~ SARAH J. MAAS ~
(Look out for my review of this on Monday 2nd April!)
Before we go on to this interview, I would love to say how much I love Sarah! Seriously, she is one of the nicest, sweetest, most humble person I've ever met (well, online at least)! I just want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH to Sarah for giving up her own time to do this interview and I wish her all the best! Because she so deserve it! Please don't stop being this awesome! <3 <3 <3
NOTE: The Assassin and the Desert (Novella 2) comes out today! Go buy now!
1. Can you remember the exact moment when you had the idea about the THRONE OF GLASS (formerly known as the Queen of Glass)? How did you come up with this original and amazing idea?
Yes! I actually got the idea ten years ago (…I cannot BELIEVE how much time has passed, wow.), when I was a sophomore in high school. I’m a huge Disney fan and movie score geek, and one night, I found myself listening to the CINDERELLA soundtrack. The music that accompanies Cinderella fleeing the ball is pretty intense (actually, if you watch the whole scene, everyone goes a little berserk), and I wound up thinking that the music would be better suited if Cinderella had done something really, really bad…like steal from the Prince. Or, even worse: what if she was an assassin who had jut tried to KILL the Prince?
And from there, all the other questions arose—who was this Cinderella-assassin and where had she come from? Who sent her to kill the prince? Why did they send her? And what would happen to her now? Thus, Celaena Sardothien and THRONE OF GLASS were born. Asking those questions made me realize there was a massive story to be told BEFORE that fateful ball—entire books, actually.
In the ten years that I’ve been working on the series, THRONE OF GLASS has become more of an original epic fantasy than a straight-up Cinderella retelling, but you can still find a few nods to the legend here and there. :)
2. Throne of Glass already has got lots of fans from the people who've read it on Fictionpress (can I just say how jealous I am of them?), what's the best and most memorable fan moment for you? How does it feel when people send you fan art, letters?
Oh, man. There have been so, so many memorable moments with my FictionPress readers that it’s hard to pick just one. My readers are incredibly special to me, and all have had such a wonderful impact on MY life, so hearing how ToG has impacted their lives is always a humbling and overwhelming experience. When people send me letters or fan art, I usually grin like a crazy person and/or try not to cry (though I sniffle quite a bit).
Despite all the time that’s passed, I’m still flabbergasted that the series has meant so much to people. I wrote the story that was in my heart and soul, so knowing that it’s resonated with someone else—that it changed their lives in however big or small a manner—is a kind of joy I can’t even begin to describe.
3. Were the four novellas planned earlier on? Did you write them while writing the first book, or were they written quite recently? Can you tell us what to expect in the following novellas?
Yes, and no. The events in the first novella—THE ASSASSIN AND THE PIRATE LORD—were actually briefly mentioned in the FictionPress draft of the story. The second novella—THE ASSASSIN AND THE DESERT—is completely new (in that I didn’t come up with the idea of it until this past summer). And then the events in the third and fourth novellas were sort-of hinted at in earlier drafts of the book, sometimes in the form of flashbacks (that eventually got cut), sometimes just in vague mentions. But I never really fleshed out the events in the third and fourth novellas in a cohesive, complete way, so when I sat down to write them, a lot of things got rewritten and expanded upon.
But even though the kernels for the stories have been in my head for years, I never thought of making them into novellas until we came up with the idea for the project this past summer. During various rounds of rewriting and revising over the years, a lot of the mentions of these events got cut, so it was a delight to be given a chance to tell a piece of Celaena’s story before the events of Book 1.
As for what to expect with the following novellas…Well, I can’t say much, but both of them take place in Rifthold (the capital of Adarlan), and both closely follow the adventures of Celaena, Sam, and Arobynn (the King of the Assassins). They’re a little darker than the first two novellas, too.
4. Because we haven't seen the cover yet, if you had been given free rein, what would your ideal cover of THRONE OF GLASS look like? Do you want it have model/girl on the cover? Or something symbolic instead?
Ooh, tough question! You know, I don’t really have an ideal cover in mind. My tastes range all over the place in terms of covers. I love iconic/symbolic covers, but I also think that a cover with a model/girl on it can be just as compelling and intriguing. My ideal cover would probably just be one that best conveys the atmosphere and tone of the book—that demonstrates what kind of story you’ll find inside. :)
5. Do you and (one of my favourite heroines) Celaena share any similar traits? Hobbies? Likes and dislikes?
You know, I do share some traits with her (what author doesn’t share at least one trait with their protagonist?). Celaena loves music, reading, wearing pretty clothes, and eating lotsss of food, which are traits that definitely stem from me (especially the food part!). But that’s about it. She’s certainly got a lot more swagger than I do, and is a bit braver and bolder than I could ever be. Not to mention, she’s got some pretty badass fighting and survival skills that I can only dream of possessing. ;)
6. Who would play Celaena and her love interest/s in the tv or film version of your book?
Ack! What a hard question! Okay, so before she was ever cast in THE HUNGER GAMES, I thought Jennifer Lawrence (as a blonde) would be perfecttt for Celaena. But since she’ll be Katniss forever, I think someone like Amber Heard looks the part, too.
As for who would play Chaol Westfall (the Captain of the Guard), I’d say Sam Worthington, hands down (but, um, before his hair got long/weird). At any given time, my desktop has a couple pictures of him floating around. I tell myself it’s for visual inspiration/reference, but it’s totally just to have some eye candy while I’m writing. ;)
And as for Dorian Havilliard (the Crown Prince)…Ah, Dorian’s always been the hardest for me to cast. I used to think a young Leonard Whiting (specifically from the 1968 version of Romeo & Juliet) would be perfect, but I’ve recently realized that Drew Roy is pretty close to how I picture Dorian to be.
7. I'm a sucker for romance in YA, please can you tell us something about the love interest/s in the THRONE OF GLASS trilogy that we don't already know?
Hehehe, well…Dorian Havilliard is the Crown Prince of Adarlan, and he is…Well, he’s a little arrogant and cocky (and a favorite with the ladies), but loyal and clever and kind. He’s still learning what it means to be the Crown Prince of the most powerful empire in the world, and wondering if he even wants to follow in his father’s footsteps. And he’s still trying to figure out just how far he’s willing to go to stand up to his father—and what the consequences of that might be for not just him, but for his kingdom as well.
And then there’s Chaol Westfall, the Captain of the Guard. He’s gruff and aloof and doesn’t hesitate to tell Celaena exactly what he thinks, even if she doesn’t want to hear it. But despite his hardened exterior, he’s noble to a fault, has a heart of gold, and wants nothing more than to faithfully serve his king and country.
8. You've got the THRONE OF GLASS series coming up with the first book out in August, do you have any other ideas for other stories you'd like to do later on?
Well, in terms of other series, I have a YA fantasy “Beauty and the Beast” retelling (A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES), in which “Beauty” is a huntress and the “Beast” is a Faerie Lord with a mask permanently stuck in his face (in lieu of fur & claws), that I’d love-love-love the chance to publish someday.
But in terms of additional stories set in the THRONE OF GLASS world, well…I don’t want to reveal too much, but I’d love the chance to do a novella or two that feature Ansel (from THE ASSASSIN AND THE DESERT). She’s a character that I wound up loving so much that I definitely want to have her come back (much) later on in the THRONE OF GLASS series. So I would be thrilled to write at least one novella that explains what happens to her after the events of DESERT.
9. As a reader, what is the most important to you, the characters or the plot? As a writer, is it different?
Fantastic, fantastic question. I think characters are probably the most important to me as a writer and as a reader. It’s my emotional interest and connection to a character that keeps me invested in a story. The plot should be solid and compelling, too, but if I can’t be convinced to care about the characters, then not even a stellar plot can really make up for it, you know?
10. And finally, do you already have plans on what you'll be doing on the release day of THRONE OF GLASS? Will you be holding a launch party? :)
I’m not sure yet, actually! I think I’ll probably have some sort of party around the release of THRONE OF GLASS, but I’m not sure if it’ll be on August 7th or at some point in the following weeks. If anything, I’ll wind up spending release day drinking champagne and savoring every minute (and probably shedding a few happy tears, too)!
Thank you so, so much for the interview, Jana! You are an absolute delight to work with!
Awww! Now I'm getting a bit teary-eyed because NO ONE ever says that about me! LOL! Right now, GO BUY IT! It's one of the best and most imaginative fantasy ever!
The Silent Assassins of the Red Desert aren’t much for conversation, and Celaena Sardothien wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s not there to chatter, she’s there to hone her craft as the world’s most feared killer for hire. When the quiet is shattered by forces who want to destroy the Silent Assassins, Celaena must find a way to stop them, or she’ll be lucky to leave the desert alive.
Find out more about the THRONE OF GLASS series, and author Sarah J. Maas
Goodreads Author Page: Sarah J. Maas
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
SARAH J. MAAS
I’m Sarah J. Maas, a YA and MG fantasy author. My debut YA fantasy novel, Throne of Glass, will be published on August 7th, 2012 by Bloomsbury Children’s. I love fairy tales and kick-butt heroines, as well as random stuff like movie scores, Han Solo, macarons from ‘lette, and gaudy nail polish. I’m represented by the lovely and fierce Tamar Rydzinski of the Laura Dail Literary Agency.