Welcome to my stop on the CHANTRESS blog tour!
Firstly, a big thanks to Amy Butler Greenfield, Margaret K. McElderry Books, and Shane from Itching for Books for making this tour happen! I was so honored and fortunate enough to interview Amy Butler Greenfield on her exciting new book but before we jump into the interview, here’s a little more info about CHANTRESS:
Release date: May 7th 2013
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Lucy’s Chantress magic will make her the most powerful—and most hunted—girl in England.
“Sing, and the darkness will find you.” This warning has haunted fifteen-year-old Lucy ever since she was eight and shipwrecked on a lonely island. Lucy’s guardian, Norrie, has lots of rules, but the most important is that Lucy must never sing. Not ever. Now it is 1667, Lucy is fifteen, and on All Hallows’ Eve, Lucy hears a tantalizing melody on the wind. She can’t help but sing—and she is swept into darkness.
When she awakes in England, Lucy hears powerful men discussing Chantresses—women who can sing magic into the world. They are hunting her, but she escapes and finds sanctuary with the Invisible College, an organization plotting to overthrow the nefarious Lord Protector. The only person powerful enough to bring about his downfall is a Chantress. And Lucy is the last one in England.
Lucy struggles to master the song-spells and harness her power, but the Lord Protector is moving quickly. And her feelings for Nat, an Invisible College apprentice and scientist who deeply distrusts her magic, only add to her confusion…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amy Butler Greenfield was a grad student in history when she gave into temptation and became a writer. Since then, she has become an award-winning author.
Born in Philadelphia, Amy grew up in the Adirondack Mountains and later studied history at Williams College, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Oxford. She now lives with her family in England, where she writes, bakes double-dark-chocolate cake, and plots mischief.
For my part of the tour, I got to interview Amy Butler Greenfield and she answered all of my burning questions about CHANTRESS and more insight behind the book!
Brittany: It’s been a burning question since I first heard about your book — As a former (okay, current) choir nerd and all-around music-lover, I have to know if you have any musical or singing background that inspired the ideas for Chantress.
Amy Butler Greenfield: How did you guess?! Like you, I’m passionate about music. In high school, I was in chorus, band, and show choir… and I even did a short stint in a jazz band. Now that I have a family, I can’t do as much, but part of the joy of writing Chantress was connecting with music in a different way.
B: One thing I didn’t know before I started is that Chantress is actually half magical and half historical fiction with mentions of King Henry IX and Arthurian legends. What made you decide to set your book in a historical time period versus modern day?
ABG: I love history, and I’ve mostly lived in places where you see the past around you everywhere you look. (Especially here in England – my town has a history that goes back over a thousand years, which amazes me!) So it was natural to me to set the book in the past.
B: You have other published works very grounded in history and facts. What made you want to write a story so involved in the paranormal/fantasy world?
ABG: My last book was nonfiction, and I loved writing it—in part because it was about a time when even scientists believed in magic. But when I was done with it, I found I wanted to write a very different kind of book, one where magic was real. And that’s how I came to write Chantress.
B: Each of the characters in Chantress seem equally memorable to me! They all have very bright personalities that really stuck with me as I was reading. Did any of these characters stick out to you specifically when writing, demanding their story be written?
ABG: I’m so glad they stuck with you! I was lucky with this book because most of the characters felt very real to me from the start. I could see them and hear them as if they were standing in front of me. But even the characters whose quirks and personalities I understood best still surprised me sometimes – especially Lady Helaine.
B: Lucy certainly doesn’t have it easy in this book. She’s young, alone, mistrusted, and coming into a power she knows nothing about. What was the hardest part of her story to write?
ABG: The hardest part to write was probably the romance with Nat. There was a real spark between him and Lucy, but they had a lot keeping them apart. I had to resist the urge to push them together, and let them find their own way to each other instead.
B: I always love hearing how authors came up with the ideas for their novels. Was Chantress a long time coming or an idea that popped into your head that you knew you had to write about?
ABG: Writing Chantress was a bit like making a quilt. I didn’t know I was planning to write it until the idea for it suddenly came to me, but some of the material for it came from things I’d experienced or thought about a long time ago.
B: Chantress is actually the first book in a series. Did you anticipate Lucy starring in her own series, or was Chantress originally intended as a stand alone? I’m people are also dying to know how many books we can expect from this exciting new series!
ABG: I started Chantress as a stand alone, but when I was partway through writing the first draft I had a brainstorm and saw how it might actually be the first part of a trilogy—and what the other two parts were. Chantress isn’t one of those books that ends in mid-action with a cliffhanger, and it can still work as a stand alone. But I was thrilled when my agent and editor wanted me to write the other books!
Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Brittany!
And another big thanks to Amy Butler Greenfield for her time and exciting answers!
I hope you guys enjoyed my spot on the CHANTRESS blog tour!! I had so much fun and was so excited to be a part of the tour since CHANTRESS had been one of my most anticipated reads for the longest time. One more big thanks to Amy, Margaret K. McElderry Books, and Shane from Itching for Books for making this tour happen and having me be a part of it!
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway! You could win a copy of CHANTRESS for your very own! Just check out the rafflecopter below. Good luck!!