Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Book Blog Tour: Interview with R.J. Anderson

As I mentioned on Monday, I was lucky enough to send R.J. Anderson some questions.  Her answers are below for your amusement.  Be sure to read the entire interview, R.J. gives some hints about her third book in the series, Arrow, below.

The end of Faery Rebels sets up the reader for Wayfarer well.  Did you always intend to have a sequel to Faery Rebels or did the plan for the second book come around in the editing process?

I wrote Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter so that it could stand alone if need be. But I always hoped I'd get the chance to write a second book, because there were still unanswered questions and unresolved issues at the end of Book One -- and I already knew who the main characters of that book would be. So when my agent said that yes, editors would like to see a proposal for a second book along with the manuscript of the first, I jumped at the chance.

Did you research a lot of faery lore for your books or did you feel free to make your own rules?

A little of both. I grew up reading fairy tales and folklore, so a lot of the traditional ideas about faeries were familiar to me. I used some of those basic principles and put my own twist on them, invented a few ideas of my own, and then did some delving into more obscure faery legends for further ideas.

Faery Rebels: Spell HunterI really like Knife/Peri as a strong female character.  Did you base her characterization on anyone?

Thank you! I do, too. But no, she isn't based on anyone in particular, though her personality and characteristics were influenced by the superhero comics I read as a teenager, and some of the more intelligent and resourceful heroines I encountered in fantasy novels.

I also really like how you created vast differences among the human, Oak, London and Children of Rhys faery cultures and perspectives.  Did those different philosophies about how to treat one another come about naturally in the writing or were the varying stances something you intentionally wanted to explore?

I did want to make the various cultures distinct, because I think that's only realistic -- people who've grown up in different circumstances and with different privileges, not to mention different forms of government, are going to inevitably have different priorities and attitudes to life. I believe in objective moral standards, but even among people who agree on what those standards are, there's often a wide range of ideas on how best to maintain them. And none of us ever gets it perfectly right -- there's always room to have one's complacency shaken up and challenged a bit, and I think that's a healthy thing.

Judging by the end of Wayfarer, it seems there will be a third book in the series.  Can you give us some hints about the content, conflicts and characters that book will involve?

The third book is called Arrow, and it deals with the repercussions of some of the things that happened inWayfarer -- particularly with regard to the Children of Rhys and their contact with the outside world. The heroine of the third book, Rhosmari, is a very minor character in Wayfarer but ends up being instrumental in the conflict between the rebels and the Empress... plus having some fairly harrowing experiences of her own.

And that is the most I have told anybody about this book yet! See, now you have an exclusive. :)

(YAY!  Thank you for that!)

What are some of your favorite books?

As a child I loved the Narnia series, Tolkien's LotR and The Hobbit, and George MacDonald's Curdie books. More recently I've been impressed by D.M. Cornish's Foundling and Lamplighter, as well as Catherine Fisher'sIncarceron and Sapphique and Megan Whalen Turner's series about Gen (The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia and A Conspiracy of Kings) -- all have fantastic worldbuilding, beautiful language, clever plots, and rich characterization, and that's what I look for in a good read.

Thank you very much for sharing!

To learn more about R.J. Anderson or Wayfarer, check back over the next few days or visit some of the other blogs on the tour:

Whispers of Dawn, The Book Cellar, The Hungry Readers, My Own Little Corner of the World,, Reading is My Superpower, Book Crumbs, Becky’s Book Reviews, Fireside Musings, A Christian Worldview of Fiction, Homeschool Book Buzz, Homespun Light, Book Review Maniac


  1. I really enjoyed your interview with Rebecca. Great questions. I notice a couple others seemed to like Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter more than Wayfarer, but I think I liked the second more than the first. I do agree, though, that I initially missed Knife. She was just such a strong character, and Linden is quite different. I'm really looking forward to Arrow.

  2. Oh, this was good. I've read three interviews now and in each one I'm getting completely different info. I loved the peek into Arrow. Great questions, Shel! And great answers, too. (I was glad to see that you like Megan Whalen Turner's series about Gen, Rebecca. I just discovered him a couple of months ago. Great stuff.)

    I think I liked Spell Hunter just a tad more than Wayfarer. I liked the Wayfarer a lot, though. I'm looking forward to Arrow.



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