Monday, July 16, 2018

Laurie Forest Author Interview

Photo Content from Laurie Forest

Laurie Forest lives deep in the backwoods of Vermont where she sits in front of a wood stove drinking strong tea and dreaming up tales full of dryads, dragons and wands. The Black Witch (Book 1.0, The Black Witch Chronicles – OUT NOW) & Wandfasted (Book 0.5, The Black Witch Chronicles Prequel) are her first published novels. Coming in 2018 are Light Mage (Book 1.5, The Black Witch Chronicles) & The Iron Flower(Book 2.0, The Black Witch Chronicles). She is currently ensconced in the woods, hard at work on The Shadow Dryad (Book 3.0, The Black Witch Chronicles).


What advice would you give to someone who wanted to have a life in writing?
Write every day. Even if you aren’t inspired. One of my favorite quotes is “The muse can’t resist a working writer.” – Ray Bradbury - And I think that’s true. The other advice would be to find a great writing space. Like being surrounded by spooky Vermont woods in November. Or in a Scottish castle by a stormy sea. Preferably with a sea monster in the distance.

What were your inspirations for the character development?
Movies! And other fantasy books. Mostly books.

Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that writing was not just a hobby.
A few days ago, I think, lol. When signing over 250Black Witch Chronicles books at Book Expo America in NYC. I had a moment where I thought to myself – “omg, I’m an author”. Actually, I don’t think it’s fully hit me yet that I’m an author person.

What was your unforgettable moment while writing THE BLACK WITCH?
Getting the initial idea for the series. Which is the ending of the second book in the series, The Iron Flower. That’s what got the whole story going – and I just couldn’t stop writing it. It’s like the story took hold of me and wouldn’t let go.

Are there authors that you’re excited to engage/work with?
VERY excited to be getting to know Julie Kagawa, an fantasy author in my imprint. Her upcoming SHADOW OF THE FOX is one of my new favorite fantasy novels (about a teenaged girl who is a fox shapeshifter!). It’s also been pure magic to have been in contact with favorite authors Tamora Pierce and Robin Hobb (who both blurbed my book) – a real dream come true.

What part of Elloren did you enjoy writing the most?
The love triangle!

What book would you recommend for others to read?
SHADOW OF THE FOX by Julie Kagawa – I love it so much!

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Carnissa?
The writing the evil villainess is incredibly fun, lol. I got to write a scene with Carnissa in Wandfasted (prequel to The Black Witch) astride a dragon, leading a dragon army, and that was over-the-top enjoyable.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I’m currently immersed in Book 3.0 of my series – with the working title The Shadow Dryad (probably subject to change). I’m going for a lot more action in this one (and battles) so it’s a new challenge and something completely different (lots of monstrous creatures too). And I have a goal to double the amount of kissing/romance in each book ;) We’ll see if I can meet that goal…

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Dragons into Pride & Prejudice. To eat Wickham. Because dragons really need to eat Wickham.

Have you ever been really really freaked out by something on the internet? If so, what?
Hmm. The internet. What could possibly ever be there that would freak anyone out? No, not particularly ;)

If you could be born into history as any famous person who would it be and why?
A British royal – for the corgis and the tea and the gardens and the awesome hats.

What would I find in your refrigerator right now?
Ingredients for dryad potions (and way too much hummus, to the point of being ridiculous).

What were you doing at midnight last night?
Witchy stuff ;)

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be?
I’d start reading and writing fantasy a whole lot sooner. Because this has been the most magical, interesting thing I’ve ever done – and I have met some pretty epic people as a result of jumping in and writing a book.

Last Halloween Costume you wore and when?It wasn’t for Halloween, but this past weekend I dressed like my books for Book Expo America and Book Con. For two days I went as The Iron Flower with a blue Ironflower dress, earrings, tattoos and blue streaks in my hair. For one day I went as The Black Witch, all in black, with black dragon earrings and clothing. So fun.

  • Dragons (every book should have a dragon with no exceptions)
  • Epic Love Triangle! (no, really ;)
  • There is progressively more kissing as the series goes on
  • A magical university based on Oxford (which begs to be made into a magical university)
  • Dryad tree magic
  • Did I mention the epic love triangle? And about a million side love stories, lol.
  • People with wings (which is always cool)
  • Werewolves (called “Lupines” in my world) 
  • A pretty evil shadow lord (he even scares me)
  • You will never guess where I am going with this series (or if you do, you’ll be the first ;)

A new Black Witch will rise…her powers vast beyond imagining.

Elloren Gardner is the granddaughter of the last prophesied Black Witch, Carnissa Gardner, who drove back the enemy forces and saved the Gardnerian people during the Realm War. But while she is the absolute spitting image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above all else.

When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren joins her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University to embrace a destiny of her own, free from the shadow of her grandmother’s legacy. But she soon realizes that the university, which admits all manner of people—including the fire-wielding, winged Icarals, the sworn enemies of all Gardnerians—is a treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.

As evil looms on the horizon and the pressure to live up to her heritage builds, everything Elloren thought she knew will be challenged and torn away. Her best hope of survival may be among the most unlikely band of misfits…if only she can find the courage to trust those she’s been taught to hate and fear.


ABA Indiebound – Summer 2017 Kids' Indie Next List Pick

"This briskly paced, tightly plotted novel enacts the transformative power of education, creating engaging characters set in a rich alternative universe with a complicated history that can help us better understand our own. A massive page-turner that leaves readers longing for more." 
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Forest uses a richly imagined magical world to offer an uncompromising condemnation of prejudice and injustice." Booklist, starred review

"Exquisite character work, an elaborate mythology, and a spectacularly rendered universe make this a noteworthy debut, which argues passionately against fascism and xenophobia. Publishers Weekly, starred review

"I absolutely loved The Black Witch and will have a very hard time waiting for the second book! Maximum suspense, unusual magic--a whole new, thrilling approach to fantasy!" Tamora Pierce, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"The Black Witch is a refreshing, powerful young adult fantasy. This strong debut offers an uncompromising glimpse of world-altering politics amplified by a magical setting in which prejudice and discrimination cut both ways." Robin Hobb, New York Times bestselling author

"We fell under the spell of this rich, diverse, Potter-worthy university world!<Br>Characters that come alive off the page, tangled relationships, swoonworthy romance!<Br>Love the fresh way this also tackles prejudice. Prepare to fangirl!" Justine magazine

"A powerful start to a new series, and a very impressive first novel." Locus

You can purchase The Black Witch at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you LAURIE FOREST for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of The Black Witch (The Black Witch Chronicles #1) by Laurie Forest.