Thursday, 6 December 2012

Falling Kingdoms Blog Tour: Q&A With Morgan Rhodes

I was lucky enough to recently read the amazing epic fantasy that is Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes.  It was a book I loved to pieces, that had me guessing all the way through and had me staying up way too late to gobble it up.  And now we have Morgan (AKA Michelle Rowen) here doing an interview with me for her amazing blog tour.  I hope you enjoy it - and buy the awesomeness that is Falling Kingdoms!  I'm already desperate for Book Two - shame it doesn't come out for ages!!  But until then, check out Falling Kingdom's Site and Facebook Page, as well as the Spinebreakers site for a chance to win a fantasy book bundle that includes Falling Kingdoms!
Now, enjoy the interview...

Hi, great to have you here today, Morgan!
Thank you so much! Great to be here! :)

Firstly I want to ask where you got the idea for the amazing world of Falling Kingdoms?  All the very, very different lands with such varying scenery, personalities and beliefs, they all blew me away!
I have always loved high fantasy—movies, TV, books…you name it! And I’ve always wanted to write a “big” YA book that follows many different characters and their stories in a time of war and intrigue and badassery (it’s a word!). When I found out my publisher (whom I’d worked with on Vampire Academy:The Ultimate Guide, written under my other pen name) wanted the same thing, Falling Kingdoms was born in a blaze of glory!

The plot line (or should I say plotlines?) were all so twisty and complex.  How did you cook them up - all the court intrigue and sabotage and what not?  
Thanks! Once the characters were created, it was almost like magic (LOL) how their individual and collective plotlines got all deliciously twisty. I loved writing about the backstabbing and intrigue and it was a fun challenge to keep all of those subplots and characters in order. I can promise you much more twistiness in book two! 

Yay!  And now could we be really, really cheeky and ask where the plot may be heading in book two...?
LOL! Nice try! I can’t reveal anything about the plot for book two other than its title: Rebel Spring…but I can say that book two picks up very shortly after book one ends. Also, you will meet a couple new characters who impact everyone you’ve already met and take things to the next level of…well, twistiness! Book two is as much of a wild ride as book one!

Oh well – worth a shot! ;) So excited for it!  
Now, during the book I must have changed favourite characters a million times.  Did you have a personal favourite?  And who was the most interesting to write?
Honestly, this was what I call a real “tapestry” with many fun and interesting characters. But, of course, even I have a certain character that I enjoy writing slightly more than the others, and it’s one I know readers are either going to love or hate! Prince Magnus never fails to surprise and entertain me (and sometimes break my heart!) and his scenes are always great fun to write—I think I could write an entire book focused only on him.

Magnus was my favourite all the way through!  
Was it difficult to go from writing modern day paranormals to an epic fantasy novel set in an old world?  And which, if you have one, is your favourite to write?
Is it difficult going from contemporary paranormals to medieval high fantasy? OMG, YES. I’ve never really had to do much research in the past, since I’m normally able to just make stuff up (within reason!). While Falling Kingdoms is still a fantasy novel, rather than a fact-based historical, it still requires a believable medieval feel, which hopefully paints a vivid picture in readers’ minds. It’s more detail-oriented writing than I’ve done in the past, that’s for sure. While writing high fantasy is certainly a challenge, it’s one I fully embrace and enjoy. Do I have a favourite between paranormals and high fantasy? Can’t say that I do… I love both!

For all those budding authors reading this, what advice can you give about writing books - like do you have any specific rituals or habits for writing?
My first piece of advice would be to really study the books that you love—like look at the sentence structure and the paragraphing, as well as how the writer made the character and setting come to life on the page. Read as a writer, not just for entertainment. Soon, you’ll absorb that enough to be able to emulate it in your own writing and find your own voice. Second, don’t give up! Books take a while to write, and can be hard work and not “a gift from the muse,” but if you give up and go on to something else, it’ll never get finished!

My rituals for writing include needing complete silence so I can get “in the zone.” I do, however, make a playlist in iTunes for my virtual soundtrack for the books I’m writing. For Falling Kingdoms, instead of regular Top 40 songs, I downloaded Two Steps From Hell’s Invincible album, which is super epic movie soundtrack music that sets a fantastic mood for high fantasy. The song Heart of Courage is particularly awesome.

What's your favourite book (or books) of 2012 so far?
I adored The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead and sent her a fawning fan letter after I finished it. I seriously can’t wait for The Indigo Spell

Love that series!  
Onto a couple of bonkers questions to finish off, I think!  If you could have any superpower ever, what would you choose?
Since I’ve been known to be chronically late for just about everything in my life (except for my book deadlines! So far!!), I’d love to be able to teleport.

And if you could live in any of your three kingdoms from Falling Kingdoms, which would you choose and why?
I would definitely choose Auranos since it’s basically the perfect kingdom with nice temperatures, great scenery, and friendly people. Limeros is too cold, and Paelsia too barren! It’s a no-brainer!

Thank you so much for answering all our questions, Morgan, and good luck with the rest of the blog tour!  I can't wait for the second in the Falling Kingdoms series!
Thank you!


Previous Stop on the Falling Kingdoms Blog Tour: Realm of Fiction
Next Stop on the Falling Kingdoms Blog Tour: Tatty's Treasure Chest

Guys, hope you enjoyed this as much as me!  It's been such fun having Morgan here and reading the book!  It's so awesome - if you liked Games of Thrones or Throne of Glass or The Gathering Dark you will love this to absolute pieces!
Ooh, and don't forget to check out the Falling Kingdoms Facebook Page - there will be lots of fun stuff going up on there!  And, as I mentioned earlier, there is a giveaway of Falling Kingdoms and other awesome fantasy books on the Spinebreakers site!   Check it out - you really don't wanna miss this book!  It's epic!