MY LADY JANE is tied for the best book that I read in 2016, and so I am beyond thrilled to be participating in the official MY LADY JANE tour!!!
If this Q&A doesn’t convince you that this trio is incredible- I’m not quite sure what will. Of course, I can’t pick favorites, but if I had to pick a favorite Q&A…let’s just say this would be at the top of the list. 😉 But don’t just take my word for it! Get a taste of this novel by reading the prologue here!
1. The US and UK covers are quite different- which do you think best shows the spirit of the book?
J: I think they both show the spirit of the book, but in different ways. The US cover really conveys the historical aspects, while showing just a hint of mischief — that everything isn’t as it seems. The UK cover, on the other hand, really embraces the silliness of the book in a delightful fashion.
2. What was the inspiration for making MLJ a mixture of true history and not-so-true history?
B: I think it started from an admiration of Lady Jane, and a grief about her demise. But Cynthia had the idea, so maybe she should share.
C: Yes–I’d always loved the story of Lady Jane Grey . . . except how it ended. I thought about writing a novel about her a few times, but it would always have to have such a sad ending. Until I realized that I’m a writer, and I can do what I want with history. We could make her story funny. That was an incredibly freeing thought.
J: For me, it went like: Brodi and Cynthia said they were going to write a book together and did I want to write it, too? I didn’t even know what it was about. I just said yes.
3. Are there any Easter Eggs hidden in MLJ?
B: We’d hate to give anything away, but I’ll just say… Shmakespeare. And the Shrimpcess Bride. And the Shmonty Python.
J: There are a lot of Easter eggs in the story. But strangely enough, I don’t think there are actual eggs.
4. Did you know from the start that you wanted there to be E∂ians and Verities? Or was that something that you came up with while writing?
C: I knew pretty early on that I wanted there to be shapeshifters and humanists, literally, instead of the struggle between the Catholics and the Protestants that were involved in the real history. But we came up with the names and the exact nature of the magic as we were writing.
5. Mixing historic and fantastic elements in a novel is something that I’ve never read before. Kudos to you three for creating such an amazing blend of the two! How did you approach writing MLJ in both a historical and fantastic manner?
J: I don’t think that I really thought of it as too different from what I normally do — writing fantasy. 1553 is so different from the world we live in now that it might as well be another world, which I’m totally used to writing. There was quite a bit of research involved, though, to make sure we got the historical details right . . . when we wanted them to be right!
6. I’m sure that everyone who reads MLJ will be dying for more. Do you have any plans on co-writing books together in the future?
B & J & C: We are always writing, and we plan to keep writing together for the rest of our lives. This could possibly involve more Janes. We’re here to save Janes from history! But only Janes. If your name isn’t Jane, too bad.
7. Can you share a funny story about researching MLJ?
J: So we went to the Tower of London. It was great. I mean, it was sad, because we saw where Jane died and where she was buried and we made pathetic meeping sounds all the way through the guided tour, every time the yeoman mentioned Lady Jane Grey. But the best part of that was probably after, when we were heading back to see where Jane was buried (again, for more sad staring), and we met a yeoman who’d done a ton of research on Jane specifically. A conversation went like this:
Him: Have you seen where Guildford carved Jane’s name in the wall?
Us: We are going to look!
Him: He carved it twice.
Us: That means he loved her!!!!!
Him: . . . No, I don’t think so. They hardly knew each other.
Us: You don’t just carve someone’s name into a stone wall — twice!! — if you don’t love them.
Him: . . .
Later, when we’d gone into the tower to see the carvings (totally a declaration of love, if you ask us!), he came up to make sure we’d found them. I think he secretly liked our theory best.
B: Another story: We researched the homes of both Jane and Gifford. Jane’s home was a lovely park, with trails and wildlife and gorgeous scenery. Then we went to G’s home, which was a sad little zoo, where the main animals on display were “things that were creepy in a castle.” Maggots, bats, worms, lice, ‘things in your nightmares’. Even now, we still randomly itch at things during the day. I’m itching now.
8. What is the hardest part about co-writing?
C: The hardest part is definitely figuring out the times for us to meet to work–we generally have to carve out a week or so at a time to hide out together and write the book. The planning is hard. All the rest of it is a pure joy. We have so much fun.
J: Great fun. We’re having fun right now!
9. If you were an E∂ian, what animal would you turn into?
C: A horse. I’d like to enjoy running.
J: A ferret.
B: A bird. To poop on everyone.
10. What was your favorite snack to eat while writing MLJ?
C: Tomatoes! And fudge. But not together.
About the Authors
We’re the authors of the upcoming young adult novel, MY LADY JANE, which was released by HarperTeen on June 7, 2016. Our group is made up of Brodi Ashton (author of the EVERNEATH series and DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY), Cynthia Hand (New York Times bestselling author of the UNEARTHLY series and THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE), and Jodi Meadows (author of the INCARNATE and the ORPHAN QUEEN series). Between the three of us we’ve written thirteen novels, a bunch of novellas, a handful of short stories, and a couple of really bad poems, but this is the first time we’ve taken a stab at writing a book together. We’re friends. We’re writers. We’re fixing history by rewriting one sad story at a time.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I CERTAINLY want to check out the rest of the blog tour to see what else the Lady Janies wrote re MY LADY JANE! Curious like me? Check out the blog tour schedule below!
|June 6||Angie @ Lady Knight Reads||Sarah @ The YA Book Traveler|
|June 7||Sarah @ What Sarah Read||Lauren @ Love is Not a Triangle|
|June 8||Lauren @ Bookmark Lit||Stephanie @ A Dream Within a Dream|
|June 9||Mary @ Mary Had a Little Book Blog||Nori @ Read Write Love 28|
|June 10||Bonnie @ A Backwards Story||Gail @ Ticket to Anywhere|
|June 13||Kelly @ Belle of the Literati||Lisa @ Lisa Loves Literature|
|June 14||Lori @ Writing My Own Fairytale||Alyssa @ The Eater of Books|
|June 15||Mishma @ Chasing Faerytales||Sarah @ Aphonic Sarah|
|June 16||Jessica @ Step Into Fiction||Jen @ The Starry-Eyed Revue|
|June 17||Kassiah @ Swoony Boys Podcast||Lisa @ Lost in Literature|
There will be a tour-wide giveaway for three (3) copies of My Lady Jane for three lucky winners! The giveaway will be open internationally, as long as Book Depository ships to them.