I have had the wonderful privilege of connecting with Marlow York, author of Blood of Fire. Along with having written a fantasy novel, she has had poems and short stories published in a multiple of literary magazines. She is a wonderful individual and it was a pleasure to interview her!
Author of Blood of Fire (Genre: YA Fantasy)
1) What inspired you to write?
This particular story was inspired by a number of things. I've always loved the idea of people with powers. X-Men is my favorite comic book movie, and the series has a pervasive theme of Us vs Them. It's a very Sci-Fi take on racism, which has always fascinated me. Also, I used to be obsessed with astrology and I find the elements (wind, water, earth, and fire) to be very interesting. Fire is my favorite element, so I wanted to write about a character with the power to manipulate fire, but of course there had to be consequences for someone who was so different from everyone else. I wanted to explore this idea and what the world may have been like if there were people with these sorts of potentially dangerous powers.
2) What was the hardest scene/post you ever had to write? What was the easiest?
I can't really talk about the specific scene that was hard for me to write because it takes place in the third book. Let's just say it was very emotional and I've gone back and forth about it even making it to the book. The easiest scene in Blood of Fire may have been the one in which Valieri wanders into the forest in search of a mysterious voice. I love describing settings, especially ones that remind me of home. I remember feeling peaceful as I described the tall ferns and water droplets on the pine needles.
3) How do you select the names of your characters?
In Blood of Fire, it really depends. Some names are completely made-up out of gibberish that sounded like a name OR was an actual name altered a little bit. For instance, Valieri came from Valerie. Sarrenke is just a made-up sound. There are names that are real places (Anza was named after the Anza-Borrego State Park where I've been camping many times), and names that were borrowed from video games and T.V. shows (Ysolda and Bjorn, respectively). There are a few names that were chosen because they have specific meaning, but most of those don't appear until the second book.
4) While writing, did the story go as planned or did it take a turn you didn’t expect?
My stories never go as planned! I rarely outline my books beforehand, and if I do they are very loose outlines. I write down ideas and let the story mold itself as I write. I'm sure the finished product is wildly different from what the first draft was.
5) If you could live in one literary universe, what would it be and why?
Probably Harry Potter. I love the idea of all that magic and how it's considered normal in the Wizarding World!
6) What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Read a lot. Write frequently, if not every day.
Never expect your first draft to be good; they're usually garbage and that's fine. A first draft only needs to exist and can be fixed up later, but you can't fix a blank page. Consider joining writing groups--online or in-person if they are available where you live. It's great to have the support of your friends and family, but if they aren't supportive or aren't very interested, having a writing group to bounce ideas off of and share struggles can help you get through your doubtful times. And you WILL doubt yourself. Doubt is a natural part of the creative process, but never let it or anyone else convince you to quit. If you love writing, just keep doing it. You'll improve over time.
I actually purchased Blood of Fire on Amazon and I am excited to start reading it! The cover is cool and the story is exciting! For those of you who do not know (in short), Blood of Fire is about a girl named Valieri who has been taken captive. She discovers she has a "fiery secret" and is determined to find her lost sister despite all the obstacles put in her way.