Author Of The Week: Chat with Meagan Spooner (Sherwood), 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 Meagan Spooner, YABC's Author of the Week!!
Meagan Spooner is the New York Times bestselling author of the Skylark trilogy and the Starbound trilogy, as well as the Unearthed duology and the Beauty and the Beast retelling, Hunted.
She grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She's traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there's a bit of every trip in every story she writes.
She currently lives and writes in Asheville, North Carolina, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there's no telling how long she'll stay there.
In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.
Fans of Danielle Paige, Marissa Meyer, and Alex Flinn will devour New York Times bestselling author Meagan Spooner’s next fierce fairy tale-inspired story, which Illuminae author Amie Kaufman calls “a kick-ass, gender-flipped feminist retelling.”
Robin of Locksley is dead.
Maid Marian doesn’t know how she’ll go on, but the people of Locksley town, persecuted by the Sheriff of Nottingham, need a protector. And the dreadful Guy of Gisborne, the Sheriff’s right hand, wishes to step into Robin’s shoes as Lord of Locksley and Marian’s fiancé.
Who is there to stop them?
Marian never meant to tread in Robin’s footsteps—never intended to stand as a beacon of hope to those awaiting his triumphant return. But with a sweep of his green cloak and the flash of her sword, Marian makes the choice to become her own hero: Robin Hood.
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
I've always loved stories about Robin Hood, so doing a retelling of this story was inevitable. But as with my Beauty and the Beast retelling, Hunted, I didn't want to do it until I really felt I could bring something unique to the table. It's always bugged me how few female characters there are in Robin Hood stories--and those few are almost always damsels in distress. When I got the idea of Marian being both the damsel and the hero of the story, everything else about this retelling just clicked.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
That's easy: Marian! She's by far one of the more complex and flawed main characters I've written. She doesn't always make the right call, and she tortures herself with what-ifs, and she struggles constantly with the question of right and wrong. And in this book, there are real life-and-death consequences for her actions, so when she messes up, she really messes up. Plus, I identify with her physically--she's tall and strong, and when I was growing up, I haaaated how tall I was. I felt less feminine and less pretty for it, and so in this book, I got to write a little bit about what that felt like--AND I got to use it, because Marian's height and strength is exactly what allows her to pull off her masquerade as Robin Hood!
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel. Up until quite late in the process, my editor and I just called it "that Robin Hood book." I have several pages in my notebook from that time with lists of possible titles and word associations. I originally wanted to call it something like "The Haunting of Sherwood Forest," because Marian is initially mistaken for the ghost of Robin of Locksley returned from the crusades. But since there aren't any literal ghosts in the book, and we wanted it to sit pretty on a shelf next to Hunted, we decided to simplify it.
YABC: hinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
It's something I'm still learning, and probably will keep learning for the rest of my life -- creativity evolves. The way you write your first book isn't necessarily going to be the way you write your tenth (and this is my tenth! wow!) and that's okay. For a long time I beat myself up because I felt like my process/work ethic/focus was slipping, but in reality it was just changing. A person's relationship to their creative work is just that: a relationship. Beat up on it too much and it becomes abusive, and that's not sustainable! So let it grow, and don't freak out if your books come out in different ways.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
What don't I love about this cover? I think my favorite thing about it is how well it matches--but doesn't replicate--the cover for Hunted. When you look at them, you can tell they're of a kind. The designer did exactly what I hoped, which was to signal to readers that if they like one, they'll like the other. Plus (and this is something you can't see except in person) the beautiful semi-matte/semi-foil finish on the jacket is so dreamy and beautiful. It's almost pearlescent, and it makes me all swoony every time I see it.
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
The truly most emotional scenes for me are all spoilers, so it's hard to answer this question. But there's a particular scene about two-thirds of the way through the book following a mistake Marian makes that was really difficult to write because of how sad it was, and how terrible Marian feels--and I almost went back and changed it all, because I wasn't sure if I could even keep Marian as a sympathetic character afterward, the mistake was that huge. But I'm so glad I did keep it, because I feel like Marian's trials and tests have to be brutal for her to discover who she--and who Robin Hood--really is.
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
Oh, Guy. Guy of Gisborne. I do love me a complex and layered villain, but man, it was hard to write him to my satisfaction. I can't go into him in too much detail because I don't want to spoil him, but he keeps so much of himself hidden that at first, you can't help but see him in a very specific, negative light. But what's more fun than redeeming an irredeemable character?
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Drafting. No question! I do enjoy line editing to a certain extent--I could sit there and tweak individual sentences and word choices for the rest of time. But real revision, going in and doing that seriously heavy lifting of carving out whole scenes and arcs and rewriting them and then blending those changes throughout the manuscript? Oof. No, I'd much rather be writing the next story.
YABC: Is there anything that you would like to add?
Thank you to YABC for hosting me and my giveaway, and thanks to all of you reading! I hope you have as much fun running around Sherwood Forest as I did! <3
By: Meagan Spooner
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: March 19th, 2019
One winner will each receive a copy of Sherwood (Meagan Spooner) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*