Welcome to the Last List Blog Hop where we are celebrating The Last List authors. Egmont recently closed its doors. But the community has banded together beautifully to support the authors. Today, Cuddlebuggery is hosting author Sarah McGuire for her Middle Grade fantasy, Valiant.
Valiant Q&A with Sarah McGuire
What was the best part about writing a Middle Grade Fantasy?
I think once I’d figured out who Saville was, the best part of a fantasy/retelling was figuring out the world this story belongs to- because the events of the fairy tale have to make sense within the retelling. So I really enjoyed figuring out the kind of world in which giants existed? Why is it that they can be tricked so easily? Why would a girl challenge two giants? And what sort of king offers to have his sister marry the champion as soon as he hears someone has bested the giants? That’s the fun part: exploring those questions, and spinning a story around the answers I discover,
What was the hardest?
The cursing! Or lack thereof, rather. I’d written what I thought was a YA novel. My editor thought that because it was fantasy and because it was pretty clean, we could tip it toward the MG market– and I see the wisdom in that. There weren’t any really graphic scenes, so the main issue I had to address was some cursing. In most places, I could easily find something else. But there were a few places (one in particular) where a different term or a euphemism just wouldn’t work. But that takes us back to another upside of fantasy: you can make up your own curse words. And that was exactly what I did, after modifying words I found after some very interesting web searches. 🙂
Can you actually sew?
I can! I can follow a pattern and sew a fairly decent dress or shirt. I can cut patterns from fabric with nap like velvet (there’s a trick) or set a sleeve or collar and work with lining.
What I CANNOT do is tailor. I’m not good at adjusting a pattern to fit someone’s body. And I certainly couldn’t create a pattern to begin with.
What was the best thing about writing Saville?
You know when you wake up in the night and three hours AFTER the fact realize what you should have said in a certain conversation? That’s me. But f the most part, Saville says what she needs to say the first time. It’s a trait I admire AND it makes for fun dialog, which I love to write. I also loved how Saville just went for something if she decided it was what she needed to do.
Reggen still sings about the champion, the brave tailor. This is the story that is true.
Saville despises the velvets and silks that her father prizes far more than he’s ever loved her. Yet when he’s struck ill she’ll do anything to survive–even dressing as a boy and begging a commission to sew for the king.
But piecing together a fine coat is far simpler than unknotting court gossip about an army of giants, led by a man who cannot be defeated, marching toward Reggen to seize the throne. Saville knows giants are just stories, and no man is immortal.
Then she meets them, two scouts as tall as trees. After she tricks them into leaving, tales of the daring tailor’s triumph quickly spin into impossible feats of giant-slaying. And stories won’t deter the Duke and his larger-than-life army.
Now only a courageous and clever tailor girl can see beyond the rumors to save the kingdom again.
We are pleased to be able to fund a giveaway for Valiant by Sarah McGuire.
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