Wednesday, December 12, 2012
The Crimson Crown Interview
congrats, carl, on winning a copy of The Crimson Crown! thanks to all who participated! cheers, cindy
cindy: Cinda, it is an honor and pleasure to interview you for your final book in the Seven Realms Series: The Crimson Crown. I admit that I read this thick book in less than a day, incapable of savoring it slowly. I simply had to know what would happen to these favorite characters of mine NOW! You did not disappoint, and ended the series so fabulously. Many congratulations to you!
We discussed your writing process when I interviewed you a year ago for The Gray Wolf Throne. I, myself, feel very bereft now that the series is done. How did you feel while writing this final book in the tetralogy?
Cinda: This book was amazingly satisfying to write, since I'd been waiting so very long to write some of the scenes in it. I had a good head start on it when I finished The Gray Wolf Throne, since by the time I realized that I couldn't finish the story in three books, I already had a third of The Crimson Crown written (it was originally supposed to be a trilogy.) Although there were lots of editorial revisions along the way, I always had a clear vision of where I was going, though at times I wasn't sure how I was going to get there. Much like my characters, I suppose. After all I've put them through, I think they deserve a bit of a rest while I work on my Heir Chronicles spinoff. But I may yet return to the Seven Realms.
cindy: It's always reassuring for me when I learn about the writing process of authors I admire. We all struggle through our processes! I read in a recent interview with you that you don't believe themes come first in novels, that they arise when you write the story. I do believe that often, what we find important personally can make its way onto the page. Looking back on the series, what do you think are some major themes in these books? And are you surprised by any?
Cinda: All of my stories are about transformation--I find great comfort in the notion that we are constantly transforming ourselves. That it's never too late to go in a different direction, that we're never "finished" in terms of growth and change. When teens ask me what I would be if I were not a writer, I tell them that I've already been those things, and now is my time to be a writer. It's been such fun watching Han and Raisa transform over the course of the four books into the adults they're meant to be. And that's the job of adolescence.
I'm intrigued by the notion of power and the effect it has on character. Many of the wizards in my stories are arrogant, ruthless people because they are powerful and they are used to having their own way. But there are always people who exceed our expectations. Who succeed against all odds. That's Han Alister.
cindy: I think you tackled both themes of transformation and power fantastically. Han changed so much, but Raisa also grew. I realize after finishing this fantastic series that I don't know your journey to becoming an author. I know you have a background in nutrition. But how long have you been writing, and what prompted you to try and become published in the first place? (For me, it was a major change in my life--becoming a mother and staying at home full time. I needed to have something to call my own again, and it was writing!)
Cinda: I was not a strong student in the early grades, but I wrote a poem in third grade, and my teacher praised it and hung it up at the science fair, and I thought, "Maybe I'm good at this." I've been writing, off and on, ever since. I wrote my first novels when I was in junior high, but got away from fiction when I was working my way through college. Too much nonfiction to write!
Like you, I returned to writing when my children were small. It wasn't that I needed something else to do--I was working full time in nutrition--but I was experiencing so many new emotions as a parent that I felt the need to "get things down." I wrote personal essays and feature articles on health and parenting for the Cleveland newspapers. When my sons were thirteen and sixteen, I decided to return to fiction. I wanted to write something my sons would enjoy reading. I had an idea about a high school student in Ohio who learns he's among the last of a guild of magical warriors. That story became my first published novel, The Warrior Heir.
cindy: Teachers are amazing, and it truly only takes a word of encouragement at the right time for a child I think, to change their life in a way. And I really loved The Warrior Heir--I didn't realize that was your debut! What will you miss the most about writing this series, Cinda?
Cinda: Writing is like any other job--it's the people you miss the most when you move on.So I'll miss spending every day with those characters. The good news is that I'll be revisiting some old friends with a return to the Heir Chronicles. Also, it's always difficult to go from a polished, pretty final draft to an ugly first draft. Or, even worse, work on both at the same time, which is what you have to do when you write a book a year.
cindy: Rough drafts are so painful for me, too! Could you tell us what other fantastic reads we have to look forward to from you in the near future?
Cinda: Right now I'm working on two new books in the Heir Chronicles, a spinoff that involves new characters as well as old. The first will likely be called The Enchanter Heir, and is scheduled for a fall, 2013 release.
cindy: Sounds fantastic! And since I already asked the pastry question, what is a favorite snack or indulgence of yours while you are writing?
Cinda: Once I've satisfied my morning coffee addiction, I drink Market Spice tea from the Pike Place market--I drink it iced, all day long. As far as snacks go, I love love love popcorn, but don't usually eat it while writing (I don't want to get butter all over the keyboard.)
cindy: I'm intrigued by the iced spice tea! I love iced teas myself. Thank you so much for stopping by as interviewee in your busy schedule, Cinda!
Learn more about Cinda at her official website!
Cinda's publisher has been kind enough to donate a copy of The Crimson Crown for a giveaway!!
1. Simply comment to enter for one point (include EMAIL).
2. Tweet, facebook status, or blog about this interview and contest with a link to this post for +1 point.
3. Become a follower to Enchanted Inkpot for another +1.
Three points total! Ships to US addresses only.
I will choose a random winner on Wednesday, 1/2/2013 and post name at top of this entry that day. Good luck!!
Cindy Pon is the author of Silver Phoenix (Greenwillow, 2009), which was named one of the Top Ten Fantasy and Science Fiction Books for Youth by the American Library Association’s Booklist, and one of 2009′s best Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror by VOYA. The sequel to Silver Phoenix, titled Fury of the Phoenix, was released in April 2011. Her first published short story is featured in Diverse Energies, a multicultural YA dystopian anthology from Tu Books (October 2012). Cindy is also a Chinese brush painting student of over a decade. Visit her website at www.cindypon.com.