Today we're excited to chat with Denise Marques Leitao, author of Karina's Silver Shoes. Read on for more about L.B. and her book, plus a giveaway!
Meet Denise Marques Leitao!
14-year old Karina is not sure what she wants, but she knows what she’s found: fascinating silver shoes. Fascinating, dangerous, and potentially evil. On the upside, they do bring cool visitors.
When two princesses ask her to go to Whyland, a kingdom in a parallel dimension, to destroy the shoes, of course Karina accepts. Who would refuse a free trip to an alternate world?
Advised by a wise master and threatened by a beautiful stepmother, Karina goes on a journey with a princess to defeat a powerful witch. But Whyland is nothing like she expected. Karina finds herself stuck in a kingdom she doesn’t understand, with no clue on who to trust. Before saving anyone, she’d better save herself—if she figures out how.
From Brazilian writer Denise Marques Leitao comes a parody of fantasy and fairy-tale tropes with many female characters, friendships between girls and women, and some subtle romance.
If you like to read about strong girls and women, you’ve found your book.
1. What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
That’s easy! Well, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and The Hobbit! Now, really, what gave me the inspiration was the lack of female characters in stories like these, even in stories with female protagonists and aimed at female readers. I blended a bit of fairy tale influence, and voilà! But the thing is that as the story progressed, I deviated from the initial inspiration because I wanted to tell the stories of the characters in the novel.
2. Who is your favorite character in the book?
I don’t have a favorite character. That’s like asking a mother who their favorite child is. Still, I can tell you about a character that was fun to write. There’s a character that shows up in the second-to-last chapter, and I think he became much bigger than he was supposed to be. I mean, I knew who this character was and what would happen, but when I started writing his scenes, he was like that actor that is supposed to play a small part, but then comes in and just dominates the scene! It was a fun character to write. The only thing is that he’s upset he’s in only one chapter and now he wants me to write another novel and give him a bigger part.
3. Which came first, the title or the novel?
The ideas came at the same time. I had the protagonist’s name, and the title came.
4. What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
Now this is like asking a mother which is her favorite child! Now, I will say that many key scenes in Karina’s Silver Shoes have only girls or girls and women, including a scene near the end that I like very much.
5. Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
The most important thing I learned is to appreciate indie publishing and the opportunity to publish more books at a faster pace. If I could go back in time, I’d start publishing earlier, and I know that it would have motivated me to write more and write faster. Anyways, at least I know it now.
6. What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I love how playful the typography in the title is, and how, at the same time that the cover suggests magic and fantasy, it doesn’t look like a typical fantasy cover.
7. What’s up next for you?
I have three novels partially outlined. I want to work on a sci-fi trilogy that’s more for an older YA crowd, and more serious than KSS, but I also want to add 2 more sequels to Karina’s Silver Shoes. Although it was written as a standalone, there are more things that I can do with these characters, and I also find that it would be cool to explain a bit more about its fantasy world and the magic in it. I might write these two novels next, since that’s what I’m already working on.
8. Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
There’s a scene near the end, when all the female characters come together. It wasn’t difficult, but it was emotional. Two characters cry in that scene, and considering I had to try to think what it would feel like to be in that situation, I cried as well.
9. Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
Not necessarily trouble, but one character forced me to change a bit the direction of the story. In Karina’s Silver Shoes, I wanted a story mainly about female characters. My first idea was to have very insignificant male characters. One of them, Darian, was supposed to be simply “a love interest”, you know, because that’s how so many female characters are treated. But of course, when it was time to write his scenes, I ended up adding a lot more depth. He even has a very cool back-story, even though we don’t see all of it in this novel. And then I felt guilty that my main male character was getting too interesting. But you know, at the end of the day, every single character has to pull their weight. And having flat male characters won’t make my female characters more interesting, much the opposite. So I think he’s a cool character.
Karina's Silver Shoes
By: Denise Marques Leitao
Release Date: September 18, 2017