Happy Friday and welcome to my stop on the Shadow and Flame blog tour!! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Mindee Arnett! Read on to find out what inspired her to write this book and how she chooses the names for her characters, plus follow the rest of the tour and enter a giveaway for a print copy of Shadow & Flame!!!Shadow & Flame by Mindee Arnett
Series: Rime Chronicles #2
Published on June 4, 2019 by Balzer + Bray
Genres: YA, Fantasy
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From acclaimed author Mindee Arnett comes the thrilling conclusion of the stunningly epic, action-packed, and romantic fantasy adventure about a powerful girl possessed of strange magic, the outcast prince she loves, and the kingdom that has torn them apart.
Kate and Corwin are on the run, desperate for allies in a new world of war among the kingdoms of Rime. As the book opens, Kate suffers a massive loss, one that will shape the struggle for freedom of all wilders and magic folk—that is, if Kate can learn to control her own power.
Interview with Mindee
What inspired you to write this book?
The original inspiration for Onyx & Ivory came through a world building exercise I did for a blog post. I wanted to take readers through my process for how I build a new world. Of course in order to build a world I have to have a character or a situation as a starting point. That situation ended up being the main character Kate and her job working for the Relay, a fantasy version of the Pony Express. The rest of the story built from there. Inspiration for a sequel like Shadow & Flame usually comes from the first book. Or at least the first book is my starting point. In many ways, this makes writing a sequel so much easier. It takes a lot of the guesswork and searching out of it.
How did you choose the names for your characters?
Very slowly and with much deliberation. I’m not sure why, but I’m obsessed with getting names right. I spend a huge amount of prewriting time just picking out the names. For main character names I look for ones that I find evocative and intriguing, the sort of name that I want to hear and write and think about a thousand times over. I will consider the way they sound, what they mean, and most importantly how they make me feel. For overall naming conventions, I try to draw upon as many real world names as possible. When writing a fantasy, I will often pick a nationality to represent certain areas of the world. For example, when naming characters from the Esh Islands, such as Signe, I tried to pick ones of Scandinavian origin.
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
What a fun question. I think more than research, when writing a fantasy I end up leaving out a lot of backstory / world building details. For Shadow & Flame, I wrote out a lot of the mythology of the gods and goddesses. There’s one part in particular where I wrote almost an entire story all by itself, several pages worth, but only a couple of sentences from the story made it into the book. That’s okay though. Having these secret, hidden details help make the world feel more real to me, and I hope that it comes off that way for the reader as well.
If your main characters were to hang out with characters from other YA books, who would they be and why?
Gah, this is such a hard question! But so much fun as well. There are so many books and characters I want to pick. But I guess right now I would love for them to meet Lazlo and Sarai from Laini Taylor’s gorgeous duology Strange the Dreamer and Muse of Nightmares. Mostly I think my characters would get along with hers. They would have a lot in common in terms of the hardships they’ve endured. Also, I mean who wouldn’t want to hang out with characters created by Laini? She’s just amazing.
Do you have any advice you would give to the characters in your book?
I would just tell them to be steadfast, to hold on to each other and what they love and believe in but to also be willing to change to grow. It’s an important lesson—growth and change doesn’t necessarily mean you must sacrifice beliefs but it does mean you have to be willing to shift your perspectives. And even more than that I would tell them that it’ll all be worth it in the end. The end always is.
What books would you recommend to your characters and why?
Well, all of Laini Taylor’s series, if only so they can learn about overcoming adversity and seemingly impossible cultural divisions. I would also recommend they read the Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta so they could learn about being good and wise leaders. Also, that series is just beautiful. Everyone should read it.
Thank you so much!
Thanks for having me and for posing such fun questions. I had a blast!
About the Author
YA Author of THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR, a contemporary fantasy coming March 5, 2013 from Tor Teen (Macmillan) and AVALON, a YA sci-fi thriller coming Winter 2014 from Balzer+Bray (HarperCollins). Represented by the fabulous Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary. Addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space.