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 Rebecca Ross, YABC's Author of the Week!!
Rebecca Ross grew up in Georgia, where she continues to reside with her husband, lively dog and endless piles of books. She received her bachelor's degree in English from UGA and enjoys rainy days, endless cups of coffee and DIY projects. Rebecca writes fantasy for young adult readers.
Meet Sisters of Sword & Song!
From the author of The Queen’s Rising comes a thrilling YA stand-alone fantasy about the unbreakable bond between sisters. Perfect for fans of Ember in the Ashes, Sky in the Deep, and Court of Fives.
After eight long years, Evadne will finally be reunited with her older sister, Halcyon, who has been proudly serving in the queen’s army. But when Halcyon appears earlier than expected, Eva knows something has gone terribly wrong. Halcyon is on the run, hunted by her commander and charged with murder.
Though Halcyon’s life is spared during her trial, the punishment is heavy. And when Eva volunteers to serve part of Halcyon’s sentence, she’s determined to find out exactly what happened. But as Eva begins her sentence, she quickly learns that there are fates much worse than death.
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
The book was inspired by two different ideas I had years ago. The first idea was about a mage and a scribe, and I was very intrigued by this story seed, but every time I attempted to draft it, the story fizzled out. I realized I didn’t have a strong enough plot, so I set it aside, to let it simmer for a while. Meanwhile, I began working on another idea, and this story revolved around two sisters—one who commits a crime, and one who rises up to carry half of her sister’s punishment. But again, I had the same trouble as before, and every time I tried to write this story, it didn’t carry me very far. It wasn’t until I brought the two ideas together that the story caught fire, and I knew I finally had all the elements I needed to make a complete novel.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
That’s a hard one to answer! I love both sisters equally, but I think Evadne is my favorite.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel. The working title was Sing Unto Dust. It took me a while to find a new title that would fit the book better (I have such a hard time with titles!). I came up with a long list of potential titles, and Sisters of Sword & Song resonated the best.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
It’s a spoiler, but the scene is toward the end of the book, when all of the action begins to happen. I find it is so tricky to write a well sequenced action scene, and I was very happy with how this one turned out!
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
Sometimes, less is more. I’m naturally a descriptive writer, and I love to fully transport a reader and all of their senses. But sometimes it’s best to describe things in a sharp, precise way, and that is something that I have learned and am continuing to improve with every book I write.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I love how the different symbols and elements on the cover represents each sister—the scrolls for Evadne, the sword and spear for Halcyon, and the olive branches that symbolizes their past and heritage. The cover artist, Kate O’Hara, did such an amazing job. It’s truly the cover of my dreams for this story!
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2020?
I cannot wait for A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik! She is one of my favorite authors, and I’m beyond excited for her new book!
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2019?
I have quite a few favorites, but one of them was Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron. I was absolutely blown away by the plot in this book. I had to pick my jaw up from the floor at one point. And I think Arrah is an amazing heroine.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I have a few projects in the works! And I’ll be able to share more details about them very soon! J
YABC: Is there anything that you would like to add?
A fun bit of trivia: Sisters of Sword & Song was originally written in Evadne’s first person POV completely. But when I received my edit letter, my editor made the suggestion of adding Halcyon’s POV. And I realized this story would be much stronger with both sister’s perspectives. I decided the best way to do this was to switch Evadne’s chapters into 3rd person, and to add Halcyon’s chapters in as I revised. And I came to love Halcyon’s chapters so much; it’s hard for me to remember that original draft without her POV, now!
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
Halcyon’s trial scene was the most difficult. I remember feeling so daunted by that chapter just before I began to draft it. There is also quite a bit of emotion in that scene, and I wanted to ensure that I conveyed it the best I could and hit all the notes. It definitely took me a few rounds of revisions to get it right!
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
The commander. He was a very complicated character for me to figure out. I wanted to ensure that the emotions he was feeling were properly conveyed—his anger and sadness and regrets—but also that his decisions made sense and rang true.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
I love drafting! I’m a “pantser,” which means I “write by the seat of my pants” and discover a majority of the book as I go. I enjoy this part of the process the most. I love to discover characters and plot as I write, and I find that looking at a page that needs revisions more challenging than looking at a blank page. Which means revisions much more difficult for me!
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
Premonition! I sometimes can sense or predict things, just before they happen.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
The March of Dimes is an organization that is close to my heart.
Sisters of Sword & Song
By: Rebecca Ross
Release Date: June 23rd, 2020