Happy Friday, book lovers! Today the DARK OF THE WEST blog tour is stopping by NovelKnight so I can share an exclusive interview with the author, Joanna Hathaway!
DARK OF THE WEST came out this past Tuesday so you can grab a copy now! Keep on reading to learn more about the book, what a day in the life of an author is like, and which DOTW character would win in the Hunger Games!
Did I mention there’s a chance to win a copy of the book? Read through to the end!
But first, let’s get started with the interview!
All About Joanna
You wrote a book! That’s pretty awesome. Why don’t you tell us a bit about what inspired Dark of the West?
Well, in a nutshell, Dark of the West was inspired by all of the many history books I read as a teen! I used to come home from the library with giant stacks of memoirs, biographies, and various other non-fiction accounts. It was all I read! (And looking back now, I sort of wish I might have read some of the other more fun things my peers were reading, like Harry Potter!) But for some reason, from a young age, I was fascinated by the stories of real people from all around the world, and those were the books I devoured. I liked getting different perspectives on the great events of history – because, as they say, history is written by the victors, and the only way to begin to get at the truth is by reading from all sides.
Thus, when I was 19, I began writing a story about a princess and a pilot who had a forbidden romance and who were on opposite sides of a world conflict. I wanted to explore how they came to be on opposite sides – and what they were going to do about it!
Introduce us to your main character!
I have two main characters – Athan, a young fighter pilot who doesn’t really have any interest in war though his family feels otherwise, and Aurelia, a young princess who quite likes being royal, but who also wants to study at university and make a difference in her kingdom. As a kid, I wanted to be two things when I grew up: a princess and a pilot. I loved pink dresses that swirled and also had vivid daydreams while on my swing-set about parachuting from my airplane during battle…. I think you can see how this story came to be!
Walk us through a day in the life of Joanna Hathaway.
I always start my day with tea! I sip from my favourite mug while catching up on book-related emails and getting some writing in. Then it’s off to my day job. I work in HR, which I love. At night, I’m all about reading and relaxing before bed. My brain is usually finished by that point in the day, so not many productive things get done!
Lots of aspiring authors out there. Any advice for them?
Yes, write from your heart and don’t compromise on the vision you have for your story. Only you can tell the story you need to tell. But also, be open to critique. Know that no one writes a flawless first draft and revising is the key to finally uncovering what you really mean to say. Enjoy every moment of it! It’s hard, but so worth it.
I know asking someone’s all-time favorite book is a loaded question so what’s your current favorite read?
Oh yes, this is tough! Well, from the past year, I absolutely loved And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. Not only is it a beautiful family story (as his tales tend to be), it’s been fun to watch the author develop with each of his books as he experiments with style and structure, and this one has an incredibly unique way of letting the story unfold.
Heading into 2019, I also want to give a shout-out to two beautiful debuts I’ve been lucky enough to read and love: Enchantée by Gita Trelease and We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal. Don’t miss either of these!
Alright, the ultimate question: why should we read your book?
Yikes, great question! I think if you’re a reader who loves star-crossed romance and political intrigue in equal doses, you’ll like Dark of the West. It’s a story that’s been in my heart for many years and I’m so excited that I get to share it with the world finally. I truly hope it will find its readers! And with a few more books to go, this story is far from over. 🙂
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Introverted, fun-loving, history nerd.
Your characters are sent into the Hunger Games. Who wins?
Oooh, this is a good question! I adored the Hunger Games series, so now I’m really going to think about this… To survive the Games, you (generally) have to be super sharp, inventive, and also physically strong. Some of the characters in Dark of the West would be crafty enough to maneuver through many of the rounds, but I’m not sure they’d ultimately survive to the end. I think the one who stands the best chance is Athan’s oldest brother, Arrin. He’s like Katniss and Finnick combined.
This morning you woke up with the ability to time travel to only one time period. Where (or more accurately “when”) would you go?
If it’s only for a day, I’d love to check out the Middle Ages in England, preferably around the time of either Richard III or Anne Boleyn. I want to see what they were actually like in real life.
Coffee or tea?
Tea! Though there are days when I can appreciate a nice cup of coffee as well.
Best ice cream flavor ever?
Mint chocolate chip.
About the Book
by Joanna Hathaway
Series: Glass Alliance #1
Published on February 5, 2019 by Tor Teen
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
He was raised in revolution. She was raised in a palace. Can their love stop a war? Code Name Verity meets The Winner's Curse in Joanna Hathaway's Dark of the West, a breathtaking YA fantasy debut.
Aurelia Isendare is a princess of a small kingdom in the North, raised in privilege but shielded from politics as her brother prepares to step up to the throne. Halfway around the world, Athan Dakar, the youngest son of a ruthless general, is a fighter pilot longing for a life away from the front lines. When Athan’s mother is shot and killed, his father is convinced it’s the work of his old rival, the Queen of Etania—Aurelia’s mother. Determined to avenge his wife’s murder, he devises a plot to overthrow the Queen, a plot which sends Athan undercover to Etania to gain intel from her children.
Athan’s mission becomes complicated when he finds himself falling for the girl he’s been tasked with spying upon. Aurelia feels the same attraction, all the while desperately seeking to stop the war threatening to break between the Southern territory and the old Northern kingdoms that control it—a war in which Athan’s father is determined to play a role. As diplomatic ties manage to just barely hold, the two teens struggle to remain loyal to their families and each other as they learn that war is not as black and white as they’ve been raised to believe.
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A big thank you to Joanna for answering my questions and talking more about her new book, Dark of the West! Make sure to check out the book and grab a copy!
Now keep on scrolling to check out the rest of the blog tour posts and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end!
The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club – Welcome Post
Enter to win a copy of Dark of the West by Joanna Hathaway!
Prize: Win (1) of (10) physical copies of DARK OF THE WEST by Joanna Hathaway (US Only)
Rules: Giveaway starts February 5, 2019 and ends February 18, 2019. US residents only.
This giveaway is hosted by a third party. NovelKnight is not responsible for winner selection or the provision/shipping of prizes.