The time it was about The Sin Eater’s Daughter

Posted February 19, 2015 by Stacee in Giveaways, Interviews | 28 Comments

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen me losing my mind over The Sin Eater’s Daughter. I heard about it from Rachel and I was instantly smitten by the cover. After I read it, I proceeded to lose my mind all over Melinda.  Thankfully I didn’t scare her away and she agreed to do an interview!

Before we get to her answers, let’s check out the book.

22536448Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.

She’s the executioner.

As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.

However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

Sounds good, right?


1. Where did the idea for The Sin Eater’s Daughter come from?

It started in the shower, where I was singing, and thinking how very excellent at singing I am (for the record I’m not – it was a classic tiled bathroom reverb situation). After a while, I started wondering why it wasn’t my job to be a singer, given I was so very obviously brilliant at it (really, that bathroom is deceptive). Then I wondered what would happen if it was my job, and from there it escalated – What I had to sing for a king, and I was taken from my home to do it? What if my family were awful and I thought living in a castle would be fantastic, but I was wrong? What if I was more than a singer, what if I was more of a possession than a person? Would I ever have a life of my own, could I ever fall in love? Then it just escalated, with me playing a really grim game of What If with what eventually became Twylla’s life.

2. I know why I love Twylla, Lief, and Marek. Why do you love them and why should we root for them?

I love Twylla because she’s been sheltered and isolated her whole life, she’s been manipulated and used, but she doesn’t give up. She keeps her head down and she keeps on going, shoulders braced against it all, doing her duty. But there’s still a spark in her, throughout all of it, that can’t be extinguished and I admire that so much. She’s not a fighty warrior type, she’s a product of her upbringing and her environment. And despite it, there’s still that flicker of hope in her. She undertakes tiny rebellions when and where she can because it’s better than nothing. She’s young, and she knows she has no power. But she takes what she can get and doesn’t let it crush her. And to me that’s incredible, because I don’t think I’d have the core strength of character to endure as she does. I don’t think I’d be brave enough to keep getting out of bed, day after day, and going through what she does. She’s crying out to be loved, or even liked. She’s never had that, and she craves it.

I love Lief, because he’s the exact opposite of Twylla. He’s impetuous and quick to smile and joke, because he’s grown up in a loving, happy environment. He’s always had room to be wholly himself, he’s never needed to be anything else and no one has ever expected him to be more than he is. And that draws Twylla like a moth to a flame because he offers Twylla a view on the world she’s never considered before. She’s always been much more than the sum of her parts, with such a heavy duty, and by contrast he’s so carefree. In Lief’s world you take action and you fight back, and you don’t settle. He’s not remotely afraid of her, and he doesn’t see her duty as an obstacle. He sees her as a person, not a role, and that gives her real joy, for the first time in her life.

Whereas for Merek, she is the hope. He’s very similar to Twylla, he’s as trapped by his position as Twylla. She knows how heavy duty is, she’s as bound to her role as he is and he sees her as an equal in that respect. I love Merek because he’s so conflicted. On the one hand he hates his heritage, and his life, but on the other he wants to grip it with both hands. He has this dream that’s almost Arthurian – he wants a democratic, happy, prosperous kingdom, he wants chivalry and education and advancement. And he sees Twylla as the key to this. The only thing he’s sure of is her. From the moment he first saw her, he’s set her up as his salvation, this bright-haired, singing child skipping through the halls of his home. He’s never stopped seeing her as the light in the dark.

3. For you, what makes a good villain and how did you incorporate that into The Sin Eater’s Daughter?

I like villains who revel in their villainy. I want my villains to actively make me hate and fear them. Often I prefer an unsympathetic villain to a sympathetic one, because of this. I think the idea of redemption is beautiful, but sometimes I want an Umbridge, or a Voldemort, or a Darkling. I want a villain that can’t and won’t hold back, that stays true to their purpose, and even enjoys what they’re doing. So in The Sin Eater’s Daughter, the queen is utterly unrepentant. She knows what she wants and she will have it, no matter the cost. And that’s what makes her so terrifying, that she’s so focussed and single-minded. And she’s having fun doing it, she loves the power that she has and she loves wielding it. She puts on this front of having a noble purpose, and things being for the greater good, but you can see the glee in her when she knows she’s winning.

4. Without spoilers, was there anything you had to cut that you wish you could have kept in the story?

Yes! In an early draft there was a scene where a character was hanged very dramatically, and I loved it so much, but as edits happened it became less and less necessary. I kept trying to make it work, despite that though. When I finally realised it just didn’t I was sad, but by then I was also tired of trying to shoehorn it in when there were other things going on.

But… I *think* I’ll be able to use it, or something in a similar vein, in book 2… So fingers crossed…

5. Describe The Sin Eater’s Daughter in 5 words.

Romantic, Dark, Deadly, Complex, Hopeful

Speed [ish] round:

1. You get the call/email/letter that says you’re being published for the first time. Describe the next 5 minutes.

Vomity. I have this thing where if I get really anxious, or upset, or excited, or happy then I have a huge adrenaline spike and it knocks me sick. So when my agent Claire emailed to say we had our first offer, I threw up. Any time I get any kind of surprise, I have to immediately go for a walk to channel the adrenaline into action. Otherwise I start shaking and… yeah.

2. What three things would you take to a desert island?

A heavily pre-loaded e-reader, an awful lot of teabags, and Jeff Goldblum.

3. You can only read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

4. Who are your favorite swoony boys/girls?

Nikolai Lantsov and the Darkling from Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy. I want to marry Nikolai so badly. If I can’t have him I want George Cooper from Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness quartet. He’s dreamy. Irial from Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series. Sirius Black from Harry Potter. Dimitri Belikov from Vampire Academy. Etienne from Anna and the French Kiss. Levi from Fangirl. There’s quite a list…

5. What is the one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?

That patience is going to be key. Everything happens waaaaaaaay in the future, and there are so many secrets! You know all of these amazing things but you have to sit on them and it’s enough to make you explode. You have to learn to be inhumanly patient.

6. You wake up and discover you are Bella in Twilight. You know how it plays out. What do you do differently? {Thanks to Bookish Broads for letting me steal this question}

I’d like to think that I’d try and pull myself together a bit quicker than Bella did when Edward left her, but then again the first time my heart was broken I don’t remember being especially heroic or strong. I classed it as a good day if I managed to get in the shower, so I can’t judge her on that.

Mainly, I’d sit Edward down and tell him to stop messing around about making me a vampire, it’s inevitable, we both know it, so can we just crack on? The sooner it got done, the sooner he could stop worrying that anything/anyone was going to kill me, which would greatly improve both our lives. Also the sooner it was done, the sooner we could have super-hot kissing sessions without him worrying about literally chewing my face off. I’d explain he was not taking enough advantage of my rampaging hormones and lust for him, and that made me wonder if he was stupid. Seriously. Bite me. Then let’s make out.


8152069Melinda Salisbury lives by the sea, somewhere in the south of England. As a child she genuinely thought Roald Dahl’s Matilda was her biography, in part helped by her grandfather often mistakenly calling her Matilda, and the local library having a pretty cavalier attitude to the books she borrowed. Sadly she never manifested telekinetic powers. She likes to travel, and have adventures. She also likes medieval castles, non-medieval aquariums, Richard III, and all things Scandinavian The Sin Eater’s Daughter is her first novel.


Huge thanks to Melinda for dealing with my fangirling taking the time. Make sure you’re checking out her website, following her on Twitter and Tumblr, and adding her books to your Goodreads TBR shelf.

Now. I am a firm believer that everyone and their mother needs to read this book.  It was one of my top 5 from 2014 and I can safely say that it’s going to be one of my favorites for this year as well.  So, I’ve got one copy of The Sin Eater’s Daughter up for grabs.  Book will be coming from The Book Depository. Giveaway is international {as long as they ship to your country for free} and additional giveaway rules are here.

**Good Luck!!**

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28 responses to “The time it was about The Sin Eater’s Daughter

  1. Zed

    Love the interview! Erm, neither. I wouldn’t do well as a goddess and all that expectation, and I don’t think I could go through with executions!

  2. Caroline

    Great interview! I found this book at my bookshop yesterday and I want to read it so bad!
    Hmm, there are pros and cons to both, I’d probably say the goddess though.
    Thanks for the giveaway :D Good luck to everyone!

  3. Ugh, as much as I would hate to be a deity, I’d pick the Goddess, because killing people on behalf of others would be horrible… Such a tough choice!
    Thank you for hosting this giveaway and making it international! :)

  4. Ashley

    I don’t know that I could kill anyone, especially if I didn’t have any say in the situation. But, being the goddess doesn’t seem that great, either? I guess, if pressed, I would choose the goddess.

  5. Teresa S.

    Have to be the Goddess. Because deep down we all have a Goddess fighting to get out! I’m don’t think that I could handle having the power to execute though.

  6. Thanks for having this giveaway (and it’s international!). I think I would choose Goddess as I think I won’t have the determination to kill as an executioner.

    Good luck to whoever participating and congratulations to anyone who is going to win this prize!

  7. Nikki Robinson

    I think I’d actually say I’d rather be the executioner. Maybe being forced to kill somebody wouldn’t the most fun, but “goddess” is full of so much pressure and so many expectations.

  8. I don’t want to be either of them because both are horrible positions to be in, in one people will have high expectations from me n I don’t function well in such situations and in other I’d have to do the killing for others as well as be the one who is not ever liked by anybody n I’d be depressed and crying all the time if nobody likes me :P

    But still if I had to select one I’d go with The Executioner! why? Because I’d be able to punish those who truly deserve to be punished and this way lower the count of criminals

  9. Dinky

    I think that goddess but both of these are interesting characters. It would be interesting to try both! :D

  10. sarah s

    I wouldn’t really want to be either, I don’t think I would make a good goddess but I also don’t think I would be able to be an executioner.

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