Hey everyone! I’m incredibly excited to be a part of the blog tour for Warmaidens by Kelly Coon (December 15, 2020 – Delacorte Press)! Today, I have an awesome interview with Kelly to share with you! First, here’s more about the book:
Warmaidens is the dark, action-packed conclusion to the heartwrenching Gravemaidens fantasy duology. Kammani and the maidens are now going to war against the ruler who tried to entomb them.
Just a few moons after escaping the tomb in Alu, Kammani and the other runaway maidens have found refuge in the city-state of Manzazu. There, Kammani has become a respected healer, especially among the warriors she’s brought back from the brink of death. Now that the nightmares of Alu are fading, she can finally decide whether or not to take Dagan’s hand in marriage.
But when an assassin murders a healer he believes is Kammani and attempts to kill the displaced queen of Alu, the maidens realize they’ve been found.
Hungry for revenge, Manzazu’s queen wants to strike back at Alu with her fiercest weapons—her scorpion warrior maidens—but Kammani knows that war harms more than it heals. To save the innocents and any chance of a future with Dagan, Kammani must take down Alu’s ruler before their lives burn up in the flames of war.
And now for the interview! Enjoy!
Describe your book in ten words or less. Go!
Scorpion warrior maidens! Spies! Midnight kisses! Boatman hauntings! A healer gone rogue! Oops, too many! haha
How was writing the sequel different from writing the first book?
Whew, it was tough! When I wrote Gravemaidens, I was writing in the hopes of landing an agent. No one needed it by any particular time. But when I wrote Warmaidens, I had a deadline! The ticking clock and the expectations of delivering a book better than Gravemaidens added a lot of pressure.
Did you ever have a moment, while editing Warmaidens, where you wished you’d done something different in Gravemaidens because it would have made something in Warmaidens easier?
HA! Such a good question. Heck yes. So many things. If I’d fleshed Nanaea out a little more in book one, it would have been easier to build on her characterization in book two. If I’d included more Boatman lore, I would have had an easier time capitalizing on that here. I think you always have regrets when a book publishes because you spot things you didn’t see before. But I remind myself that I did the very best I could given the resources I had at the time and that’s all I can do!
What scene do you most regret having to cut?
I wrote a heart-wrenching scene between Kammani and a group of war-torn travelers from the north. It helped expand her characterization because she puts all her skills to use and enlists the help of her crew to ensure the travelers are patched up. It also offered some foreshadowing about what they stood to lose if they didn’t stop the scorpion warrior maidens from annihilating Alu. But…it slowed the pace far too much. So, it had to go. I HATED cutting that scene!
How have you been holding up during Covid? How has it effected your writing?
Awww, thanks for asking! I’m okay. I think as a mom, I have to be okay. Nobody else is going to take care of my kids. They look to me and my husband for guidance, so there is no other option than to keep myself together for them.
To do that, I meditate and exercise to keep my mind screwed on right. I keep working to pay for their care and show them that even though times are difficult, we can all do difficult things. In March and April, I had trouble feeling like writing mattered at all! But I forced myself to do just one small writing task every couple of days, and before long, I’d written my eighth novel, a YA thriller!
Are you working on anything new?
Speaking of….yes! I’m jumping into the contemporary arena! I’ve written a YA contemporary with speculative elements and just finished a YA thriller. We’ll be sending those out to editors very soon!!!! I’m so excited to see how I fare in the contemporary space.
Thanks so much for having me today!