Skip to main content

The Ruby Prince Blog Tour—Interview with Beth Brower + Giveaway!

I'm so pleased to be welcoming Beth Brower to the blog as part of The Ruby Prince Blog Tour in honor of today's release of her second novelThe Ruby Princebook two in her fantasy trilogy the Books of Imirillia. We're also celebrating with a giveaway of a brand spanking new paperback copy The Ruby Prince. If you haven't had a chance to start the series yet, run don't walk to secure yourself a copy of the first book in the series The Queen's Gambit and then drop your name in the hat for the second book while you're here! I did highlight the cover of the first book awhile back, but I think we can all agree to take a moment and admire the beauty that is these gorgeous covers. I swoon.

So you've published your first book and your second just released today (Yay!). What was it like holding copies of your very first published books in your hands?

I remember standing in the grade school library and finding the place that my books would be someday. I did the same thing in junior high, and high school, and in all the bookstores I would enter. In equal measure, I would imagine the first day I would hold a galley of my own book. It was usually sunny, and green, and perfect. When the day finally came, I had been quite ill for several months and all my energy had gone toward getting Queen’s Gambit ready. I was so tired that I gripped my book between my hands, drove to my oldest sister’s house, walked through her front door and into her arms, and cried on her shoulder. The sweetest of memories.

I've always felt that names hold power. And I am always curious how an author goes about naming her characters, her place names, the bones of her world. Can you tell us a bit about how the names in the Books of Imirillia came to you?

Yes! Names! Oh, how I love names.
The actual name of the country of Aemogen is a tilted variation on Imogen, a name derived from the Gaelic Inghean. I wanted the feel and history of that name, painted with a different vowel sound to create the feeling of the country it represented. As for the characters, their names were already set. The names came with the characters. Eleanor was always Eleanor, an old name, a name of beauty and courage. I knew Crispin’s name as soon as he walked into the room. And so went the rest. The only exception, the one name I crafted, was for the silent Queen’s Own, Hastian. His name is a derivative of my younger brother’s name, and the affection I have for my brother was carried into the treasured companionship of the quiet soldier.
The names of Imirillia wrote themselves out in a different way. I spent time looking at words in Persian or Arabic while listening for the names of the characters and places. The sounds in the name of Zarbadast were drawn from two different words meaning power. Prince Basaal’s name came in a similar fashion. Others were just the names I heard as I spent time in the palaces of Zarbadast. For example, Ammar was Ammar, for no particular reason, and he wasn’t going to discuss it with me.
An interesting note is that the names in the Aemogen language often find their emphasis on the first syllable, as in Edythe. Whereas, in Imirillia, the emphasis falls most often on the second syllable, as in Basaal. If one is to take up a study of ancient Imirillian, that should be remembered.

I am in love with the map for The Ruby Prince. You created this yourself, yes? What was that process like?

I did draw the maps, both for The Queen’s Gambit and The Ruby Prince! One cold morning I grabbed some beautiful watercolor paper, a large artist’s clipboard, and curled up in my bed, drawing out the landscape of Aemogen and Imirillia. I drew the maps in detail, and then turned them over to my dear friend, the artist Phillip Jackson. He inked over my pencil lines with beautiful precision. There is something incomparably charming about watching someone dip their pen into a bottle of deep black ink and draw out the lines of your imagination.


What's one book and/or series you've been gushing about nonstop lately?

Oh dear. Those around me would say I never stop gushing about any book I love. Hmm. Narrowing it down? Eeee. I have been anxiously awaiting The Rose & the Dagger. I loved meeting those characters last year. Just. Loved.

And, just for fun, what's the first word that comes to mind when I say:

Eleanor: Bright
Books: Joy
Wil: Lines
Music: Enchant
Hastian: Heart
Sexy: Accent
Imirillia: Golden
Love: True
Aemogen: Hills
Home: Always

Beth, thank so much for stopping by and giving us a peek into your creative process. You are always welcome.

***

And now for the giveaway! Beth has kindly offered up a paperback copy of The Ruby Prince to one lucky reader. This giveaway is open internationally and will run through Tuesday, April 26th. To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter. Good luck and happy reading!

Comments

You Might Also Like

Review | The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary

All it took was hearing the basic bones of the premise of Beth O'Leary's debut novel The Flatsharefor me to determine I would absolutely be reading it as soon as I possibly could. I was so delighted to be granted access to an advanced reading copy by Flatiron Books. Even better, it became apparent from the moment I read the first few lines that this reading experience would take place in one headlong rush. No significant breaks allowed, let alone required. The Flatshare was published first in the UK and then slightly later here in the U.S. I dithered over which cover to buy as both have much to recommend them, but I finally decided on the U.S. cover (pictured here). I just love the two of them standing on either side of the same door, the tiny heart between the title and author name.

Tiffy is in a massive, massive bind. Out on her ear after breaking up with her exceptionally controlling boyfriend, she needs an inexpensive place to live and she needs it yesterday. Despite her …

In the Beginning, or the First Ten Books I Reviewed on the Blog

Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl
It's been awhile, but this topic was too good to pass up. When I thought about it, I genuinely could not recall which were the first ten books I actually reviewed here on the blog. So then, of course, I had to know. The thing is, I originally started the whole thing simply posting a once a month list of my favorite reads and rereads of the month. That went on for some time until lo and behold I went ahead and wrote and posted my first review on November 9, 2007. In hindsight, I probably should have known exactly which book pushed me over the edge into full fledged reviews. So this was a rather delightful journey back in time. Do you remember the first book you ever reviewed (in any forum) or what made you take the plunge? Here are my first ten (and I have to say, looking at this snapshot from the past, these remain some of my absolute favorite authors and a pretty spot-on array of the genres I read and love tod…

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend me Your Recs

Guys. We are going on a trip―a trip we have been planning for years. And it is finally happening next week! We're going to visit my parents in France, and we are taking the whole gang. Or rather, all three kids but not the dog. Who I am desperately sad about leaving and really hope he doesn't think we've up and given him to another family and proceed to forget all about us. It's just two weeks. But we've never left him that long before, and I am obviously emotional about it. Have I posted pics of Sodapop here before? I'm not sure that I ever have. Here he is on the day we got him: And here he is now in his natural habitat, which is to say in my library on laundry day: Ahem. 
The actual point of this post is to get your reading recs for the trip! I'm completely torn over which physical books to take with me. Yes, I realize most of my reading will be done on my Kindle by necessity, but I always have to have some physical copies with me. For both safety and I…