Hey, everyone. Melissa here, and I'm CRAZY psyched to welcome New York Times bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima to the blog to celebrate the release of THE CRIMSON CROWN, the final installment in her Seven Realms series. I've been biting my nails for a year in anticipation of this book!
So without further ado, let's jump right in!
Melissa: Thanks so much for joining us today, Cinda! We’re huge fans, but for our readers who aren’t familiar with the Seven Realms series, can you tell us a little bit about the main story arc?
Cinda: I’m terrible with taglines, but my best shot for The Seven Realms is, “A thief turned wizard and a rebellious princess join forces to defeat wizards behaving badly.” Alternatively, the Seven Realms series is a redo of a disastrous love affair between a queen and a wizard a thousand years ago—one that nearly destroyed the world.
Melissa: I'd say that sums it up nicely. This is the last book in a series you’ve spent many years crafting. How do you feel about typing THE END? Is this a happy goodbye, or do you already miss the characters?
Cinda: It’s always difficult to say goodbye to characters, but I’m pleased with where they ended up. And because the Seven Realms is kind of a prequel to an adult fantasy series I wrote (unpublished) I know what lies ahead for them.
Melissa: Your world-building is impeccable. Where did you draw inspiration for the Seven Realms?
Cinda: As mentioned above, I created the Seven Realms for The Star-Marked Warder, an adult high fantasy series that I began writing several years ago and never finished. Consequently, I had already spent a lot of time in that world before I began writing the current series. I knew it really well, and I think that shows on the page. I think the key to developing vivid fantasy worlds is to incorporate details from the real world. Because the Fells is a mountainous queendom, I’ve incorporated details from travels in the Canadian Rockies, New Zealand, and other places.
I was originally inspired by George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series. I was impressed with the fact that the stories were all about people—the magical element was just an additional source of conflict.
Melissa: Complete this sentence: It love it when readers…
Cinda: tell me that my books are what drew them into pleasure reading. The notion of going through life without books is horrifying to me.
Melissa: That makes two of us! Now that you’ve concluded the Seven Realms series, what’s next for you?
Cinda: I’m writing two more books in the Heir Chronicles series, a contemporary fantasy series that began with The Warrior Heir. The next book is tentatively titled, The Enchanter Heir.
Melissa: Thanks again for visiting. It's always a pleasure! For those of you who haven't already ordered your copy of THE CRIMSON CROWN, here are some handy-dandy links for you. And Cincinnati-area residents, don't forget that Cinda will be signing and selling at the Books by the Banks festival on Saturday, October 20th.
BARNES & NOBLE AMAZON INDIE BOUND BOOKS A MILLION
New York Times bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima began writing romance novels in middle school, which were often confiscated by her teachers. Her Heir Chronicles young adult contemporary fantasy series includes The Warrior Heir (2006), The Wizard Heir (2007), and The Dragon Heir (2008), all from Hyperion, with two more books forthcoming.
Chima's YA high fantasy Seven Realms series launched with The Demon King (2009), followed by The Exiled Queen (September, 2010) The Gray Wolf Throne (2011) and The Crimson Crown (2012.)
Chima's books have received starred reviews in Kirkus and VOYA, among others. They have been named Booksense and Indie Next picks, an International Reading Association Young Adult Choice, to the Kirkus Best YA list, and the VOYA Editors' Choice, Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, and Perfect Tens lists.
Chima was a recipient of the 2008 Lit Award for Fiction from the Cleveland Lit and was named a Cleveland Magazine Interesting Person 2009. She lives in Ohio with her family, and is always working on her next novel.