Author Spotlight: Adrienne Young talks Sky in the Deep
I'm super excited to be taking part in Wednesday Books' official blog tour for Adrienne Young's YA fantasy, SKY IN THE DEEP! Releasing on April 24th and described as part Wonder Woman, part Vikings-----and all heart, SKY IN THE DEEP has been named One of the Most Anticipated YA Novels of 2018 by Bustle, BookBub, Justine Magazine, EpicReads and Bookish.
Keep reading for a special Q&A with Adrienne, in which she talks about writing, researching, and the importance of finding the right agent to represent you and your body of work. And then prepare to dive headfirst into the exclusive blog tour excerpt from SKY IN THE DEEP at the end of this post!
A Q & A W I T H A D R I E N N E !
What inspired SKY IN THE DEEP? How did the idea and Eelyn come to you? Do you have any favorite Viking stories?
The sibling betrayal was definitely the first inspiration for this story. I was driving in the pouring rain on this country road and that first scene just hit me----Eelyn, seeing her brother on the battlefield after thinking that he was dead for five years. I pulled over on the side of the road and scribbled a million notes on an old envelope. I was immediately hooked to the idea and I wanted to know what had happened. I started writing that first chapter and I just never stopped.
What type of research did you do for your characters and world-building? What languages did you study to implement the languages that the Aska and the Riki speak? What was the strangest thing you had to research for this book?
I did a ton of research for this story. I actually really love to research things so it was a lot of fun. A lot of it was stuff like clothing, landscape, weapons, food, etc. But I did a lot of research into Norse mythology as well to build a foundation for this world. The language used is Old Norse, but it’s a dead language so studying it was really difficult. There is a lot of controversy about it among scholars and there’s no real way to fully understand it, so I just did my best based on my own investigation. I’m definitely not an expert! The weirdest thing I had to research was how to tear out someone’s eyeball. Yuck.
Set in ancient times, SKY IN THE DEEP must have required a very specific mindset since the world is so different from the one we know now. What aspect about writing a story set in prehistory did you find most challenging?
It was difficult to stay in the headspace, so I had to be pretty obsessive about it. When I’m drafting, I really try to limit other influences, so I don’t watch movies or TV shows or listen to music that’s not on my playlist for the book. If I fall out of the feel of it, it’s hard to get back in.
What was your writing process like for SKY IN THE DEEP?
Complete and utter obsession. When I draft, I get really buried in the world and I don’t really come up for air until I get to the end. I write as much as I can and limit my intake of other influencers that could mess with my mindset. I don’t watch TV or movies or listen to music that’s not on my playlist, and I kind of don’t have a social life until it’s done.
Do you have a soundtrack for SKY IN THE DEEP? Can you share a couple songs? What would Eelyn’s favorite song be?
Yes! Music plays a HUGE role in my writing process and I have a playlist for every project. The ones I probably listened to the most while drafting SKY are To the Hills by Laurel, Bare by Wildes, and Rise Up – Reprise by Foxes. But a link to the whole playlist is on my site.
What books have inspired you to write? What books are you looking forward to reading this year ?
The ones that inspired me to write are nothing like my books. One of the most influential ones for me was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, because the human element is so beautiful and the author explores so many things in that book that really took my breath away. I wanted to write stories that went deep like that, but I love fantasy so I try to it within that realm.
Any advice on querying? Or writing advice for aspiring writers?
Querying – do not just sign with any agent who will take you. Make a dream agent list of qualified agents who have good reputations and make consistent sales. Query them. If they don’t bite, then write another book that they might want. Believe me when I say it is worth waiting for the right agent!
Any details about the companion novel?
I can’t say anything about the companion novel yet! But I’m hoping that we can start talking about it soon because I am really excited about it!
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned so far in your publishing career?
That writing will never, ever get easier. Success will never make this craft less hard.
Be to sure to add Adrienne's kick ass epic to your Goodreads list, or (better yet!) pre-order your copy RIGHT NOW from retail sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound. Or request it at your library, or local independent bookstore!
Follow Adrienne on Twitter at @adriennebooks. For more information, see her full author website at adrienneyoungbooks.com.
And, as always,
AND NOW, AN EXCLUSIVE BLOG TOUR
EXCERPT FROM SKY IN THE DEEP!