Author Of The Week: Chat with Livia Blackburne (Rosemarked), 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 Livia Blackburne, YABC's Author of the Week!!
New York Times best-selling author Livia Blackburne has a PhD in neuroscience from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she conducted research on the neural correlates of reading. She still blogs on the intersection of writing and brain science (liviablackburne.com), and she now lives in Los Angeles with her family. Livia is also the author of Midnight Thief, an Indies Introduce New Voices selection, and its sequel, Daughter of Dusk.
A healer who cannot be healed . . .When Zivah falls prey to the deadly rose plague, she knows it’s only a matter of time before she fully succumbs. Now she’s destined to live her last days in isolation, cut off from her people and unable to practice her art—until a threat to her village creates a need that only she can fill.A soldier shattered by war . . .Broken by torture at the hands of the Amparan Empire, Dineas thirsts for revenge against his captors. Now escaped and reunited with his tribe, he’ll do anything to free them from Amparan rule—even if it means undertaking a plan that risks not only his life but his very self.Thrust together on a high-stakes mission to spy on the capital, the two couldn’t be more different: Zivah, deeply committed to her vow of healing, and Dineas, yearning for vengeance. But as they grow closer, they must find common ground to protect those they love. And amidst the constant fear of discovery, the two grapple with a mutual attraction that could break both of their carefully guarded hearts.This smart, sweeping fantasy with a political edge and a slow-burning romance will capture fans of The Lumatere Chronicles and An Ember in the Ashes.
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
In grad school my boyfriend (now husband) and I went through this major Battlestar Galactica phase. Seriously, l started to worry whether we would finish the series, look at each other, and realize we no longer had anything in common (didn't happen, obviously). But that show made me obsessed with the idea of sleeper agents who think they're a loyal member of one side, when actually they're spies and saboteurs.
At around the time I started developing Rosemarked in earnest, I was really interested in exploring ideas of sickness and faith. I was in the middle of what would be a three year journey with infertility at the time, and many of the questions Zivah asks, as well as her emotions as she searches repeatedly for a cure, are based on my experiences. (Happily, my daughter was born just after Rosemarked went to copy edits.) The rosemarked colony of Sehmar city was inspired by the Hawaiian leper colony of Molokai
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
The crows! They started out as a simple plot device but I've had so much fun with them. My critique partner is convinced I'm going to kill one of them off and she's preemptively warning me she'll hate me forever if I do.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel came first. Central to the story is the rose plague, a lethal disease characterized by a red spots called rosemarks. Those who manifest rosemarks on their skin, therefore, are called rosemarked.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
Pretty much all the misunderstandings, tensions, and differences of view between Dineas and Zivah come to a head in one epic fight where careful, reserved, Zivah finally just loses it at Dineas. I love that scene because it's such a relief to have everything out in the open. And really, Dineas had it coming.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
The watercolor effect. So pretty! It turns out that all of my books so far have had monochromatic covers. Midnight Thief was blue, Daughter of Dusk was purple, and Rosemarked is pink. I don't think anyone planned it that way, but it's pretty cool!
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
The emotional scenes are really easy to write for me, actually. It's the connecting scenes that are difficult because they don't have those feels to drive them. Probably the ones toward the center were hardest, though I can't think of a specific one.
YABC: What do you prefer more: drafting or revising?
My perfectionist self says revising FTW! I get really excited when revising because I can envision just how much better the final product will be. Drafting though, it's such a long and drawn out process, and you still end up with crap. Revisable crap for sure, but crap nonetheless.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
I can hold a drinking straw between my lips and my nose. Wait, can other people do that?
Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?I'm a big supporter of International Justice Mission. They're a social justice organization that works to fight abuses against the poor and disenfranchised. They collaborate with local law enforcement to arrest sex traffickers and slave owners, and they also provide free legal services to crime victims who may not otherwise be able to afford it. You should check them out!
By: Livia Blackburne
Release Date: November 7th, 2017
Two winners will receive a copy of Rosemarked (Livia Blackburne) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
The cover is neat with image and all pink color. The synopsis draws you in for more. Sounds like an exciting read.