We recently had the chance to speak to fantasy author Kesia Lupo about her soon-to-be-released debut novel: We Are Blood and Thunder. Here's what she had to say:
What's been the most exciting part about putting out a debut novel?
I think it's the fact that you've worked on something alone for so long, sharing it with only a few people in your writing group, agency or publisher, and suddenly - boom! - it's out there in the world. After all that solitary work and all that waiting, your story is REAL. It's crazy and wonderful to me that perfect strangers will be reading We Are Blood and Thunder, and that (I hope) the characters and world will come to life in their minds.
What new things have you learned putting out your first novel?
Because I work in publishing, I hadn't expected to be surprised by any part of the process - however, there is so much I didn't realise about the actual experience of being a writer. First and foremost, it's been so joyful to have a team of people working on my book - from my editor through to my publicist, and everyone in between. Publishing a book is about so much more than the author!
What were some of the inspirations for this novel? Where did it come from?
I love fantasy and have always read widely in the genre, but I actually only started writing this novel when a scene popped into my head: it was the image of a girl running downhill through thick cloud, chased by hounds. I knew the girl had been sentenced to die and was trying to escape... in fact, I suspected she was the first to escape this place in a long time. But why? The process of writing started as I tried to answer that question. (That scene is still in the novel, by the way!)
You had written the book while working a day job, how did you balance the two?
It was difficult, but basically the trick for me was to write a little bit every day. I still aim for 500 words in the hour before work - and I try and do an hour or so at weekend too. Every now and then, I take a couple of days off if I am really up against a deadline. But I find that little and often is more sustainable than exhausting yourself by trying to write a lot in one long session.
Are there any future books planned? If so what should we expect?
Yes! I'm currently writing another book set in the same world as We Are Blood and Thunder, but in a different geographical location and with different characters. I can't say too much yet, but it's a setting loosely based on Sicily and the main character is a mask-maker...
We Are Blood and Thunder releases on 04/04/19 and is available to purchase here.