Happy Saturday and welcome to my stop on the IGNITE THE SUN blog tour! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Hanna C. Howard to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so so excited to for you to find out more about it, PLUS enter for a chance to win a print copy!
Ignite the Sun by Hanna Howard
Published on August 18, 2020 by Blink
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Once upon a time, there was something called the sun...
In a kingdom ruled by an evil witch, the sun is just part of a legend about light-filled days of old. Luckily for everybody in the kingdom, Siria Nightingale is headed to the heart of the darkness to try and restore the light--or she will lose everything trying.
Sixteen year-old Siria Nightingale has never seen the sun. The light is dangerous, according to Queen Iyzabel, an evil witch who has shrouded the kingdom in shadow.
Siria has always hated the darkness and revels in the stories of the light-filled old days that she hears from her best friend and his grandfather. Besides them, nobody else understands her fascination with the sun, especially not her strict and demanding parents. Siria's need to please them is greater even than her fear of the dark. So she heads to the royal city--the very center of the darkness--for a chance at a place in Queen Iyzabel's court.
But what Siria discovers at the Choosing Ball sends her on a quest toward the last vestiges of the sun with a ragtag group of rebels who could help her bring back the Light... or doom the kingdom to shadow forever.
If you could trade lives with any YA character for a day, who would it be and why? What about a week? A month, year, or forever?
What a wonderful and difficult question! I will try and answer as well as I can…
A day: Lirael from Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom books. I would love to try my hand at being a Necromancer, but probably not for longer than a day, and I would definitely want the the help of the Disreputable Dog
A week: Cinder from Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles. It would be so much fun to go gallivanting through space with the crew of the Rampion, and I’d love to do it with the same tech savvy and cleverness as Cinder.
A month: Mirasol from Robin McKinley’s Chalice. She’s a beekeeper who lives in a charming cottage in the woods, and that’s basically my dream existence, so…
A year: Ginny Weasley from the Harry Potter books. I absolutely adore the Weasleys, and Harry is my forever book crush. Add being a witch and getting to play Quidditch into that mix, and I can’t think of anyone I’d want to be more. <3
Forever: Okay, I know this is a super cheesy answer, but I wouldn’t want to swap with anyone forever. I love my husband and son, my friends and family far too much to give them all up. But I would love to dabble in characters’ lives!
What would you do if you spent the day with Siria? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
Oooh! Well, assuming we were hanging out in a restored Terra-Volat (and not in Tulsa, where I live), I think we’d do a fair amount of exploring the country on horseback. I would want to see the royal city, the house where Siria grew up, her school, the Forest of Eli, and if we had time, the coast. I would want to meet all her friends, and if we found some way of extra-fast travel, I’d want to go north to the Rising Sun Tavern and have dinner there. Throughout the day, I’d ask her all about her experiences, and see a wide-range of demonstrations of her power.
If Siria were to hang out with characters from other YA books, who would they be and why?
My friend, author Joanna Ruth Meyer and I used to joke that we needed to get Siria together with her heroine, Talia, from Beneath the Haunting Sea. They would definitely have a lot of angst to bond over, haha, but I think they would be good friends. I also think Siria would enjoy hanging out with Ella of Frell from Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted. A lot of Siria’s early experience with female peers is in a very toxic, competitive context, and I think Ella would be just the sort of easy-going, authentic friend she would love.
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
I did a lot of research on the physical and mental necessity we humans have for sunlight, because of all the ways it impacts the wellbeing of our minds and bodies, but one tidbit I never used in the book was that the fastest way to get a boost in Vitamin D is to expose your wrists, neck, and inner arms to the sun, because those are the places your veins are closest to the surface.
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from Ignite the Sun?
My favorite moment is toward the end, when (spoilers!) Siria finally sees the sun for the first time. I loved writing it, and it’s still one of my favorite scenes to visualize in the whole book.
Were there alternate endings you considered, or did you always know where the story was headed?
For a long time, I planned on making Ignite the first book in a trilogy, so my original ending was a cliffhanger. My agent, however, felt it was necessary to close the ending off, in order to make it more sellable. The theory being that if an editor wanted to buy it as a series, they could, but if they wanted a standalone, it wouldn’t require a ton more work to get there. So it was actually really hard for me to figure out how to close the ending without feeling like there was still story left to be told, and it took me a long time to feel emotionally ready to do so. But when I finally did, it sort of came together organically, and I felt I had simultaneously given myself closure on the story, and left the door cracked for more to be told if I ever had the opportunity.
Hanna C. Howard spent most of her childhood wondering how she might avoid growing up, and eventually solved the conundrum by becoming an artist and a writer. She considers tea an essential food group, has more books than shelf space, and thinks the ultimate geek triumvirate is Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Doctor Who. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with her husband and son, their Disreputable Dog, and a cat skilled in the martial arts.
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Have you added this amazing book to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!