Today I’m here interviewing the lovely Emily Victoria, author of the debut fantasy book This Golden Flame. I’m honoured and thrilled to have Emily on the blog today! I’ll be posting my review of This Golden Flame separately this week, otherwise this post would have turned out to be quite meaty.
Even better, This Golden Flame is out TODAY, so you can get your hands on it too!
About This Golden Flame
Orphaned and forced to serve her country’s ruling group of scribes, Karis wants nothing more than to find her brother, long ago shipped away. But family bonds don’t matter to the Scriptorium, whose sole focus is unlocking the magic of an ancient automaton army.
In her search for her brother, Karis does the seemingly impossible—she awakens a hidden automaton. Intelligent, with a conscience of his own, Alix has no idea why he was made. Or why his father—their nation’s greatest traitor—once tried to destroy the automatons.
Suddenly, the Scriptorium isn’t just trying to control Karis; it’s hunting her. Together with Alix, Karis must find her brother…and the secret that’s held her country in its power for centuries. – Goodreads
About the Author
Emily Victoria is a Canadian prairie girl who writes young adult science fiction and fantasy. When not word-smithing, she likes walking her over-excitable dog, drinking far too much tea, and crocheting things she no longer has the space to store. – Author Website
1. Congratulations! How does it feel to be a debut author?
Thank you! It feels so wonderful to be a debut author. Getting to be a writer and to have my book published has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember, and it’s truly so amazing to realize that dream.
2. Tell us about the moment you found out you had a book deal.
It’s funny. The original offer actually came the day before a large conference I was attending for work, and I remember Rebecca, my agent, calling me on the phone during the lunch break in the middle of this noisy conference room so that we could talk about it, because that was my only free time.
And, of course, we also nudged the other editors who had it. Inkyard Press also ended up taking the book to their acquisitions meeting. For that one I was actually at home when Rebecca called again letting me know that they wanted to make an offer too. We ultimately decided to go with the Inkyard
offer and as soon as we did, I texted all of my family and I just had the most wonderful calls and texts come in from all of them.
3. Describe This Golden Flame in three words.
Friendship, mystery, automatons.
4. Are you a plotter or pantser?
I am absolutely a plotter. I love outlining and I’m also a very visual person, so I’ll grab a stack of cue cards and just go at it. I usually lay the cards out on a table so that I can see the entire structure of the novel in one look. I also like that format because then I can easily shift scenes and plot points wherever I need to.
5. How long did the process of writing This Golden Flame take from your initial idea to final edits?
I don’t remember the exact timeline, but I want to say that it took me about 4-5 months to write the book and then 4-5 months to edit it with Rebecca. Then, of course, it sold to Inkyard and I had to do many more edits. I’m not entirely sure how long that process took because there were some large gaps between the different editing stages, but needless to say, it took quite some time to get it to the fully polished version that is now the final book.
6. How did you come up with the magic system? Did it take a lot of planning?
I knew very early on that I wanted a rune-based magic system called the Script. I don’t remember how I came up with the initial idea, only that I wanted to do it. And it definitely took a lot of planning. A lot of the plot, and even a lot of the character development, relies on the Script to work. But it didn’t all come at once. With every draft I did, I had to expand the magic system as the world of the book and the characters expanded around it.
7. This Golden Flame is (currently) a standalone, but do you have more planned for this world?
Not at the moment. Though I did a short story from the POV of a side character for my preorder campaign and that was a lot of fun, so I would definitely be open to writing more stories like that.
8. Apart from the magic system, people are very excited for the aro-ace rep in this book. Do you have a book that you remember deeply connecting with?
I’m so glad that people are excited! This Golden Flame was really the book that I needed when I was younger, because I can’t remember ever seeing my identity reflected on the pages of the books I read. That being said, I do remember deeply connecting with Daine from Tamora Pierce’s Wild Magic. Unlike her, I could not talk to animals, but I definitely wanted to.
9. What do you hope readers with get or take away from This Golden Flame?
This story is really about losing yourself and finding yourself. Both Karis and Alix deal with loss in different ways: Karis because she has lost her brother, Alix because he has lost basically everything. But they find each other, and through that they find ways to hope. So I guess I want readers to find that hope too, those persistent flames that flicker despite the darkness that might be around us at times.
Thank you so much for coming on the blog, Emily! I wish you a wonderful release day.
Interested in more 2021 Debuts? Check out my Debut Showcase feature, in which I talk about a tonne of authors with debut books coming out in 2021. While you’re here, perhaps consider taking part in the Debut Author Challenge? There are giveaways, readathons, read-ins, and more!