Today we’re psyched to introduce you to G.R. Mannering and her YA Fantasy Feathers which is slated to release Spring 2016!
- Why did you choose the setting for your book? Did you draw from any real places to create your world?
In 2011 I went to the Himalayas to complete a trek for The British Heart Foundation. The whole experience was incredible, but the landscape and environment truly captured my imagination. In FEATHERS I knew that I wanted to create a mountainous region that replicated what I had seen on my trip. Think lots of snow capped peaks, mauve crags and lush valleys.
- What was your inspiration for FEATHERS?
My first fantasy novel, ROSES, was a retelling of the fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast, and I knew that I wanted the sequel to be another retelling. I have always loved the ballet, Swan Lake, which is based on Russian folklore and I thought it would work wonderfully in the fantasy realm I had created. When I decided that the main character of FEATHERS was going to be a boy, I came up with the idea of reversing the gender of the tale – Odette became Ode.
- What was your favorite part about writing FEATHERS?I loved creating and writing about a tribal culture. In the novel, my main character, Ode, is born into the Wild Lands, which is an unexplored region in my fantasy realm. He lives in The Taone tribe and injecting the narrative with the tribe’s traditions and history was so much fun.”
- What was the hardest part about writing this book?Honestly, the hardest part was writing the whole thing! I was not prepared for how difficult producing a sequel would be. I naively expected it to be as fun and easy as ROSES. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy writing FEATHERS but it was bloomin’ hard work!
- Who is your favorite rogue character from a book, TV show, or movie?I think it has to be Golem from The Lord of the Rings. He’s a complex character who can terrify you and yet win your sympathy at the same time.
- Which character in FEATHERS do you identify with most, and why?I think I would probably have to say the main character, Ode, since he is the most important figure in the narrative. I struggled to work him out at first. The main character of ROSES, Beauty, is a girl who loves horses so we were quickly on the same page. Ode being male made him difficult for me to understand initially, but we got there in the end (he has a pretty cool pet wolf so that helped). We’re best buds now.
- FEATHERS is a sequel to your first book, ROSES, which was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Is this book a retelling of a different fairytale, in addition to being a sequel? And can we expect to see many of the characters from ROSES?You can most certainly expect to see old friends from ROSES! Although FEATHERS is a sequel, it is focused on a new main character. Beauty, Beast and other familiar faces pop up now and then, while the overarching narrative of the series continues. The Magical Cleansing is still raging and war is on the horizon.
- Name a song that makes you think of FEATHERS.This isn’t really a song, but when I think of FEATHERS, I remember the chanting of monks in the Himalayas. The temples I visited on my trek were very beautiful, peaceful places.
- What are some things about FEATHERS that are different from its predecessor, ROSES?Ode had a tiny cameo in ROSES that some readers may not have noticed so to have him take centre stage in FEATHERS is quite different. The setting of the action has also changed. Although we still catch glimpses of the Hillands and Pervocrocco (the settings of ROSES) the narrative is now focused on the Wild Lands and The Scarlet Isles.
- Describe the type of reader you hope picks up this book when it’s on the shelves.Someone looking for an adventure tale. I’ve had readers approach me at events because they like fairy tale retellings also. I think ROSES and FEATHERS both would really appeal to anyone who appreciates myths and folklore.
G. R. Mannering is an international bestselling author and lifelong book lover. She dreams up dragons, unicorns, curses that last hundreds of years and boys who turn into swans. When she’s not deep in fantastical realms, Mannering is uploading videos to her book-based YouTube channel and writing picture books under the name, Rose Mannering. She resides in the UK with twin miniature schnauzers and teetering piles of paperbacks.
Her debut YA fantasy novel, ROSES, is a retelling of the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast and the first in a series. Her second novel, FEATHERS, will be released in 2016.