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!
Introducing Julie Dao, YABC's Author of the Week!
Julie C. Dao is the author of the acclaimed Rise of the Empress duology, including FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS and KINGDOM OF THE BLAZING PHOENIX, as well as the follow-up novel SONG OF THE CRIMSON FLOWER. A proud Vietnamese-American who was born in upstate New York, she now lives in New England. Follow her on Twitter @jules_writes.
Julie is represented by Tamar Rydzinski of Context Literary Agency.
Up next: BROKEN WISH (coming October 6, 2020, from Disney Hyperion).
Meet Broken Wish!
Sixteen-year-old Elva has a secret. She has visions and strange powers that she will do anything to hide. She knows the warnings about what happens to witches in their small village of Hanau. She’s heard the terrible things people say about the Witch of the North Woods, and the malicious hunts that follow. But when Elva accidentally witnesses a devastating vision of the future, she decides she has to do everything she can to prevent it. Tapping into her powers for the first time, Elva discovers a magical mirror and its owner—none other than the Witch of the North Woods herself. As Elva learns more about her burgeoning magic, and the lines between hero and villain start to blur, she must find a way to right past wrongs before it’s too late.
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
I love dark fairy tales and complicated, misunderstood female characters. It was incredibly fun and rewarding to explore the character of a rumored witch who has been hurt over and over by the world, yet decides to open her heart again to this friendship with a girl who has hidden powers just like her.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
I love all the characters, but eleven-year-old Cay (the littlest brother of my main character, Elva) has a special place in my heart! He's a fairy tale nerd and I love that.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel came first!
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
I love the scene where Elva discovers how to turn the magic mirror into a map through the forest, using disappearing trees as landmarks. I could see that scene happening right before my eyes when I came up with it, and it was a lot of fun to write!
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
The most important thing is to write a book that I love, first and foremost. If I put my love and excitement into a project, then it will likely resonate even better with readers. That's the hope, anyway!
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I love the feel of BROKEN WISH's cover, because just looking at it tells you this is going to be an enchanting dark fairy tale. I also love the hidden profile of the woman's face, which I didn't even notice until someone pointed it out!
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2020?
This is such a tough question to answer! But continuing in the fairy tale vein, I really, really loved Kalynn Bayron's CINDERELLA IS DEAD, which reimagines that story in a totally innovative and ingenious way.
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
The friendship breakups in BROKEN WISH (there are a couple!) were pretty emotional to write, especially since I've been through a few myself.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Drafting is my favorite part of the process. I love seeing a story materialize out of nothing onto the page!
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
I truly love the Highlights Foundation, which is doing amazing work in helping to support writers in their craft as well as create more inclusivity in children's literature. I go to their campus in Pennsylvania every year to take or teach a workshop, and it's like a safe haven for all creative-minded folks. With really good food, too!
By: Julie Dao
Publisher: Disney Books
Release Date: October 6th, 2020