Monday, May 7, 2018

Rebecca Ross Author Interview

Photo Content from Rebecca Ross

Rebecca Ross was born and raised in Georgia, where she continues to reside with her husband, her lively Australian Shepherd, and her endless piles of books. She loves coffee, the night sky, chalk art, maps, the mountains, and growing wildflowers in her yard. And a good story, of course.


Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (February 6, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062471341
ISBN-13: 978-0062471345


“Sophisticated plotting is the hallmark of this debut, which deftly navigates complex, treasonous plots and political intrigue. [A] Stunning literary adventure.” Booklist (starred review)

“A sprawling girl-powered fantasy. A compelling page-turner. Hand this magical debut to readers who loved Shannon Hale’s Princess Academy or Sarah J. Maas’s “Throne of Glass” series.” School Library Journal

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to have a life in writing?
Read and write as much as you can. I have learned so much about craft by simply reading authors whose books I love. You also need to become very disciplined when it comes to writing, because some days you feel inspired and other days, not so much. You still need to be motivated enough to get words down on the page despite those bad days.

What were your inspirations for the character development?
I really wanted to create characters who were flawed and relatable. I wanted them to have desires, secrets, and fears. I also wanted to make sure they were not the same people they were at the beginning of the narrative.

Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that writing was not just a hobby.
I’ve always had the dream of being published. I honestly cannot remember a time I wasn’t reading and writing. But I think I realized it was more than a hobby when I was drafting TQR. I have never felt so focused on a story before; I literally could not sleep at night because I couldn’t get it off my mind.

What was your unforgettable moment while writing THE QUEEN'S RISING?
Writing the last chapter! It was truly the most surreal moment. My heart was bursting when I wrote that last line.

Are there authors that you’re excited to engage/work with?
I’m very excited about being a part of Victoria Aveyard’s WAR STORM tour this May! I’ll be in conversation with her on two stops--Tulsa, OK and Woodstock, GA. I would also love to meet authors I really admire, like Margaret Rogerson and Elizabeth Acevedo.

What part of Brienna did you enjoy writing the most?
I honestly loved writing about Brienna in all facets. I love her dry sense of humor and her courage.

What book would you recommend for others to read?
THE DISAPPEARANCES by Emily Bain Murphy. This book is absolutely magical.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I’m currently about to head into copy edits for my second book, THE QUEEN’S RESISTANCE, which is a sequel to TQR! I absolutely LOVED drafting this book and am so excited to share more details about it this summer. I’m also currently drafting my third book, which I cannot say anything about yet, but I’m enjoying working on it immensely. So more is coming! J

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Oooh, this is a fun question. I think I would introduce Brienna to Isaboe from The Lumatere Chronicles. Or, I’d introduce Cartier to Aragorn from LOTR.

If you could be born into history as any famous person who would it be and why?
Jane Austen. I love her work so much!

When you looked in the mirror first thing this morning, what was the first thing you thought?
My eyes look puffy. Haha.

Have you ever written a love letter?
Yes! My husband and I exchanged love letters while we were dating. I was living in Colorado at the time with very limited wifi, and he was in Georgia, so we kept in touch with the letters.

Tell me about your first kiss
It was in a tree with a neighborhood boy. I think I was around 9, and he totally French kissed me and I thought it was super gross.

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep?
I typically always think of whatever story I’m working on. I think of plot stuff if I’m in the middle of a draft or if I’m about to start a new book. Which is great, but also has a tendency to keep me from sleeping!

What did you do for your last birthday?
My husband took me out to dinner and then to the bookstore. It was low key but I loved it.

Where can readers find you?
I’m most active on my Instagram. You can find me @beccajross.

I’m also on Twitter but occasionally tweet. My handle is @_RebeccaRoss

I have a Facebook page (@rebeccarossauthor) and a Tumblr (@writerebeccaross). I answer a lot of questions on my Tumblr from readers.

And I LOVE Pinterest. You can find inspiration boards for THE QUEEN’S RISING and THE QUEEN’S RESISTANCE on my profile @rebeccajross.

I also make music playlists for my books on Spotify. TQR’s list is currently up. The playlist is designed to follow the emotional structure of the book. You can find me @beccajross!

And then I do have a website where I blog sometimes:

1. I drafted this book in 48 days. I was working a full-time job at the time, and my husband had just broken his ankle and wasn’t going to be walking for three months. I was stressed to the max, and yet this little story would not leave me alone at night. I would lay in bed and think about it, so I found any spare time that I could—lunch breaks, evenings after dinner, weekends—to work on it until it was finished.

2. This book has had three different titles! The original title was Impassioned, which my publisher later changed to Daughter of Passion of Stone. And then we changed the title yet again, still trying to find the perfect fit. I pitched The Rising Night to my publisher, and they came back with The Queen’s Rising and I was like, YES, that’s the one!

3. The entire story was sparked by one very vivid scene. Out of the blue one evening, I envisioned Brienna sitting in the library at Magnalia House with Cartier. And she said to me, “The summer solstice is in eight days and I have yet to master my passion.” I quickly wrote that line down before I forgot it, and I was so intrigued by her that I had to discover what she was talking about. That was the original first line of the book (which has since changed) but that scene where Brienna sits in the library and talks to Cartier is still in Chapter 1!

4. TQR has gone through multiple rounds of revisions, and sometimes I had to change a name or two. But there’s quite a few names that have stayed the same from the very first draft. Some of those happen to be Brienna’s passion sisters—Merei, Sibylle, Oriana, Ciri and Abree. They were some of the very first names I jotted down when I was brainstorming, and they fit so well that I could never change them after that.

5. Valenia is inspired by Renaissance France, and Maevana is inspired by both medieval Ireland and Scotland.

6. So I don’t normally cast my characters with actors, BUT, I will say that there is one actor in particular that I cannot help but envision anytime I think of Lord Allenach. That would be Jason Isaacs, who plays Draco Malfoy’s dad in the Harry Potter movies.

7. In the last quarter of the book, all three of the main male characters in The Queen’s Rising kneel before Brienna on three different occasions. I will point out this does not mean that she’s the queen—you’ll have to read the book to see about that—but this was a deliberate choice of mine to have the men kneel before her, to reveal that the power is shifting.

8. I dedicated this book to my two younger sisters. They were the first ones to read it back in 2015. And it was only because they loved it so much that I decided that I would pursue publication. Or else this manuscript would still be hiding on my laptop.

9. I’ve always been intrigued by the thought of connecting with an ancestor. If you could connect with one of them, what could they tell you, and would that impact your current life? Those thoughts eventually inspired me to write about Brienna’s connection with her ancestor in The Queen’s Rising.

10. The Queen’s Rising reads like a standalone, but it has a sequel coming! The Queen’s Resistance (AKA the book of my heart) is on schedule to release February 2019, so Brienna’s adventures will continue

When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?

You can purchase The Queen's Rising at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you REBECCA ROSS for making this giveaway possible.
Winner will receive a Copy of THE QUEEN’S RISING (+Swags) by Rebecca Ross.
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  1. My favorite fictional queen is Fiona's mom in Shrek. Favorite historical queen is the current queen of England.

  2. Favorite historical queen would be Queen Victoria and fictional Queen Daenerys Targaryen from game of thrones.

  3. "Favorite Queen in History both fictional and non-fictional." Queen Elizabeth I. She really knew how to do the whole Monarch Of England thing.

  4. Elizabeth I for me too. To survive and rule in a man's world. Brava!!