Have you read Defy by Sara B. Larson yet? Well if you haven’t, I definitely recommend you bumping it up on your Goodreads TBR list soon! And if you haven’t seen my review of Defy yet, you can check it out here. I loved so many elements to this book and I cannot wait to read the sequel! I love Alexa and all of the rest of the characters and I hope to see much more of them in the years to come. Meanwhile, I’m thrilled to be hosting the fabulous author of Defy here today!
1) DEFY is a fantasy book about a girl named Alexa who pretends to be a boy in order to save herself from a terrible fate. As a fighter in the prince’s guard, she is unmatched in her power–but when Prince Damian, Alexa’s friend and fellow guard, Rylan, and Alexa are kidnapped–Alexa finds that she has to worry about a lot more than survival, magic and the jungle around her. What inspired you to write DEFY? Who or what was your biggest influence in writing this book?
DEFY came from a very difficult period in my life, when I lost someone I loved. I was so upset by his death that I couldn’t write anything, but a friend of mine told me to stop trying to write a book and just write what I was feeling. So that’s exactly what I did. When I wrote that first scene I didn’t really have a plan for it to go anywhere, but the characters wouldn’t leave me alone so I set out to discover who they were and how they ended up where they were. When I finally figured out that one of them was keeping a major secret from me, the plot suddenly clicked into place and the rest of the book flew out of me. (I finished writing it 2 weeks after I figured out that one, integral secret.) Even though it came from a place of grief, the story really took on its own life. It became a story of survival and moving forward, a story of what true courage and strength is, and a story about love and hope (even in the most desperate of situations) and risking everything for the chance of a better future.
2) So, if you were in Alexa’s position, would you rather be with Damian or Rylan?
Nice try, but I’m not going to answer that one. I will say that I love both of them for different reasons.
3) Was there a deeper lesson to this book that you wanted to convey?
I didn’t consciously set out to teach a lesson with this book, I simply wrote the story that came to me as I learned who Alexa was and this world she lived in. However, I ended up learning lessons from her and the other characters. I learned to never give up, even when it seems all hope is lost. I learned that no matter how much you might be hurting inside, you have to carry on and hold on to hope. And ultimately I learned that true beauty is what lies inside of us, not what the world sees.
4) This is your first novel, what’s the publishing process been like for you?
It’s my first published novel, yes. But I’ve been writing my whole life—it’s just always been a part of who I am. The process of actually getting published has been quite wonderful, actually. Sure, sometimes you have hard and fast deadlines that you have to work to meet. But I’ve been giving myself difficult deadlines for years, knowing that it would prepare me for the day when they were real. I’m glad I did, because it worked! And to see my story turned into an actual book—to see the cover, to hold it in my hands…I can’t even describe how happy that makes me.
5) DEFY is written through the POV and narration of Alexa. Will you continue to do so or switch it up a little bit in the next few books?
It will remain in her POV. However, there might be a snippet or two from someone else. We’ll see.
6) Do you have anything in common with Alexa?
We are both very stubborn and determined. I, like Alexa, refuse to give up on my goals, no matter how impossible they might seem.
7) What is your favorite part about being a published author?
I’ve only been officially published for a short time, so this may change. But right now it would be a tie between actually holding my book in my hands, and getting the messages, tweets, and comments from readers who have absolutely loved my book. There’s no greater feeling than knowing your story made a positive impact on someone else’s life.
8) Are you easily kidnapped?
Ha! I would like to think I’m not. I’m pretty feisty, and I do work out so I can throw a mean punch if necessary.
Thanks so much to Sara B. Larson for doing this interview! I loved reading DEFY and I hope to keep up with it in the future.