Darkstars Fantasy News


14. Januar 2018

Interview with S. Jae-Jones
Author of WINTERSONG and SHADOWSONG

Category: Interviews – Darkstar – 12:59

ShadowsongIn February Shadowsong will be released, sequel to S. Jae-Jones spellbinding debut novel Wintersong.

The novels are about a young Girl, Liesl, in 19th century Bavaria, who’s following the mysterious king of goblins into his dark and glittering undergrond kingdom.

Due to Wintersongs german release, the author took time to talk about writing her debut novel and Research as well as writing and Fantasy novels in general.

Interview with S. Jae-Jones

To give readers who didn’t read Wintersong yet a feeling about what awaits them: Which color(s) and which key word(s) would describe the atmosphere of your novel best?

For color, something deep and dark, like blackberry purple or a red so dark it’s nearly black.

I suppose the key words I would use to describe Wintersong would be “gothic, romantic, and musical.“

What do you like most about your main character?

To be honest, writing Liesl was very difficult.

She is a lot to handle emotionally; she shares my bipolar disorder. But what I love most about Liesl is her dedication to her family, as well as her desire to remain true to her artistic self.

Liesls journey is a tough one. She knows she’s talented. But she’s haunted by self-doubts when it comes to attracting a man. And she’s frustrated about her place in the world and its limits. Her emotional journey is deeply touching. How hard was it to right about these topics?

In many ways it was incredibly easy to write about these things, as unfortunate as that is.

I am an Asian-American woman in Trump’s America, and finding my place even in my own country is a reality I live with every day.

WintersongI love the underground world you created. What kind of research did you do and what attracts you when it comes to goblins and their world?

I did a lot of research into goblin, elvish, and other fairy myths from Europe, finding places where they were similar and different, but also drew on a lot of other influences that fascinated me as a kid: stories about the underworld, the Hades and Persephone myth, and the Jim Henson movie with David Bowie as the Goblin King.

There’ll be a sequel to Wintersong. Did you plot its storyarc completely before you started writing Wintersong or do you work on plot book by book? Will Shadowsong conclude Liesls story?

I wish I could plot something before I start writing, but unfortunately that is not how I work. Shadowsong is a direct sequel to Wintersong.

After I finished Wintersong, I had a very vague idea of where Liesl’s story would go, and also what the ending of Shadowsong would be, but the actual story of the second book was discovered during the actual writing of it.

I am always looking for LGBT-characters in fantasy novels and blog often about that topic. Some characters in Wintersong are queer. Will we see more of them in the next novel?

Josef and François play much, much larger roles in Shadowsong; we even get some parts from their points of view.

What excites you most when you start a new novel – and what do you loathe during the writing process?

The IDEA excites me most when I start a new novel, whatever that premise might be.

I also really love thinking about characters and their relationships with one another, as well as how that might grow and change over the course of the story.

What I loathe about the writing process is…everything else. 🙂

I’m joking, but the process of getting the story in my head onto the page is incredibly painful and sometimes tedious and always, always hard.

How do you realize that an idea is worth to be spun into a novel plot?

When I can’t stop thinking about it.

How did you realise you have a talent for writing? Can you remember what your first story (or novel) was about?

I’ve always loved stories; my parents read to me as a child, and I also DEVOURED absolutely every book I could get my hands on.

I was also an only child for a very long time and spent a lot of time playing pretend on my own. Eventually I started writing down my make-believe stories so I could remember where I was the last time I stopped playing.

It wasn’t until I was 8 when I discovered that other people liked to listen to my stories. My teacher gave her students a writing assignment where we imagined waking up as the opposite gender. I wrote a funny short story and read it aloud, and my classmates laughed and gasped at all the right parts.

I think that was probably the moment I knew I had a talent for writing.

Most authors are avid readers as well. What kind of books do you like? Which authors can you recommend? And how do you choose a new book in a bookstore?

WintersomgI read just about anything; non-fiction, mysteries, science-fiction, fantasy, graphic novels and comic books, etc. but my first love is and always will be children’s fiction, especially children’s fantasy.

I love all the works of Philip Pullman, Cornelia Funke, and Kerstin Gier, as well as much older authors such as L. M. Montgomery and Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Many of my friends also write in young adult, including Roshani Chokshi, Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Sabaa Tahir, and Renee Ahdieh.

As for choosing a new book in a bookstore, I’m still kind of old-fashioned about it: I’ll browse the shelves and pick one up at random. If I like the first few pages, I’ll probably buy it.

What do you plan next? Can you already let us know what you’re working on currently?

I am currently working on my next US series, called Guardians of Dawn.

It’s about four girls with magical powers, set in a fantasy version of East Asia.

Fun question: If you could invite a few fictional characters over for tea or dinner (eitherfrom your own works or from anothers): Who should it be and why?

I am a terrible hostess, but I would definitely invite the Goblin King over for tea. 🙂

Thank you!

Authors Website: S. Jae-Jones

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