Happy Tuesday and welcome to my stop on the Storm From the East blog tour!! I am so excited to be a part of this tour, and I’m even more excited for you to discover Joanna’s favorite moment from her book, what inspired her to write this story, and some fun facts about Athan and Aurelia that didn’t make it into the book! Plus, follow the rest of the tour and enter to win a print copy of Storm From the East!
Storm from the East by Joanna Hathaway
Published by Tor Teen on February 11, 2020
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Romance
War has begun, and the days of Athan’s and Aurelia’s secret, summer romance feel a world away. Led by Athan’s father, the revolutionary Safire have launched a secret assault upon the last royal kingdom in the South, hoping to depose the king and seize a powerful foothold on the continent. Athan proves a star pilot among their ranks, struggling to justify the violence his family has unleashed as he fights his way to the capital—where, unbeknownst to him, Aurelia has lived since the war’s onset. Determined to save the kingdom Athan has been ordered to destroy, she partners with a local journalist to inflame anti-Safire sentiment, all while learning this conflict might be far darker and more complex than she ever imagined.
When the two reunite at last, Athan longing to shake the nightmare of combat and Aurelia reeling from the discovery of a long-buried family truth come to light, they’ll find the shadow of war stretches well beyond the battlefield. Each of them longs to rekindle the love they once shared . . . but each has a secret they’re desperate to hide.
Do you have a favorite scene, quote, or moment from Storm From the East?
A lot of Storm from the East has Athan and Aurelia confronting their identities, in light of the truth of their families, and all of those moments where they make these personal steps forward are really special to me. I love watching them come into their own, getting closer to who they are in the infamous prologue scene. But one particular moment that really tugs at my heart is when Athan confronts a controversial action he did in combat. I don’t want to give anything away, but I think it drives home the individual transformation that occurs on the frontlines, how you are forced to grow up fast and you are changed forever. Even if you survive war and get to go home, you will never be the same person again.
If Athan and Aurelia were to hang out with characters from other YA books, who would they be and why?
I think Athan and Aurelia would really hit it off with Annie and Lee from Rosaria Munda’s novel Fireborne. They are facing similar challenges in their respective worlds, so I think the four of them would get into some epic (friendly) debates about leadership and revolution, then maybe race their dragons and airplanes…
What would you do if you spent the day with Athan and Aurelia? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
Well, if I was with Athan, I’d of course want to fly an airplane with him. (I think I trust him…? Ha!) And if I was with Aurelia, I’m fairly sure we’d go galloping on horses. And all three of us together? I think we’d enjoy a trip to an art museum somewhere.
What inspired you to write Storm From the East?
My love of history was definitely a huge inspiration. I grew up reading historical non-fiction and memoirs, and that innate desire to understand the “story” of history sparked many of the questions which prompted this fantastical fictional take on the world wars. History has always challenged me to ask myself what I would do in a similar situation. I have such admiration for people, around the world, who have endured these incredible events with courage and love! You can’t just read one book and know everything there is to know about a situation or place. You have to read from many voices and see all sides, and only then you might begin to get closer to the truth of what happened. So, the journey for Athan and Aurelia is meant to explore the many sides of this giant conflict in their own world and what choices they will make with the information they have.
What was your favorite piece of research you ended up not using?
Oh, this is such a fun question! I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that before, and I don’t think it will come as a great surprise that I have many airplane scenes which end up on the cutting room floor. I know not everyone loves the technical details as much as my nerdy self does. Still, I often spend hours researching one aspect of WW2 flight, to make sure it makes sense in the story and also seems realistic, and then it gets tossed out or combined with something else. No research is wasted, though! It all helps give a good foundation to stand on, I think.
What are some things we might not know about your characters?
Here is a random fun fact: Aurelia is a great, strong swimmer while Athan hates the water because he’s not so great. (He also gets seasick easily.) In some ways, these two have a lot in common, and then in some ways they are exact opposites! ☺
Thank you so much for the great questions and having me on your blog.
Eyes on the Horizon!
JOANNA HATHAWAY was born in Montréal and is an avid storyteller who was inspired to write after reading her great-grandfather’s memoirs of the First World War. A lifelong history buff, she now has shelves filled with biographies and historical accounts, and perhaps one too many books about pilots. She can often be found reading, traveling, or riding horses.
Her debut novel DARK OF THE WEST is the first in a World Wars-infused fantasy series of forbidden love and deadly revenge. STORM FROM THE EAST will hit shelves on February 11, 2020.