Happy Friday and welcome to my stop on the A Treason of Thorns blog tour!! Today I’m excited to share my Laura E. Weymouth interview with you! Read on to find out what her current favorite book is, what TV show pairs well with her book, and enter to win a print copy of A Treason of Thorns!
A Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth
Published by HarperTeen on September 10, 2019
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Mystery
Violet Sterling has spent the last seven years in exile, longing to return to Burleigh House. One of the six great houses of England, Burleigh’s magic always kept the countryside well. And as a child, this magic kept Violet happy, draping her in flowers while she slept, fashioning secret hiding places for her, and lighting fires on the coldest nights to keep her warm.
Everything shattered, though, when her father committed high treason trying to free Burleigh from the king’s oppressive control. He was killed, and Vi was forced into hiding.
When she’s given a chance to go back, she discovers Burleigh has run wild with grief. Vines and briars are crumbling the walls. Magic that once enriched the surrounding countryside has turned dark and deadly, twisting lush blooms into thorns, poisoning livestock and destroying crops. Burleigh’s very soul is crying out in pain.
Vi would do anything to help, and soon she finds herself walking the same deadly path as her father all those years before. Vi must decide how far she’s willing to go to save her house—before her house destroys everything she’s ever known.
Content warnings are available via the author's website.
What inspired you to write this book?
A lot of things! But a Twitter bot about enchanted English gardens, an article about the Prince of Wales’ residence, Highgrove House, and my own home, to start.
How did you choose the names for your characters?
It really depends on the character. Some of them walk into my head with names, others take a little more work. Violet came with her first name, and I tinkered with her last name. And Wyn’s name required a little research—Vi’s father names him, and so I wanted it to be something rooted in the history of Burleigh House, that at the same time serves to almost erase Wyn’s identity from his very first day at Burleigh. So he’s called Haelwyn, which can be translated as “house-friend” in Anglo-Saxon/Old English.
What’s your current favorite book?
Finnikin of the Rock/The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta. I may or may not recommend them with frightening enthusiasm on a very, very frequent basis. READ THEM IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY.
Do you have a favorite scene, quote, or moment from A Treason of Thorns?
I do! There’s a scene quite early on, where Violet is still exiled from Burleigh House and she takes her boat out onto the fens. She has a quiet moment there, contemplating her destiny and the direction of her life, and I have absolutely loved that scene since the first draft and left it more or less untouched throughout the editorial process.
Can you give us some out-of-context quotes to get us excited about reading your book?
Water stretches ahead of me to the very edge of the eastern sky, which has gone dark. I turn away from it, and from the vast, uneasy North Sea, looking westward instead, toward the setting sun. Beyond that blaze of splendour lies my past. Beyond it lies my future. Beyond it lies my House.
Pivoting on one heel, I turn back to the House only to hear the low grumbling of stone, and see the trees beyond the walls sway violently as if struck by a sudden gale. Storm clouds darken the sky over the manor grounds and the temperature drops a few degrees.
Bitter and wild though it may have become, I’ve never been able to shake the impulse to help when Burleigh keens.
“Violet, don’t!” Mira gasps as I move toward the brambles that are reaching for me with sharp-edged fingers.
I don’t dare stop. I don’t dare offer to help my keening House, for fear that it will kill me by mistake.
What are some TV shows, movies, and books that would pair well with your book?
Poldark! It very much inspired Treason’s West Country setting. And the 2011 film adaptation of Jane Eyre—the score was my writing music for this book and they share a fairly similar atmosphere.
What is something that we might not know about your main characters?
Wyn taught himself to read three dead languages while under House arrest with George. And to the great chagrin of Violet’s governesses, she never learned more than four words in a language other than English: sors de ma maison.
Laura Weymouth is a Canadian living in exile in America, and the sixth consecutive generation of her family to immigrate from one country to another. Born and raised in the Niagara region of Ontario, she now lives at the edge of the woods in western New York, along with her husband, two wild-hearted daughters, a spoiled cat, an old soul of a dog, and an indeterminate number of chickens. She is represented by the inimitable Lauren Spieller of TriadaUS.