Friday, May 1, 2020

May Author of the Month

Hello readers! I know it's been sometime since I posted, but I thought why not start off with a bang?  I use to actively run a feature called "Author of the Month" where I would interview authors and they'd be my featured author for a specific month. I've done some revamping and now the authors correlate to their recent releases. There will be an INTL giveaway at the end of this post curtsey of the author herself.

My May "Author of the Month" is Andrea Robertson, bestselling author of the Nightshade series.  Her new release, Forged in Fire and Stars, is hitting the shelves on May 5th.

Andrea Robertson began writing novels after a horse broke her foot. Twelve books later, she believes that horse must have been an agent of fate.

Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Robertson resided in the academic world where she was a professor of early modern history. She now lives in Southern California with her husband and two dogs.

Sabrina: Hello Andrea, and welcome to my blog. I just want to start off by saying thank you so much for joining for the reboot of my favourite favourite, and being my May Author of the Month.

Andrea: Thank you for inviting me, Sabrina! I’m delighted to be here. 

Sabrina: If you could step into any fantasy world, where would you want to go?

Andrea: Avatar: The Last Airbender (the animated series). I love the mythology, the magic, and the extraordinary characters. I would want to live in a house next to Uncle Iro’s tea shop. I’d love to be an air bender, but I’m a Leo (fire sign), so I’m pretty certain I’d be a fire bender.

Sabrina: How has your writing process varied from when you first started writing to where you are now?

Andrea: My writing process has shifted over the years because shortly after SNAKEROOT was published I became very ill. My writing completely shut down at times, which is the reason there was a four year gap between my last novel and FORGED IN FIRE AND STARS. It took a long time for doctors to diagnose me, but I now know I have fibromyalgia. It’s a chronic illness that causes physical pain, fatigue, and mental confusion. These factors make writing really difficult. At the beginning of my writing career I wrote in long, unbroken sessions, 8 - 10 hours at a time, and I was publishing two books a year. I think that pace contributed to my burnout and I’ve had to learn to be patient with myself and slow down. I have to take breaks through the day when I’m writing and I have to listen very carefully to my body, watching for signs that I’m pushing too hard. I’m not a patient person and it’s been a struggle to relearn a writing process, but I’m thankful that I’m making it work. 

Sabrina: While writing, do you find you need any necessary things in order to get you in the right headspace?

Andrea:I’m pretty flexible when I’m writing. I can write almost anywhere. I always need water because I’m always thirsty - I don’t know why. I like to have tea or coffee. I used to need music to write, but these days I often prefer quiet. 

Sabrina: Is there any genre you really want to try writing, that you haven’t already done?

Andrea: I want to write a horror novel and a mystery - though I’d be happy to blend those two into one book. They’re two of my favorite genres that I haven’ t had a chance to work in yet.  I’ve published an adult romance, Captive, under the name A.D. Robertson and I’d like to write more. Romance is so much fun to write. 

Sabrina: What is the last book you read, loved, and would recommend?

Andrea: How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C Pam Zhang. This novel pubbed recently. It’s a beautiful and devastating account of the experience of two Chinese-American sisters in the nineteenth-century mining communities of California. If I was still teaching history courses, I’d assign this novel to my students. The story is compelling and the writing is gorgeous. 

Sabrina: On May 5th your books Forged in Fire and Stars releases, in five words how would you describe it?

Andrea: An epic journey of discovery. 

Sabrina: While writing your newest book, who was the toughest character to get right?
Andrea: The main character, Ara, was the most difficult to write. For some reason the protagonists of my books always challenge me. Supporting characters seem to chatter at me about everything they’re thinking and feeling, but my main characters tend to be cagey. I have no idea why, but it takes several drafts to really get to know their hearts and minds. 

Sabrina: Thank you so much for joining me today, and good luck with your release of Forged in Fire and Stars!

Andrea: Thank you so much for this lovely conversation!

Title: Forged in Fire and Stars
Author: Andrea Robertson 
Publication Date: May 5th, 2020 
Publisher: Philomel
Pages: 384 
Format: Hardcover 
Description: Ara has always known the legend of the Loresmith: the blacksmith who served alongside the kings and queens of Saetlund, forging legendary weapons to arm warriors and protect the kingdom. She's been told it's her fate to inherit the title and become the next Loresmith. But since the monarchy's downfall in a vicious conquest years before, Ara has never truly believed she would be able to take up her duty. But when the lost Princess Nimhea and Prince Eamon steal Ara from her quiet life with a mission to retake the throne and return Ara to her place as the Loresmith--Ara's whole world turns upside down. Suddenly, Ara must leave her small mountain village and embark on a dangerous adventure where she will uncover new truths about her family's legacy, and even face the gods themselves. With a mysterious thief as an unexpected companion, and dark forces following their every move, Ara must use all her skills to forge the right path forward--for herself, her kingdom, and her heart.

Due to COVID-19 Andrea will not be able to do a in-person tour, HOWEVER, she is doing virtual touring. I highly recommend checking it out, you can register for the events ahead of time HERE.

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