Welcome to my tour stop for A Tangle of Fates by Leslie Ann Moore. This tour runs Feb. 2-13 with reviews, interviews, guest post & excerpts. Check out the tour page for more information.
The fates of three women. The fates of two peoples. The fate of one planet.On Nuetierra, four hundred years have passed since the Great War. A new society has arisen on the ashes of the old.
Deanna Hernaan, daughter of Eduard, the former Alcalde of Nue Bayona, spends her days attending university and caring for her mentally damaged sister, Ceilia. Six years ago, her stepmother Lourdessa deposed her father, and now, as Alcalde, rules the city through patronage and oppression. Deanna remains apolitical, fearing Lourdessa’s power. Threatened by Deanna’s popularity with the common people, the Alcalde arranges for her assassination. Deanna survives, but is cast adrift in a hostile wilderness. She is rescued by a band of diminutive hunters—the Tiqui—members of a slave race she has only read about in history books. The hunters bring Deanna to their village, where she meets the Tiqui chieftess Yellow Bird. A remarkable woman, the ithani possesses the shamanic gift of foresight. Her visions have revealed to her that a young woman of the tall folk would come, one whose fate is inextricably entwined with that of the Tiqui—one who would bring disaster or salvation for all of Nuetierra.
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Leslie Ann Moore was born in Los Angeles, California at the tail-end of the baby boom and fell in love with the works of Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Andre Norton, and J.R.R. Tolkien at an early age. A practicing veterinarian since 1988, Leslie put her dreams of writing fiction aside until she attended the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books in 2000. There, bestselling fantasy author Terry Brooks told her, “Don’t ever give up. Keep writing, no matter what.” Those words changed her life. She published the first volume of her Griffin’s Daughter trilogy in 2012. A Tangle of Fates is the first volume of The Vox Machina trilogy, and will be published by Muse Harbor in August of 2014.
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What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
I wanted to write a story based on a traditional fairy tale, but turn it on its head. In so many fairy tales, the female is passive. She’s there only as a prop for the male hero to rescue. Or, if she is the center of the tale, she’s the victim of manipulative, malign forces, and still ends up needing a male savior. The Vox Machina Trilogy, of which AToF is the first book, takes the story of Snow White and transforms it from a tale of a helpless girl needing rescue by eight men—the seven dwarves, plus the Prince— to one of a strong young woman rising up from the ashes of her former life. She becomes a vital player in the battle to overthrow the repressive regime that enslaves two nations.
I was also inspired by my passion for social justice. One of the central themes in AToF is a critique of oligarchy and racism. In Nue Bayona, the elites control almost all the resources and the city is ruled by a dictator. My heroine, Deanna, is born into the elite class. Over the course of the story, she has her eyes opened to the inherent unfairness of the system. She is also forced to confront how her own privileged life came at the expense of another people’s suffering. It profoundly affects her and helps to set her feet on the path to becoming instrumental in social change.
Who is your favorite character in the book?
I don’t play favorites with my characters. They are all my children. I love each one of them equally, even the villains. If I might change the question slightly, the character I’m most proud of because of the sheer level of personal growth he must undergo is Zander. When he is first introduced in the book, he is little more than a street kid trying to figure out if he has the courage to belong to something bigger than himself. He eventually discovers he has a real moral compass and how having a conscience can be life-threatening.
Which came first, the title or the novel?
The story outline came first. I’d written, maybe a third of the novel before I had a title. My husband and I came up with A Tangle of Fates while having dinner at a restaurant. We were brainstorming, as we often do, about our respective book projects. We get a lot of ideas that way. It’s a great partnership.
What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
This is a tough question! I’m not sure I have one that I’m most proud of, but a scene that does stand out in my mind is the one where Zander learns the truth about Faustin. Without giving away any spoilers, I can say that this scene is pivotal and the repercussions are felt throughout the rest of the series to come. This was one of the hardest scenes to write because it’s essentially just two people in a room talking. And yet, the tension must be near unbearable. What makes it so tense is the horror and unreality that Zander finds himself immersed in, and he realizes he has no defense. I think I took a month to get it right!
Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?
I recognize the absolute necessity of working with a great editor. I can’t stress that enough. Every newbie writer has an inflated sense of his or her greatness. I was no exception. We all believe we’ve created something amazing, the best first novel or short story ever written. Perfect in every way and we know this because our moms, our dads, our friends, all tell us so. Not so! Writing is a craft. It takes years to become good at it. No first draft, not even of a Pulitzer Prize winning book, was publishable before it went through a professional edit. An editor’s job is to find problems in a manuscript and help guide the author to solutions. A great editor will bring out the very best in an author’s work. I had the great fortune to work with a fantastic editor for Tangle. I wish I’d met him years ago when I was working on my first novel Griffin’s Daughter.
What do you like most about the cover of the book?
By the time this interview is seen, there will be a new cover. I was not happy with the original cover commissioned by my publisher. The artwork was very good, as was the design; however, I felt that it didn’t capture the true essence of the book as I saw it. It didn’t move me. So, my husband and I commissioned our own cover by another artist of our choosing. We approached my publisher with our artwork and proposed that the two covers be put up for a public vote. The winner would become the official cover. We were very fortunate in that my publisher agreed. We put both covers up on FB and by an overwhelming margin, the new artwork won. This new cover is dynamic, where the old was static; colorful where the old was monochromatic, and it illustrates a scene from the book which the old one did not. This sort of thing is not typical at all and wouldn’t have happened if I’d been with one of the big NY publishers. Authors with the Big Five get zero say about their covers.If a cover is lousy, too bad. You’re stuck with it.
What was your favorite book in 2015 2014?
I don’t have nearly as much time for pleasure reading as I used to, so I get to very few books in a year, maybe only three or four. I’ll have to say my favorite was Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin. I love Martin’s style and his storytelling is excellent. Plus, I’m a huge fan of the Game of Thrones TV show. Another wonderful book I read in 2014 is Blood Line by Lynn Ward. Lynn is a writer who is every bit as talented as Martin but still labors in obscurity. She deserves to be famous.
What’s up next for you?
I’m hard at work on the next book in the series. So far, I don’t have a title, but it’ll come when the time is right. It picks up right where Tangle left off, and I mean the very next minute! I’m also working on a screenplay with my husband and a friend of ours. It’s an old-fashioned noir detective story but with a crazy twist we think people will really like.
Is there anything that you would like to add?
Yes. My biggest wish is to be able to share my stories with as many people as possible. If I can make a connection with another person through one of my books, then I will count myself a success.
FB. Author Page www.facebook.com/leslie.ann.moore8
FB Profile www.facebook.com/leslieann.moore.7
This event was organized by
CBB Book Promotions.
CBB Book Promotions.