Good morning and a very happy Wednesday to everyone! Today marks Day 2 of the HEART OF THORNS blog tour and I can’t wait to share an EXCLUSIVE interview with y’all featuring the author, Bree Barton!
Make sure you read all the way to the end to find the blog tour schedule with even MORE amazing content AND a fabulous giveaway for a copy of Heart of Thorns!
All About Bree
You wrote a book! That’s pretty awesome. Why don’t you tell us a bit about what inspired Heart of Thorns?
Thank you! It’s pretty awesome that you blog about them! As for my inspiration: I’m a big believer in girl power, and I was really excited about building a world where only women have magic. Heart of Thorns may be a fantasy set long ago, but in a lot of ways it resembles the modern world (especially the U.S. circa 2018). I wanted to create a magical system that gifted immense power to a group of people who had traditionally had their power stripped away. So the question became: if women had a way to right the power imbalance—to use magic to control another person’s flesh, bone, breath, and blood—how would they use it? Some would use it for good. Some wouldn’t.
Introduce us to your main character!
Meet Mia Morwynna Rose! She’s smart, curious, and fierce AF. But she’s also dead wrong about a lot of things, which may or may not lead to a series of plot twists that take her to places she never expected. She also adores her sister Angelyne and would do anything to keep her safe.
Walk us through a day in the life of Bree Barton.
Oh wow. It depends on if I’m on deadline, and right now I’m definitely on deadline for book two. So you’re going to get a day in the life of Bree Barton . . . today. My alarm goes off at 6am. I convince myself I can steal another 30 minutes of sleep. Then another. By 7am I wake up consumed by guilt. I turn off my phone and hide it from myself. I go out to my little garage office and scoot the copious papers, dead spiders, and octopus off my table. (Cotton plush octopus, not real.) I write solidly for 2-3 hours. I break for a breakfast (break! fast! never thought about that before) of potatoes and eggs. I go back to writing book two. At 12 noon I might go to a cycling class, but probably I will just turn on my phone and check social media because I will have serious withdrawal symptoms after 5 hours. At 12:50 I realize I am still wearing my robe and do not smell good. At 12:51 I shower and change into real clothes. At 1:05pm I meet a friend for lunch, five minutes late, leading me to question whether or not I should have taken that shower. At 2pm I begrudgingly work on ghostwriting projects to pay the bills. At 3pm I lose focus and answer HoT interview questions instead. At 4pm I realize all hope is lost for the ghostwriting project. At 5pm I try to spark a second burst of writing book two. I lounge on my bed feeling tired and wondering if it’s too early to go to sleep. I make a salad if I am feeling righteous, but probably just eat whatever’s in the fridge. I read one of the nine ARCs on my shelf. I pet my dog. I fall asleep (not while petting my dog). I wake up and start the whole day over.
Lots of aspiring authors out there. Any advice for them?
Keep at it. Be open to feedback, even when it hurts. Especially when it hurts. I don’t mean you have to listen to people who are jerks—you don’t. But pay attention to the people who care about you and are excited about your story. I’ve found the notes that are hardest to hear are often the ones that catalyze my own revision process and make the book infinitely better. That said, even the most astute and well-meaning friends don’t always know exactly what the book needs, just that it needs something. It’s your job to acknowledge something is missing, then sit with it long enough to figure out what that is.
I know asking someone’s all-time favorite book is a loaded question so what’s your current favorite read?
Ooooh great question. I am currently reading my friend/mentor’s new book, A ROOM AWAY FROM THE WOLVES, out in September. Her book is haunting and gorgeous! But when you’re talking about Nova Ren Suma, haunting and gorgeous are par for the course.
Alright, the ultimate question: why should we read your book?
Because it’s funny! I hope. I feel like some people have pegged HoT as a “serious” book. Granted: it deals with systemic abuse, misogyny, violence, etc. And yes, there are social justice themes. But I think these themes are best treated with a balance of dark and light. Fantasy or not, I hope to never write ANY story without a healthy dollop of humor. So if my book doesn’t make you laugh at least once, I haven’t done my job.
Y’all can catch Bree at one of her upcoming tour stops! Mark it on your calendar!
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Quirky, excitable, relentless
What is your most embarrassing memory?
There are so many to choose from. Where to begin? When I was nine I took a beginner’s tennis class, and on the first day, the teacher told us, “Wear tennis shoes.” I panicked. I raised my hand. “WHERE DO I FIND THESE SPECIALIZED SHOES FOR TENNIS?” I squeaked. “Tennis shoes,” she said, and I realized she just meant standard tennis shoes: the kind we were all already wearing. That was an early sign I had a tendency to overthink things.
When I was eleven, I took a Safe Sitters babysitting class where the visiting firefighter asked us to tell him what to do for a burn. I raised my hand (always an enthusiastic hand raiser) and said proudly, “You put butter on it!” Turns out this was not the right answer.
I guess Mia Rose and I have a lot in common: we are know-it-alls who do not in fact know it all.
What is your Hogwarts house?
Slytherin. Both times I took the test, that was my house. I am weirdly flattered and also slightly afraid of myself.
Your characters are sent into the Hunger Games. Who wins?
Pilar, I think. Hmm. Maybe not. I might go with Sach’a, one of the twins. She’s clever, and cleverness will take you a long way in the Hunger Games. So will poison berries, apparently. Actually, in light of the berries, I’m going to go with someone totally unexpected: Prince Quin.
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?
Are you spying on my email? Yesterday I heard from an interested director who loved HoT, which was very exciting! As for actors: I went to high school with Jason Ralph, who stars in The Magicians. I actually think he’d make a great Prince Quin, though he’s probably a touch too old. I just saw Love, Simon so I think I’m going to cast Heart of Thorns entirely from that movie. Quin is Miles Heizer. Mia is Talitha Bateman. Angelyne is Darcy Rose Byrnes. Pilar is Alexandra Shipp. And Domeniq is Keiynan Lonsdale. Sorry, Nick Robinson: you were Simon. You don’t get to star in my movie, too.
You just won America’s Got Talent. What’s your talent?
I make one hell of a dolphin noise. Really.
Radioactive space rock fell from the sky and turned you into a superhero/villain. Tell us your new name, describe your powers, and what does your costume look like?
The Time Stretcher. I can stretch time at will, meaning I can fit twenty-seven hours of work into a day that typically only has twenty-four. Which is really kind of villainous because I could get so much more done than everyone else. My costume is basically a lot of clocks stretched into weird shapes, like I’m wearing that famous Dalí painting. I had to look up the name just now and it’s “The Persistence of Memory,” so maybe my supervillain name is actually The Memory Persister. Which sounds romantic in a bad-first-draft sort of way.
This morning you woke up with the ability to time travel to only one time period. Where (or more accurately “when”) would you go?
This is a good question, because I feel like there weren’t a lot of time periods that were historically great for women. But I like the sweeping, epic feel of Victorian England, so that’s what I’m going with. Even though I would probably contract some kind of plague.
Wait, maybe the plague wasn’t Victorian England. Better make it consumption, then.
Coffee or tea?
DEFINITELY tea. If I drink coffee, I feel like my heart is beating outside my chest. But I love all kinds of teas! Even if these days I get jittery when I drink green tea past 10AM. I like to think I am naturally caffeinated. When people meet me, they tend to agree.
Best ice cream flavor ever?
Can I go with best fudge flavor instead? Last weekend I took a fudge-making class at FU (stands for Fudge University, I swear) where I made a white chocolate fudge with pretzels, oreo crumbles, Reese’s peanut butter cups, macadamia nuts, toffee, and a caramel swirl. I’m glad this interview is ending because I will probably die of cardiac arrest in the next ten minutes.
Your theme song/personal anthem?
Ooooh DEFINITELY “Queendom” by Aurora. It’s perfection! Also if you happen to be in/near D.C. on August 3rd, you should come to my book event at East City Bookshop, where two incredible violinists will be playing this song live. For a list of all fourteen stops on my HoT book tour, go here.
“Time will wound all heels.”
What is one piece of advice you would tell everyone?
Don’t eat a pound of fudge.
No but seriously. Find the things that set your soul on fire, and do them as wildly and as often as you can.
About the Book
Heart of Thornsby Bree Barton
Series: Heart of Thorns #1
Published on July 31, 2018 by Katherine Tegen Books
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Inventive and heart-racing, this fiercely feminist teen fantasy trilogy from debut author Bree Barton examines a dark kingdom in which only women can possess magic—and every woman is suspected of having it.
Mia Rose wants only one thing: revenge against the Gwyrach—feared, reviled, and magical women—who killed her mother. After years training under her father’s infamous Hunters, Mia is ready. She will scour the four kingdoms, find her mother’s murderer, and enact the Hunters’ Creed: heart for a heart, life for a life.
But when Mia is thrust into the last role she ever wanted—promised wife to the future king—she plots a daring escape. On her wedding night, Mia discovers something she never imagined: She may be a Huntress, but she’s also a Gwyrach. As the truth comes to light, Mia must untangle the secrets of her own past. Now if she wants to survive, Mia must learn to trust her heart . . . even if it kills her.
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If you pre-order Heart of Thorns, don’t forget to submit your receipt for some awesome swag! For details on the pre-order incentive and more, click here!
Blog Tour Schedule
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the HEART OF THORNS blog tour stops!
One lucky winner will receive a hardcover copy of Heart of Thorns!
US only, ends August 8th
This giveaway is hosted by a third party. NovelKnight is not responsible for the winner selection, or the provision and shipping of prizes.