Author Spotlight: Beth Revis talks Give the Dark My Love
Welcome to the first day of the Penguin Young Readers Official Blog Tour for Beth Revis's GIVE THE DARK MY LOVE! Beth is a New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, and IndieBound bestselling author, and I'm thrilled to feature my special Q&A with her!
Out September 25th, GIVE THE DARK MY LOVE features the descent of a hero-turned-villain! To check out my recent review, click here.
And now, here's my chat with Beth!
Hi, Beth! Welcome and congrats on Give the Dark My Love. Can you share a little about the story and what inspired it?
My original idea for the book was an attempt to flip the idea of who is a monster and who is a hero. But that story changed drastically, instead showing how a girl ultimately decides to make monstrous choices.
I was so excited when it was announced you were writing a fantasy! Do you find that your world building process differs between genres?
Thank you! I’ve written tons of fantasy novels, but this is the first one that’s being published, and I’m so excited!
The world building process is a little different. I have to balance between finding something that’s both unique and recognizable to the average reader. In science fiction, it’s based on this world, just futuristic. But a cat, for example, is a cat. A fantasy world is basically an alien planet, but one with shadows in this one. Maybe a cat is still a cat, or maybe there’s a totally different kind of feline creature, and you have to show how it’s both similar and different without actually comparing it to a cat, which doesn’t exist in the new world.
The inescapable pains of grief and death are huge influences in Give the Dark My Love. How did this shape your ARCs for Nedra and Grey?
One of the few things that made it between the first and last draft of this novel is the idea that grief is a singular experience. When Nedra experiences loss, Grey can sympathize but he cannot truly understand what she’s going through. It’s impossible to experience anyone else’s grief for them. We can only be there as they weather the storm.
Your story of perseverance is legendary within the writing community, and your episode on the 88 Cups of Tea podcast is one of my all-time favorites. What’s your best advice for writers who feel like they’re treading water?
First, remember that writing is an art, but that even art takes practice. Your first story may not be publishable. Your tenth story may not be (mine wasn’t). So don’t be intimidated or disheartened by the fact that you need to practice more. That said, if you’re treading water and not really feeling as if you’re progressing and improving, it’s time for a break. It’s time to experience some life and have some adventures. That’s where the stories are.
I’m a firm believer in the idea that every story teaches the writer something new, so what did writing Give the Dark My Love teach you?
There’s a scene in the book where Grey warns Nedra that she’s about to cross a line, and Nedra tells him that there is no line. There’s no limit to what she’ll do, how far she’ll go. And that’s what this book taught me. Many of my early drafts, I was holding back, reluctant to push the scenes too far. It was only when I quit trying to cage my story into these preconceived ideas of what the book should be that I got the right story.
What are you reading, watching, or otherwise currently infatuated with?
I’ve been devouring audio books lately, especially when I’m on the road. I loved Shirley Jacksons The Haunting of Hill House and Andrew Shvarts’s Royal Bastards. Most of my book reading has been reserved for advanced copies of books—I just finished Astrid Scholte’s Four Dead Queens and am diving into Julie Dao’s sequel right now!
And finally, what’s the most important lesson you’ve learned so far in your publishing career?
Story above all else. Before I was published, I only cared about being published. I felt that was the measure of success, and I was willing to do whatever it took to reach that goal. Now I know in my bones that the most important thing is the art. My craft is what I control—not whether the book is published, or published well, or hits lists or gets stars. I control the craft. It is my art, and that’s what I sacrifice for now.
Many thanks go out to Beth for taking the time to tell us more about GIVE THE DARK MY LOVE! Be to sure to add this emotionally-charged dark fantasy to your Goodreads list, or (better yet!) pre-order your copy RIGHT NOW from retail sites like Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, or request it at your library, or local independent bookstore!
OFFICIAL GIVE THE DARK MY LOVE BOOK TOURAnd if you're looking to catch Beth in person this fall, check out the page for dates and locations. For more information, follow Beth on Twitter, and visit her author website at bethrevis.com.
And, as always,
GIVE THE DARK MY LOVE BLOG TOUR DATES:
September 17 – Megan Write Now
September 18 – Gladiator glory
September 19 – Velarisreads
September 20 – The Pages In-Between
September 21 – The Fandom
September 24 – Starcrossed Books
September 25 – Old Enough for Fairytales
September 26 – The Busy B. Creative
September 27 – Miss Print
September 28 – The Book Enigma