I’m thrilled to be hosting Marianne de Pierres on the blog today, as part of Aussie Author Month in August. Marianne is the author of YA series The Night Creatures, and she’s here to talk about the first two books in the series!
Q: ‘Burn Bright‘ is a gritty and exotic dystopian that takes place in the seductive world of Ixion. I like to think of Ixion as a twisted, nocturnal sort of theme park! How did Ixion reveal itself to you and how did you come up with each of its elements – such as the churches and car/rail system, which makes it such a unique destination?
The idea of the crater island came from listening to friend talk, years ago, about her visit to the Greek Islands. They sounded so amazing and I never forgot her descriptions.
The cable kars were kind of a necessity because I didn’t want any roads on Ixion, and the ever-night came from my fascination with how creatures survive in the dark. It was really a mish-mash of ideas that got hold of me and wouldn’t let go.
The churches were an echo of my visit to Europe as a thirteen year old. Aaaaahâ€¦. Rome!
Q: Our heroine, Retra, undergoes a major transformation through the events of ‘Burn Bright‘. Was writing the second half of her story like discovering a new lead character altogether? I know as a reader that my experience through her eyes definitely changed!
Yes, it was. I wasnâ€™t sure how quickly or entirely she would change, so it was just as much a discovery for me as for the reader. Sometimes she frustrated me, and other times she surprised me with her courage and decisions.
Q: You’re given a free pass for a few nights/days in Ixion! How would you spend your time there and what would be your purpose for going?
I would dance at every single club and explore the Grotto! And I would definitely be on the look-out for Lenoir.
Q: As an Australian YA author, do you find generating interest in your books is more difficult than it would be in the US? And how can readers not native to Australia get their hands on a copy of ‘Burn Bright‘? (Note: I’ve had a lot of people ask me!)
Australia simply doesnâ€™t have the population to sustain a large reading market compared to North America. In that sense, an Australian authorâ€™s readership is always going to be smaller. But word of mouth is a hugely helpful thing, and many overseas readers are hearing about the book online.
At this point in time, you can buy Burn Bright from Fishpond , Dymocks, Booktopia or any number of specialty stores (Galaxy Bookshop, Kinokuniya etc) and they will ship it to you. Unfortunately the postage cost is considerable.
However, the book is out with some US publishers as we speak, and I hope to be able to report that one of them will be buying it and publishing it in the US soon. We have sold translation right to Turkey as well. If you are keen to see this book in your country then I urge you to talk about it on your social media sites. There is absolutely NO substitute for readers making noise, and demanding what they want. Please feel free to join the Burn Bright Facebook page as well.
Some readers are blog-touring the book, for which I am very grateful, so keep an eye out for those as well!
Q: The second book in the series, ‘Angel Arias‘ comes out in November. Can you give us a taste of what we can expect as Retra/Naif and her friends delve deeper into the history and purpose of Ixion?
Firstly, you can listen to the back cover blurb being read by one of my YA
staff, Belinda Hamilton, here: Youtube
But I will add that Angel Arias further develops Markesâ€™s character and his relationship with NaÃ¯f, and we learn a lot more about Ruzalia, the pirate. Naif also returns to Grave and has to evade capture while she is there. Angel Arias is creepy and sad and exciting and beautiful.