Monday, January 16, 2012

Cinda Williams Chima Interview - The Gray Wolf Throne

Photo Content from Cinda Williams Chima

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima grew up with talking animals and kick-butt Barbies. She began writing poetry and stories in third grade, and novels in junior high school. Her Heir Chronicles young adult contemporary fantasy series includes The Warrior Heir (2006), The Wizard Heir (2007), and The Dragon Heir (2008), all from Hyperion, with two more books forthcoming.

Chima’s best-selling YA high fantasy Seven Realms series launched with The Demon King (2009), followed by The Exiled Queen (September, 2010) and The Gray Wolf Throne (August, 2011.) The Crimson Crown is scheduled for fall, 2012.

Chima’s books have received starred reviews in Kirkus and VOYA, among others. They have been named Booksense and Indie Next picks, an International Reading Association Young Adult Choice, a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, to the Kirkus Best YA list, and the VOYA Editors’ Choice, Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, and Perfect Tens lists. Her books also appear on numerous state awards lists. Both series are New York Times bestsellers.

Chima was a recipient of the 2008 Lit Award for Fiction from the Cleveland Lit and was named a Cleveland Magazine Interesting Person 2009. She lives in Ohio with her family, and is always working on her next novel.


How would you describe yourself in three words?
Short, obsessive, daydreamer

Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born in Springfield, OH and now live near Cleveland, OH.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
Accessibility, clarity, vivid imagery, and heart are all important. But nothing really happens until the characters engage the reader.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating The Sevem Realms Series?
It is possible to get somewhere without really knowing where you are going. The journey is key.

How did you come up with the title and cover design?
The title of the series came about because I wanted to distinguish it from my Heir Chronicles series. My publisher wanted to use the same branding in terms of the layout and design of the cover, but I'm the one who gets the emails when readers think they've been mislead, e.g. "Where's Jack? I thought this was another Heir book!" So I suggested The Seven Realms Series be added to the covers of the new series. At first my publisher was concerned that readers might be expecting seven books, but they did agree in the end.

I can't really take credit for the cover design--Hyperion employs genius book designers. Elizabeth H. Clark developed the original concept and design, and Tyler Nevins has continued on. Larry Rostant has been the illustrator for all of my Seven Realms covers. Generally my editors do ask me to suggest a central element for the cover and we dicker back and forth on that before the final is selected.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I would like to introduce Jack Swift from my Heir Chronicles series to Amon Byrne in my Seven Realms series--I think they have much in common in terms of being warriors and heroes. And Seph McCauley and Han Alister have a lot in common in terms of their journeys of self-discovery.

What chapter was the most memorable to write and why?
There are several chapters in my series that I couldn't wait to write (some of which I can't tell you about because they would be spoilers!) And there is one chapter in The Gray Wolf Throne that I wrote before anything else. When we pitched the series to Hyperion, I wrote sixty pages and sold the series based on that and a concept. Chapter Eight in The Gray Wolf Throne contains much of those sixty pages.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book, The Crimson Crown?
Speaking of chapters I couldn't wait to write, they are in there! Hope the read is as pleasurable.

Has a review or profile ever changed your perspective on your work?
Sometimes reviewers have seen elements in one of my stories that I didn't know were there until they pointed it out. Not everything a writer does is intentional. All fiction is autobiographical. Certainly, if I see an entire lineup of reviewers saying the same thing, I tend to listen.

Good reviews are still a thrill, and bad reviews still sting, but I've accumulated enough of both to know that you shouldn't totally believe either your good reviews or your bad ones. Kate DiCamillo once said something to the effect that as soon as you put words on the page, you've lost half your audience. Not everyone is going to love what I write, and I need to accept it.

If you could leave your readers with one legacy, what would you want it to be?
A pleasurable reading experience. Anything that gets between reader and story diminishes the experience.

What question are you never asked in interviews but wish you were?
If you could be any mythology creature, what would you be?

Dragons would be right up there.

If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
I was in a band back in the day, and I would love to be a professional musician but question whether I have the talent or the work ethic to succeed in that.

If you could have written one book in history, what book would that be?
Hmm. Maybe Lord of the Rings.

Favorite places to travel?
There are so many! Anywhere in Britain--I took an English literature tour in England when I was in college that changed my life--I'm still mining those experiences. Visited Australia and New Zealand recently--would love to go back. And anywhere with a beautiful beach, warm water, lots of sun, and an umbrella.

What do you normally eat for breakfast?
Frosted mini wheats, 1% milk, lots of coffee with milk.

What are 4 things you never leave home without?
Laptop. Phone. Purse. Um. Clothes and shoes?

What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?
I just saw the movie Young Adult. The viewpoint character, Mavis, is a YA author. She's despicable, but I still couldn't help feeling sorry for her when she found her books on the remainder table.

Han Alister thought he had already lost everyone he loved. But when he finds his friend Rebecca Morley near death in the Spirit Mountains, Han knows that nothing matters more than saving her. The costs of his efforts are steep, but nothing can prepare him for what he soon discovers: the beautiful, mysterious girl he knew as Rebecca is none other than Raisa ana’Marianna, heir to the Queendom of the Fells. Han is hurt and betrayed. He knows he has no future with a blueblood. And, as far as he’s concerned, the princess’s family killed his own mother and sister. But if Han is to fulfill his end of an old bargain, he must do everything in his power to see Raisa crowned queen.

Meanwhile, some people will stop at nothing to prevent Raisa from ascending. With each attempt on her life, she wonders how long it will be before her enemies succeed. Her heart tells her that the thief-turned-wizard Han Alister can be trusted. She wants to believe it—he’s saved her life more than once. But with danger coming at her from every direction, Raisa can only rely on her wits and her iron-hard will to survive—and even that might not be enough.

The Gray Wolf Throne is an epic tale of fierce loyalty, unbearable sacrifice, and the heartless hand of fate.

The Gray Wolf Throne is a great continuation in The Seven Realms series. It picks up right where The Exiled Queen left off with Raisa still on the run following her escape from Micah Bayar while attempting to return to Fells. All the things you have come to expect from a Chima book are all here. Magic, adventure, intrigue, assassins, and love are all present.

Chima’s creation of a truly interesting and original fantasy in The Seven Realms does not lack anything at all. She has mastered the art of putting a great story together backed with brilliant dialogue and excellent character development. The excitement starts right from the start and never loses its momentum.

The Gray Wolf Throne is full of everything that makes The Seven Realms a great story. We learn more about Raisa on this installment and her character goes through major changes. Chima’s choice of words truly made the read easy and believable. It kept me on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what would happen to these characters. The plot is excelled and the pace is better than ever. It presented great writing and intent just like in the previous books. The only complaint I see is that I have to wait for the next book.

You can purchase The Gray Wolf Throne at these following retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you CINDA WILLIAMS CHIMA for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive one Bookmark and one Signed Copy of The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima.
1 Winner will receive one Bookmark and one Signed Copy of The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima.
1 Winner will receive one Bookmark and one Signed Copy of The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima.
1 Winner will receive one Bookmark and one Signed Copy of The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima.


  1. TY TY to both of u for this!!!!!!! :))))


  2. Thank you soooooo much Cinda for donating such AWESOME prizes and thank you Jean for hosting this giveaway!!! :D

  3. Thanks to both Jean and Cinda for this great giveaway!!!

    Good luck everyone!! :):):)


  4. thank you for the giveaway, jean!


  5. OMG!!! Thanks so much to the author for donating those AMAZING books. Im really crossing everything for this!!

  6. Than k you Cinda for the giveaway!! I saw the second book here [Amman] but not the first one! It would be so AMAZING getting a copy!! The covers seem like a great adventure!!

  7. Your books look and sound amazing, thankyou Cinda for donating them and thankyou Jean for the giveaway

  8. I have not read these books and they sound great.

    Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.

    FB: Sally Michele Shaw

  9. A thank you to Cinda for these wonderful books is simply not enough. If I should win, I would love to give them to my bff's little sister, Leah, whom I know would love them just as much as I do. Meeting Cinda this fall was one of the highlights of the year. She's just so so...phenomenal. And wouldn't it be something if Jack and Amon were to actually meet?
    Thank you, Jean, as always.

  10. Amazing interview!! Thank you Cinda for donating and thanks Jean for doing these giveaways :)

  11. Thanks Cinda and Jean for the giveaway!!(hope it's international)

    Have a great day :)

    GFC name - sweety

  12. Thank you so much Cinda! It is wonderful of you to donate not one but four books!!

  13. Thank You Cinda For Donating Those Books!

  14. Awesome giveaway... I'm reading "The Warrior Heir" at the moment and I'm loving it! I would love to read all of Cinda's books ^_^

    Oh, I hope this giveaway is international 'cause I've entered :P

  15. Thanks for donating the books for the giveaway! I love both the Heir series and the Seven Realms series

  16. As always, thanks for the giveaway Jean and Cinda thank you for the generous donation!


  18. Thank you Cinda so much for donating the books!

  19. Hey Cinda. Awesome giveaway. Your Seven Realms series is the best high fantasy I've ever read. Thanks for donating them. Can't wait for The Crimson Crown. Please publish "The Star-Marked Warder" after your second batch of Heir books come out. I'll be extremely sad if I never get another new adventure in the Seven Realms!

  20. Thanks for the giveaway, Jean!
    And Cinda, thank you so much for the generous contribution to this giveaway :)

  21. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing your series.
    I have heard great things about it and now I am totally excited to read it. Thank you for the giveaway.

  22. Very beautiful interview! Thank you for donating the books for the giveaway!
    Demitra G

  23. You interview was amazing and i am very thankful to you for the giveaway because these kind of books are not easily available in my country its my only chance to have such a great opportunity to have these books

  24. Thank you for donating the books for the giveaway Cinda! :)

  25. thanks so much cinda for the donation! fingers crossed :)

  26. Thank you so much for the giveaway ^_^