Happy Thursday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for THESE FEATHERED FLAMES! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Alexandra Overy to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so so excited to for you to find out more about it!
These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy
Series: These Feathered Flames #1
Published by Inkyard Press on April 20, 2021
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Retellings, LGBTQIA+
A queer retelling of “The Firebird,” a Russian folktale
When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are decided at a young age. While Izaveta remained at court to learn the skills she’d need as the future queen, Asya was taken away to train with her aunt, the mysterious Firebird, who ensured magic remained balanced in the realm.
But before Asya’s training is completed, the ancient power blooms inside her, which can mean only one thing: the queen is dead, and a new ruler must be crowned.
As the princesses come to understand everything their roles entail, they’ll discover who they can trust, who they can love—and who killed their mother.
What would you do if you spent the day with Izaveta and Asya? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
I think I’d be a little worried to hang out with them because they might want to get revenge for the things I did to them in the book…especially Izaveta as she’s the more vengeful type. (Which is fairly understandable, I am a bit mean to them.) But pretending they don’t want to kill me in this scenario, I’d love to give them both a fun, self-care kind of day. Like going to a nice bookshop and getting ice cream, just a nice sister bonding experience for them without any pressures of murder or court intrigue or duty. I think they both need that!
If Izaveta and Asya were to hang out with characters from other books, who would they be and why?
I love this question! It makes me think immediately of all the crossover fanfic potential. I’d really like to see Izaveta meet some other scheming characters like Jude Duarte from The Cruel Prince or Adelina from The Young Elites. I don’t think they’d get on necessarily, but it’d be great to see the showdown between them. Or possibly terrifying. But interesting either way!
I think Asya might like to commiserate with some other fantasy heroes over the pressures of their duty. I can imagine her hanging out with August from This Savage Song and Soraya from Girl, Serpent, Thorn. It’d be good for all of them to talk monster angst together!
Would you rather be a superhero or a supervillain? What would your powers and name be and why?
I’ve always loved villains (which probably surprises no one!), so I have to say supervillain. They always have more interesting motivations and character development. Plus, better outfits. For a power…I’ve always loved telekinesis (partly related to my love of Scarlet Witch), and that’d definitely add to the villain aesthetic. A name is a tough one! I’m tempted to say I’d be bold and just go for my name Alexandra (no last name to add to the drama) and really own it. But that’s not the sneakiest name for a villain, and you probably don’t want to give away your identity too easily. Perhaps something like “The Hero” just to really confuse anyone trying to talk about me.
What does ownvoices queer representation mean to you?
As a queer reader, of course it means a lot to me to see my experience and identity in the stories I read. Books have always been an escape for me—particularly fantasy books—and being able to step into those worlds was always meant to be a safe haven. But when I was a teen, seeing books with a single queer character was rare enough, let along one that didn’t just exist for the furthering of the cis/het/white/abled main character’s arc, or as a tragic backstory for them or perhaps a learning opportunity. As I got older and more diverse books were being published, it was really amazing to get to see stories where queer characters could thrive and go on adventures and be complicated, real feeling people. It made a huge difference in understanding my own identity, too, and for that I’m always so grateful to those queer authors. As a writer, that’s something that’s always been really important to me. I want to create more of those worlds that are safe places for queer readers, so more teens can keep seeing themselves as heroes.
If you buried a time capsule with three items inside, what three items would you choose and why?
Having just seen finished copies of my book for the first time, I have to include that. I’ve basically been staring at them since they arrived—Inkyard really did a great job, it’s so beautiful in person! Then my switch has also been such a lifeline this last year (in particular Hades and Fire Emblem: Three Houses), so I think that has to go in. I feel like I’m going on a theme of this past year, so the final thing would be a huge jar of Nutella which I also have to credit with getting me to my debut! (I have no idea when Nutella expires…but it seems like one of those things that lasts forever!)
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
This is very specific, but I went to such an interesting seminar on lockpicking that I wanted to bring in somehow. In particular it talked about a way old fashioned latch locks could be picked using candlewax which just seemed like such a great set up for a scene. I really wanted to try fit that in somewhere, but it doesn’t really work for the world of TFF sadly. Maybe in my next book!
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from These Feathered Flames?
No context for this because spoilers, but there’s one line from near the end that gives me emotions every time I read it (even after a million edits!):
Something silent passed between them in that instant, as tangible as lightning. An apology for mutual damnation. An understanding that, at least, these two lost girls were not alone in their last moments.
Alexandra grew up in London and moved to Los Angeles to pursue her undergraduate degree in history at UCLA. She then went on to compete her MFA in screenwriting also at UCLA, and stuck around for the weather and great ice cream. She loves writing in all formats, from novels to screenplays to graphic novels, always centring on fierce women and morally grey characters, often with a bit of magic and murder. When she’s not writing, she can be found baking, fangirling over her favourite books, or cuddling her kittens.
What do you think about These Feathered Flames? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!