Author Interview: Lyra Selene
Today I am lucky enough to be joined by Lyra Selene, talking about her debut novel, Amber and Dusk, which I am incredibly excited to read!
Amber and Dusk
Written by Lyra Selene
Published by Scholastic
Publication date: 7th November 2018
Summary (from Goodreads):
Sylvie has always known she deserves more. Out in the permanent twilight of the Dusklands, her guardians called her power to create illusions a curse. But Sylvie knows it gives her a place in Coeur d’Or, the palais of the Amber Empress and her highborn legacies.
So Sylvie sets off toward the Amber City, a glittering jewel under a sun that never sets, to take what is hers.
But her hope for a better life is quickly dimmed. The empress invites her in only as part of a wicked wager among her powerful courtiers. Sylvie must assume a new name, Mirage, and begin to navigate secretive social circles and deadly games of intrigue in order to claim her spot. Soon it becomes apparent that nothing is as it appears and no one, including her cruel yet captivating sponsor, Sunder, will answer her questions. As Mirage strives to assume what should be her rightful place, she’ll have to consider whether it is worth the price she must pay.
Doesn’t it sound brilliant? I can’t wait to read it!
Thank you for joining me today Lyra!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lyra Selene was born under a full moon and has never quite managed to wipe the moonlight out of her eyes. When she isn’t dreaming up fantastical cities and brooding landscapes, Lyra enjoys hiking, rainstorms, autumn, and pretending she’s any good at painting.
She lives in New England with her husband, in an antique farmhouse that’s probably not haunted. AMBER & DUSK is her debut novel.
1) First of all, can you tell me a bit about your journey to publication?
Like many authors, my journey to publication was at times exhilarating, tedious, heart-breaking, and utterly magical.
AMBER & DUSK was the fourth novel I completed over a period of about five years. I started writing seriously in 2012, and I had zero clue just how much I didn’t know about writing, publishing, or my own grit and determination. When I finished my first novel—an embarrassingly derivative YA urban fantasy—visions of sugar plums and six-figure book deals danced in my head. But after many months of unsuccessful querying and grueling rewrites, I realized that if I wanted to move forward I needed to take a step back and focus on my craft. After two more full-length novels and about a million more bad words, I finally started working on A&D.
One of the reasons this book is so close to my heart is because it’s very much a culmination of all those years of trying and failing and trying again, and symbolizes the importance to me of staying the course even when things get hard.
(This seems to be a common theme when I speak to authors – usually it isn’t the first book you write that is the one you succeed with, but the third, fourth or even seventh!)
2) What was the initial spark of an idea for the story?
It all started with a daydream on a dreary sunset flight across the Atlantic—I imagined a vast empire where a scorched sun never set, drenching the world in sunlight red as honey-wine. From there, I was inspired by European royal courts of the 17th century; Inigo Jones’ lush illustrations of elaborate masque costumes; and W. B. Yeats’ famous line “Things fall apart; the center cannot hold.” And then finally, I met my protagonist, waiting impatiently in the dusk, and I knew exactly whose story it was.
3) What is it like working with critique partners to hone the story?
I owe so much to my critique partners (commonly abbreviated to CP). For me, a CP is a sort of unholy (or maybe holy) union of friend, colleague, work wife/husband, therapist, critic, and cheerleader. Having and being a CP is messy and complicated. But it has been wildly, wildly important to my growth as a writer and my success in this often isolating industry.
For this story in particular, I think the most invaluable contribution from my CPs was to my characters. Although I often know my characters down to their bones in my head, it can be challenging to get enough of their personalities and inner landscape onto the page. My CPs are both fantastic at teasing out my characters’ deep dark secrets and making sure their emotional arcs ring true.
(This is fascinating! I’ve never worked with a critique partner, but it sounds like a challenging, yet supportive process)
4) If you lived in the world of your book, who would you be and what powers (if any) would you have?
Hmm…I think I’d want to be a lesser aristocrat (and therefore avoid the intrigues of court) but be able to travel to Coeur d’Or or anywhere else in the world instantaneously with the power of teleportation.
(Cool choice! I would love to be able to go anywhere in the blink of an eye!)
5) What’s next for you?
I’m working on a secret project that readers of A&D will hopefully be very eager to read!
Colour: The colors of dreams
Food: Ambrosia of the gods
Drink: Wine, or the blood of my enemies
Movie: Howl’s Moving Castle
Book: Daughter of Smoke & Bone, by Laini Taylor
Thanks for having me!
Thank you so much for your thoughtful answers and I cannot wait to read Amber and Dusk!
Don’t miss the other stops on this blog tour:
For your chance to win a copy of the book through Rafflecopter, click here.
(US Only, sorry! Open until 30th November)
Or buy a copy on:
- Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Amber-Dusk-Lyra-Selene/dp/1338210033
- Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/amber-dusk-lyra-selene/1127731151
- Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Amber-Dusk-Lyra-Selene/9781338210033?ref=grid-view&qid=1539641765675&sr=1-1
- Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/amber-dusk
- IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781338210033
- iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/author/lyra-selene/id1332300728?mt=11
Thanks for reading!