I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the blog tour for HEARTSTONE by Elle Katharine White! I loved this freaking awesome historical fantasy re-imagining of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE! I have an interview with Elle to share with you today! And make sure to enter the awesome giveaway for a chance to win the book!!
Haven't heard of HEARTSTONE? Check it out!
A debut historical fantasy that recasts Jane Austen’s beloved Pride & Prejudice in an imaginative world of wyverns, dragons, and the warriors who fight alongside them against the monsters that threaten the kingdom: gryphons, direwolves, lamias, banshees, and lindworms.
They say a Rider in possession of a good blade must be in want of a monster to slay—and Merybourne Manor has plenty of monsters.
Passionate, headstrong Aliza Bentaine knows this all too well; she’s already lost one sister to the invading gryphons. So when Lord Merybourne hires a band of Riders to hunt down the horde, Aliza is relieved her home will soon be safe again.
Her relief is short-lived. With the arrival of the haughty and handsome dragonrider, Alastair Daired, Aliza expects a battle; what she doesn’t expect is a romantic clash of wills, pitting words and wit against the pride of an ancient house. Nor does she anticipate the mystery that follows them from Merybourne Manor, its roots running deep as the foundations of the kingdom itself, where something old and dreadful slumbers . . . something far more sinister than gryphons.
It’s a war Aliza is ill-prepared to wage, on a battlefield she’s never known before: one spanning kingdoms, class lines, and the curious nature of her own heart.
Elle Katharine White infuses elements of Austen’s beloved novel with her own brand of magic, crafting a modern epic fantasy that conjures a familiar yet wondrously unique new world.
Now on to the interview!
Hi Elle! First I want to say welcome to Two Chicks on Books! HEARTSTONE was absolutely fantastic and I can’t wait for everyone to read it! And am so happy that you could stop by for a visit!
For the readers: Can you tell us a little bit about HEARTSTONE and the characters?
Thanks for having me! HEARTSTONE is a reimagining of Pride and Prejudice in an epic fantasy world where dragons are commonplace, monsters run amok, and the gentry have traded in their cravats and petticoats for hauberks and swords. Darcy is Alastair Daired, heir to a long line of dragon-riding monster-hunters and professional grouch. Elizabeth is Aliza Bentaine, a healer and artist who doesn’t like the sight of blood and whose curiosity often gets her into trouble. Needless to say they do not hit it off well . . . at first.
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? Also I would love to see a reimagining of Persuasion set in this world ;)
Right now HEARTSTONE is a standalone, but who knows? We may see more adventures in Arle in the future. In the meantime I’m working on a series of cyberpunk novels filled with ALL my favorite things: augmented transhuman drama, corporate espionage, complicated sibling dynamics, and GIRL POWER.
Were any of the characters in the book inspired by people from your real life?
Yep. Mari, the bookish Bentaine sister, is teenaged-me. I was always the one to bring a book to the party and hoped no one noticed me in the corner.
Who was your favorite character to write? What about your least favorite?
I loved writing the hobgoblins and creature characters; Tobble the Hobgoblin is my favorite. I could hear his voice in my head every time he entered a scene, which made his dialogue easy to write. Charis Brysney, my reimagined Caroline Bingley, was the hardest, as her voice had to walk the tricky line between haughty, aloof, and endearing.
What is your favorite passage/scene in HEARTSTONE?
The first scene between Daired, Aliza, and Tobble is my favorite, if only because it never ceases to make me laugh. (A hint to those who haven’t read it yet: it involves Daired getting pelted with mud by an irate inconvenience of hobgoblins.)
What kind of research did you have to do for the story?
As someone to whom the complexities of mathematics might as well be sorcery, I’m quite proud of the fact that I managed to calculate the average airspeed velocity of an unladen European swallow—er, I mean dragon—in order to make the travel scenes realistic. I also spent a lot of time binge-watching medieval weaponry masters on YouTube as they demonstrated the best methods for beheading and the proper way to wear chainmail.
Who is your ultimate book boyfriend?
Gabriel Syme from G.K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday. Brave, British, good with words, rocks a cravat, soul of a poet, and just a little bit crazy. My kinda man.
What inspired you to write a Jane Austen reimagining?
I’ve been obsessed with the fantasy genre since I was a child and I fell in love with Darcy the moment I read Pride and Prejudice, so some part of me has always wanted to read a mash-up of the two. After years of searching without luck, I finally thought, “Aw, screw it. I write it myself.” The final piece of inspiration fell into place one Sunday afternoon in college when my housemate started the movie How to Train Your Dragon. I happened to be rereading P&P in the same room, and halfway through the movie I had the sudden image of Mr. Darcy riding a dragon and thought “THAT’S IT.” I couldn’t sleep until I outlined the story that would become HEARTSTONE.
Lightening Round Questions
What are you reading right now? Or what do you have on your TBR that you’re dying to read?
N.K. Jemisin’s dark and lovely The Killing Moon. And I’m kicking myself for waiting so long, but I’m dying to read V.E. Schwab’s A Gathering of Shadows, because I MUST finish it in time for the release of A Conjuring of Light.
What Hogwarts House would the Sorting Hat place you in?
Twitter or Facebook?
Twitter. A helpful training tool for writers looking to kill characters.
Batman, of course. Because he’s Batman.
Favorite TV show?
Doctor Who, Sherlock, and anything by Masterpiece: Mystery!
Sweet or Salty?
Heights. And velociraptors. (I’m serious. Don’t ask.)
Song you can’t get enough of right now?
“Hold My Hand” by Jess Glynne
2017 movie you’re most looking forward to?
It’s a tie between Beauty and the Beast and The Dark Tower.
Thanks so much Elle for answering my questions! I can’t wait for everyone to read HEARTSTONE!
Elle was born and raised in Buffalo, NY, where she learned valuable life skills like how to clear a snowy driveway in under twenty minutes (a lot easier than you think) and how to cheer for the perennial underdog (a lot harder than you think).
When she's not writing she spends her time reading, drinking absurd amounts of tea, having strong feelings about fictional characters, and doing her best to live with no regrets.
Connect with her on Facebook at @ellewhite.author, or witness the hilarious spectacle that is a writer contending with the 140-character limit on Twitter at @elle_k_writes.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of HEARTSTONE, US Only.
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