isn't mentioned. The terms 'witch' and 'wizard,' as found in modern Bible translations, didn't even exist at the time of the original text. You'll find the meaning of the original words to be more in line with 'necromancer,' etc. Before I carry on too much - I believe magic is extremely complimentary to Christianity, and is very easy to mesh.
What’s next on your writing/publishing agenda?
I plan to finish editing 'Dark is the Night,' the first in my Southern urban fantasy 'Salvation' series. I'm still writing 'The Dying of the Light,' my futuristic sci-fi Japanese Robin Hood, and I need to edit and revise 'Paper Hearts,' the sequel to Paper Crowns.
What advice would you give to other young writers?
Don't view writing as your career. You want to be a writer? That's fantastic - but don't burden your writing with thoughts like, 'You need to make me enough money to live on.' Write because you love it, and support yourself with another job. If your writing takes off in a big way, congratulations! That's amazing! But give your writing the freedom it needs without trying to make it support you.
Fabulous answers, Mirriam! I especially loved your piece of advice at the end there. It's something I need to take to heart--giving my writing room to breathe by not depending on it as a source of income, at least not right away. Thanks for the freeing perspective! And thank you so much for stopping by!
To my fellow wayfarers, voyagers, and questers: who's eager to read Paper Crowns? (Hint: ALL OF YOU, BECAUSE IT'S FABULOUS AND YOU NEED A SLICE OF MIRRI-MAGIC IN YOUR LIFE.)
P.S. The Paper Crowns blog tour lasts for the month of May. All the stops are listed HERE. There's book spotlights, guest posts, more interviews, etc., so I encourage you to check them out!