Author Chat with Lani Forbes (The Seventh Sun), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Today we're excited to chat with Lani Forbes author of
The Seventh Sun.
Read on for more about Lani and her book, plus an giveaway.
Meet Lani Forbes!
DJANGO WEXLER graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with degrees in creative writing and computer science, worked in artificial intelligence research and as a programmer/writer for Microsoft, and is now a full-time fantasy writer. Django is the author of The Shadow Campaigns, an epic fantasy series for adults; The Wells of Sorcery Trilogy, an epic fantasy series for young adults; and The Forbidden Library, a classic fantasy series for middle grade readers.
Meet The Seventh Sun!
For Mayana, the only daughter of the Chicome family whose blood controls the power of water, the old emperor's death may mean that she is next. Prince Ahkin must be married before he can ascend the throne, and Mayana is one of six noble daughters presented to him as a possible wife. Those who are not chosen will be sacrificed to the gods.
Only one girl can become Ahkin's bride. Mayana and Ahkin feel an immediate connection, but the gods themselves may be against them. Both recognize that the ancient rites of blood that keep the gods appeased may be harming the Chicome more than they help. As a bloodred comet and the fading sun bring a growing sense of dread, only two young people may hope to change their world.
Rich in imagination and romance, and based on the legends and history of the Aztec and Maya people, The Seventh Sun brings to vivid life a world on the edge of apocalyptic disaster.
Amazon * B & N * Indiebound
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
I’ve always been fascinated by ancient civilizations, and ancient Mesoamerican civilizations in particular. My stepfather lived in Mexico for many years and would always share stories with my sisters and I growing up. When my parents decided to move back to Mexico, I knew I wanted to write a story based on ancient Aztec and Maya mythology. So, like a good daughter of a research librarian, I started doing research. I came across a creation myth called “The Five Suns” and the rest is (ancient) history!
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
I will always hold a soft spot for Mayana because I relate so strongly to her empathy and stubborn refusal to accept what she’s told. I poured so much of myself into her. But I also really love Yoli, the fire princess. She has such a dry, morbid sense of humor and I had so much fun writing her.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The title came pretty early on. I was designing my world and incorporating aspects of the mythology and I just loved the idea of each age being referred to as a “sun.” In the original mythology, the world was created and destroyed multiple times. Each time a new sun was created, it was a new age. We are supposedly living in the age of the “fifth” sun right now, but I thought it would be fun to make a world that took place in a different age entirely, hence the name “The Seventh Sun”. The name “Chicome” is actually the number seven in native Nahuatl, so the Chicome people are the “seventh” people.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
I don’t want to give anything away, but there is a huge twist at the end that was my absolute favorite scene to write. I love scenes that have extreme emotional tension, and this scene was just so tense! Mayana struggles so much with animal sacrifices because of an experience she had as a child, and let’s just say it comes back to haunt her and she has to decide if she is willing to take a stand for what she believes.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
I am the kind of person who never stops learning, so I never stop reading books about writing, attending conferences and workshops, or meeting with critique partners. I think writing is a craft and you have to be a lifelong student. Probably the most important thing I have learned is how story is literally part of what it means to be human. We are born to hear and tell stories because it is how we learn and grow. We vicariously live and experience through characters, and there is incredible power and responsibility in that as a writer.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I always knew I wanted a black background and a golden sun on the cover, but my favorite part about it is actually the obsidian dagger with the jade detailing. It is just such a beautiful work of art and so accurately captures the story. The blood dripping from its edge is so terrifyingly awesome and really hints at looming danger!
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2020?
There are so many incredible books that I’m looking forward to in 2020. Because I am such a huge fan of Sarah J. Maas, I am really looking forward to her new fantasy series CRESCENT CITY. I’m also really looking forward to ALL THE STARS AND TEETH by Adalyn Grace and BLOOD & HONEY by Shelby Mahurin because give me all the historical fantasy!
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2019?
That is such a hard question! There were so many books that I loved. My absolute favorite though was probably SKYWARD by Brandon Sanderson. I loved the humor in the book as well as the heroine herself. Spensa was strong and courageous and literally had me laughing out loud. I also really enjoyed SERPENT & DOVE by Shelby Mahurin, AN ENCHANTMENT OF RAVENS by Margaret Rogerson, and the entire “Folk of the Air” series by Holly Black. I love anything with witches and faeries and magic, so they were really fun and enchanting reads.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I’ve actually already finished book 2 in “The Age of the Seventh Sun” series and am working on book 3 right now. Because I am such a fan of historical fantasy, I have several other ideas that I am just itching to get started on. I have a fantasy western based on Mission era California I’m really excited to finish and an idea for another fantasy series based on Ancient Greece and the Peloponnesian wars.
YABC: Is there anything that you would like to add?
I LOVE strong female characters in books, especially when they can wield a deadly weapon or powerful magic. Although Mayana does some pretty powerful things with her magic, I also wanted her to be seen as powerful because of her courage to feel. I remember watching an interview with a well-known actress where she talks about how people always made fun of her for being “too sensitive” but that she really views it as a superpower. As a highly sensitive personality myself with a highly sensitive daughter, I related so much to what she said. I really felt it was important to show that having the courage to feel and show those feelings is equally as brave as wielding a sword. Our tears remind you that there are problems in the world that need to be addressed. Our bravery to feel all the things that one can feel sometimes takes more courage that it does to ignore problems or pretend they aren’t there. It takes much more courage to care than it does to not!
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
My writing superpower is definitely my worldbuilding. The world of THE SEVENTH SUN is incredibly detailed and intricate because fantasy worlds are always my favorite part of reading. Growing up, I loved to lose myself in other worlds and the more details I could learn about them, the better! It made the worlds feel so real and immersive. I wanted to know histories, customs, religious practices, foods, pets, and magic systems. I think that neurotic tendency as a reader definitely served me well when it was time to design my own! One of my favorite quotes I’ve ever heard about writing is by Anais Nin when she says, “I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live. I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me — the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself when destroyed by living. That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art.” That describes it exactly for me!
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
I am deeply passionate about trauma victims and those who suffer from PTSD. Having dealt with trauma and PTSD myself, my heart bleeds for those who need help and cannot find it. It is one of the reasons I am actually hoping to finish my M.A. in Clinical Counseling become a certified trauma counselor someday. I am a firm believer that if you ever escape the flames of hell yourself, you should reach back a hand to those still consumed by the fire.
The Seventh Sun
By: Lani Forbes
Release Date: February 18th, 2020
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Three winners will receive a copy of The Seventh Sun (Lani Forbes) ~ (US/Canada Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
Very dark cover that seems to hint at the overall feel of the book. I'm interested in how the two protagonists come together.
The cover is gorgeous and hints at the legends of Aztec and Mayan people. This book sounds so unique and should be a wonderful fantasy read. Thanks for sharing and best wishes to the author.