The Queen's Rising
1- What's your favorite breakfast dish?
2- What five words represent your most notable characteristic or values? #In5Words
Loyal. Friendly. Easy going. Introspective. Empathetic.
3- How are constellations inspiring to you?
I love everything about the night sky. I feel like there are stories in the stars if we would only stop and take the time to admire them.
4- Would you share a picture with us of your book in an exciting location?
I don’t have a picture yet of my book in an exciting place, but I do have a picture of me with the first finished hardcopy I received. And if you couldn’t tell, I was pretty excited.
5- What are some of your short and long term writing goals?
Since I am 3 weeks from launch, a few of my short-term goals are to experience the publication (which is so exciting but also a little nerve-wracking!), continue building my platform, have a good launch party and do my best on my second round of edits for Book 2 (which should be coming any week now!). Long term goals include finishing TQR series with the best books that I can produce, and continuing to improve my craft.
6- What is your favorite book (by someone else), and what do you love most about that book?
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta. I love how endearing her characters are! She is such a fantastic writer that I was wholly invested in not only Finnikin but with the secondary characters. They feel like real people to me, and I often miss being in their world.
7- Who is currently your biggest fan? What does that person love most (or "ship") about your debut novel?
I have to say my two younger sisters (the book is dedicated to them). They are the reason why this book even got published. I handed them the first draft to read three years ago, not sure if it was even good, and they absolutely loved it. And their enthusiasm about the book was the reason why I queried agents. My sisters have seen the book throughout its many drafts, but I think they simply love Brienna and her world.
8- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader, and is there a particular scene you hope will resonate with readers?
I hope my readers will feel/relate to Brienna’s struggles to know where she belongs and who she wants to become. But there is also a particular scene (one of my favorites to write!) where I hope to catch my readers by complete surprise.
9- What most helped you to improve your writing craft?
Working with my editor! She has truly helped me reach the next level with my writing. She has not only helped me draw out deeper emotions and conflicts within my characters, but also examine my pacing and my overall structure (elements I often struggle with!).
10- Would you share a picture with us of your book and your dog?
Of course! This is my dog, Sierra. She often sits beneath my desk when I write (as pictured). She’s very good about letting me know when it’s time to take a break from writing to go throw Frisbee in the yard.
11- What is the most memorable trait or visual oddity of one of your characters?
Jourdain often responds with a, “Hmm.” Which Brienna learns is his manner of halfway agreeing with someone or his way of avoiding an answer.
12- https://diversebooks.org #WeNeedDiverseBooks What's your favorite book with a diverse main character?
I love Laia and Elias from An Ember in the Ashes. I remember when I first picked Sabaa’s book up, I planned to read a few chapters. And before I knew it, I was halfway through, and I could not put it down! It is one of the best dual narratives I have ever read.
13- Which character has your favorite Personality Contradiction?
I think I have to go with Brienna. She has a devious side, but she is also trustworthy.
14- Can you think of any small change in the world you could make to benefit hundreds of other authors or readers potentially?
Supporting diverse authors. Buying their books and spreading the word about their books are two things that help tear down the walls in publishing and give more readers stories and characters that represent them.
15- As a reader, what most motivates you to buy a new book to read?
Beautiful covers always draw my attention. But beyond the cover…I typically open up to a random page and read a paragraph. If it grabs my interest with witty dialogue or lyrical writing, I will definitely buy the book!
16- How will you measure your publishing performance?
Oh dear. This is a tough question. I think the answer that carries the most weight here is the number of books sold. Publishing is a business, after all. But in my heart, I want to measure it by my readers. The people who have read my book and loved it, who have been encouraged or moved by my story. Because that is what I want at the end of that day.
17- What ignited your passion for writing?
Reading! As a girl, I was a voracious reader. And with each book that I read, the more I wanted to write my own. I honestly cannot remember a time when I did not want to be a writer. The first book I ever wrote was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast (I think I was around 6 when I wrote it and even took it upon myself to illustrate).
18- What was the deciding factor in your publication route?
I knew right away that I wanted an agent to guide me through the process and be in my corner, because publishing can be scary and confusing. I honestly did not understand all the inner workings of publishing when I first drafted TQR, and I felt as if I would have a really hard time as a self-published author (I had 0 network connections and no following). So when I got such an incredible agent, I trusted her to know which editors and imprints would be a good match for me.
19- What's the best book marketing strategy you've come across?
I think anything that utilizes social media is very helpful for marketing and promoting, whether it’s a blog tour or a giveaway or a cover reveal or a street team. An author might not even see all the engagement, or fully know how many people have seen their post(s), but social media is such a good way to connect with others and find readers who may love your book.
20- What is one question which you would like the readers of this interview to answer in the comments?
What would you like to see more of in YA Fantasy?
21- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?
Thank you again so much for this interview! I love to connect with readers, so don’t be shy to come find me on social media!
When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.
Growing up in the southern kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her. While some are born with a talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she chose knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true: she is left without a patron.
Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, she reluctantly accepts. But there is much more to his story, for there is a dangerous plot to overthrow the king of Maevana—the rival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved, some closer to Brienna than she realizes.
With war brewing, Brienna must choose which side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. Who will be that queen?
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. Her debut, THE QUEEN'S RISING, is the first book in a trilogy and came out February 6, 2018 from HarperTeen.
Visit her online at http://www.rebeccarossauthor.com
The Queen's Rising