Hey everyone! It’s time to kick off another exciting tour with TBR and Beyond Tours. We are so excited to be hosting the book tour for author Hanna Howard and her YA Fantasy novel, Ignite the Sun. Make sure to check out the other blogs on the tour schedule (listed below) and be sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom – trust me this one is a GOOD ONE!
-INTERVIEW WITH Hanna Howard-
Thank you so much! Publishing is such a strange process, with lots of ups and downs, lulls and crazy-busy moments, but I think my favorite part so far has been the journey to getting my cover. My original editor and I did a lot of fun brainstorming together, and it was great to feel excited and included in the conceptual work early on, even if I wasn’t involved in the creation of the cover itself. The day I got the email with the first draft cover in it was a super surreal one–getting to see an actual book cover mockup for my baby!–and then of course the day I was able to share that with the world and get so much wonderful, excited feedback was great fun.
I love that the sun has such a big part in this story. What inspired you to write this story?
I’ve been obsessed with the dawn for a long time, ever since I started using the 5am hour to write (a habit that comes and goes in my life depending on bed times), so the initial seeds for the idea came from those utterly magical mornings watching the sun rise. But a lot of the book’s deepest formation came from my experience with anxiety and depression, in a long, bleak winter which felt gray and sunless. I channeled a lot of my feelings from those months into the first draft of the book, and in the process, really came to associate sunlight with hope and happiness.
What message do you hope readers take away from Ignite the Sun?
That there is always hope. No matter how dismal, depressed, forsaken or oppressed you may feel, there is (to loosely quote Tolkien) “light and high beauty for ever beyond” the reach of the darkness.
When you write do you have a plan with how things should go? Or do you let the characters lead the way?
When I first drafted this book, I really let the characters lead. But that was nine years ago (haha!), and in all the subsequent edits I learned that it is sometimes better to take more initiative in your plotting at the beginning in order to save yourself lots of revision time later on. Now I like to plot using a combination of Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat beat sheet and the Snowflake method, which really gives me a firm foundation for the story before I dive in.
What does your perfect writing spot look like?
Oh my. It would be outside in a garden overrun with fragrant flowers and herbs, with a nice view of the eastern horizon (for the sunrise). There would be either a comfy chair with a lap desk, or a nice little table to write at, and the surrounding area would be green or heathery countryside with forest in the distance. (Maybe even an ocean close enough to hear?) The garden would be strewn with twinkle lights, there would be a fresh pot of tea set before me, several candles lit, and a loyal dog content to lay nearby.
I know we just got Ignite the Sun, but could you tell us if you have anything planned for the future?
I do! I can’t talk about it yet, but I’m working on a new fantasy novel set in a different world than Ignite the Sun. 🙂
*This interview was done by Candyce Kirk from the TBR and Beyond Tours team. Candyce co-runs the blog site The Book Dutchesses
-ABOUT THE BOOK –
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: August 18th 2020
Once upon a time, there was something called the sun… In a kingdom ruled by an evil witch, the sun is just part of a legend about light-filled days of old. Luckily for everybody in the kingdom, Siria Nightingale is headed to the heart of the darkness to try and restore the light–or she will lose everything trying.
Sixteen year-old Siria Nightingale has never seen the sun. The light is dangerous, according to Queen Iyzabel, an evil witch who has shrouded the kingdom in shadow.
Siria has always hated the darkness and revels in the stories of the light-filled old days that she hears from her best friend and his grandfather. Besides them, nobody else understands her fascination with the sun, especially not her strict and demanding parents. Siria’s need to please them is greater even than her fear of the dark. So she heads to the royal city–the very center of the darkness–for a chance at a place in Queen Iyzabel’s court.
But what Siria discovers at the Choosing Ball sends her on a quest toward the last vestiges of the sun with a ragtag group of rebels who could help her bring back the Light … or doom the kingdom to shadow forever.
-BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE-
-ABOUT THE AUTHOR-
Hanna C. Howard spent most of her childhood wondering how she might avoid growing up, and eventually solved the conundrum by becoming an artist and a writer. She considers tea an essential food group, has more books than shelf space, and thinks the ultimate geek triumvirate is Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Doctor Who. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with her husband and son, their Disreputable Dog, and a cat skilled in the martial arts.
Prize: Signed Hardcover Copy of Ignite the Sun and Mug Swag Pack (seen above in picture) – US ONLY
Starts: August 11th, 2020
Ends: August 18th, 2020