CSFF Blog Tour – Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter, Day 2


Commercials first, or if you’d rather, announcements:

  • To find a list of other bloggers participating in the CSFF Tour for R. J. Anderson’s Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter, see yesterday’s Day 1 post.
  • If you haven’t voted in the Titles—Which Captures Your Attention? poll yet, please click on the link and take a minute to give your opinion. Thanks. 😀
  • And now back to our regularly scheduled blog post—more discussion about Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter—well, to be accurate, discussion about the author of Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter, R. J. Anderson.

    Yesterday, in her tour post, Donita Paul said, “I have got to meet the lady who wrote this book.” That made me think, I bet a lot of our participants would like to know more about R. J. (Rebecca—cool name, don’t you think? 😉 ) Anderson.

    The sad thing was, when I approached her about availability to do interviews, she had to decline because she’s on deadline. I certainly understand, but it is our loss. R. J. is an intelligent, thoughtful writer; an interesting person; and a committed Christian.

    I’ll just mention here in passing how much I love the first part of the Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter dedication: “To my father, the voice of Aslan.” Is that perfect for a Christian writing fantasy, or what!

    Prompted by Donita’s comment, I did a little research to see if I could learn more about R. J. Happily, there are several interviews online, and each one has a different slant. In the first, I learned some fun facts.

    Which of the following, would you guess, influenced R. J. in writing Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter: J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, the X-Men, the Flower Fairies books? If you said, All of These, you’d be right!

    And how long do you think it took this book (titled Knife in the UK where it first came out) from inception to publication: 2 years, 8 years, 10 years, 15 years? Not, All of These, you goofs. 😆 But the book was 15 years in the making.

    If you’d like to read the interview for yourself, you can learn more.

    Of course you can also visit R. J.’s blog at LiveJournal or you can follow her on Twitter. (I think we’ll have to see what we can do about getting her on Facebook too).

    HarperCollins has a great author interview posted as well. In it, R. J. answers the “why fantasy” question, something I’m sure CSFF’ers and other fantasy fans would be interested in:

    I’m always fascinated by questions of “What if?” It interests me to play around with possibilities and new ideas, and I’m also interested in the meaning behind those ideas. To me, fantasy and SF offer a chance to explore emotional, philosophical, and moral issues in a fresh and interesting way. You can talk about good and evil in a fantasy context, for instance, in a way that it’s difficult to do believably in other genres. And besides, it’s fun. I love seeing the ingenuity of other authors who invent new worlds and new magical systems for their stories—building a really believable and consistent fantasy world is one of the purest expressions of creativity I know.

    Another interview taking a “behind the scenes” approach, with this teaser:

    But as far as the story itself goes, I think I’m most pleased with the way that certain themes and… I hesitate to say “morals” because that makes it sound preachy, so maybe “ideals” is a better word… came out naturally in the course of revising the manuscript. I didn’t want to force anything in there, but on the other hand, I didn’t just want to write an exciting story with no depth or substance to it, so it was a relief when I realized that there actually was more going on than just “tough faery action heroine kicks crow butt, saves world, details at eleven”.

    One more centered more on the writing process. Here’s the teaser:

    The book changed a lot between the draft that sold and the final published version. The basic framework of the story was the same, the order of the main events and so on, but my editor challenged me to make sure everything was tight and consistent and that I’d thought through every aspect of the plot and how it affected the characters, which resulted in a much more layered and nuanced story. I was just feeling all proud of myself after taking the book to pieces and rebuilding it from the ground up, and then she said gently, “Well, we’re about half done. But what about this and this and this? Let’s do it again.” It was definitely a rethinking-and-rewriting process, rather than just tweaking bits here and there. But it was so worth it, and I learned a great deal from the process.

    Enjoy getting to know R. J. Anderson. She’s an author I think we’ll be hearing about for a long time.

    Special thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy of the book.

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