Happy Saturday! Today I am so excited to have an interview with Victoria McCombs, author of The Storyteller’s Daughter, to share with you!
The Storyteller's Daughter by Victoria McCombs
Published by Parliament House Press on July 14, 2020
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Retellings
His shadowed face lit by flames,Rumpelstiltskin is my name...
For as long as anyone can remember, every child in Westfallen has been born with a Gift, and these Gifts defined them.
Then Cosette is born, Giftless.
An attempt to hide her misfortune brings her before the King, who entraps her to use her Gift as a pawn in his war.
Caught in a lie, Cosette desperately searches for a power strong enough to free her. Intrigued by whispers of an old king and a dark curse, she calls upon Rumpelstiltskin and finds him trapped in a magic deeper than she bargained for. Now, Cosette must fight to reclaim her freedom from the King and break Rumpel’s curse. When time runs out, she’ll lose more than her heart. She’ll lose her life.
If you could trade lives with any YA character for a day, who would it be and why? What about a week? A month, year, or forever?
I would love to trade places with Eelyn from the Vikings book Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young, but only for a day because I don’t want to die!!! There’s something about that Viking life that just draws me in… It would be fun to be in Erin A. Craig’s House of Salt and Sorrows book for a week before it got too creepy for me. I’d stay for a while as Rose from Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George to have eleven sisters with me. That would be so fun! But eventually I’d miss my real sister and want to come back to reality.
But for forever I’d want to be Susan Pevensie from Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, but I’d choose to stay in Narnia and never leave. Ever.
What would you do if you spent the day with Cosette? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
Cosette and I would go to the library and read book and talk about books and live on books and be perfectly happy. I’d love to hear her thoughts of different characters and worlds who she connects with the most.
If Cosette were to hang out with characters from other YA books, who would they be and why?
She’d get along well with Arsinoe from Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. Both girls are quiet and overlooked by those around them, but they have such a strength inside. I’d love to see those two team up and either overthrow the world or live in a cottage in a forest and not talk to anyone ever again. It could go either way.
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
I looked up so much information about how to spin straw, it was ridiculous. I’m confident I could do it on my own by now. It actually hurt me not to put some of the information in there, but this book is a very light YA book, so it felt wrong to info dump all of the technicalities of spinning wheels in there!
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from The Storyteller’s Daughter?
One of my favorite moments is when Cosette is faced with a prior love who she thought would be hers forever. She had made the decision not to pursue him and is trying to explain her heart to him. Basically, she says “Don’t you want more? Don’t you want someone who loves you with all the breath in their chest? Someone who is completely intoxicated with you…” to which the boy sadly looks at her and says, “That is how I love you.” That line kills me every time.
Were there alternate endings you considered, or did you always know where the story was headed?
Yes! In the end my characters get engaged and decide to live a humble life. But in my original plan they were to take over the kingdom and be the golden age of rulers. (This is why I gave them both golden colored hair, as a sort of symbolism for down the road.) Each of the books that came after were going to include a moment of the characters either visiting or reflecting upon the golden king and queen. But I decided that with how I wrote my main character, she didn’t fit as a queen. So I scratched that idea halfway through and gave her a more humble but fitting ending. In book three we see the Queen arise that we all need.
If you would have told me as a young girl that I’d be writing books for a living, I would have died with happiness. This is my dream, and I’m honored to be living it.
I write YA Fantasy. I love being transported to worlds that take my breath away. Worlds so complex and vivid, and yet I get to hold them in my hands. My writing inspirations are John Flanagan, P.W. Catanese and C.S. Lewis.
In June 2018 I signed a publishing contract with Parliament House Press for my debut novel, The Storyteller’s Daughter. In October 2018 I signed my second contract. I now have a contract for the first four books in that series, which will be my only fairytale retellings. Beyond that, I have a Pirate Adventure in the making, and series with a vivid world with rich kingdoms and other races, already one book done.
Now the Fun Facts!!
I’m married to the sweetest man on earth, names Jonathan, and together we have two little boys, August and Kinnick. I stay home with the boys and pursue my love for writing and folding laundry. (One of those things was not true.)
My dad are grandpa are both authors, as will my sister be one day. My brother is a talented artist and skilled archer, and my other brother is plain brillant. They are all cooler than me.
I love working out, but I also love ice cream so it keeps me balanced.