Who’s looking for the perfect blend of Project Runway meets Mulan? If you answered YES then I have the book for you! Elizabeth Lim’s Spin the Dawn releases this coming Tuesday and is perfect for YA fantasy readers looking to add to their TBRs.
Check out the exclusive author interview below and more on the book (and the pre-order incentive that goes with it!), plus you can enter the giveaway at the end of the post to win a copy for your shelf!
All About Elizabeth
You wrote a book! That’s pretty awesome. Why don’t you tell us a bit about what inspired Spin the Dawn?
I was inspired by the fairytales my father used to tell me as a child. SPIN THE DAWN draws influence from three in particular: the Chinese legend, The Cowherd and the Weaver, the French fairytale, Donkeyskin, and the Norwegian story, East of the Sun. I decided to write about a tailor in particular because of my grandmother, who spent many years working as a seamstress when she first moved to the United States.
Introduce us to your main character!
Maia Tamarin is a talented seamstress who yearns to become an imperial tailor for the emperor, but doesn’t even get a chance to have her work considered because she’s a girl. She’s a go-getter, absolutely loyal to her family, and a realist despite her incredible talent so when she’s sent on a task to create the dresses of the sun, moon, and stars, it’s quite a journey for her in all senses. One reader described her as a “cinnamon roll Slytherin,” which I absolutely love.
Lots of aspiring authors out there. Any advice for them?
Read as much as you can, but listen too. A good ear can improve one’s writing immeasurably. Give yourself goals, not a timeline.
Don’t let rejections get you down. Persistence is key.
I know asking someone’s all-time favorite book is a loaded question so what’s your current favorite read?
I just finished Romanov by Nadine Brandes and loved it!! It’s such a new and refreshing retelling of Anastasia. Highly recommend. I’d also recommend The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf, which is about a girl trying to reunite with her mother during the 1969 race riots in Kuala Lumpur. I’m also currently reading Wicked Saints by Emily Duncan, which is jaw-droppingly awesome so far.
Alright, the ultimate question: why should we read your book?
Read Spin the Dawn if you love magic, couture, romance, court intrigue, and fairytales. Read Spin the Dawn because it’s about a girl who’s been told all her life that she can’t do something simply because she’s a girl, then she goes ahead and does it anyway. Read Spin the Dawn because my heroine, Maia, has got a story to tell – and she promises it will enchant you.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Introspective. Determined. Creative.
What is your most embarrassing memory?
I have so many! In fifth grade I ran for student body treasurer and gave my speech in costume (I think I dressed up as Uncle Sam, but I’ve tried to erase the memory. All I remember is wearing a top hat with fake money sticking out of it). I don’t know what I was thinking. Oh, I also once sent a potential literary agent my diary by accident. That was interesting.
What is your Hogwarts house?
Your characters are sent into the Hunger Games. Who wins?
Lady Sarnai, no doubt about it.
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?
Aw man, how about Liz Limoncello? That sounds more like a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor, but cello’s my favorite instrument and I’ve always wished I could play it so let me have that lol. It’d be awesome to have telekinesis or healing, but if my power’s related to my name, I’d imagine flying around with my cello, and the sound of my music makes trees and flowers grow (my Chinese last name Lim means forest). As for costume, I’d leave that to Maia Tamarin to design for me J
This morning you woke up with the ability to time travel to only one time period. Where (or more accurately “when”) would you go?
Hah, as a Chinese-American woman I probably wouldn’t fare well in most time periods in the past, so I’d go to the future. Hmm, let’s say 100 years forward. The Meiji Restoration Era or American Gilded Age have always fascinated me though, so I’d choose to visit those if I could magically blend in.
Coffee or tea?
Best ice cream flavor ever?
Black sesame!! Then chocolate chip cookie dough and passionfruit layer cake (a flavor my local ice cream parlor made that I still dream about!)
Your theme song/personal anthem?
The waltz from Howl’s Moving Castle by Joe Hisaishi
You are the music while the music lasts ~TS Eliot
About the Book
Spin the Dawn releases July 9th so there’s still time to pre-order! And don’t forget to submit your receipt for the pre-order incentive!
by Elizabeth Lim
Series: The Blood of Stars #1
Published on July 9, 2019 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.
Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she'll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There's just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.
Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia's task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.
And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor's reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.
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I’ve partnered with FFBC Tours and the publisher to give away a copy of Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim to one lucky winner! Enter using the rafflecopter below!
US only. Ends July 13, 2019.