Today, we’re pleased to be hosting a stop on the official blog tour for The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury. Be sure to read all the way through for a great contest — but first we’ve got an exclusive Q&A with Melinda!
From the description, it sounds like THE SIN-EATER’S DAUGHTER has a lot of excellent fairy tale-like qualities. Where there any fairy tales or stories that inspired the book? How did the story evolve?
Yes! Little Red Riding hood, Sleeping Beauty and the Pied Piper of Hamelin particularly influenced The Sin Eater’s Daughter. I love fairy tales, I’ve always been drawn to them – especially the oldest, darkest ones. Initially I saw The Sin Eater’s Daughter as a kind of re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood, with the castle replacing the forest, and the queen replacing the wolf. But as the world expanded, that motif started to be lost in favour of my own inventions, like the religion and the Telling. The other aspects came because I realized I wanted my world to have its own fairytales – stories are the way people make sense of the world around them, the basis for morals and beliefs, and so I thought about my favourites and what the core messages in them were After a lot of playing around, I pulled out the parts I thought were creepiest and began to build my own stories around those. I find it fascinating that pretty much every culture in the world has their own fairytales and that they are surprisingly similar, despite the geographical distance. To me that shows how fundamental the fears and hopes of humans are, and I wanted to bring that out in my world.
With fantasy, you get to create your own world and your own settings. What inspired the setting for THE SIN-EATER’S DAUGHTER?
A lot of the ideas came from my two big loves, medieval history and travel. I knew it would be set in a pseudo-medieval time because I love that era, everything about it appeals to me, the hold religion had over the people, the way a ruler’s word was absolute law, the injustice, the customs, the beliefs, the food. I couldn’t explain why, but that time period has such an allure, and I wanted very much for that to be the base of The Sin Eater’s Daughter. Other elements were pulled in from my travels, particularly to Eastern Europe. There’s such a density of superstition and mythology and folklore, still in parts there today, and as I said above, fairytales have always called to me. So really it was a case of me creating a story I wanted to read!
The UK and US covers for THE SIN-EATER’S DAUGHTER are very similar, but they do have some differences. Do you prefer one over the other? What do you like about the two covers?
I cried like a child when I saw my UK one because I never ever thought I’d get that lucky. I thought I’d used all of my luck up getting an agent and then signing with Scholastic, so seeing the amazing, powerful cover Jamie Gregory had created sent me over the edge. It was largely the same reaction to the US one. I love them both, I couldn’t pick a favourite – it would be like trying to pick a favourite child. I just think it’s the most incredible thing that I have two covers!
Twylla is cursed with a deadly power that leaves her very isolated. What “super power” do you think she’d rather possess?
I think she’d want flight. For her, the concept of being free seems so far away, so unlikely that I think if she was given the chance to change it, she would. I think she’d love to be able to fly, and just takes to the skies when things got too much.
For readers unsure whether they want to read THE SIN-EATER’S DAUGHTER, give us your 140-character “Twitter” pitch!
Twylla is, and has always been, an agent of death. Both feted and hated, she’s painfully lonely. Until her new guard tries to befriend her…
In the kingdom of Lormere Twylla is, and always has been, an agent of death.
Must-have writing snack?
Favorite Disney movie?
The beach or the mountains?
Song that can always get you dancing?
“500 Miles (I Would Walk)”
Name 5 things currently on your desk (or in your writing space)
Pillows, quilt, red furry throw, computer, me.
Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.
She’s the executioner.
As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.
But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.
However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?
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.
Enter to win one of 5 finished copies of THE SIN EATER’S DAUGHTER. US Only.
BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:
- 2/16/2015- Fiktshun– Interview
- 2/17/2015- Katie’s Book Blog– Review
- 2/18/2015- Magical Urban Fantasy Reads– Guest Post
- 2/19/2015- Beauty and the Bookshelf– Review
- 2/20/2015- Novel Novice– Interview