On Leigh Bardugo’s sixth stop in her blog tour, does a bit of Q&A for the folks there, including who her favorite was to write, and her other projects:
1) Where did your inspiration for the Grisha trilogy come from?
The series really began one night when I managed to scare myself into thinking there really might be monsters waiting for me at the end of a darkened hall. I went to bed wondering, “What if darkness was a place?” What if the monsters were real and you had to fight them on their own territory? What kind of power might create such a place? What would it take to destroy it? Those ideas became the Shadow Fold and the rest of the story grew from there.
2) Was it harder to write Siege and Storm compared to the first book, or easier?
So much harder. The world got much bigger and more complex, I had more characters and plots to juggle, and I was writing on deadline for the first time. It was an incredibly intense process.
3) Which character do you love to write about most? Which character do you wish had more scenes in the trilogy?
Sturmhond is easily my favorite character to write. Most of my characters struggle with themselves and the choices they make, but Sturmhond is pure confidence. He knows exactly what he wants and he has no doubts about his ability to get it. Writing that clarity of intent is such a pleasure. Honestly, it was hard not to let him take over the whole book. But I wish all of the characters could have more scenes in the trilogy. They all have stories to tell and the narrative (as well as Alina’s POV) doesn’t always permit that. That’s why I love writing bonus content. I get to share a bit more of these characters with readers.
4) How did you create the world of the Grisha?
The political structure and magical system came first for me. It was only when I started getting into later drafts that I really set out to give the reader a sense of place. That was when I turned to Russia as a kind of cultural touchstone. I was introducing a lot of unfamiliar elements, so I wanted to help the reader feel grounded in the world. Still, I was surprised at how deeply the research impacted some of the dynamics at work in my story. In terms of the actual process, most of the research for Shadow and Bone happened between the pages—in cultural histories, surveys of folklore, old recipe books. With Siege and Storm, I took a slightly different approach and ended up consulting quite a few friends and acquaintances when I needed help with the nautical research and some of the stickier science.
5) Are you working on any other projects you can share with us?
I have a few new things in the works, but I can’t really talk about them just yet. Right now, I’m revising Ruin and Rising, the final book in the Grisha Trilogy and I’m hoping to write a Ravkan folk tale to accompany it. I wrote “The Witch of Duva” for the release of Shadow and Bone, and “The Too-Clever Fox” for Siege and Storm, but I’m a bit torn over which story to tell for Ruin. Maybe one day I’ll get to write them all.
(via sixth blog tour stop: BookYAReview. Enter to win a paperback copy of Shadow and Bone and a Hardcover copy of the upcoming Siege and Storm!)