I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on blog tour for HEIR TO THE SKY by Amanda Sun!I have an interview with Amanda to share with you today! And make sure to enter the awesome giveaway for a finished copy of the book!
Haven't heard of HEIR TO THE SKY? Check it out!
As heir to a kingdom of floating continents, Kali has spent her life bound by limits—by her duties as a member of the royal family; by a forced betrothal to the son of a nobleman; and by the edge of the only world she’s ever known—a small island hovering above a monster-ridden earth, long since uninhabited by humans. She is the Eternal Flame of Hope for what’s left of mankind, the wick and the wax burning in service for her people, and for their revered Phoenix, whose magic keeps them aloft.
When Kali falls off the edge of her kingdom and miraculously survives, she is shocked to discover there are still humans on the earth. Determined to get home, Kali entrusts a rugged monster-hunter named Griffin to guide her across a world overrun by chimera, storm dragons, basilisks, and other terrifying beasts. But the more time she spends on earth, the more dark truths she begins to uncover about her home in the sky, and the more resolute she is to start burning for herself.
Now on to the interview!
Hi Amanda! First I want to say welcome to Two Chicks on Books! HEIR TO THE SKY was fantastic! And am so happy that you could stop by for a visit!
Hi! And thank you so much for having me! ^_^
For the readers: can you tell us a little bit about HEIR TO THE SKY and the
Sure! HEIR TO THE SKY is about Kali, the heir to a kingdom of floating continents in the sky. They float above a monster-ridden abandoned earth below. But when she falls of the edge of her home one day, she miraculously survives, and meets Griffin, a rugged monster hunter who promises to get her home safely. And the closer she gets to home, the more her world unravels.
Also there are pygmy goats. And dragons. And monsters of all sorts.
Is this a standalone or a series? And if it’s a series do you have a title for book 2 yet? And if it’s a standalone what are you working on next?
It’s actually a standalone, although my head is full of ideas for a sequel! I’m working on a few things. I have a short story coming out in the anthology STRANGERS AMONG US this August. My story is about a boy who lives in a world in his head—he can’t speak, and he’s sold to a warlord. It’s a darker story about revenge and the potential we all carry within ourselves to perform dark deeds. And I have a few short stories I’m working on, as well as a top secret novel that I will be working on more once my baby daughter lets me. ^_^
Were any of the characters in the book inspired by people from your real life?
Yes and no. I firmly believe that as writers, we lie about the truth. That is, everything we write is like a dream, distorted fragments of things we’ve experienced or thought about, twisted into new and different shapes. There are fragments of my best friends in Kali’s best friend Elisha, for example. And they all have a bit of me in them, too. I do have to say that Griffin was influenced by the Final Fantasy character Noel, from FFXIII-2. Video games in general were a big influence on this book, as I’ve always loved the floating continents from games like Skyward Sword, Chrono Trigger, and FFVI.
Who was your favorite character to write? What about your least favorite?
I loved writing Griffin! He knows all the strategies to take down monsters and look for safe havens and plants around them. He also has a big heart, and a tragic past. He trusts fully, even when he knows better. I also love Aliyah, because she’s such a big personality. Strong, protective, and deadly with her behemoth-fang spear.
Least favorite is probably Sayra, because I feel sorry for her. She’s not up to the task of survival like Griffin or Aliyah are. She cries a lot, and she can’t settle into life on the earth. I feel like that sometimes, more powerless and cowardly than I want to be. I don’t like what she reflects in myself.
What is your favorite passage/scene in HEIR TO THE SKY?
My favorite scene has to be the swamp and the treehouse. Everything in the swamp is iridescent at night, glowing and unfurling with a strange glittering beauty. But it’s dangerous too. My other favorite is the end of the book, which I can’t say much about. I hope you enjoy these scenes when you come to them!
What kind of research did you have to do for the story?
A lot! I didn’t know much about survival skills. I learned all kinds of fascinating things about how to survive in the wild, what you can eat, how to find water, and how to make tools. I researched a lot about the Himalayas and mountain climates so I could figure out what could survive on floating continents and whether life was feasible up there. I also drew on a lot of my background in Archaeology for designing Kali’s kingdom and its religion around the Phoenix. Most of the names in her kingdom like Ashra, Burumu, Nartu, and the city of Ulan are derived from Akkadian words for flight, soaring, wings, and so on.
What inspired you to write YA?
I always say YA chose me! As I grew up, I liked to write about characters who were slightly older than I was. But when I got to be a teen, my characters stopped aging. I love the energy that teen characters have. They know they can save the world—they aren’t discouraged or jaded. They believe there’s more if they can only grasp it. Plus YA has so much exciting genre meshing. You can break all kinds of rules and it only makes things more exciting!
Lightening Round Questions
What are you reading right now? Or what do you have on your TBR that you’re dying to read?
I’m in the middle of THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS by Marieke Nijkamp. I’m a slow reader at the moment because my baby daughter just started walking and can’t be left alone for even a minute. But I manage to get a few pages here and there. And I’m dying to read Jodi Meadow’s new book THE MIRROR KING. Yay!
What Hogwarts House would the Sorting Hat place you in?
I’m actually a proud member of Slytherin. OK, I’m not ruthless or anything. I’m quiet and shy. But I’ve always been drawn to Slytherin because I find it the most interesting house. The odds are stacked against you, and who doesn’t like rooting for the underdog? Plus, aren’t all authors a little devious and mean? Let’s face it—making readers cry is our ultimate goal.
Twitter or Facebook?
Twitter for fun, Facebook for pet and baby photos. ^_^
Superman, as in the original movies. He’s just so honest and straightforward and his heart’s in the right place. He’s also kind of awkward, like me.
Favorite TV show?
Beauty and the Beast from the 80’s (Vincent and Catherine!) I’m also partial to Deathnote and Boys over Flowers.
Sweet or Salty?
Salty, mostly chips of all kinds. Om nom nom.
Oh god yes. Spiders. They’re the reason I’m trained as an archaeologist but working as a writer INDOORS. My Ancient Near Eastern prof had horror stories about the whispery sounds of camel spiders AKA tarantula things climbing on the ceilings of their tents. Yeah, I’ll stay here, thanks.
Song you can’t get enough of right now?
The Humming by Enya. It gets so stuck in my head. Plus I’ve been watching a ton of documentaries about space and the universe lately, and the song sort of echoes the vastness that I’ve been pondering. You know, between changing diapers.
Spring Movie you’re most looking forward to?
Alice Through the Looking Glass. I’m a huge Alice in Wonderland fan, so much so that my new baby girl is named Alice. ^_^
Thanks so much Amanda for answering my questions! I can’t wait for everyone to read HEIR TO THE SKY!
Thank you for having me, and Happy Reading!
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