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.
Valiant by Sarah McGuire
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.
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We are pleased to be able to fund a giveaway for Valiant by Sarah McGuire.
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Wow! I’ve been waiting for a reworking of the Brave Little Tailor for some time. Yay! This book sounds like fun.
I love retellings! And Saville sounds a little bit like a YA kick-ass Arya Stark… so, I’m in ♥
Thanks for the giveaway,
Octaviana recently posted…RESEÑA: Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #1) de Mark Lawrence
I love stories with a female heroine who saves the day! Can’t wait to read!
This looks like a fun read! Can’t wait to read it!
looks like it’ll be a cute book
i like the book’s blurb and the cover
thx u 🙂
I adore fairy tale retellings, especially of those less popular ones. So I am super excited about Valiant.
Dragana recently posted…February 2015 – Monthly Rewind
Very interested in middle grade novels based on fairy tales. Can’t wait to read this one!
Jennifer Adams recently posted…Don Quixote Book Launch
I’ve been seeing things about this book around on the internet and it looks really cute! I love fairy tale retellings too and this girl, Saville, looks like she’ll be an awesome character!
Margie aka The Bumble Girl
I’ve been wanting to read this ever since I heard about it! I adore retellings, and this one seems so different than what has been retold lately! Cannot wait to read it 🙂
Thanks for the giveaway!
Saville sounds like a wonderful heroine! VALIANT looks to be great fun and I’m definitely looking forward to a chance to read it.
Becky LeJeune recently posted…Last List Blog Hob: A Q&A with Ilsa J. Bick + a Giveaway
The biggest reason I wanted to read this is because the cover is purple… But also, the story sounds fantastic… but purple.
Angela @ Angela's Library
Ha – I love that the protagonist’s name is Saville! That’s perfect. 🙂 Thanks for hosting this hop, Cuddlebuggery!
Angela @ Angela’s Library recently posted…Last List Blog Hop: Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross
I would love to read this, thanks for the giveaway. It looks like a book that my daughter and I would both enjoy.
Melissa Smith recently posted…Last List Blog Hop: Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross
Kat, thank you SO MUCH for hosting me and all the Last Listers! It’s been such a great experience!
Because the book sounds so awesome!! And I’m in love with it. Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂
Thank you for the opputunity – the premise of this book sounds pretty good
Irene recently posted…Erindringer om Sherlock Holmes
I love the fairy tales retold! This one sounds great!
Saville seems very very interesting character. I adore fairy tale retellings, thank you for the chance!
I haven’t read many MG novels with female protagonists, so I’m excited to read this one!
Not only does Saville sound brave, I love that she’s described as clever, too, clever is definitely something I like to read. Thanks for the giveaway!
I love retellings! This one seems quite adorable, and seems like a good break from all the YA I’ve been reading.
Aila recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (#5)
I am excited because it sounds amazing and I love reading retellings.
Thanks for the chance to win!
it sounds interesting
I’m excited to read Valiant because your review makes it sound great. TFS.
This looks like a cute, short read! I might read it someday…
I do a lot of babysitting and one of the girls I watch would love to read this. She really enjoys fairytales.
Because it sounds interesting