Today I had the wonderful privilege to interview OneFourKidLit author Ryan Graudin, whose debut ALL THAT GLOWS launches today.
About ALL THAT GLOWS:
Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.
When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.
And, now, for the interview.
JT: You write such a beautiful well-imagined world. What was the inspiration for the story?
RG: Why thank you! My inspiration was a blend of many things—traveling to England, touring Buckingham Palace, riding the London Eye, hiking the Scottish Highlands, studying Old English in college, reading lots of Arthurian lore and fantasy in general as a child. All of this got tied together into one story when I found out about a short story prompt to write a “sexy, modern fairy story.” I started thinking about what modern fairy godmothers would do and the book just took off from there!
JT: I’m always interested to know how much authors blend research and imagination. Did you do research into the real royal family? How much of your fae mythology is your own imagination?
RG: Much of my research was based on the daily lives of the royal family—ie. What do they eat? Where do they go on vacation? Where do they go to school?—rather than specifics on Charles or William or Harry. I used that as a framework and let my imagination guide the rest. As for the Fae mythology, a lot of the creatures in ALL THAT GLOWS are based on actually British Isles folklore. The Green Women, Banshees and Black Dogs are all portents of death/ demonic soul eaters in their respective districts. A lot of things like the Fae’s aversion to technology and the caste system are common threads throughout fairy story archetypes, but I added my own liberties by tying things in with Arthurian folklore and in the way they cast spells!
JT: Emrys is such a strong female protagonist. Is there a little bit of you in her characterization?
RG: Thanks! She’s very loyal and stubborn when it comes to the people she loves, which I see a lot of in myself. She also internalizes things a lot and tends to overthink them, which I’ve found myself guilty of. But there are things about her that I can’t identify with. Emrys breaks the rules a lot without much fear, and I’m a big rule follower!
JT: How was the debut process? Any great advice to bestow on the Fearless Fifteeners?
RG: The debut process is different for everyone! But one thing that stays the same all across the board is the rollercoaster ride of emotions! Having something you’ve worked on alone for such a long time out in the world for all to see is thrilling and terrifying all that once! I think though, my biggest piece of advice is to have things in your life outside of writing to diffuse the craziness that is the debut process! It’s a lot of emotional stress and sometimes distractions are needed. Like knitting or watching Doctor Who on marathon!
JT: Prince William or Prince Harry? Kate or Pippa? I just have to know!
RG: I always was more of a Prince Harry girl myself. And I love Kate’s fearless elegance.
JT: And finally, as this community is fearless, we’d like to know something you’re afraid of and something you’re not afraid of?
RG: I’m afraid of not making a difference in the world. Dying without leaving a mark. BUT, that’s being said, I’m not afraid of living: traveling the world, seizing the moments, chasing dreams. I’m also not afraid of rats. Just cockroaches.
Thank you so much for the interview, Ryan, and congratulations on ALL THAT GLOWS!
|Jessica Taylor is an author and fashion industry professional. She adores sleepy southern settings, unrequited love, and characters who sneak out late at night. She lives in Northern California with a sweet-yet-spoiled dog and several teetering towers of books. Her debut, INVINCIBLE WILD, a young adult magical realism novel, is slated for Fall 2015 release from Egmont USA.|