Author Chat with C.S. Pacat (Dark Rise), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Today we are chatting with C.S. Pacat, author of
Read on for more about C.S. , her book, and a giveaway!
Meet C.S. Pacat!
C.S. Pacat is the bestselling author of the Captive Prince trilogy, and the graphic novel series Fence. Find C.S. Pacat at www.cspacat.com.
Meet Dark Rise!
In this stunning new fantasy novel from international bestselling author C. S. Pacat, heroes and villains of a long-forgotten war are reborn and begin to draw new battle lines. This epic fantasy with high-stakes romance will sit perfectly on shelves next to beloved fantasy novels like the Infernal Devices series, the Shadow and Bone trilogy, and the Red Queen series.
Sixteen-year-old dock boy Will is on the run, pursued by the men who killed his mother. Then an old servant tells him of his destiny to fight beside the Stewards, who have sworn to protect humanity if the Dark King ever returns. Will is thrust into a world of magic, where he starts training for a vital role in the oncoming battle against the Dark.
As London is threatened and old enmities are awakened, Will must stand with the last heroes of the Light to prevent the fate that destroyed their world from returning to destroy his own.
Like V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic and Shelby Mahurin’s Serpent & Dove, Dark Rise is more than just high intrigue fantasy—it’s fast-paced, action-packed, and completely surprising. Readers will love exploring the rich setting of nineteenth-century London. This thrilling story of friendship, deception, loyalty, and betrayal is sure to find a passionate audience of readers.
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
Dark Rise is my agonised love letter to those English pastoral fantasies that child-me loved, particularly Lord of the Rings but also Narnia and The Dark Is Rising. I grew up escaping into them, yet as a queer kid, I never saw myself represented by the heroes - the straight(forward) heroes eating hot buttery toast - with the result that the villains fascinated me. What happens when you grow up told that you are destined to be the villain? Will the story of the past play out again or can you fight your fate and forge a new path? These are the questions Dark Rise wrestles with.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel came first. Searching for a title, I kept coming back to Dark Rise. It perfectly captured the book’s story, and also was an allusion to the English fantasies that the book subverts, like The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
I’m most proud of the ending. The book builds to it like a crescendo. I like twists, paradigm shifts, biased viewpoint. My purpose in writing Dark Rise was to take one of these classic battles of good and evil, and then drastically destabilise it. In my previous series Captive Prince, the hero and the reader learn together that the world is not quite as it seems. Dark Rise attempts something similar, but on a much bigger scale. I have never attempted something this ambitious before.
YABC: 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 to be authentic in my art, even if I feel uncomfortable, exposed, embarrassed or strange. Its always frightening to be vulnerable, but in the same way that opening yourself to vulnerability allows you to create connections in life, so too does it allow you to create connection with your art. When you are authentic, the reader will connect with your authenticity.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
The way the art by Magdalena Pagowska captures Will, with the armour of the ancient world coalescing around him. I suggested Magdalena for the cover artist because I was drawn to her art while I was writing Dark Rise, particularly the way she draws boys with something slightly mysterious, supernatural or sinister about them. Eyes or mouths are often obscured by intriguing objects in her art, giving the impression that nothing is quite what it seems. That combination of intense and otherworldly was perfect for Dark Rise.
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2021?
My favourite read of the last 12 months was Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, which just won the Women’s Prize for Fiction. It reminded me of the work of Jorge Luis Borges, one of my favourite writers. I thought the feeling that I had reading Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius could never be recaptured, but I found it again in Clarke’s novel.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I’ve started work on the next novel in the Dark Rise series. There is also more to come for Fence and Captive Prince, but I can’t yet announce details. Stay tuned!
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
Like many people, I think climate change is the greatest challenge we face in the years ahead. Vox has a great list of evidence-based climate change organisations at the link below. I donate to two of them, Coalition for Rainforest Nations and Clean Energy Innovation.
Author: C.S. Pacat
Publisher: Quill Tree Books
Publish Date: September 28th, 2021
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