Today we're excited to chat Makiia Lucier, author of Isle of Blood and Stone. Read on for more about Makiia and her book, plus a giveaway!
Meet Makiia Lucier!
Makiia Lucier has a BA in journalism from the University of Oregon and a master's in library and information science from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, where she studied literature for children. Visit her at makiialucier.com.
Nineteen-year-old Elias, a royal mapmaker and friend of the newly crowned king, is eager to explore uncharted waters. But when two maps surface, each with the same riddle, Elias must put aside his next voyage to solve a mystery that has plagued the kingdom for eighteen years—what happened to their two young princes, both kidnapped on one tragic day? Following the hidden clues, Elias uncovers long-held secrets and unimaginable betrayals.
This first book in a duology is full of intrigue and schemes, romance and friendship, and fearless explorers searching for the truth.
What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
As a kid growing up on Guam, I was obsessed with the Indiana Jones movies. I wore out our VHS copy of Raiders of the Lost Ark. I waited in line, in the sweltering, tropical heat, on opening days for The Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade. The snakes were awesome and so were the catacombs full of rats. But what I really loved was how Indy solved puzzles, turning the clues over in his mind, and using his knowledge of art and history and myth.
Isle of Blood and Stone was inspired by my love of adventure stories with smart, funny, brave heroes. It is the kind of story I grew up loving, the kind I would wait hours outside a movie theater to see.
Who is your favorite character in the book?
I love Mercedes and Reyna. I have a daughter; writing strong female characters is important to me. But there’s also Elias. I love his laid back attitude, which is in direct contrast to how particular he is about his maps and mapmaking. I love how he carries a compass divider around in his pocket. And leading stones. And a tin of sheep’s fat. You never know when they will come in handy. So maybe no one favorite. More like three.
Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel. The original working title for Isle was The Riddle of the Princes but we decided it sounded more like a middle grade title than one for young adults. It changed to Isle of Blood and Stone somewhere between the fourth and fifth draft.
Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
I’ve learned that there is very little in the book business that is within my control. Publicity, book sales, reviews; for the most part, they’re out of my hands. What I can control is taking the time to write the best possible story (fix those pesky plot holes, flesh out that secondary character, etc.) so that when I turn over the final draft to my editor, there are no regrets.
What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I love everything about my book cover, which actually went through a number of sketches. The early ones were beautiful, just not quite right for the story. When I saw the final cover, I nearly fell out of my chair. I was, and still am, delighted.
What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2018?
I can’t pick just one! But I can limit to three: Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff; Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young; Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen.
What’s up next for you?
Right now I’m working on a companion story for Isle, which should be finished this year and published in Spring 2019.
Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
I like those first big edits after my editor has seen the manuscript for the first time. The deadline is usually pretty generous (3 1⁄2 months for the first big Isle of Blood and Stone revision, for example) and I have the luxury of messing around with difference scenes, outcomes, ideas. Sometimes I forget how fun writing can be, and this is always a good reminder.
Isle of Blood and Stone
By: Makiia Lucier
Release Date: April 10, 2018