It’s Day 2 of 2 for my fantastic stretch of The Unfailing Light’s blog tour! Did you miss my review of the book? Then click HERE for yesterday’s post! (There’s also a list there of all the other blog stops, which you’ll want to check out for other giveaways and goodies!) Don’t forget you can also check out my review of the first book in this series, The Gathering Storm, HERE. Now…
WELCOME TO AUTHOR ROBIN BRIDGES!
By day, Robin Bridges is the mild-mannered author of the YA historical fantasy series, THE KATERINA TRILOGY, set in Imperial Russia at the end of the nineteenth century. By night, she’s a pediatric nurse who pokes small children with needles and makes them drink horrid-tasting medicines. Robin is a member of the Apocalypsies 2012 Debut Author group, as well as the Class of 2K12 and SCBWI. She lives on the Gulf Coast with her husband, one teenager, and two goofy mastiffs. She likes playing video games and watching Jane Austen movies.
So, The Gathering Storm left off in a place where anything could happen. In one sentence, what’s the story of The Unfailing Light?
Forced to return to Smolni and trapped behind a spell where she can no longer communicate with George Alexandrovich, Katiya tries to protect her schoolmates from a dangerous ghost.
What inspired this series?
I’ve always loved supernatural stories and I always loved Russian fairy tales. And I’ve always been fascinated with Romanov history. Picking one generation of Romanovs to write about was the hardest part of my research. There were so many interesting time periods to choose from. But I think the late nineteenth century, the Russian Silver Age, is my favorite period- the age of Tchaikovsky and Faberge.
When I read The Gathering Storm, I was floored by the amount of mythology in the book. What was your research process for these books like?
There was lots of research involved! I decided to create a LibraryThing account just for the Russian history I was researching. A lot of the original plot had to be revised as I dug deeper into research and discovered more about the members of the Russian aristocracy. I exchanged emails with a history professor in Germany for information on 19th century medical schools. And I dream of visiting Russia someday- once I learn to speak Russian!
Briefly, what was your path to publication like?
I think I took the scenic route! It took four YA manuscripts, two agents, and almost five years from the day I decided to start writing for young adults to the day my editor at Random House bought The Gathering Storm.
Okay, I know you can’t be writing all the time. What other kind of adventures do you get up to?
I love to play video games when I’m not on a deadline. I was so excited about Guild Wars 2- I made a character named Katiya who is a necromancer!
I understand that you’re also a pediatric nurse. How do you balance that important job with your writing? Have you ever had stories come out of it?
I am a nurse, but have a really great schedule. I work weekend nights, and then I’m off all week. I can write in an empty house all day long while the family is at school or work. If only the dogs could go to school or work, then I’d have a completely quiet house all to myself. I did write a short piece one year for Blog Like It’s the End of the World based on those long nights at the hospital!
What kind of books do you read? Any favorite titles you think anyone should read?
I love to recommend favorite books to people. I’ve gotten a lot of my fellow nurses hooked on reading YA fiction with my locker stuffed full of books. They call it my library. See some of my recommendations below!
After reading your books, I really got excited about necromancy and this Russian mythology. What are some related books you could recommend while we wait for your next installment?
If necromancy is your thing, Lish McBride’s Hold Me Closer Necromancer is hilarious. And the sequel, Necromancing the Stone, was just released this week!
If you like reading about hot undead guys, Lia Habel’s Dearly Departed is swoon-worthy. And its sequel, Dearly Beloved comes out September 25.
If you love Russian mythology, you’ll love Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone! [Side note – Check out My Life is a Notebook’s review of that HERE]
Does The Gathering Storm or The Unfailing Light have a soundtrack? Or do you prefer to write in silence?
I listened to mostly classical Russian composers while writing the Katerina books: Tchaikovsky, Glinka, Borodin. I also found some gypsy love songs that were popular in the nineteenth century, like “Chrysanthemums” and “Dark Eyes”. And there’s the hauntingly beautiful orthodox chant, “Unfailing Light”.
That’s right! The awesome folks over at Random House have offered to sponser a giveaway of a copy of The Unfailing Light for you guys! All you have to do is fill out some slots in the Rafflecopter HERE. Please note the giveaway is US only and ends at 11:59 PM on October 19th.