Happy Monday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for WENCH by Maxine Kaplan! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Maxine 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!
Wench by Maxine Kaplan
Published on January 19, 2021 by Amulet Books
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, YA, Queer
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A funny, fiercely feminist YA epic fantasy—following the adventures of a tavern wench
Tanya has worked at her tavern since she was able to see over the bar. She broke up her first fight at 11. By the time she was a teenager she knew everything about the place, and she could run it with her eyes closed. She’d never let anyone—whether it be a drunkard or a captain of the queen’s guard—take advantage of her. But when her guardian dies, she might lose it all: the bar, her home, her purpose in life. So she heads out on a quest to petition the queen to keep the tavern in her name—dodging unscrupulous guards, a band of thieves, and a powerful, enchanted feather that seems drawn to her. Fast-paced, magical, and unapologetically feminist, Wench is epic fantasy like you’ve never seen it before.
If you could trade lives with any book character for a day, who would it be and why? What about a week? A month, year, or forever?
What would you do if you spent the day with Tanya? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
If I was going to spend the day with Tanya, I think an old fashioned bake cookies-gossip-watch-teen-
If Tanya were to hang out with characters from other books, who would they be and why?
I think Tanya could hang out with the denizens of Ankh-Morpork, the biggest city in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, without skipping a beat. She is unflappable and curious–both qualities that would serve her well in maneuvering the wizards, dwarves, werewolves, etc. of Ankh-Morpork and already has experience in dealing with a charming dictator, so would ingratiate herself with Lord Vetinari pretty quickly I’d bet!
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from Wench?
This is such a hard one! I’m really fond of both the Queen’s inner sanctum in the Glacier and basically everything that takes place in Bloodstone, a town run for and by criminals in the mouth of a demon-cursed volcano. I love the various factions I invented in Bloodstone and would have loved to have spent a good longer while in the secret women-run marketplace in Bloodstone, the Night Swap. I feel like I barely scratched the surface of the culture there, and I’m very into it.
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
I did go down a bit of a metallurgy rabbit hole at one point when drafting this book–specifically reading really old texts on alchemy. I didn’t find any way to use it, but I find the idea of alchemy very aesthetically pleasing.
Were there alternate endings you considered, or did you always know where the story was headed?
I actually did change the ending quite a lot! Originally, Tanya’s adventure took her to Bloodstone before she even met the Queen, which greatly diminished the latter’s effect on Tanya’s arc. Tanya was originally going to end up in a very different place emotionally, a much more conflicted place, but I like that I left her in a place of greater safety–and a place with a lot of scope for more stories.
Maxine Kaplan was born in Washington, DC. She and her twin sister spent their early childhoods trotting behind their journalist parents as they traveled around the world, eventually settling in Brooklyn, NY. Maxine graduated from Oberlin College in 2007. Following a long stint in the world of publishing, she has worked as a private investigator since 2009. She lives in her adopted hometown of Brooklyn, NY, with her dimwitted, but soulful cat.
Her first novel The Accidental Bad Girl received a starred review in Publishers Weekly and will be available in paperback January 5, 2021. Her sophomore novel, Wench, is coming in January 19, 2021.
What do you think about Wench? Are you adding it to your tbr? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!