The time we decided a cover

Posted July 10, 2015 by Stacee in Signings | 2 Comments

Even though I had plans to see Mary Pearson at SDCC, I fully intended to go to MG for her local launch party for The Heart of Betrayal. I loved this series with a sickness, so of course I had to hear her talk about it.

We left SDCC around 5 and headed up towards the store. We grabbed some snacks and a vanilla shake at a restaurant around the corner and then headed over. It was awesome seeing Sam at the store, since I hadn’t seen him in a while. I quickly claimed front row and settled into wait.


Mary got to the store just before 7pm and she said my name when she walked in. I turned around and she said that she recognized me {I had seen her at a signing panel earlier in the day}.

Mary was introduced right after 7:30. She gave a synopsis about KoD before starting.


This is my 9th book and I’m always asked what the inspiration was. Sometimes it’s hard to trace back since it takes a while to write a book. When I started writing, I wrote down all of my inspiration. I wrote down all of the ideas and sent them to my editor before I had even written the book and asked if they were interested.

I had just finished the Jenna Fox books. I don’t want to deal with technology again because I was so over it. I decided to go with no technology. One thing that kept niggling at me was that you see things over again. The more things change, the more they stay the same. I was a child of the 60s and we thought we were going to end war. We were the peace and love generation and I see it happening now.

There will always be one person over here and one person over there who will fall in love. I wanted a sweeping love story and a sweeping hate story and maybe this time love wins everything.

I did want to mention that I have written a novella. It was supposed to be a short story and it turned into a novella. It’s called Morrighan and it will give you some insight on who the kingdom was named after. Something that you’ll never learn in the books.


How do you plan out a book?

It’s hard. I keep thinking I’m going to get good about it. I love books about craft. Stephen King on writing. When it comes to world building, I have a degree in art, and I’m really visual. I have a bulletin board and I pin up images and they spawn ideas.

In terms of outlining, I’m not good at it. My creativity will take off. I will outline a bit and then just change it. I use Save the Cat. I will write down scenes and put post it notes on a white board, then I have something to look forward to. Or I can move things around.

I do also have like a series bible and it has all sorts of notes and tabs. There’s the maps and the geography of the kingdom. I’m working on the third book and it’s about 1500 pages into the story and I just can’t remember it all.

Do you set out with a narrative plan in mind?

I do know the ending already and I hope it works. I wrote it at the end of book 2. I have an idea, but I stay flexible. When I started with KoD, I knew she was going to have a handmaiden, but the friendship between the four women was just something that happened. I love positive female friendships. It was such a nice surprise.

Overall, I kind of know where I’m going, but I love being surprised.


Do you think the story has a mind of its own?

Absolutely. Sometimes my characters say things…once I was laughing out loud because Lia said something that she really couldn’t. I was surprised that she wanted to say it.

I know it has to be your subconscious, but it feel like it’s really the character.

How did you come up with the language?

When I started writing, I wanted it to be something that kept them apart. I would put place holders to insert later. I wanted it to be a Slovak sound. And my editor was really excited about it, she wanted to know what each exact word was.

I had forgotten she had a doctorate in linguistics and even though she didn’t have time, she wanted to do it. It was like having homework. I had to spend weeks conjugating words of a fake language.

I used Google translate for some of the things. It’s very bastardized. A lot of the words have a basis in Latin or Greek.

Do you tweak the words?

Some I just outright make up. I want it to be able to be said. I knew I was going to have to actually say it to someone.

4 5

Where did you get the Vendan culture from?

I read Behind the Beautiful Forevers. Some it was from that. Some it came from seeing the poverty in our own country. Not everyone goes to bed with a full belly. A lifetime of seeing what poverty does to people and what it takes away from people.

What’s your book 3 dream cover?

I have been thinking about it. I would really like to see is kind of the same thing. I don’t want to see Lia’s face. Dressed not in a pretty dress, but dressed for battle. Some really good leathers.

What about the color?

Well, we had a gold/green for the first book.  Then a blue.  What do you think would go with that color scheme.  {Someone said red}. How many people think red would be good? {Everyone raised their hand} Look at that. It’s decided.

How did writing Jenna Fox prepare you for this?

These books are really long. I sold it on 50 chapters and all of the inspiration. They’ve ended up being about 500 pages each. I think it prepared me for realizing to keep going. I didn’t think I would finish those.


Any talk of movies?

I can’t say anything. Maybe I can say something next time, but not right now.

Do you have any plans for more series?

I always said I wouldn’t do more series and I’m a long writer. Series give me a chance to do a huge landscape. I really like it. But I might be refreshing to do something small. I don’t know.

How do you think you’ve grown as a writer?

I’ve grown a lot. I think. I hope so.  I keep challenging myself to do new things. This series may explode my brain. I’m juggling 3 point of views and all the kingdoms and I think I won’t be able to do it. But I can. It probably the only thing keeping my brain going.

There were a few more comments and then it was time for the signing to start. There was a raffle for a handmade bracelet, so tickets were handed out.

I was first in line and when I went up to Mary, she told me that she loved my comments and the expressions I made. I laughed and apologized and said that the comments just came out. I thanked her for coming and flailed about how good the series was.


We talked about the cover again. I agreed with the Lia in leather and red as the color. I said that I would start bugging the ladies I knew at Macmillan.

Mary drew the raffle ticket because I was about to leave, the. I hugged her and thanked her again before leaving.

You guys.  This is easily one of my favorite series and if you’re not reading it and fangirling all over Mary, you’re really missing out.

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2 responses to “The time we decided a cover

  1. Gorgeous post Stacee :D I’m so happy that you love this author and books so much. <3 That is the best thing :) And eeek, it sounds like you had such an amazing time! I love the interview so much :) Thank you for sharing about it sweet girl. <3 Thrilled you had a great time :)

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