Getting tired of me yet? Three posts for three days! Well, you better get used to it, since I AM your future ruler and all. Today I'm featuring Amy McCulloch's upcoming novel THE OATHBREAKER'S SHADOW.
Amy McCulloch was born in Kingston-upon-Thames, UK, and moved to Ottawa, Canada, when she was 11. She attended Immaculata High School, where she developed a love of geeky things like science fairs, yearbook, RPGs and The Lord of the Rings. After high school she started studying at the University of Toronto, where she graduated with a B.A. (Hons) in English, specializing in Old English and Medieval literature (her love for Geoffrey Chaucer will never die).
After a year spent backpacking around Africa, Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia (you can read her travel blog here), she moved back to London, UK, to find a job in publishing. She now works as commissioning editor for HarperVoyager, where she works on such amazing authors as George R.R. Martin, Robin Hobb and Raymond Feist, and edits brilliant new stars of SF & Fantasy like Blake Charlton, James Smythe and Janet Edwards.
At the beginning of 2011, she signed with the amazing Juliet Mushens of PFD Literary for her debut YA fantasy-adventure novel The Oathbreaker’s Shadow. Random House Children’s Books UK and Doubleday Canada will be publishing in Spring 2013
Let the Q&A begin!
LOKI: Where did you get your inspiration for THE OATHBREAKER'S SHADOW?
AMY: My inspiration came from what I was studying at university. I was in my third year of the University of Toronto, taking a bunch of courses that interested me in Medieval history and the history of China. While I was learning about these diverse cultures, one common theme stood out at me: the idea of fealty, of pledging your life to another person. It’s such a foreign concept to us now. Of course, I decided to put a fantasy spin on it – what if making (or breaking) an oath had a physical consequence, like a scar? A picture came to me of a young boy, reviled as an oathbreaker, but who has no idea what his oath was or how he broke it. Raim came to life, and begged me to tell his tale.
LOKI: What was the most exciting part of your writing journey? Did you have one great pinch-yourself-you're-dreaming kind of moment?
AMY: The most exciting part of my writing journey so far has been sharing the book with teens and seeing them become so engaged and involved and interested in the book. My pinch-myself moment came after I’d done my first ever author event: a talk in front of 400 students – I was so nervous! – and afterwards I ended up signing chapter samplers for two hours straight. It was an amazing first author-type experience that I will never forget.
LOKI: What is a book/author that had a significant influence on your writing?
AMY: I’d say, Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass (Northern Lights in the UK). It was the first novel that really opened my eyes to YA literature as a whole, and the potential it had for creating brilliant books that stay with you forever. I quickly fell in love with Pullman's work – and never looked back.
LOKI: Who was your favorite character to write in THE OATHBREAKER'S SHADOW?
AMY: My favourite character to write is Khareh, who is Raim’s best friend and the next-in-line to be the Khan. He’s loves to invent things and is always trying to find solutions to problems - no matter what the cost. He’s by far the most flawed character in the book, but that’s probably why he’s so fun to write.
LOKI: Give us three:
-Favorite pizza toppings:
AMY: Goats cheese, spicy pepperoni, sweetcorn. Not necessarily together.
-Favorite rainy day activities:
AMY: Bejewelled Blitz (I’m an addict), Running (sounds weird, but I love to run in the rain.), Reading (I wouldn’t be truthful if I said anything else!)
- Favorite TV shows:
AMY: Game of Thrones, Criminal Minds, Made in Chelsea (a guilty pleasure a bit like a London version of The Hills!)
LOKI: Thank you very much for joining us!
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LOKI: Now, human readers, here is information about Amy's novel, THE OATHBREAKER'S SHADOW, which comes out on June 6th, 2013 from Random House Children's Publishers.
Fifteen-year-old Raim lives in a world where you tie a knot for every promise that you make. Break that promise and you are scarred for life, and cast out into the desert.
Raim has worn a simple knot around his wrist for as long as he can remember. No one knows where it came from, and which promise of his it symbolises, but he barely thinks about it at all—not since becoming the most promising young fighter ever to train for the elite Yun guard. But on the most important day of his life, when he binds his life to his best friend (and future king) Khareh, the string bursts into flames and sears a dark mark into his skin.
Scarred now as an oath-breaker, Raim has two options: run, or be killed.
A gripping YA action-adventure fantasy, the first part of a planned duology.
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