It’s Sunday, which means we’ve got another amazing author interview here on Beyond The Bio. Today I’m joined by Adrienne Young, whose highly-anticipated debut novel Sky In The Deep comes out in just two days. It’s an epic fantasy story that will surely appeal to anyone who enjoyed Wonder Woman or the TV show Vikings. And the best part? We’ve got an excerpt just for you! Stick around until the end of the interview, and you can read some of the epic-ness for yourself. Let’s get started!
James: What inspired Sky In The Deep? How did the idea for Eelyn come to you?
Adrienne: The sibling betrayal was definitely the first inspiration for this story. I was driving in the pouring rain on this country road and that first scene just hit me - Eelyn, seeing her brother on the battlefield after thinking that he was dead for five years. I pulled over on the side of the road and scribbled a million notes on an old envelope. I was immediately hooked to the idea and I wanted to know what had happened. I started writing that first chapter and I just never stopped.
James: What type of research did you do for your characters and world-building?
Adrienne: I did a ton of research for this story. I actually really love to research things so it was a lot of fun. A lot of it was stuff like clothing, landscape, weapons, food, etc. But I did a lot of research into Norse mythology as well to build a foundation for this world. The language used is Old Norse, but it’s a dead language so studying it was really difficult. There is a lot of controversy about it among scholars and there’s no real way to fully understand it, so I just did my best based on my own investigation. I’m definitely not an expert! The weirdest thing I had to research was how to tear out someone’s eyeball. Yuck.
James: What was your writing process like for Sky In The Deep?
Adrienne: Complete and utter obsession. When I draft, I get really buried in the world and I don’t really come up for air until I get to the end. I write as much as I can and limit my intake of other influences that could mess with my mindset. I don’t watch TV or movies or listen to music that’s not on my playlist, and I kind of don’t have a social life until it’s done.
James: You mentioned that you have a playlist for Sky In The Deep. Can you share a couple songs for us? Adrienne: Yes! Music plays a HUGE role in my writing process and I have a playlist for every project. The ones I probably listened to the most while drafting Sky are To the Hills by Laurel, Bare by Wildes, and Rise Up – Reprise by Foxes. But a link to the whole playlist is on my site!
James: What was your hardest scene to write?
Adrienne: I really didn’t struggle to get this story on the page the way I have with other books so I really don’t know what the hardest scene to write was. But the easiest was the first chapter. I wrote it so fast and it just clicked in so perfectly.
James: Which of your characters are you the most like?
Adrienne: Eelyn! We have so much in common and she really inspires me. But I think Halvard was the most fun to write. I really, really love him.
James: What books have inspired you to write? Adrienne: The ones that inspired me to write are nothing like my books. One of the most influential ones for me was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, because the human element is so beautiful and the author explores so many things in that book that really took my breath away. I wanted to write stories that went deep like that, but I love fantasy so I try to it within that realm.
James: Any details about the companion novel?
Adrienne: I can’t say anything about the companion novel yet! But I’m hoping that we can start talking about it soon because I am really excited about it!
That’s it for today’s interview with Adrienne, but you can read a pulse-pounding excerpt of Sky In The Deep by clicking here. And be sure to come back again next week, when Daniela will be chatting with bestselling author Jen Lancaster about her book The Gatekeepers.