Summer of Series: Melinda Salisbury Interview & Giveaway


Melinda Salisbury's debut novel entitled The Sin Eater's Daughter absolutely rocked my socks off. I adored it, and I am so excited to have her here on the blog to talk about her works!

The Sin Eater's Daughter
first in The Sin Eater's Daughter series
Published February 24, 2015 by Scholastic
Add to Goodreads
I am the perfect weapon.
I kill with a single touch.

Twylla is blessed. The Gods have chosen her to marry a prince, and rule the kingdom. But the favour of the Gods has it's price. A deadly poison infuses her skin. Those who anger the queen must die under Twylla's fatal touch.

Only Lief, an outspoken new guard, can see past Twylla's chilling role to the girls she truly is.

Yet in a court as dangerous and the queen's, some truths should not be told...
Describe The Sin Eater's Daughter in a tweet! 140 characters or less. No cheating or the Twitter Gods are going to get you.
Executioner of traitors. Betrothed of a Prince. Embodiment of a Goddess. Puppet of mad queen. Take away her duty and what does Twylla have?

What has been your favorite part of writing The Sin Eater's Daughter?
It changes every time I begin a new part! So, at first, it was the original writing: the world building, and getting to know the characters. I loved seeing it all develop, seeing the pencil sketches from my head become full-colour versions, and start to breathe and live on their own. Then I started editing, and I loved teasing out all of the little parts and playing with the scenarios and expanding on what was there. But now I love the marketing side of things, and getting to do events, and interviews, and meeting people who like the book. I’m quite fickle, every time I begin a new part I fall in love with it.

Did you always plan for The Sin Eater's Daughter to be a series? How did it take shape in your mind? In other words, what was your inspiration?
Yes, though originally I planned it over four books, not three. I realised as I started writing that it would work better as a trilogy, so I began to factor that into the writing. The whole story arc has a definitive beginning, middle and end, and that naturally lends itself more to a trilogy. Though I have written short stories, based in and around the world, and maybe one day readers might get to see them too.

As for how it took shape, I knew I wanted to write the story with different kinds of characters to the ones we often see. I wanted characters who had real flaws – not the shiny, almost desirable flaws we see so often – I wanted characters who were cowards, and na├»ve, and selfish, and cruel, without being the “baddies”. I wanted characters who didn’t always have the perfect comeback, and were insecure and frightened and weak. Mostly, I wanted to show that there are different ways to be brave, and to be strong. Sometimes being brave means picking up a sword and fighting, but sometimes the bravest thing a person can do is keep their head down and just survive. Sometimes being brave means bending under a great weight and not snapping, just making it through another day. It’s not often represented, but it should be.

There seems to be this horrible tendency to blame victims for not getting themselves out of terrible situations, and I decided to confront that, and to show what it’s like to live in an environment of terror and how much it takes, and costs, to try and confront that and escape it. It all started with Twylla, this young woman who has been emotionally abused, and manipulated her entire life, and it went from there, introducing a lot of darkness and cruelty, but also hope, along the way. Her situation and the life I envisioned for her naturally lent itself to the kinds of deeper social issues I wanted to explore.

The entire world is currently anticipating the release of book 2. Can you tell us anything about it?!
I can tell you that it’s set in Tregellan, and is based around a new character, and their life and the challenges they face in the aftermath of The Sin Eater’s Daughter. There is more danger, more treachery, and more death; we’ve said goodbye to some characters and we’ll say hello to some other new ones. It’s always been an uncertain world, and it continues to be so. What happened in The Sin Eater’s Daughter set off a chain of events that reaches far across the realm, and things are changing for everyone.

What is the most interesting thing you have Googled in the name of research?
Sin Eating itself. Before I knew I was going to use it in a book, I couldn’t stop looking it up. It’s so creepy and fascinating and archaic. It’s so strange to me, the whole concept of the absolution of soul, because another soul has taken on that sin. I don’t think I’ll ever stop being fascinated with it. 

What is one series you would recommend to readers? 
Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy. I love it so, so much. I’ve re-read all three books multiple times. I love the world, and the darkness, and the horror, and the hope. It’s like nothing I’ve ever read before, so deep and complex but without delving into the unrealistic – all of the characters are genuinely flawed, not just in the nice, acceptable way. People make bad decisions and really suffer for them, there are no easy answers, no convenient hidden destinies that explain everything. It’s so believable, and palpable. AND THE BOYS. Bring me the Darkling! Let me snuggle with Mal. GIVE ME NIKOLAI LANTSOV AND LET HIM LOVE ME FOREVER. They’re swoony and magical and always, always a pleasure to re-read. I’m so excited for Six of Crows I feel almost sick about it.

Thor, Iron Man, or Captain America? GO!
Thor. Because he’s an Asgardian dreamcake of a man. And he’s Loki’s brother.

Bear with me…

So I’ve been set up on a date with Thor, and we’re getting along like a house on fire, but none of the sparks are romantic. We’re both eating and drinking like Vikings after an incredibly successful raid; big booming belly laughs and a lot of joshing. We’re having a fun evening and we both know we’re going to be great friends (and eat a lot together) from this moment on. Halfway through the meal, he goes off to the bathroom, and when he comes back, he suggests we leave and go somewhere else. I agree, and we go.

PLOT TWIST:

Bored, Loki was spying on his brother and saw us having a good time, wrongly assuming it meant love was in the air. Deciding to play a (pretty mean) trick (Classic Loki) he shifted in Thor’s form and persuaded me to leave the restaurant with him, hoping to make it seem as though I’d ran off. Loki’s plan is to have some drinks, flirt with me, then tell me he (as Thor) isn’t interested and it was all a joke to him. But to his amazement, he starts to have a good time, because as well as being good at eating and belly laughs, I’m also sharp-witted, wry, and more-than-a-little-mischievous myself. We drink ridiculously coloured cocktails at a terribly pretentious bar, making up increasingly dramatic and weird stories about the patrons.

When the death stares at our glee become too much, we leave and dare each other to go urban exploring, breaking into a conveniently nearby old abandoned hospital, and spend a couple of hours exploring and chatting and I realise I like this strange, mercurial man, who was so jolly in the brightly lit restaurant, but alluringly sly and wicked in the shadows of the dark hospital corridors. Things take a turn when we narrowly escape getting caught trespassing by the police, and have to hide. Crammed in an old utility closet, we’re pressed chest to chest, trying to slow our breathing, praying the police don’t catch us.

When we stumble out of the closet, things are weirdly charged, changed, and we’re both silent. He walks me home, and leaves abruptly.

Until I check my phone and see all of the messages from Thor, angry, then worried. I call him and we realise it was Loki. Then I’m angry, and confused, because I liked him, but what he did was mean, in a lot of ways. When the door knocks I expect it to be Thor, also angry, and probably hungry (hangry) and I grab my jacket, ready to go get some food and rant about his brother.

It’s Loki, in his own form. And he’s sorry. I don’t want to talk, but he begs. From behind his back he pulls a paper bag, and I can smell the chicken wings inside it.

The sneaky little…

I step outside and he hands me the bag. I eat in silence as he apologises, over and over. Finally, when I’ve sucked the bones clean, I tell him he can never do anything like that to me again, even in fun, because it’s playing jokes is cool, but playing with feelings is bad form. He agrees, then asks if he can take me out properly the next night. I say yes.

Five years later we’re married, and we’re ruling the entire galaxy because we are boss level. And he never did trick me again.

That I know of.

Side note from Lili: THIS ANSWER JUST BLOWS MY FREAKING MIND! YEEESSSS!!!!
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Meet the author!


Website | Twitter
Melinda Salisbury lives by the sea, somewhere in the south of England. As a child she genuinely thought Roald Dahl’s Matilda was her biography, in part helped by her grandfather often mistakenly calling her Matilda, and the local library having a pretty cavalier attitude to the books she borrowed. Sadly she never manifested telekinetic powers. She likes to travel, and have adventures. She also likes medieval castles, non-medieval aquariums, Richard III, and all things Scandinavian. The Sin Eater’s Daughter is her first novel, and will be published by Scholastic in 2015. She is represented by the amazing Claire Wilson at Rogers, Coleridge and White.

She tweets. A lot.

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Giveaway!

Melinda is so amazing! She is giving away a signed hardcover of The Sin Eater's Daughter US edition hardcover.

All entrants must be 13 years or older and this giveaway is internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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It is not too late to join the fun as we celebrate our favorite series and welcome new ones! Sign up for Summer of Series and knock down that TBR! 

And, of course, be sure to stop by Danielle's blog! The amazing goddess, I mean author, Jodi Meadows is over there talking about all things fantastastical with her awesome books.

9 comments:

  1. this looks and sounds fantastic!! thanks for sharing!

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  2. The best part about this interview was "plot twist", hilarious! :D
    Thanks for the giveaway! :)
    Messed up my Goodreads entry, so here's the correct one - https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1308370717

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    1. It is seriously the best part of this interview! I die every time! <3

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  3. oh. my. god her short story about Thor and Loki might be the best answer I have ever read to any interview question ever. EVER. Melinda is my new hero.

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    1. Exactly what I said when she emailed me her responses!

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  4. I loved the story about Loki; so original and funny!

    Thanks for the great interview and the giveaway.

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  5. How in the world could I possibly say anything other than the Thor/Loki story? I would be crazy if I did, even though the rest of the interview was brilliant. I mean, I have to sit and think about her dreams and her imagination to come up with this brilliant answer to a very easy, one word answer question! Makes me want to read this awesome book with the best cover ever RIGHT NOW

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