venerdì 30 marzo 2018

Interview - Alwyn Hamilton Answers My Questions!! [english version]

Are you a fan of the "Rebel Of The Sands" series? YES? You are in the right place because I had the big opportunity to ask Alwyn Hamilton all of my questions (and my readers questions). NO? You should read the interview and after that you MUST read her books. Some of the questions were suggested by Gabriella, a really sweet girl who I follow in Youtube, here is her channel.

Alwyn Hamilton is a Canadian author. She is known for her bestselling young adult book Rebel of the Sands. Rebel of the Sands is Hamilton's debut novel and she is planning to write two more books for the trilogy. The book is written for young adults and is part of the fantasy genre. In Rebel, Amani leaves her hometown, Dustwalk,and travels through a magical countryside to reach the fictional nation of Miraji, in order to avoid an arranged marriage to her uncle.

Publishers Weekly wrote that "Hamilton successfully mingles romance with thrilling stakes, and hints at a welcome sequel."

Rebel made YALSA's nominations for the Teen's Top 10 list in 2017.

Traitor to the Throne, the sequel to Rebel of the Sands, continues to follow the story of Amaini, who happens to be half-Djinn and have elemental powers. The Deseret News wrote that Rebel "was good, but this second book is far and away better."

Film rights to Rebel have been bought by Willow Smith in 2017. Smith will lead the film's project and says of Rebel, "The nonphysical, creative and, wild nature of a female heroine’s journey calls for a unique narrative structure that permeates the very foundation of the story."

1- Before we get into the interview, we would like to know you a bit better. Who is Alwyn Hamilton?

I think my twitter says it best. Author. Easily Distracted. Reckless enthusiast. ;-)

2- What feeling did you get when you finished writing your first story?

I wish I could say accomplished but I think it was mostly frustration, because even though I had finished it, the only thing I could think of was how much work there was left to do to make it even remotely good. Looking back, I should have been less hard on myself. But when it’s your first book, you’re sure that’s “the one”.

3- Where have you found the inspiration to write such an original story in such a peculiar setting considering that many young adult writers do not use the desert?

A big part of it was certainly because of the inspiration for the book being Westerns and 1001 Nights, both of which have desert elements. But I also like a setting that has some built in drama and danger. A setting that could kill you. And I have always been drawn to desert settings for that reason.

4- Did you do any research before writing the “Rebel of the Sands” series?

I did! One of my favorite pieces of research to do was reading books of wonderful folktales, especially those translated by Amina Shah, and soaking up the lore.  It was fantastic inspiration.

5- We found that your characters have particular names, as the setting requires. How do you select the names of your characters?

A lot of them are chosen because they have a particular meaning. “Behind the name” is my website of choice for name meanings.

Amani means ‘wishes’, which ties in to both her parentage and her desperate desire to get out of Dustwalk.
Ahmed means ‘more commendable’ and he is the moral compass of the series, and it is a frequent name for rulers, so it suited him as a Prince.

Shazad’s name is deliberately picked to be both a derivation of a traditionally male name (Shahzad) and to be reminiscent of Scheherazade’s name, as a nod to the 1001 nights.

6- Amani is a really strong and brave heroine. Why have you decided to write about such a strong girl and not about one who needs to be saved? 

One of my favorite books growing up, was certain the Alanna series, by Tamora Pierce. Ever since then I have been drawn to girls who kick some serious butt. I think it was inevitable that I should write the sort of Heroine I love to read about.

7- If you have to choose, who is your favorite character?


8- Have you ever created a character who looks like you?

Not in the REBEL series, because physically all the characters in those books are dark skinned and I am not. And not personality-wise because frankly I know I wouldn’t survive the rebellion. But I am currently working on a new book and there is definitely more resemblance there, both physically and in terms of their personalities. 

9- Did you find any difficulties in writing some scenes? Why?

There’s always moments of block. Usually it’s because the scene is too vague in my mind, not yet grounded. A typical example of this would be the first conversation between Amani and Shira in TRAITOR TO THE THRONE. I knew they had to talk and what they needed to discuss, but I kept writing and rewriting the scene and it kept not working. And I realized it was because it wasn’t grounded anywhere firm, and lacked tension. I turned to research here, a book I had about life in the Harem. There I found an account of the Sultan playing games that involved throwing precious jewels in the baths and making the women dive for this. I loved this image, and this became the backdrop for the conversation, and it worked!

10- What did you enjoy most about writing these books?

For me, there’s nothing more satisfying then when you get a missing piece of the puzzle to a book. You figure out a plot twist, a character backstory, and suddenly something that wasn’t working clicks.

11- Have you started a new writing project?

I have! I can’t say much about it yet, but it’s still YA, and still Fantasy. 

12- Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

General advice is not to read your book reviews, so I try to stay away from them. Once the book is out of my hands, I can’t control anything about it anymore, so I need to focus on the new book.

13- If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

My father always likes to say if you’re happy where you wound up don’t question the road that got you there. Sure you can always say “I could have done this” “I wish I had done this earlier” but that one little change could change everything, and derail my whole career. So I probably wouldn’t do anything differently.

14- What is one thing that you would give up to become a better writer?

Not better, but more prolific/quicker: YouTube

15- If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Be Patient. It will happen when you’re ready.

16- If you had to set off for a journey and you can take with you only one book, which one would it be? Why?

Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine. Because I read it 100 times as a child and if I didn’t get sick of it then, I probably won’t be sick of it now.

17- A quick message for the Italian readers. 

Grazie per aver letto! 

Thanks for reading my job and soon you will read the italian version.
Leave a comment below if you liked the interview.

marzo 30, 2018 / by / 0 Comments

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