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Sarah Henning | 20 Questions: THE QUEEN WILL BETRAY YOU

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1--What is the title of your latest release?

THE QUEEN WILL BETRAY YOU (Tor Teen, July 6, 2021). It is the sequel to THE PRINCESS WILL SAVE YOU.

2--What is it about?

After a thousand years of political stability, the realm of The Sand and Sky is up for grabs. Four kingdoms, four rulers vying for the ultimate prize, sovereignty over the entire continent: A ruthless old king spinning webs, whose schemes encompass generations. A widowed queen whose only credo is all kings must die. A runaway queen whose unexpected return upends everyone’s plans. And a prince-in-waiting determined to wait no more.
Standing against them are a dispossessed princess and her stable boy love with a surprising claim of his own. Their only hope in the face of unspeakable betrayals, enemies hidden in the shadows, and insurmountable odds is the power of true love...

3--What do you love about the setting of your book? 

I love that the continent of partner kingdoms I have set up feel both real and like a fairytale. The world is somewhat based on the Iberian Peninsula because I studied abroad in college in Spain and loved it—it was really fun to create a world that reflects one I adore in real life. The people and laws within the world are brutal and that interplay was really intriguing to work with. Sometimes the most beautiful places have the most distressing power structures.

4--How did your main character(s) surprise you? 

Several characters ended up wanting to be a much bigger part of the story than I originally intended. They just hung around and made their wants and needs known. This truly did end up being an ensemble tale by the second and third books.

5--Why will readers relate to your characters?

One of the best things about writing fantasy is being able to take our current world and reflect it back through a fun house mirror. My main characters, Amarande and Luca, aren’t teenagers living in a fantasy world, they are teenagers, period. They are motivated by their love of each other, their love for the people around them, and frustrated by adults who won’t let them make their own decisions or trust that they know what they’re doing. But they’re also stepping into the greater world for the first time and seeing that it’s not necessarily how they pictured it and they’re taking those new experiences and rewriting and expanding their understanding of how the world works.

6--What was one of your biggest challenges while writing this book (spoiler-free, of course!)? 

This answer might surprise exactly no one but the pandemic was the biggest challenge. My life, like so many others, was completely upended by the events of 2020 and that sort of change does weird things to one’s creative process. It took me much longer than normal to get the version of this book on the page to match what I wanted in my head.

7--Do you look forward to or do you dread the revision process? 

Both! As a writer, I prefer drafting and would rather revise as I go to make the first draft as perfect as possible and then spend less time in major revisions. But deadlines have meant that I have to rush my drafting process and then spend more time in revision with my editor. That isn’t ideal to the way I’d like to work but that also means that I turn something in and cannot wait to fix it. I look forward to the revision process then because the book will finally become what I want in my head!

8--What’s your favorite snack to have on hand while writing? 

I typically always have to have a drink (water, fizzy water, or coffee, depending on the time of day) but I like to have chocolate chips mixed with raw almonds as a snack when I’m writing in the afternoons.

9--Where would you go for an ideal writer’s retreat? 

I love anywhere I can be active before and after writing. I’ve done a couple of writing retreats at the beach and that’s been great because I can run in the mornings and walk in the afternoon and think about what I want to do the next day. But the mountains in the summer would be great too if there were trails nearby.

10--What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve received? 

Go with your gut. Even if you have everything perfectly plotted, your subconscious is always working on the story and sometimes even what you have planned isn’t the best or right choice. If your gut is telling you to go left instead of right, go left. The book will eventually be better for it.

11--Who is the fictional character you want to hang out with the most? (anyone in literature!)

Probably Emma Woodhouse, mostly because I’d be the side character constantly pointing out that maybe she really does love Knightly.

12--What’s one of your earliest book memories? 

I remember loving the picture book “Millions of Cats” by Wanda Gag and reading it over and over. And now my six-year-old does the same thing with that book! (No, we don’t own a million cats now…just two.)

13--If you had to write in a different genre, what would it be and why? 

Trick question because I also write YA contemporary! For me, I think I just want to tell good stories and not be pigeonholed by genre or category.

14--What song will automatically put you in a good mood? 

“I Think He Knows” by Taylor Swift

15--What is your favorite way to practice self-care?

Exercise! I really think daily movement is so crucial for staying healthy throughout life.

16--What can you eat and never get sick of? 

Chocolate!

17--Will you share a favorite, recent-ish book you recommend? 

I absolutely loved THE HOUSE IN THE CERULEAN SEA by T.J. Klune and have forced it upon several people.

18--Do you have any hobbies? 
I’m super big on running. I’ve done marathons and ultramarathons but with my writing schedule these days all I do is run for fun (yeah, I know that’s an oxymoron to most people!). I average 50-60 miles per week.

19--Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Early bird!

20--What can readers expect from you next? 

I have two books out in 2022! The third and final book in this series, THE KING WILL KILL YOU, is out in August 2022, while a YA contemporary sports rom-com called IT’S ALL IN HOW YOU FALL is out in May 2022.

THE QUEEN WILL BETRAY YOU by Sarah Henning

Kingdoms of Sand and Sky #2

The Queen Will Betray You

The breathtaking sequel to Sarah Henning's The Princess Will Save You--a brilliantly-executed YA fantasy homage to The Princess Bride

KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE CROWN…

After a thousand years of political stability, the realm of The Sand and Sky is up for grabs. Four kingdoms, four rulers vying for the ultimate prize, sovereignty over the entire continent: A ruthless old king spinning webs, whose schemes encompass generations. A widowed queen whose only credo is all kings must die. A runaway queen whose unexpected return upends everyone’s plans. And a prince-in-waiting determined to wait no more.

Standing against them are a dispossessed princess and her stable boy love with a surprising claim of his own. Their only hope in the face of unspeakable betrayals, enemies hidden in the shadows, and insurmountable odds is the power of true love...

The Kingdoms of Sand & Sky Trilogy
Book 1: The Princess Will Save You
Book 2: The Queen Will Betray You
Book 3: The King Will Kill You

Fantasy Epic | Young Adult [Tor Teen, On Sale: July 6, 2021, Hardcover / e-Book, ISBN: 9781250237460 / eISBN: 9781250237453]

About Sarah Henning

Sarah Henning

SARAH HENNING is a recovering journalist who has worked for Palm Beach PostKansas City Star, and Associated Press, among others. When not writing, she runs ultramarathons, hits the playground with her two kids and hangs out with her husband Justin, who doubles as her long-suffering IT department.  

WEBSITE | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS | TWITTER | AMAZON

 

 

Comments

1 comment posted.

Re: Sarah Henning | 20 Questions: THE QUEEN WILL BETRAY YOU

dfgh
(Sandhia Tiwari 2:48am July 23)

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