Hey everyone! I apologise for being so absent lately, I went away for a dew days and had an amazing time in Portugal! Now I’m in back in London with this not so great weather but what can you do.
I am so honoured to be participating in my first ever blog tour. The Crown’s Game is a highly anticipated YA fantasy and I had a great time interviewing the author Evelyn Skye. I hope you guys enjoy reading it!
1. What attracted you to Tsarist Russia as a setting for The Crown’s Game? This is a quite different setting to most YA Fantasies out there. Why do you think so many YA fantasy authors are attracted to archetypical medieval world?
When I was studying Russian literature and history, it was always the 19th Century that drew me in the most. I loved Tolstoy and Turgenev’s works, particularly their depictions of the Russian countryside and the contrast to the aristocratic city.
There’s a fair amount of fiction about the later Romanov era–Rasputin, Anastasia, etc.–but not much about the earlier Romanovs, and I wanted to bring that to life for modern day readers. Hence, Tsar Alexander I’s reign as the background for Vika and Nikolai’s magical battle.
As for the medieval world that other authors build upon, I don’t know the answer to that because all I know is what is in my own head, but I do love reading those medieval-based fantasies, too!
2. It’s really good to see another strong female character in YA fantasy. Do you think this is something that writers should make a conscious effort to do more of?
I think authors can simply focus on writing strong characters, and if they draw from real life experience, there will naturally be lots of strong females. I know that my life is full of incredible girls and women; I didn’t set out with a specific goal to write Vika in a certain way, other than to have her mirror the many role models I have come across in my own world. And I absolutely love that she turned out to be as amazing as she did, because that’s a reflection of reality!
3. When writing this book, did you always intend for it to be a YA novel or did that develop later?
Always YA. This is my absolute favourite genre to read and to write. I loved my own teenage years, and I love that age still, because there is such passion and hope and endless possibility when you are 16, 17, 18… I try to channel that energy in my life now, and I am happier than I was in my 20s, when I was trying so hard to be what I thought an “adult” ought to be.
4. You’ve now worked selling books and writing them. How has becoming a writer changed your perspective on YA and writing?
It makes me appreciate even more every single book that is out there, because I know how hard the author has worked, not only in writing that story, but in all the stories attempted before. I have eight unpublished manuscripts on my hard drive, and I worked for years without being able to sell my stories. So I have the utmost respect for every writer out there, no matter what stage you’re in–just starting, learning the craft, newly published, veteran, and everything in between.
5. And finally, any tips for aspiring authors out there?
I do, the most important of which is, keep writing and keep believing!
The Crown’s Game is being released on the 30th of June and you can order it from here.
Keep an eye out for the other amazing stops in the tour: