Interview with R.C. Lewis, author of Stitching Snow and Spinning Starlight!
Today is an exciting day for me, because I have the great pleasure of introducing you to R.C. Lewis, the author of Stitching Snow and the upcoming Spinning Starlight!
I'm currently reading Stitching Snow, and I'm loving it! If you’re a fan of exciting sci-fi, filled with original characters and set in an amazing world, you need to check this out! Kirkus calls it a "clever, surprisingly gritty science-fiction version" of Snow White. (That grittiness is what I'm enjoying most about the book!) And now is the time to read Stitching Snow, so you’re ready to read its companion book, Spinning Starlight, when it’s released this fall.
Princess Snow is missing.
Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.
Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.
When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.
Fantastic, right?! And just to add to the excitement, here’s what you can look forward to in Spinning Starlight:
Sixteen-year-old heiress and paparazzi darling Liddi Jantzen hates the spotlight. But as the only daughter in the most powerful tech family in the galaxy, it's hard to escape it. So when a group of men show up at her house uninvited, she assumes it's just the usual media-grubs. That is, until shots are fired.
Liddi escapes, only to be pulled into an interplanetary conspiracy more complex than she ever could have imagined. Her older brothers have been caught as well, trapped in the conduits between the planets. And when their captor implants a device in Liddi's vocal cords to monitor her speech, their lives are in her hands: One word and her brothers are dead.
Desperate to save her family from a desolate future, Liddi travels to another world, where she meets the one person who might have the skills to help her bring her eight brothers home-a handsome dignitary named Tiav. But without her voice, Liddi must use every bit of her strength and wit to convince Tiav that her mission is true. With the tenuous balance of the planets deeply intertwined with her brothers' survival, just how much is Liddi willing to sacrifice to bring them back?
Haunting and mesmerizing, this retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's The Wild Swans strings the heart of the classic with a stunning, imaginative world as a star-crossed family fights for survival in this companion to Stitching Snow.
We’re so lucky to have R.C. Lewis here today to talk about fairytale retellings, the concept of a “companion book,” and so much more! (AND... there’s a giveaway! More on that at the end. :D)
Thank you for visiting us here at PubCrawl today! I’m excited to learn more about your books, since they interweave fairytale and science fiction so seamlessly. Have you always been drawn to fairytales?
Actually ... no. It was kind of a twist of fate that Stitching Snow came out at all. There's a line in the Florence + The Machine song "Blinding" about Snow White stitching up a circuit board. I heard that once, and an image popped into my head. Before that, it never occurred to me to try a fairytale retelling.
Spinning Starlight is being described as a "companion book" to Stitching Snow. Does that mean it's not a sequel? Not a sequel at all. In fact, not even in the same imagined universe. However, they go together well because it's another sci-fi take on a fairytale—this time Hans Christian Andersen's "The Wild Swans."
How did you decide to write a re-telling of The Wild Swans? Until I learned of your book I was unfamiliar with the fairytale. Was it your intention to retell a story that wasn't well known?
This is basically the opposite of how Stitching Snow came about. My editor and I decided to have another fairytale follow up Stitching Snow, so I had to go out and find one. We didn't want something that's been retold to death (which eliminates a LOT of the most recognizable tales), but also didn't want something too obscure. I got some fairytale anthologies and started reading, making notes about how I might put a sci-fi twist on it (not always an easy task!), and picked the one that called to me the loudest.
I worried that The Wild Swans might fall into the too obscure camp, because I wasn't terribly familiar with it before I began. But as soon as I mentioned it to several friends, they said, "I love that one—it's my favorite! I've always wanted someone to do a retelling of it!" That was good enough for me.
Can you tell us a little bit about the original story? What drew you to it?
I mentioned a little of it above, but a big part of why I picked this one is the way it focuses on a family relationship. It's about a girl trying to save her brothers, no dashing prince rushing in to save the day. In fact, in the original, a king rather randomly marries the protagonist while she carries on trying to help her brothers, which ends up getting her in trouble.
Not to say there isn't some romance in my version...
Maybe I also welcomed a challenge, because I quickly decided one part of the original I wanted to keep (somehow) was the protagonist being unable to speak until her brothers are saved. Not easy!
It seems like the young adult book world has been dominated by series for a while now, but lately it feels like that trend is changing somewhat. Do you feel that the concept of a companion book is something your readers are excited about?
It seems like it from the responses I've been getting! A few readers of Stitching Snow were hoping for a sequel (which I never intended it to have), but seem willing to accept this as the next best thing. And a lot of people felt Stitching Snow being a standalone was a strong selling point, yet were eager for something in the same vein, so hopefully this will satisfy them, too.
What can fans of Stitching Snow look forward to most in Spinning Starlight?
Unfortunately, Dimwit does not make a return appearance. (Like I said, separate universe.) My main character Liddi is very different from Essie (the main character of Stitching Snow), but I hope readers will enjoy her journey as she goes from paparazzi-hounded misfit of a famous family to someone who must fend for herself and take risks to save her brothers when no one else can. She also makes some interesting friends along the way ... some of them coming from VERY unexpected places.
Spinning Starlight sounds fantastic! I'm so excited for it, and I’m still reading Stitching Snow! Thank you SO MUCH for stopping by to talk to us about your writing process!
And now the giveaway! We are giving away an ARC of Spinning Starlight! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. R.C. will send the winner an ARC as soon as they are available!
R.C. LEWIS has taught math to teenagers for over ten years, including several where she found calculus is just as fun in American Sign Language. After a lifetime of thinking she didn't have an ounce of creativity, she realized she just needed to switch to metric. When she escapes the classroom, she writes geek-infused YA like Stitching Snow (2014, Hyperion) and Spinning Starlight (2015, Hyperion).