Today, we are excited to be hosting a stop on the official blog tour for Serpentine by Cindy Pon. We have an exclusive Q&A with Cindy, plus your chance to win a copy of the book. So be sure to keep reading for all the details!
In my debut Silver Phoenix, a beautiful serpent demon disguised in her mortal form tries to lure away one of the characters. She was simply another monster in the novel, and I thought afterward, what if the “monster” had a story? The story of Medusa from Greek mythology has always fascinated me as well, and I wanted to explore the idea of women as “monstrous beauties”.
What will fans of SILVER PHOENIX love about SERPENTINE?
I was inevitably still drawn to gods and demons and cute Asian boys as heroes. I hope they will enjoy that, but also the idea of finding yourself through metamorphosis, the beauty and wonder of nature, as well as the strong female friendship between my heroine Skybright (a handmaid) and her mistress Zhen Ni.
For readers who want to know more about the mythology that inspired SERPENTINE, what resources would you recommend?
Lady White Snake is a Chinese classic that features a serpent demon. I was not aware of this story really until after I had written Serpentine. But I loved that she was written as sympathetic heroine as well, in this classic!
I was a reader before I was a writer, and I’ve always loved stories that transported me to another time or place? Somewhere fantastic and different than anything I had ever known. And fantasy always did that for me, and continues to do so. But despite the fantastic elements of these stories, they are always grounded in the human experience, something I could relate to as a reader, and I hope, something that i convey as a writer.
You’re also the co-founder of Diversity in YA and do a lot of work with We Need Diverse Books. What are some of the successes you’ve seen with these groups, and what work is still ahead?
I think the dialogue for the need to have more inclusive stories has dramatically increased since 2011, when Malinda Lo and I started Diversity in YA. Thanks in very large part to We Need Diverse Books’ efforts and initiatives. I think that it is a long road though. I’ve seen more awareness, but I also continue to see missteps and push back, as well as people in publishing (and readers) who are unaware of the issues at hand. The problem is systemic, so there is no one step solution.
Pen or pencil?
Favorite piece of clothing?
Song you can’t get out of your head right now?
Clean by Taylor Swift.
Most recent vacation?
5 things that are always in your purse?
Tissues, mints, lip balm, wallet, and pen.
SERPENTINE is a sweeping fantasy set in the ancient Kingdom of Xia and inspired by the rich history of Chinese mythology.
Lush with details from Chinese folklore, SERPENTINE tells the coming of age story of Skybright, a young girl who worries about her growing otherness. As she turns sixteen, Skybright notices troubling changes. By day, she is a companion and handmaid to the youngest daughter of a very wealthy family. But nighttime brings with it a darkness that not even daybreak can quell.
When her plight can no longer be denied, Skybright learns that despite a dark destiny, she must struggle to retain her sense of self – even as she falls in love for the first time.
“Vivid worldbuilding, incendiary romance, heart-pounding action, and characters that will win you over–I highly recommend Serpentine.” Cinda Williams Chima, best-selling author of the Seven Realms and Heir Chronicles fantasy novels
“Serpentine is unique and surprising, with a beautifully-drawn fantasy world that sucked me right in! I love Skybright’s transformative power, and how she learns to take charge of it.” ~Kristin Cashore, NYT Bestseller of the Graceling Realm Series
“Serpentine’s world oozes with lush details and rich lore, and the characters crackle with life. This is one story that you’ll want to lose yourself in.” ~ Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of Legend and The Young Elites
In stores September 8th.
Cindy Pon is the author of Silver Phoenix (Greenwillow, 2009), which was named one of the Top Ten Fantasy and Science Fiction Books for Youth by the American Library Association’s Booklist, and one of 2009′s best Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror by VOYA. The sequel to Silver Phoenix, titled Fury of the Phoenix, was released in April 2011. Serpentine, the first title in her next Xia duology, will be published by Month9Books in September 2015. She is the co-founder of Diversity in YA with Malinda Lo and on the advisory board of We Need Diverse Books. Cindy is also a Chinese brush painting student of over a decade. Visit her website at www.cindypon.com.
1 winner will receive a signed hardcover of SERPENTINE and brush art painting card. US Only.
3 winners will receive a signed paperback of SERPENTINE and brush art painting card. US Only.
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