Our #ShadesofMagic tour is almost over. I hope you have enjoyed all the posts, giveaways and of course the readalongs for ADSOM and AGOS. A CONJURING OF LIGHT will be on sale SOON -- have you ordered your copy? I have! (Months ago!) If not, go, go, GO.
Today, I'm very pleased to host our interview with V.E. Schwab! Here we go...
1 What is your favorite book out of the Shades of Magic trilogy and why? (Shanna)
V: Oh, that’s a hard question. I wanted each book to function in a fundamentally different way. ADSOM is a ticking clock adventure, AGOS is a character exploration, and ACOL is the fruition. I am probably PROUDEST of ACOL. It was a journey, and I have never been happier with the destination.
2 When you started writing ADSOM, did you already have a plan for all three books or did that develop as you wrote? (Kati)
V: I had the broadest sense of what would happen, and where it would end (I always know the ending first, what happens, yes, but also who my characters are at the end, to understand who they need to be at the start), but I didn’t know how long it would take to get there.
3 If you could wield one or more of the magical elements in your world, which one(s) would you want? (Sarah)
V: Obviously I like to think I’d be Antari, or at least a triad, but if I had to narrow it down, I would want water and earth. Fire is always tempting, but it’s fickle, and hard to wield in any concrete way.
4 Which character was the hardest to write, and which one the easiest? (Ivy)
V: The easiest character to write was Lila Bard, simply because when you have a character who knows themselves the way she does, you always know how she’s going to react. Conversely, the hardest character to write was Prince Rhy, because he’s a performer--he changes himself to fit his audience--making it hard to peel back the facade and really see who the real Rhy is beneath.
5 Which London do you love most and why? (Shanna)
V: I love Red London, through and through. If I had to stay in one world for any length of time, it would certainly be the one where magic thrives.
6 If you could meet one character of your books in person, who would it be and why? (Kati)
V: Ohhh, hard question. I think I would have to say Holland. I’ve made little secret of the fact that Holland is my favorite character in the series, despite his many flaws, and he might not be as fun to hang out with as Rhy or Alucard, but I wouldn’t be able to help myself.
7 Is there a book (or character) in which you recognize most of yourself? (Shanna)
V: Lila Bard is the person I wish I could be (able to brush aside fear). Kell is the person I probably am (neurotic, wants to belong). Rhy is the person I’m afraid of becoming (lost).
8 In creating the Shades of Magic series, what is one thing that has surprised you while writing this series? (Sarah)
V: How much I’ve come to care. Authors always care about their stories, the characters who live in them, but I didn’t think I would have such a miserable time letting go. I’ve come to live in this world, and to love it so very much.
9 Are you a plotter or a pantser? (Kim)
V: I’m a connect-the-dots-er. I collect the five to ten plot/character/emotional points I need for my story to be MINE, and then I arrange them vaguely into a book, letting myself find the way between. It gives me enough of a map that I don’t wander too far, but not so much that I can’t explore.
10 You often state on Twitter how hard a writer’s life is and motivate your followers to keep writing, even if it’s hard. What is your best advice to stay motivated and productive during the writing process? (Anna)
V: When I first started, I made the decision to be as transparent as possible. The best advice I have? Get to THE END. Seriously. Half the reason I write the ending first is so that I won’t quit--on bad days, it keeps me from giving up, and on good days, I’m excited to get there.
11 Do you have any special writing quirks? (Kati)
V: Does procrastination count as a quirk? I don’t think so--but who knows. I try not to be too precious about what I need with me to write, but I do require a cup of tea at all times, I write my endings first, and I write my scenes completely out of order. Not just scenes out of order within the book, but lines out of order within the scene. Every chapter becomes a puzzle I piece together out of this line of dialogue and that line of description. Writer brains are weird.
12 What part of the writing process do you like the most, and what the least? (Ivy)
V: My favorite is the part right before I start, when I’m gathering ideas a mile a minute and it’s all potential energy and I haven’t failed yet. My least favorite part is the middle. Yes, the entire middle.
13 Which book has been hardest to write and why? (Kati)
V: Okay, so I apparently do this thing where I very conveniently erase my own memories of the writing process, so that as soon as a book is DONE, I recall it as a delightful romp, regardless of how much of a slog it was to get there. I know this because my editors tell me. And my friends tell me. And my family tells me. I remember the books so fondly...after they’ve been put to bed.
14 How well do you plan your story before you start writing, and where do you start? (Kim)
V: I know the beginning. I know the ending. I know a few key scenes that have lodged themselves in my head. A few lines of dialogue for voice. Everything else is a bit of a muddle. I start with the end.
15 You often show your glorious bookshelf on Twitter. What is your favorite part of it and how is it sorted? (Anna)
V: My bookshelves are magical. It’s been proven. If you stare at them long enough, you’ll be transported to another world. My favorite thing about them is the fact they are organized into a rainbow. But, me being ornery and odd, it’s not a simple rainbow, it’s more a lovely fluctuating spectrum (white, tan, yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, blue, green, grey, black).
Thank you so much for your time, Victoria!
Now, TOR has been incredibly generous and gifted us two sets of ADSOM/AGOS. I'm giving away one of those sets right here on my blog. This is limited to US/CAN.