I feel like a child who got let loose in a candy store. It’s true. I feel ever so blessed that the lovely people at Angry Robot let me put some questions to one of their authors, Danielle L. Jensen.
For those of you who aren’t sure, she wrote ‘The Malediction Trilogy’ (Stolen Songbird, Hidden Huntress, Warrior Witch). And I’ve been such a HUGE fan since it was originally published with Strange Chemistry (the Angry Robot YA imprint that went kaput. Sad times.) Also so sad that it’s now over… *sobs*
But without further ado, the good bit:
Firstly, have to say how much I am in love with this series and I’m just not ready to let it go. I’M NOT READY! Did you always know how ‘Warrior Witch’ was going to end? Or did the goalposts move while writing the series?
Thank you! It never gets old hearing that people have connected with my novels! I did always know how the series would end – I actually included a fairly detailed description of the ending in the synopsis I provided when the series sold in 2013. Lots of things changed, but the ending remained as I had always envisioned it. I actually wrote a blog post about why I ended it the way I did (http://danielleljensen.com/2016/05/04/the-ending-of-warrior-witch/), but don’t read it until you’re finished the series unless you enjoy spoilers!
I really enjoyed how the story took ever more twists and turns, especially in ‘Hidden Huntress’, it felt like it was growing more and more complex. How did you keep track of all the little ins and outs of the plot?
‘Hidden Huntress’ is actually my favorite novel of the trilogy because it has the most complicated plot. This is likely a super unhelpful answer for any aspiring writers, but the truth is that I keep track of everything in my head. Although I provided a synopsis for the unwritten novels, I never referred to it, because I found that doing so stifled my creative process. I edit as I write, so as the layers of plot developed, I went back and changed what needed changing in order to keep things cohesive. I have a very slow, organic, back-and-forth process of drafting. It works for me, but it would drive many writers insane.
Tristan aside (because I’m in love with him… it would be biased to include him) and also Cécile, do you have a favourite secondary character? Or, rather, is there a character whose story you would have liked to have explored further?
King Thibault is my favorite secondary character because he has such hidden depth that doesn’t come out until the last novel. But as far as a character whose story I’d have loved to spend more time on… that would be Marc. So much of his backstory is alluded to throughout the series, and I’d have loved to write more about the romance between him and Pénélope.
Why trolls? (Love them. Just curious if there’s any specific reason).
The novels were inspired by a dream I had about a city buried by rock. I spent months thinking about the city, populating it, and giving it a backstory, and the trolls grew out of those daydreams.
Do you have a favourite scene/moment from the series?
My favorite scene is when Cécile and Tristan are floating on the underground lake in Trollus. That’s always been the scene I pictured most vividly in my head, although I rewrote it a zillion times before I was happy with it.
What are you currently reading? Or which book(s) would you recommend?
I’m currently reading Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, which is amazing. But I’m sure that’s not news to any of you! I’m also extremely excited about Elise Kova’s upcoming novel, The Alchemists of Loom, which comes out in January 2017. It’s a fabulous novel (I got to read it early!), and everyone should preorder it now!
What’s next?! The need for another book from Danielle L. Jensen is strong 😉
I do have another YA fantasy novel in the works! It isn’t at the stage where I can say too much about it other than it exists, but hopefully I’ll be able to share more in the coming months. I’m starting a monthly newsletter in September, so if you’d like to be kept in the loop, you can sign up on my website http://danielleljensen.com
And y’all should all definitely do that. Go. Right now. Sign up. I have! I gotta say thank you SO MUCH to both Danielle and to Angry Robot for making this happen.