Author Of The Week: Chat with Elly Blake (Fireblood), 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 Elly Blake, YABC's Author of the Week!!
Elly Blake is the NYT bestselling author of FROSTBLOOD. After earning a BA in English literature, she held a series of seemingly random jobs, including project manager, customs clerk, graphic designer, reporter for a local business magazine, and library assistant. She lives in Southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and a Siberian Husky mix who definitely shows Frostblood tendencies.
In this action-packed sequel to the New York Times bestselling Frostblood, Ruby must choose between her fiery homeland and the icy king who loves her.
Against all odds, Ruby has defeated the villainous Frost King and melted his powerful throne. But the bloodthirsty Minax that was trapped inside is now haunting her kingdom and everyone she loves. The answers to its demise may lie to the south in Sudesia, the land of the Firebloods, and a country that holds the secrets to Ruby's powers and past....
Despite warnings from her beloved Arcus, Ruby accompanies a roguish Fireblood named Kai to Sudesia, where she must master her control of fire in a series of trials to gain the trust of the suspicious Fireblood queen. Only then can she hope to access the knowledge that could defeat the rampaging Minax--which grows closer every moment. But as sparks fly in her moments alone with Kai, how can Ruby decide whom to trust? The fate of both kingdoms is now in her hands.
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
Fireblood was inspired by my longing every winter to travel to a warmer climate. (Only half joking.)
Actually, the inspiration for the first book, Frostblood, was a dream about a girl with the power over fire and a king with an icy heart. Of course, Fireblood is a continuation of the story with the same characters in the same world. While the first book deals with Tempesia, the kingdom ruled by frost, I wanted the second book to show Sudesia, the balmy kingdom of the Firebloods. I also wanted Ruby to find out about her homeland and her ancestry, as well as learning to accept parts of her identity that she hadn’t yet embraced (as well as adding new challenges and conflicts, of course.)
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
While Ruby and Arcus are always dear to my heart, Kai is my favorite character introduced in Fireblood. Some readers were concerned that there’s a love triangle in the second book, but that’s not really the point of Fireblood. I think (and hope) that readers will see that Kai’s character offers perspectives to Ruby on her gift and her nature that she hasn’t heard before. He teaches her to accept and hone parts of her Fireblood identity which no Frostblood could truly understand. Hopefully readers will warm up (forgive the pun) to Kai’s confident, slightly roguish demeanor and will come to love him for the challenging, nurturing, and mentoring role he plays in the story.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The concept came first, and then the title. Since Frostblood is set in the kingdom of Frostbloods, it was logical to call the second book Fireblood, as most of the book takes place in Sudesia, land of the Firebloods.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
I have a fondness for the scene where Ruby tries to hide her tears during training, and Kai comforts her. He tells her that if she accepted her feelings more, she would find them easier to deal with. It’s nice to see his tender side, and I also like that he teaches her something vital to her future happiness, no matter where she ends up. Accepting our emotions is something most of us struggle with. I certainly do! I hope a reader or two might find the words comforting.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
Wow, yes, this has been a huge learning experience! Before writing Frostblood, I’d written a few unfinished manuscripts, but Frostblood was the first book I'd ever finished, edited (edited some more, and then more) and didn’t give up on. I've learned that through the editing process, a first draft is wildly different from a final version.
The advice I like to give is to show yourself compassion. Give yourself permission to fail. Don’t judge yourself by your early efforts (first draft, first book, etc.), and try to surround yourself with supportive people.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
The designers at Little Brown did such a great job. I’m absolutely in love with the cover of Fireblood! The rich, dark texture of the background with the vivid orange of the fire is just stunning. I think my favorite part is the foil finish, which gives the cover an extra shine.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2018?
I’m so excited for BRIGHTLY BURNING by Alexa Donne! The book is described as Jane Eyre in space. (Jane Eyre was my favourite novel when I was a teenager.) The heroine is a 17-year-old spaceship engineer who's hired aboard the Rochester, a mysterious private ship with a mercurial, handsome young captain. She discovers a conspiracy that threatens the safety of the fleet, which has been orbiting Earth for more than 200 years.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
Currently, I’m working on edits for Nightblood, book 3 in the Frostblood Saga, which comes out in June 2018. After that, I’m not sure! I have a few ideas, but I probably won’t have time to really figure them out in detail until after I’m done editing book 3.
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
Marella is always troublesome. ☺ Her motivations often elude me, and I don’t always know what she’s up to. It takes some rewriting and a few rounds of edits to really figure her out.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
I love it when I get in the zone, and that’s usually during drafting. The zone is an elusive place filled with rainbows and unicorns where anything can happen and it all looks wonderful and brilliant. Once you’re there, you never want to leave. Unfortunately, the glamor fades when you re-read what you wrote, and that’s when you realize you need to do lots of revising. Sometimes I can get in the zone during revisions, too, but most days I have to slog through blood-from-a-stone writing.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
My super power is what my grandmother used to call stick-to-it-iveness. I struggle with anxiety and self-doubt and all the other writerly curses, but I keep getting back to it and eventually I get it done.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
I make a monthly donation to my local Humane Society. I love animals!
By: Elly Blake
Publisher: Little, Brown BYR
Release Date: September 12th, 2017
One winner will receive a SIGNED copy of Fireblood, Frostblood & a bookmark ~ (US & Canada only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
The cover is GORGEOUS. One of my favorite covers in a series of all time. And the synopsis sounds incredible. The first book was amazing and I cannot wait to read the second book and the third when it comes out next year!
i've heard so much about this author but haven't read this series. The cover is beautiful, and I'm interested to figure out what all the fuss is about.
These books have been on my radar for far too long, and not just because I adore the covers (such fantastic work!) but also because the synopsis is so intriguing.
All the covers are cool and look great together. The synopsis sounds very exciting. I loved the first book and cannot wait to read the next ones.