Message From The Author

Author's Message



"I wasn't so nervous. Well, that's a lie," laughs young-adult fantasy author Kristin Cashore as she describes her feelings prior to the publication of her novel, Fire, the follow-up to her blockbuster debut, Graceling.

Cashore needn't have worried. RT reviewer Natalie Luhrs said of Fire, out now from Dial, "There aren't enough words to describe how awesome this book is," and awarded it an elusive Gold rating.

And while that's comforting to Cashore, the author's now concerned about her next novel. "It's like, oh God, here we go again!" she jokes. Cashore did have writing experience before beginning Graceling. In addition to a "really dreadful middle-grade contemporary novel," which resides on a shelf somewhere in her home, she also wrote educational material and even had a stint as an editorial assistant at a publishing house, though that didn't last very long.

"It only took me a few months to realize I didn't want to be an editor," Cashore says.
"I just had no idea what a business it was! What an editor accomplishes is just astonishing," she says. "They wear so many hats."

In addition to changing jobs, Cashore also hops locales quite often. When RT caught up with the author, she'd recently moved from Florida to Massachusetts, one of many moves she's made, some to places as far-flung as Sydney and London.

"I'm very mobile," Cashore says. "I really like trying new places."

She may change addresses quite often, but her books so far have been set in the same universe, though Fire is billed as a companion novel to Graceling, since it's not a traditional prequel.

The book sprang from a scene that
takes place in Graceling, where the characters are sitting around a fire telling tales. The story she created so piqued Cashore's interest that she decided to spin it into
an entire book.

Another thing both books have in
common is a strong female protagonist. Graceling's heroine possesses a power
that makes her unbeatable in a fight, and Fire's eponymous protagonist's gift lies in her ability to control minds and her astonishing beauty, which is also a burden.

"That was really hard to write," says
the author. "I was thinking, 'Everyone is
just going to hate her: Oh, poor me, I'm
so pretty.' It was really important that she
be a strong character, a strong woman, but it's very hard to tackle a feminist character whose main attribute is her beauty."

Cashore obviously accomplished her goal. Reviewer Luhrs calls the character of Fire "completely and utterly believable."

While that's quite an accolade to live up to with her next novel, we're sure Cashore
is up to the challenge.

-- Elissa Petruzzi

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