Happy Tuesday! Today I am so excited to have an interview with Elizabeth Lim, author of Unravel the Dusk, to share with you!
Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim
Series: The Blood of Stars #2
Published by Knopf on July 7, 2020
Genres: YA, Fantasy
The thrilling sequel to SPIN THE DAWN, a magical series steeped in Chinese culture.
Maia Tamarin’s journey to sew the dresses of the sun, the moon and the stars View Spoiler »has taken a grievous toll. She returns to a kingdom on the brink of war. The boy she loves is gone, and she is forced to don the dress of the sun and assume the place of the emperor’s bride-to-be to keep the peace.
But the war raging around Maia is nothing compared to the battle within. Ever since she was touched by the demon Bandur, she has been changing . . . glancing in the mirror to see her own eyes glowing red, losing control of her magic, her body, her mind. « Hide SpoilerIt’s only a matter of time before Maia loses herself completely, but she will stop at nothing to find Edan, protect her family, and bring lasting peace to her country.
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 have zero survival/fighting skills, so I think it’d be pretty fun to trade lives with Katsa from Graceling for a day. For a week, I’d choose Jude from The Cruel Prince or Kestrel from The Winner’s Curse. A year is harder though…I’ve always loved Anne of Green Gables and would love living a quiet life in Avonlea, so she’s who I’d pick!
What would you do if you spent the day with Maia? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
Ahh gosh, in our world or hers? I think I’d love to visit A’landi and eat ALL THE FOOD. I’d want to spend the day in Gangsun eating honeycomb cookies and steamed lotus buns (my favorite in the real world too) in a local teahouse, maybe catch a calligraphy competition between two famous scholars and just talk to Maia (and Edan!) for hours. I’d want to see magic for sure, and would love to witness the miraculous dresses her scissors create – maybe even leave with a new dress of my own (since I created her and all, I’d think she’d be obliged to sew one for me, hah!).
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
I did a lot of research on patrols and currency used along the Silk Road, which I ended up not using in Spin the Dawn since it would have mostly been filler! I did really love researching the Chinese schools of embroidery though, and that had a large role in how I conceived Maia’s designs in the books.
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from Unravel the Dusk?
My favorite quote would be “We were like the sun and moon, sharing the same stars and the same sky.” There’s also a moment in Unravel the Dusk where Maia hears the legend of a Kiatan princess that I love – the princess happens to be the protagonist for my next series and I adored weaving her tale into Maia’s, even if briefly!
Were there alternate endings you considered, or did you always know where the story was headed?
I pretty much always knew where the story was headed. I typically write the ending soon after I conceive the beginning of the story. The middle is the hard part for me!
Elizabeth Lim grew up on a hearty staple of fairy tales, myths, and songs. Her passion for storytelling began around age 10, when she started writing fanfics for Sailor Moon, Sweet Valley, and Star Wars, and posted them online to discover, “Wow, people actually read my stuff. And that’s kinda cool!” But after one of her teachers told her she had “too much voice” in her essays, Elizabeth took a break from creative writing to focus on not flunking English.
Over the years, Elizabeth became a film and video game composer, and even went so far as to get a doctorate in music composition. But she always missed writing, and she turned to penning stories when she needed a breather from grad school. One day, she decided to write and finish a novel — for kicks, at first, then things became serious — and she hasn’t looked back since.
Elizabeth loves classic film scores, books with a good romance, food (she currently has a soft spot for arepas and Ethiopian food), the color turquoise, overcast skies, English muffins, cycling, and baking. She grew up in Northern California, with a brief stint in Tokyo, Japan, but now lives in New York City with her husband and their daughter.
Elizabeth graduated from Harvard College with an A.B. in music and a secondary in East Asian Studies. She completed her graduate degrees (MM, DMA) at The Juilliard School.
She is represented by Gina Maccoby of the Gina Maccoby Literary Agency.