Author Of The Week: Chat with Jessica Cluess (A Shadow Bright and Burning), plus Giveaway!!

Author Of The Week: Chat with Jessica Cluess (A Shadow Bright and Burning), plus Giveaway!!

 

Welcome to our weekly special feature post, Author Of The Week!!

Each week we will be interviewing a different YA author and highlighting their upcoming release!

We will also be hosting a giveaway of the book we are highlighting!!

 

 

Introducing Jessica Cluess, YABC's Author of the Week!!

 

 

 

 

 Twitter 

 

Meet, A Shadow Bright and Burning!

 

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. 
Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she's shocked when instead of being executed, she's invited to train as one of Her Majesty's royal sorcerers.

Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the chosen one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, handsome young men eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her.

But Henrietta Howel is not the chosen one.
As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, what does it mean to not be the one? And how much will she risk to save the city--and the one she loves?

Exhilarating and gripping, Jessica Cluess's spellbinding fantasy introduces Henrietta Howel, a powerful, unforgettable heroine, and an entertaining world filled with magic, monsters, and mayhem.

Amazon * B & N Indiebound 

 

 

 

YABC:  What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens, actually. I loved the scene where Nicholas saved an innocent boy, Smike, from a beating at the hands of a cruel schoolmaster. Nicholas went in there and physically stopped the attack. As I was walking to work, I asked myself how a girl in the Victorian era would handle such a thing. I had this image of her opening up her hands…and roasting the headmaster with fire. I remember stopping on the sidewalk and thinking “That could make a fun character.”

 

YABC:  Who is your favorite character in the book?

Gah, tough choice! I have two answers. First has to be Henrietta, my protagonist, since I chose to tell the series from her perspective. I think she’s both headstrong and practical, and I hope other people think so as well! The second is an outlaw magician named Jenkins Hargrove. I love funny characters with secrets, and he fits the bill nicely, if I say so myself.

YABC:  Which came first, the title or the novel?

Definitely the novel! The book was originally called Sorcerer’s Flame—thrilling, I know. My agent, editor, and I all sat on the computer for a month tossing back and forth ideas. I look at those emails sometimes for a laugh: we all really started losing it towards the end, because we couldn’t think of anything. Finally, we had a big pile of words, and my editor looked through and said “What about A Shadow Bright and Burning?” I’m glad we got this title, because it describes the book on a number of different levels.

 

YABC:  What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

I can’t give too much without spoiling things, but there’s a confession scene of sorts towards the end of the book. I’m proud of that because the confessor changed drastically from the first time I put him on paper to the final version. Watching how he changed over the course of many drafts—and what that finally led to in terms of the scene—was really fun for me.

YABC:  Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer?

Two big things. One, finish what you start, because you’ll never get anywhere until you’ve completed something. Two, learn how to edit. Learn what your strengths and weaknesses are. Be merciless about that, and don’t be precious about your own work. Ever.

 

YABC:  What do you most like about the cover of the book?

Besides everything, you mean? It’s an amazing cover. I really think the colors are exceptional. The way the fire goes from hot orange to teal to this kind of electric blue, it’s dynamic and unsettling and beautiful all at once. I can’t think of a better cover for this book.

 

YABC:  What new release book are you most looking forward to in 2016?

I’m sticking with debuts that haven’t been released yet, and I’m keeping it to three. Otherwise we’ll be here all day. The Reader by Traci Chee, Timekeeper by Tara Sim, and Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst. I’ve read all three, and they’re fantastic examples of upcoming YA fantasy.

YABC:  What was your favorite book in 2015?

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. I kept thinking about the world and envisioning it every time I put the book down. That’s always the sign of something that’ll stick with you.

 

YABC:  What’s up next for you?

The second book in the series! It has a title, which I can’t reveal yet, and is a lot of fun to write. Hopefully, I sell another series after this. I have an idea that I particularly like and want to play with, but that’s a way off.

YABC:  Is there anything you would like to add?

Pineapple. I love that word.

 

YABC:  Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?

Something happens to Henrietta in the second half of the book—someone she really trusted does something awful to her. Yes, it’s vague, but it’s spoilery as well. Having to be in her headspace then was rather painful, especially as she’s a kid with serious trust issues to begin with.

YABC:  Which character gave you the most trouble?

Rook, Henrietta’s friend. He got a complete personality overhaul in the editing process, which meant reexamining every single scene he was in. His actions kept changing, and that created kind of a domino effect for the rest of the book. However, the changes led to a really exciting, kind of scary idea for the rest of the series. His whole arc has changed as a result.

YABC:  Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: drafting or revising?

Revising, without question. Some people love the freedom of the blank page, but I find it almost overwhelming. All my first drafts are real, true garbage. Most of my best ideas come when I look at something and go “Well, that’s not right at all. How can I fix this?”

YABC:  What would you say is your superpower?

I can write 10,000 words a day for days on end. If that isn’t some kind of supernatural ability, I don’t know what is.

YABC:  Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?

I teach creative writing to kids, and there are so many children out there who are prohibited from any kind of creativity in the classroom. I love seeing a kid who thinks they’re just going to hate writing finish a story they’re passionate about—that’s the best feeling.

 

A Shadow Bright and Burning

By: Jessica Cluess

Release Date: September 20, 2016

 

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS* 

One winner will recieve copies of A Shadow Bright and Burning. (US & Canada only)

 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Rate this blog entry:
Don't Judge a Cow By Its Spots, Or, You Know, a Bo...
Librarian's Corner--July 18, 2016
 

Comments 13

Susan T. on Tuesday, 09 August 2016 16:11

Have you ever suffered fro writer's block and if so how did you get over it?

0
Have you ever suffered fro writer's block and if so how did you get over it?
Jen on Wednesday, 10 August 2016 13:04

Which actress/actor do you picture playing as Henrietta and Jenkins if your book became a movie?

0
Which actress/actor do you picture playing as Henrietta and Jenkins if your book became a movie?
Vanessa Gayle on Wednesday, 10 August 2016 15:16

What do you like to read when you are not writing or revising?

0
What do you like to read when you are not writing or revising?
Danielle Lynn on Wednesday, 10 August 2016 15:49

Are there any other authors you look up to or, admire most? Which ones and why?

I've been so excited about this book and am looking forward to reading it! It's been advertised at practically every book related website I've come across...I NEED IT!

0
Are there any other authors you look up to or, admire most? Which ones and why? I've been so excited about this book and am looking forward to reading it! It's been advertised at practically every book related website I've come across...I NEED IT! :D
Kristen Joiner on Friday, 12 August 2016 00:56

Why Victorian London? I'm always curious as to why authors choose the particular places and time periods especially when they add that level of fantasy.

0
Why Victorian London? I'm always curious as to why authors choose the particular places and time periods especially when they add that level of fantasy.
Megan Coppadge on Monday, 15 August 2016 13:48

Is there a character in your book that you dislike? I've always wondered if authors like all of the characters in their books of if they have one or more that they dislike but is necessary for the book.

0
Is there a character in your book that you dislike? I've always wondered if authors like all of the characters in their books of if they have one or more that they dislike but is necessary for the book.
S.K. on Monday, 15 August 2016 18:02

A Shadow Bright & Burning sounds so incredible and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy!
My question is-- I'm trying to write a book myself, and I'm wondering: Did you ever have trouble with your book being too short or too long, and if so, how did you fix it?
Thanks!

0
A Shadow Bright & Burning sounds so incredible and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy! My question is-- I'm trying to write a book myself, and I'm wondering: Did you ever have trouble with your book being too short or too long, and if so, how did you fix it? Thanks! :)
Milena Mutter on Monday, 15 August 2016 19:31

Do you get any say in cover designs? The cover for A Shadow Bright and Burning is gorgeous

0
Do you get any say in cover designs? The cover for A Shadow Bright and Burning is gorgeous
Karlynn Welch King on Tuesday, 16 August 2016 23:42

I am so ready to read this book! Everything about it seems perfect for me! Beautiful cover, too.

0
I am so ready to read this book! Everything about it seems perfect for me! Beautiful cover, too.
Donia Eskander on Wednesday, 17 August 2016 08:39

Who has inspired you the most while growing up? I've seen this book everywhere and it has caught my attention by now and I truly want to read it.

0
Who has inspired you the most while growing up? I've seen this book everywhere and it has caught my attention by now and I truly want to read it.
Nicole Wetherington on Wednesday, 17 August 2016 23:05

Would love to read this!

0
Would love to read this!
Sarah on Saturday, 20 August 2016 23:28

When writing, are you constantly checking word count and page number or is it more a writing trance?

0
When writing, are you constantly checking word count and page number or is it more a writing trance?
Autumn on Tuesday, 30 August 2016 20:59

Pineapple!! I have an obsession with it!

0
Pineapple!! I have an obsession with it!

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Sky in the Deep
A 2018 Most Anticipated Young Adult book that is...
 
5.0
 
5.0 (1)
Devils Unto Dust
Keep together. Keep your eyes open. Keep your wits...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
All The Things We Lost
After her mother’s death, eighteen-year-old Katie finds herself in...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
White Rabbit
Caleb Roehrig, author of Last Seen Leaving, delivers another...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Worst Fairy Godmother Ever!
Q: What do you need to become a great fairy...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ada: Aegis Default
Newly famous and burdened with responsibility, Ada Anand has to...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ada: Solstice Volition
When Ada Anand is given a very special gift for...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Drum Roll, Please
Find the confidence to rock out to your own beat...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ignite
Four strangers. Four powerful elements. To survive a ruthless...
 
3.5
 
5.0 (1)
Winter Glass (Spindle Fire #2)
A curse comes undone. A kingdom shatters. But some...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Everless (Everless #1)
In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood,...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lifeline
Popular high school senior Eli Ross has the perfect life....
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Would you risk it all for love? A high-ranking official’s...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Kristen McDonald has dreamed of being crowned prom queen for...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
FRANKIE FRETINI has had a horrible year. And, just when...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jackson and Samantha live modestly in a small apartment in...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Stealing Liberty
 
5.0
"This is a book that you wish you could just sit down and read without interruption! Keeps you..."
Same But Different: Teen Life on the Autism Express
 
4.3
"SAME BUT DIFFERENT by twins Ryan Elizabeth Peete & RJ Peete is told in alternating narratives and loosely based on..."
The Worst Fairy Godmother Ever!
 
4.0
"Isabelle is a fairy-godmother-in-training and is so nervous that she's going to wind up being terrible like her mother was...."
Drum Roll, Please
 
4.0
"Even though Melly was forced to go to Camp Rockaway, it's just the escape she needs. Her parents are getting..."
Everless (Everless #1)
 
5.0
"Everless was my first read of the year and I do indeed feel guilty for reviewing it just now. The..."
Lifeline
 
4.0
"Eli has it all until he falls prey to the addiction of drugs. His last use of heroin nearly kills..."
Stealing Liberty
 
5.0
"Need an adventure to get lost in? Read this book!! It is gripping from beginning to end with..."
Stealing Liberty
 
4.7
"I am amazed as to how versatile Jennifer Froelich is as an author. Each book is so creative and unique..."
Stealing Liberty
 
5.0
"Hidden underneath the rubble and remains of a burned out school library, lies a treasure - a real library that..."
Devils Unto Dust
 
4.7
"In this alternative history the time after the Civil War has caused not only bad times to come to Daisy..."
Sugar and Spice (Whatever After #10)
 
5.0
"Abby and Jonah take another trip through their magic mirror after being told their grounded from technology. This time, it..."
Soraya: A Wielders of Arantha Prequel
 
5.0
"This story starts with Sahria and several other girls captured to be sold as slaves. Sahria becomes like a mentor..."
The Traitor's Game
 
4.7
"THE TRAITOR'S GAME alternates between two main characters: Kestra and Simon. When Kestra is called back home to her father's..."
Better Than This
 
4.7
"The story: Samantha “Sam” Becker wants only one thing – to go to Juilliard. She’s a veritable prodigy with..."
The Poet X
 
4.0
"The Poet X felt like coming home. I felt the presence of the bodegas as if I walked by them..."
Zenith: The Androma Saga
 
4.0
"ZENITH: THE ANDROMA SAGA by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings is a young adult science fiction novel that follows the..."
The Hall Monitors Are Fired!
 
5.0
"Sam is the hall monitor at Eerie Elementary, but his job requires more than watching out for students doing things..."
Miles Away From You
 
3.7
"Grief is a funny thing, it's usually messy--and rarely neat--with the barest of touches, it makes a wreck of your..."
Winter Glass (Spindle Fire #2)
 
5.0
"Prepare yourself, Winter Glass is set to destroy all the feels! This stunning conclusion full of sisterly love, romance, and..."
Restart
 
4.0
"Middle grade mystery with an amnesic twist—a friendship-centric tale of lost-and-found. Readers are introduced to a cruel boy..."