With all of the things happening right now, I wanted to help authors who had books releasing in this weird time of cancelled events and self-quarantining. When I put out a tweet stating that, Intisar Khanani was the first person to email me.
Before we get to her mini interview, let’s check out the book!
A princess with two futures. A destiny all her own
Between her cruel family and the contempt she faces at court, Princess Alyrra has always longed to escape the confines of her royal life. But when she’s betrothed to the powerful prince Kestrin, Alyrra embarks on a journey to his land with little hope for a better future.
When a mysterious and terrifying sorceress robs Alyrra of both her identity and her role as princess, Alyrra seizes the opportunity to start a new life for herself as a goose girl.
But Alyrra soon finds that Kestrin is not what she expected. The more Alyrra learns of this new kingdom, the pain and suffering its people endure, as well as the danger facing Kestrin from the sorceress herself, the more she knows she can’t remain the goose girl forever.
With the fate of the kingdom at stake, Alyrra is caught between two worlds and ultimately must decide who she is, and what she stands for.
Isn’t that cover dreamy?
1. Please give the elevator pitch for Thorn.
A princess has her skin and identity stolen in a magical attack–and embraces the opportunity to make a new life for herself, regardless of the consequences.
2. Which came first: the plot idea or the characters?
Thorn is a retelling of the Grimms’ “The Goose Girl,” so in this case, the plot definitely came first. I wrote my first draft my senior year of college and, not gonna lie, it was terrible. At about a dozen drafts, I independently published Thorn, and it gained a strong readership. But it was still my debut, and there were awkward plot bits and missed opportunities, so when HarperTeen picked it up to publish it again this spring, I went all out in revisions. We’re now at about sixteen (or seventeen?) drafts, and the characters have settled so deeply into this story they’ve definitely made it their own.
3. Why do you love Alyrra and why should readers root for her?
Alyrra is that rare heroine who is relatively normal. She’s not a sorceress, she doesn’t transform into a ninja, she is, in fact, recovering from a history of abuse. When she’s faced with enemies greater and more dangerous than anything she’s met before, she has to reach deep into herself and find that core of strength and compassion to carry the day, knowing that she might lose. She’s the sort of character I find deeply inspiring because she’s so very human, so deeply afraid, and yet she manages to find her voice and face down her enemies
Huge thanks to Intisar for taking the time! Thorn is out today and buy links are at the top of the post!
What do you think of that cover? Will you be reading Thorn?