Author Interview with Megan Bannen (Tour + Giveaway)

POSTED ON May 31, 2018 BY Austine IN Blog Tour, Giveaway, Interview

Author Interview with Megan Bannen (Tour + Giveaway)

Megan Bannen, author of THE BIRD AND THE BLADE, comes to NovelKnight to share more on her debut novel, advice for writers, and more! Debut author Megan Bannen offers advice to aspiring authors and more in this exclusive interview!Megan Bannen, author of The Bird and the Blade

I have THE BEST job today, y’all, because I get to share an exclusive interview with Megan Bannen! If you weren’t aware, Megan is the debut author of The Bird and the Blade, a YA fantasy that is sure to wreck your heart in all the best ways.

But seriously. It’s amazing. Please buy it so we can fangirl together!

Without further ado, allow me to introduce Megan (and make sure to keep reading for more about The Bird and the Blade, the blog tour schedule, and a giveaway!!!)

About Megan Bannen

Megan Bannen is a librarian and the author of THE BIRD AND THE BLADE. In her spare time, she collects graduate degrees from Kansas colleges and universities. While most of her professional career has been spent in public libraries, she has also sold luggage, written grants, and taught English at home and abroad. She lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, their two sons, and a few too many pets with literary names. She can be found online at


All About Megan

You wrote a book! That’s pretty awesome. Why don’t you tell us a bit about what inspired The Bird and the Blade?

I wrote a book! Isn’t that nutty?? In 2008, I was listening to the opera Turandot when it occurred to me that 1.) I didn’t like the ending, and 2.) hey, this would make a great YA novel! I’m not sure what on earth possessed me to think an opera would make a great novel for teens, but there you have it. Anyway, as I started researching the story, I discovered earlier versions of the tale that give the slave girl character a meatier backstory and more agency, which is why, in the end, the book is really a retelling of François Pétis de la Croix’s “Prince Khalaf and the Princess of China” from the book A Thousand and One Days.

Introduce us to your main character!

Jinghua became a slave when the Song Empire was defeated by the Mongols. She’s whip-smart and resourceful, but she’s the poster child for imposter syndrome. That self doubt winds up being her tragic flaw. One thing I love about Jinghua is that the face she gives the world is very different from her internal sense of self. She may sound meek and respectful on the outside, but she’s snarky and funny and self-deprecating on the inside.

Walk us through a day in the life of Megan Bannen.

Sadly, Megan Bannen is a super-boring suburban soccer mom. I get up at the crack of dawn to write before heading off to my day job as a children’s librarian. At work, I play a pink ukulele during story time and marvel at the fact that I get paid for it. In the evenings, Mission Impossible music is playing in the background as I get kids to music lessons or sportsing practices. By the time I get the little people bathed and off to bed, I manage to read for about 10-15 minutes before I crash. Rinse, lather, repeat. This is why I do most of my writing on the weekends when my husband lets me escape for a few hours so I can crank out some words at a cafe.

Lots of aspiring authors out there. Any advice for them?

A writer is someone who writes. Are you writing? Congratulations! You are a writer! Whether or not you are published doesn’t change that essential fact. Writing and publishing are two completely different things, and I think it’s helpful to separate them in your mind. Writing is worth it for writing’s sake. Even if THE BIRD AND THE BLADE bombs and I never publish again, I will always write, because writing brings me joy. Write for yourself and yourself alone. If you get published, great. But if you don’t, that’s okay, You’re still a writer.

I know asking someone’s all-time favorite book is a loaded question so what’s your current favorite read?

Well, I love THE QUEEN’S THIEF series by Megan Whalen Turner, especially THE KING OF ATTOLIA. It’s been so much fun to watch Eugenides grow and mature over the years. He’s my favorite book boyfriend.

Alright, the ultimate question: why should we read your book?

That is a remarkably difficult question to answer. How about this?: THE FEELS. ALL THE FEELS.

(I can attest to THE FEELS with this book, y’all. IT WILL BREAK YOUR HEART. . . in a good way. . . if that’s possible)


Fun Stuff!

Describe yourself in 3 words.

Goofy, shameless, and jazz-hands

What is your Hogwarts house?

I know it’s super uncool to be Gryffindor, but I’m quite Gryffindor.

Your characters are sent into the Hunger Games. Who wins?

Oh, Timur Khan. Hands down. He’s endearingly ruthless.

A famous movie producer wants to make your books into movies and they want you to cast your characters. Which actors/actresses make the cut?

I’d do an open call and cast actors from the appropriate cultural backgrounds. But since I can’t name anyone specific here, how about I mention my ideal cast for any movie?: Aidan Turner in full Poldark regalia and Ranveer Singh. It could be a film adaptation of my book or Anne of Green Gables or the phone book. Aidan Turner. Ranveer Singh. Because reasons.

This morning you woke up with the ability to time travel to only one time period. Where (or more accurately “when”) would you go?

Regency England! I geek Georgette Heyer novels so hard. I’m going to enjoy all the pithy drawing room banter.

Coffee or tea?

Coffee flows through my veins, and I do not function without it.

Your theme song/personal anthem?

“Raise Hell” by Brandi Carlile. My favorite line:

“You’ve got a mind to keep me quiet, and although you can try
Better men have hit their knees, and bigger men have died.
I’m gonna raise hell.”

I’m seriously considering writing an entire novel based on that one sentiment.

Favorite quote?

“I realize that nothing belongs to her anymore and she belongs to everything.”
Markus Zusak, I Am the Messenger

That line captures motherhood better than anything else I’ve ever read, and the fact that a man wrote it gives me hope for the future of the world.

What is one piece of advice you would tell everyone?

Narcissists suck. Don’t be one.


About the Book

Author Interview with Megan Bannen (Tour + Giveaway)
The Bird and the Blade
by Megan Bannen
Published on June 5, 2018 by Balzer + Bray

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 336
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

As a slave in the Kipchak Khanate, Jinghua has lost everything: her home, her family, her freedom … until she finds herself an unlikely conspirator in the escape of Prince Khalaf and his irascible father as they flee from their enemies across the vast Mongol Empire. On the run, with adversaries on all sides and an endless journey ahead, Jinghua hatches a scheme to use the Kipchaks’ exile to return home, a plan that becomes increasingly fraught as her feelings for Khalaf evolve into a hopeless love.

Jinghua’s already dicey prospects take a downward turn when Khalaf seeks to restore his kingdom by forging a marriage alliance with Turandokht, the daughter of the Great Khan. As beautiful as she is cunning, Turandokht requires all potential suitors to solve three impossible riddles to win her hand—and if they fail, they die.

Jinghua has kept her own counsel well, but with Khalaf’s kingdom—and his very life—on the line, she must reconcile the hard truth of her past with her love for a boy who has no idea what she’s capable of ... even if it means losing him to the girl who’d sooner take his life than his heart.

THE BIRD AND THE BLADE is a lush, powerful story of life and death, battles and riddles, lies and secrets from debut author Megan Bannen.

Buy It!
Book Depository Amazon Barnes & Noble Indiebound Wordery
NovelKnight receives a small commission for any purchases made through the links above.

Tour Schedule

May 30th

Pink Polka Dot Books– Welcome Post

May 31st

Library of a Book Witch– Review
Vicky Who Reads– Guest Post & Mood Board
NovelKnight Book Reviews– Q&A

June 1st

A New Look On Books– Guest Post
A Backwards Story– Review
MetalPhantasmReads– Q&A

June 2nd

The Reading Faery– Creative Option
Velvet Spade Reads– Review & Favorite Quotes
The Book Nut– Review

June 3rd

Are You My Book?– Review
Flying Paperbacks– Review
Confessions of a YA Reader– Spotlight

June 4th

Dazzled by Books– Creative Post
It Starts at Midnight– Review
Wishful Endings– Review

June 5th

Utopia State of Mind– Review & Favorite Quotes
My Reading List– Review
The Clever Reader– Review



Wasn’t that interview AWESOME?! And now you have the chance to win a copy of The Bird and the Blade to add to your shelves!

Enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter below. One winner will receive a copy of The Bird and the Blade by Megan Banne. Open to US residents only. Giveaway ends June 12, 2018.

This giveaway is sponsored and hosted by a third party. NovelKnight is not responsible for winner selection or supplying and mailing prizes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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One response to “Author Interview with Megan Bannen (Tour + Giveaway)

  1. I just discovered this book today via another blog, but YES. It sounds like everything I want in a book! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity. 🙂

    L @ Do You Dog-ear?