Rae Carson IS a rockstar–and here’s why:
- While I absolutely adored THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS, I loved it even more after reading her fantastic post, “Weighing in on weight“
- Even though she’s clumsy and unathletic (or so she claims), she jumped into cheerleading as an awkward adolescent and flag football as an adult with a vengeance, striking a blow for clumsy chicks everywhere
- She writes beautifully imperfect characters, characters in terrible positions with few options, and characters readers can really get behind
- I really enjoy her sense of humor, which shows through in her writing, and her overuse of the word “dude”
- Geek allusions FTW
- She’s writing a magical romantic fantasy set during the Gold Rush
About Rae Carson in her own words (short version): “I’m a nerd. I write young adult novels full-time. I live in Columbus, Ohio with my husband and two stepsons.” (From her website)
How Star Wars influenced The Girl of Fire and Thorns
By Rae Carson, rockstar author
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away (well, okay it was a sunny Sunday afternoon in 1977 in Hayward, California), something amazing and magical happened to me:
I saw Star Wars.
|My review HERE|
Never had a story enraptured me so completely. From the moment the Imperial Star Destroyer cruised inexorably and gloriously across the screen, to the final celebratory hero’s welcome (the whole audience cheered!), my eyes were as big as saucers and my four-year-old heart full to overflowing.
As we left the theater that day, I knew three very important things: 1) The Force was strong with me. 2) Luke Skywalker and I were meant to be together forever. 3) I wanted more, more, more stories about magic and mages, princesses who lead rebellions, and farm boys with epic destinies.
Over the next decade or so, I sought to fill the Star Wars-shaped hole in my heart and found great success, first through extensive make-believe. I dressed up as Princess Leia for Halloween two years running. I made lightsabers out of sticks and aluminum foil. I tried to make my little brother do my chores through the power of the Force.
As reading supplanted make-believe, I found wonderful Star Wars read-alikes with Lloyd Alexander, George MacDonald, and J.R.R. Tolkien (I read Lord of the Rings four times), and later with Terry Goodkind, David Eddings, and Robert Jordan. But my appetite was too ravenous for the pace of publishing, so I did what every geeky teenager in my situation does: I drew a map, sketched the faces of my merry band of quirky but lovable characters, and sat down to write the Best Novel Ever.
The Best Novel Ever featured a beautiful space princess with shiny hair buns, a handsome and morally ambiguous space pirate with a heart of gold, and an ingénue with boy-next-door good looks who was destined to become a mighty warrior.
|Comes out Sept. 18th–and it’s fabulous!|
I was only a few (handwritten) chapters in when I realized with a sinking heart that the Best Novel Ever was thinly disguised Star Wars fan fiction. So I started over with Even Better Novel, which featured a wise and generously bearded wizard, an elven prince, a handful of grouchy-but-loveable dwarves, a ring of great power…
What followed was an adolescence of working through my angst by writing an interminable series of unoriginal knockoffs. I couldn’t maintain interest in any of them. I gave up writing.
In the interim, I kept reading, and I grew up a lot. The wish fulfillment aspect of fantasy fiction ceased to appeal to me, but I remained fascinated from a sociological perspective. I loved how the tropes of fantasy fiction such as the “hero’s journey” and the “chosen one” and the “amulet of power” could all be used to say important things about our society and how their perpetual appearance in fiction reveals so much about the psychology of humanity. And when I decided to try writing again, I discovered that I no longer wanted to extend and preserve that magical Star Wars experience so much as I wanted to be in a conversation with it.
In short, I had something to say about fantasy fiction, and the best way to do that was to write a book.
So that’s what I did. The Girl of Fire and Thorns is about an amulet of power, a magical force, and a rebel princess. And even though (confession!) I still try to use the Force on a regular basis, it’s nothing like Star Wars. It is, I hope, a response to it. And it was written with the hope that someday, someone would read it with the same wide-eyed sense of wonder that started me on my own epic journey.
And now for the GIVEAWAY OF AWESOME (be sure to thank Rae!)
Rae Carson says, “I’m offering a paperback of THE GIRL OF FIRE and THORNS and an ARC of THE CROWN OF EMBERS for a giveaway, signed and/or personalized per winner request. Open to U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, and New Zealand. (If someone from the UK or Commonwealth wins, I’ll send the UK version.)” How’s that for fabulosity?
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