Author Of The Week: Chat with Margaret Rogerson (Sorcery Of Thorns), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
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 Margaret Rogerson, YABC's Author of the Week!!
Margaret Rogerson is the author of the New York Times bestseller An Enchantment of Ravens and Sorcery of Thorns. She has a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from Miami University. When not reading or writing she enjoys sketching, gaming, making pudding, and watching more documentaries than is socially acceptable (according to some). She lives near Cincinnati, Ohio, beside a garden full of hummingbirds and roses. Visit her at MargaretRogerson.com.
Meet Sorcery Of Thorns!
All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.
Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.
As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
I’ve been fascinated by magical libraries ever since I first watched the animated version of Beauty and the Beast. Later in my childhood, I fell in love with the Hogwarts library and the Clayr’s Library in Lirael by Garth Nix. When it came time to figure out an idea for my second novel, I knew I wanted to focus on a topic that I could write passionately about, and books and magical libraries were the first thing that sprang to mind.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
Definitely the novel! This is actually pretty funny because I had a hard time coming up with a title, so my editor ended up naming it while we were doing edits. In general, I’m not very good at naming books. My friends and I just called Sorcery of Thorns “the magical library book” for most of the time that I was working on it.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I love EVERYTHING about the cover. But if I were forced to choose only one thing, I love how the artist, Charlie Bowater, made Elisabeth look so strong. That’s a muscular arm and shoulder! She truly looks like she could hit something with her sword. In an industry where there’s pressure to make heroines look more delicate, I sincerely appreciate that Elisabeth’s figure reflects the fact that in the book, she’s taller and stronger than a lot of the men around her.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
My favorite character is Silas, Nathaniel Thorn’s mysterious demonic servant. I can’t explain why without spoilers, so you will have to read the book to find out!
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
I’ve been asked this question before and I think my answer usually surprises people who have read Sorcery of Thorns, because they expect the answer to be Silas or maybe Nathaniel. In fact, Elisabeth gave me the most trouble! In the book’s first draft, she was a very different kind of character, more of a Hermione type. Her personality just wasn’t working—she was too cautious. I set the draft aside and reinvented her as the current version of Elisabeth, still bookish but willing to leap into danger with a sword. It was one of the best changes I could have possibly made to the manuscript, and her character truly came alive from there.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Interestingly, this depends on the book. I had much more fun drafting my first book, An Enchantment of Ravens, than I did revising it, but I found the opposite to be true for Sorcery of Thorns. I think that might be because Sorcery was a much more complicated story to write, and I had to make a lot of changes before the manuscript started to feel right to me. Once I achieve that feeling of “rightness,” I start enjoying the process rather than being frustrated by everything about the book that is falling short of my standards.
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
The climax, for sure. I remember being up at four in the morning on the day the final version was due to my editor, panicking because I’d rewritten the ending at least half a dozen times and couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t hitting the right notes. I finally turned in a version that I felt just okay about, but I didn’t stop working on it, because I knew my editor wouldn’t have a chance to read the manuscript for a few more days. While I generally don’t recommend this strategy, it paid off in my case—getting a few good nights of sleep post-deadline made all the difference. After I’d gone over the scene a couple more times, I reached the end and realized I had started crying. It was the first and only time I’ve ever cried while writing. I knew at that moment that I had finally nailed the ending.
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2018?
My favorite book was All Systems Red by Martha Wells, a science fiction novella about a security robot with social anxiety who is guarding a group of human scientists on an alien planet, trying to hide the fact that it has hacked its system and gained free will. When danger befalls the expedition, it must protect the scientists at risk of revealing its secret. The robot protagonist’s voice is unforgettable—unexpectedly hilarious and emotionally deep. Fortunately, there are four novellas out now and a full-length sequel coming out in 2020. I’ve been recommending it to everyone I know!
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2019?
I’m really, really excited to read Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir. I’ve heard incredible things about it from everyone who’s gotten an early copy.
Thank you for hosting me at YABC, I had so much fun with this interview!
Sorcery Of Thorns
By: Margaret Rogerson
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry
Release Date: June 4th, 2019
Two winners will each receive a copy of Sorcery Of Thorns (Margaret Rogerson) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
Margaret Rogerson has some of the most beautiful covers ever. I remember absolutely loving the cover for An Enchantment of Ravens and this one is one is no exception.
I LOVE that the protagonist (Elisabeth) is featured so strongly on the cover! Even though thorny vines twine up her arm, her stance does not look trapped to me. Instead it seems to capture a moment in action; she appears determined, ready, raising a sword and focusing her gaze on a future readers can’t yet see.
In addition to introducing Elisabeth, the synopsis gives an overview of the text world - where I predict the Great Libraries will walk that line of place AND character, will have a life of their own, if that makes sense. The summary also raises questions for me about good vs. evil, social power, and the power of knowledge!
Can’t wait to read!
The cover is STUNNING!! A magical library where books come to life? YES! Librarians with swords? YASS! And a demon servant? You sold me! I hope to read this. Thank you for the chance to win a copy! ?