AUTHOR TAKEOVER #009: Sarah McGuire, author of: ‘Valiant’ + Giveaway!!
Author Takeover is a new feature here in HBT where we let our current favorite authors took over the blog. Expect Guest Posts, Interviews, LOTS of Playlists, giveaways and of course, a bunch load of FUN!
Retelling has been everywhere in the blogosphere and I think VALIANT deserves to be on your list! Check out my Interview with the wonderful Sarah.
Published April 28th 2015 by EgmontUSA
YA > Fantasy | Retelling
About the book..
Reggen still sings about the champion, the brave tailor. This is the story that is true.
Saville despises the velvets and silks that her father prizes more than he’s ever loved her. Yet when he’s struck ill she’ll do anything to survive–even dressing as a boy and begging a commission to sew for the king.
But piecing together a fine coat is far simpler than unknotting court gossip about an army of giants, led by a man who cannot be defeated, marching toward Reggen to seize the throne. Saville knows giants are just stories, and no man is immortal.
Then she meets them, two scouts as tall as trees. After she tricks them into leaving, tales of the daring tailor’s triumph quickly spin into impossible feats of giant-slaying. And stories won’t deter the Duke and his larger-than-life army.
Now only a courageous and clever tailor girl can see beyond the rumors to save the kingdom again.
Sarah McGuire loves fairy tales and considers them the best way to step outside of everyday life. They’re the easiest way, at least: her attempt at seven to reach Narnia through her parents’ closet failed. She lives within sight of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, where she teaches high school creative writing and math classes with very interesting word problems. Valiant is her first novel.
Hi Sarah!! Thanks for stopping by on the blog!! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 🙂
I am a high school math teacher who loves fairy tales. I drink way too much coffee and couldn’t get everything done if I didn’t take afternoon naps— long ones.
Valiant is your debut novel, is writing a retelling novel your original plan? If no, what’s the genre you really like to write? If yes, can you tell us why and how you gotinto writing Valiant.
I have always loved fairy tales, and had written a retelling that I put away. So I knew the next book I wrote would be a retelling.
Describe your book in 5-7 words for us
Clever girl verses an army of giants.
How did you decide your novel’s book cover? If you’ve given the chance to change it, will you? (It looks really pretty!! :D)
I didn’t decide on Valiant’s cover— it was shown to me, fully formed. (Much like Athena springing from Zeus’ forehead.) The wonderful artist, Shobhna Patel, created the papercut work for the cover after reading Valiant. It’s such a lovely, unique look.
There is one situation where I’d change the cover. If Valiant stayed in print for quite a few years, the cover might then need an update. (A girl can dream her book would be in stores that long, right?) Then, perhaps, Valiant would have a new cover.
How will you introduce Saville to us?
People and reviewers have portrayed Saville as strong. And she is. But I’d like to think that strength comes from something other than generally kick-assery. She does what she does because she cares deeply for the people in her life. She has a bone-deep drive to protect those she loves.
Can you share something weird, funny or even a scary thing that happened while writing Valiant?
Oh this is horribly mundane, but I dented my sofa cushion— there was that much butt-in-chair time. I was part of a whole novel workshop and only had a few months to write the first draft of Valiant. So once the school year was over, I wrote. One day, I got up to go to the kitchen for a snack, and when I looked back at the sofa, I realized I’d dent the sofa cushion. It’s still a bit less plush than the other.
Are you working on something new already? Do you have a WIP that you can tell us about?
I’m playing with another retelling, but am still working on it. I hope I can tell you about it soon!
Can you share three retelling books that you also enjoyed?
I’m a huge fan of Shannon Hale. I love Goose Girl and Book of a Thousand Days.
Thanks again, Sarah for the Q&A! We’re excited to hear about your inspiration when it comes to Valiant’s setting!
I tried to think of pictures that I could attach about the story’s inspiration. Most of Valiant came from my own imagination, but as I was writing it, I read about Predjamski: a castle in Slovenia that was built at the entrance of a cave system. Although I imagined the castle in Valiant as looking VERY different, I thought perhaps you’d like these links. There wouldn’t have been caves in Valiant if I hadn’t read about Predjamski. 🙂
What do you guys think of VALIANT? Will you be reading it? Am I the only one who think that this has one of the most unique premise EVER?! Share your thoughts!