Today I’m super excited to be part of the blog tour for The Third Sun, by Victoria J. Price. It’s a YA portal fantasy with adventure and romance. And it’s gorgeous, right? Victoria stopped by for an interview, where she talks about the influences for The Third Sun and what kind of reader will enjoy it, her plotting process, has some advice for aspiring writers, and tells us how she works with her super talented illustrator!
1st book in Daughter of the Phoenix Series
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication date: 22nd February 2020
The sun is dying, the windows to Earth are closing. Time is running out.
After the death of her sister, eighteen-year-old Fia Aldridge knows one thing for certain: she doesn’t belong anywhere. But then she tumbles into the parallel world of Ohinyan—a world where angels and witches walk amongst mankind.
An ancient darkness is taking advantage of the dying sun, and Ohinyan needs Fia’s help. She soon learns that her arrival is not entirely by accident and that Alexander, leader of angels, is not the guardian she thought he was.
Torn between their feelings and their duties, together they must find a way to return Fia to London before the darkness consumes her and she is trapped in Ohinyan forever.
A richly woven tale drawing on ancient myths and legends, bursting with adventure, elemental magic, angels, witches, shapeshifters and slow burn romance. Fans of Brigid Kemmerer, Laini Taylor and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials will devour The Third Sun: Daughter of the Phoenix Book One.
Trigger warning: Themes of grief, loss and anxiety. Mild fantasy violence. Fade to black Male/Female sex scene.
Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1916354009/
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Third-Sun-Daughter-Phoenix-Book/dp/1916354009/
Interview with Victoria J. Price
1. Can you tell us a little about the series and what kind of reader you think will enjoy it?
The Daughter of the Phoenix series follows eighteen-year-old Fia Aldridge after she falls from London into the parallel world of Ohinyan. An ancient darkness is taking advantage of the dying sun, and Ohinyan needs Fia’s help. She soon learns that her arrival is not entirely by accident and that Alexander, leader of angels, is not the guardian she thought he was. The series is full of angels, witches, shapeshifters, elemental magic and a little bit of romance, too.
One reviewer very kindly said it’s ‘perfect for fans of Laini Taylor, Leigh Bardugo, Sarah J. Maas, and Cassandra Clare, this book has all the ingredients for rampant obsession’ – but I’d also add that if you like the ‘portal’ aspect of Brigid Kemmerer’s A Curse So Dark and Lonely (ordinary girl goes from our world to a magical world) then DotP is for you, too.
2. Your series has gorgeous covers. I’ll confess I wanted to take part of this tour because I know we work with the same illustrator, Natalia Sorokina. How did you choose to get illustrated covers and how was the design process?
I’ve always loved illustrated covers, and Natalia’s work is beautiful. I like that it’s her own interpretation of the characters, too – in my head they’re not as perfect – their hair is messier, Alexander has wavy hair, Fia is a lot plainer. But I still adore Natalia’s version.
I send a PDF of information at the start of the process, with pose ideas, face references, hair colour, eye colour, that kind of thing. Then we start with sketches to look at what poses will work, and then once a pose has been chosen, Natalia sends a colour WIP to see if everything is looking okay. I try not too be too prescriptive – I want Natalia to have as much creative control as possible. After that it’s onto the final artwork, and then once I have it, I add the text using Illustrator and Photoshop.
3. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Any tips on that?
I’m a bit of both! I always have a beginning and an end in mind. I (very vaguely) plan what chapters I can, and then begin to write. At the end of each chapter I try to write a few bullet points for the next chapter, so that when I next sit down to write I don’t waste two hours staring at the wall hoping inspiration might miraculously climb out of it! Then once I’m about ten chapters in, I’ll try to make a more complete chapter plan for the rest of the book. But this is always changing and evolving as I write.
I keep notes everywhere – on my Word doc as I’m working, on my phone, on post-its, on a thousand pieces of paper! I have a spreadsheet for all my worldbuilding and character info because I have a bad memory and it’s the best way for me to keep track of it.
4. Could you give an advice for someone who’s starting to write?
Just start! Every day, even if it’s just 100 words. Creativity is a muscle that atrophies without use. I know people like to have this romantic notion of creativity hitting us and ideas pouring out of us – and yeah, sure, it is like that sometimes, but other times it’s about just sticking at it.
Reading and reading and reading also helps – make notes of what you’re reading – the way characters interact, the way tension builds in a plot, the way places and people are described. There’s so much to learn from reading and observing.
This is all just my personal opinion, everyone is different, everyone has a different route to take, and that’s okay. There’s no one right way to be a writer. ?
5.Could you name any book or other work that had an influence on this novel or series ?
When I was 10/11 years old, I sat on my mum’s kitchen floor and read Philip Pullman’s The Northern Lights (aka The Golden Compass) cover to cover. Then The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass. The His Dark Materials series was a story that just sucked me in right from the start – I was absolutely fascinated by the idea of parallel worlds and it’s a huge source of inspiration for The Daughter of the Phoenix series. (the BBC/HBO adaptation of His Dark Materials is awesome, too!)
The Daughter of the Phoenix series is also heavily influenced by mythology – there’s nods to Greek, Norse and Arabic mythology, and more. Some are more subtle than others – in the series, every myth we have on Earth originated in the parallel world of Ohinyan.
Thank you for interviewing me! ?
Victoria lives in leafy Surrey, in the South East of England. She loves fairy tales, myths and legends, and grew up creating stories both in words and pictures. When she’s not writing you’ll find her exploring with her husband and their two dogs, searching for beautiful hidden places and secret picnic spots.
Website – https://victoriajprice.com/
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19878585.Victoria_J_Price
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