Sunday, June 7, 2015

Blog Tour (Interview): Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen

Welcome to the Hidden Huntress blog tour!
I was supposed to have my post on June 4th but because I've been pre-occupied for the entire week,
I missed it. Apologies for that! But hey, that doesn't mean party's cancelled, aye?

Hidden Huntress 
by Danielle L. Jensen

Series: The Malediction Trilogy #2
Genre: YA, fantasy, romance
Published June 2nd 2015 by Angry Robot
Local purchase: Fully Booked * National Bookstore

Blurb (Goodreads):
Sometimes, one must accomplish the impossible.

Beneath the mountain, the king’s reign of tyranny is absolute; the one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cécile has escaped the darkness of Trollus, but she learns all too quickly that she is not beyond the reach of the king’s power. Or his manipulation.

Recovered from her injuries, she now lives with her mother in Trianon and graces the opera stage every night. But by day she searches for the witch who has eluded the trolls for five hundred years. Whether she succeeds or fails, the costs to those she cares about will be high.

To find Anushka, she must delve into magic that is both dark and deadly. But the witch is a clever creature. And Cécile might not just be the hunter. She might also be the hunted…

1. What kind of alternative characters would they be, if Malediction trilogy characters weren’t trolls?

I can’t really imagine them being anything other than what they are at this point, but I think the heart of your question is whether I considered calling them something other than trolls. As I was drafting Stolen Songbird, I did consider giving them a made-up name, but eventually decided against it. The word troll has meaning to most people, and I was able to play with those preconceptions in a way I wouldn’t have been able to with a made-up word. How interested would you be in the book if the back cover had read like this:

For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the kermuffins to their city beneath the mountain…. the kermuffins are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong… the more time she spends with the kermuffins, the more she understands their plight. 

Kermuffin doesn’t mean anything to anyone, so I don’t think it would have done as good a job of catching the eyes of readers as troll did. As well, I did have the larger picture in mind as to the trolls’ origins, which many readers have already picked up on.  

2. Which is harder to write, the first of a series, or the sequel?

Hidden Huntress was much more challenging. 

3. Are there any unexpected reactions/happenings after Stolen Songbird?

I never dreamed of having such an enormously positive response to the novel, and it still seems surreal when people tell me how much they connected with my characters. Having Stolen Songbird make it into the finals of the Goodreads Choice awards blew my mind, because it was entirely driven by readers, which is much more meaningful to me than a judged award. 

4. Who's your favorite character to write?

In Hidden Huntress, I really enjoyed writing scenes with Tristan’s father, King Thibault. There is a lot of depth to his character that wasn’t revealed in Stolen Songbird, and it was really fun to unpack it for readers. 

5. Do you have any *secret* projects as of now?

I have a YA epic fantasy that I’ve been working on for many years, but I’m currently focused on Malediction 3. Hopefully someday I’ll be able to share my secret project with readers!

6. What are the differences between the journey to publishing of Stolen Songbird and Hidden Huntress?

When I was drafting Stolen Songbird, the only opinion influencing my work was my own. When I was drafting Hidden Huntress, I was very much aware of what readers did or didn’t like about Stolen Songbird, and for several months, I tried to factor in those opinions as I wrote. And encountered total writer’s block. What I realized was that I needed to write the book that I’d want to read, because trying to please thousands of people with diverse opinions was impossible. 

7. What should we expect from Hidden Huntress?

Hidden Huntress is a darker, broodier novel with a slower build than its predecessor. I think people looking for expanded world-building will be pleased, and those who liked the intrigue of Stolen Songbird will enjoy the chapters from Tristan’s point of view. And for those of you looking for romance, have no fear – I’d never neglect you!


About the Author

Danielle was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. At the insistence of the left side of her brain, she graduated in 2003 from the University of Calgary with a bachelor’s degree in finance. But the right side of her brain has ever been mutinous; and in 2010, it sent her back to school to complete an entirely impractical English literature degree at Mount Royal University and to pursue publication. Much to her satisfaction, the right side shows no sign of relinquishing its domination.

Thank you so much Angry Robot Books for this opportunity and to Danielle L. Jensen for the Q&A!
You can also check out my review for the book one, Stolen Songbird.

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