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Stormdancer Book Tour + Giveaway

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Today, I'm excited to be interviewing with Jay Kristoff, whose debut novel Stormdancer (book one in The Lotus War trilogy) comes out September 18th! You should totally stalk his blog. He has an epic sense of humor. Have you seen the Stormdancer book trailer? Scroll down if you haven't already (or if you want to watch the epicness again)! There is also a giveaway of Stormdancer!


A DYING LAND
The Shima Imperium verges on the brink of environmental collapse; an island nation once rich in tradition and myth, now decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshipers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, the land is choked with toxic pollution, and the great spirit animals that once roamed its wilds have departed forever.

AN IMPOSSIBLE QUEST
The hunters of Shima's imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger – a legendary creature, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows the beasts have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death.

A HIDDEN GIFT
Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a talent that if discovered, would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her.

But together, the pair will form an indomitable friendship, and rise to challenge the might of an empire.


Interview

I saw that you have locked yourself in your room with piles of books, you have an Arts degree, and have won advertising awards. Have your experiences influenced your writing in any way?
I think coming from a visual background influences my writing style heavily, yeah. Lots of people say that reading Stormdancer is kinda like watching a movie - that they see it rather than read it, which I think is kinda cool. In my late teens I was mad for comic books – Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Katsuhiro Otomo, Frank Miller, Drew Hayes – there was just awesome stuff being done in comics back then. And working in TV, you can’t really portray what a character is thinking – everything is show not tell. Working with that limitation is a cool way to learn to write books.

Plus, when you’re talking to your cover designer about changing the typography, you won’t sound like a frackin’ idiot.


Steampunk and Japanese culture. What inspired you to bring the two together in your story?
The Steampunk aesthetic had interested me for years – the visuals are just amazing and I figured I could have a lot of fun building a collision between organic fantasy and machine-based Sci-Fi. But let’s be honest - Victorian England has been done. I didn’t want to walk roads that had already been well-trodden by some very talented authors. We already have this huge Euro-centric focus in a lot of our fantasy writing, and that strikes me as a real shame. The world during Victorian times was an amazing place full of incredible cultures, and as far as I could see, nobody had taken a look at one of the most incredible cultures of the day – the Tokugawa Shōgunate of 19th century Japan.

Plus, you know, chainsaw katanas…


I love Asian history and culture, and the Japanese elements first caught my eye when I saw Stormdancer. What kind of research did you do for the story?
Drank lots of saké. Ate pocky until my eyes bled. Had my friends yell curse words at me in Japanese while I trawled Wikipedia and watched anime. Read old Japanese fiction. Watched Seven Samurai around 3,000 times. Slept with all six volumes of Akira under my pillow.

My neck hasn’t recovered yet. Those things are thick.


Akira's a classic. My brother tells me that I have to read it. Since you first envisioned Stormdancer, how has the story grown?
It’s funny. When I started writing Stormdancer, I had a rough idea of how the world would work, what the central struggle would be. I kinda knew what sort of character I wanted Yukiko to be – brave and stubborn and not reliant on a boy to define her. But I only really knew one thing for absolute certain – how it was going to end. And the ending is totally different now to how I imagined.

But everything has become bigger now. Denser. Having lived there for almost three years solid, the world feels very real to me. I could honestly write stories in it for the rest of my life, but I think I’d go crazy doing it.

Well, more crazy….


What occupation would you take up in Shima if you were to live there and why?
I’d be one of the Kagé – they’re a faction of guerrilla rebels who live in the last wilderness left in Shima. Which isn’t really a job, I realize. But most of the jobs in Shima aren’t much fun. It’s a nation that’s dragged itself right to the edge of ruin. The skies are red, the sun is like a blast-furnace, the air is so polluted you can barely breathe. I’d be pretty angry about living in a world like that. I’d want to fight for change.


Fighting against the destruction of the world sounds like a good occupation. Count me in! If you could meet a spirit animal, which one would you like to meet and why?
A thunder tiger, for sure. I think everyone looks for a friendship like the one that grows between Yukiko and Buruu. He’s loyal and fierce and beautiful – I can’t wait for you guys to meet him ☺

I can't either! What are you working on right now? 
I’m writing the first draft of the third book in the series. It’s strange – you guys don’t get to read Stormdancer until September, but I’ve been writing the sequels for a couple of years. I wish I could jump in a time machine and travel to the point when they’re all done and out on shelves to see what you guys think.

Sadly, my Delorian is all out of plutonium ☹


Can we please find more plutonium, so I can jump to the future too and read all of them at once? I can't wait for books two and three!


Jay Kristoff grew up in the most isolated capital city on earth and fled at his earliest convenience, although he’s been known to trek back for weddings of the particularly nice and funerals of the particularly wealthy. He spent most of his formative years locked in his bedroom with piles of books, or gathered around dimly-lit tables rolling polyhedral dice. Being the holder of an Arts degree, he has no education to speak of.





The publisher has offered a copy of Stormdancer for a U.S. winner! To enter, fill out the form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

38 comments on "Stormdancer Book Tour + Giveaway"
  1. Great interview! Stormdancer sounds really good! Thanks for the chance to win!

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  2. Thanks for the giveaway and great interview! I must say that combining Steampunk and Japan will be interesting, certainly the most unique Steampunk book I will have read. I'm looking forward to reading it, it sounds so interesting! Sierra
    Keep growing beautiful!

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  3. Great interview, I'd love to win a copy so thank you!

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  4. I agree that Victorian England thing is overdone! I love the idea of a story set in Japan(I haven't read any!). Must be so strange for an author to know the characters for so long and only know are people getting to know them! Can't wait to read it!

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  5. Very interesting book. I'll very much want to check it out.

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  6. Thanks for the great interview! I've been looking forward to this book forever and can't wait until I can finally read it! The whole plot of this book sounds like it will be so good because it's completely different than anything else I've read : ) Thanks for the giveaway!!

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  7. Definitely different from other books I have read, sounds intriguing. Looking forward to reading it...

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  8. This sounds so different from any of the books I have read. I LOVE Japan and I have never seen anyone do a steampunk version. I just can't wait.

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  9. gr8 interview . good luck all

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  10. This book looks seriously awesome! Thanks for the interview and an chance to win :)

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  11. WOW. Just WOW. Must have this book! It looks so amazing! Everything I've heard is just GUSHING. Can't. WAIT!!! Fab interview and stop!

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  12. I have heard the best things about Stormdancer, and I can't wait to read it. I adore the Japanese culture, so this one sounds perfect!

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  13. Fantastic interview! Combining Japanese culture with steampunk elements?! Count me in! I love finding books that have such a unique vision driving them and I cannot wait to get my hands on this! :)

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  14. What an insightful interview. I love the idea of the spirit animal. I haven't read any fictional books with the spirit animal. I also love that the author mixes Japanese Culture and Steampunk to creat this story! It sounds like an amazing read!!!

    Lindy Gomez

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  15. Loved your insightful interview. I've stalked Jay like a madman needing another hit, after reading the tease of the first three chapters online, and you shared things he never said before anywhere else, so thank you! I liked reading Jay's influences from comics, how visual Stormdancer is, and what occupation he'd be if he lived there. Well done! Also, thank you for the opportunity to win a copy. I'd love to read and review.

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  16. I think it's an interesting idea. I'd like to read the book. Reading that interview, some of it made me want to say "Wow, you really did that?!?", though....like sleeping with 6 thick mangas under your pillow. I love reading them, too, but I wouldn't want to endure the neck pain that that would cause. Good luck with your book, sir.

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  17. Is it sad that what I took from that was sake and pocky? Nah... Just kidding. I have always been interested in the Japanese culture (seeing as I am 1/4 Japanese) and I've been into a lot of different types of anime and I've found a few great authors from Japan, too. This story seems like a must-read. I feel more than excited to have the opportunity to win the book. If I do not win, I look forward to its release/reading it with a cup of sake and some sticks of pocky! ^_^

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  18. The more I see about this book, the more I'm interested in it.

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  19. I love to read about the Shogunate era in Japanese history and recently come to love reading steampunk, this book is way at the top of my TBR list since April.The Thunder Tiger sounds interesting and who doesn't love Anime and Manga, let alone Akira!! Great interview and thanks for the chance at this great giveaway!

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  20. Excellent interview! I love how Mr. Kristoff jumped off the norm and went with the Japanese culture for the steampunk aspect. True, we have seen plenty of Victorian England, so this book is a totally new aspect, which I love! When an author can make it work, it's a win for me! Can't wait to read this book!

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  21. You have no idea how excited I am for this book, ESPECIALLY the thunder tiger. Stormdancer sounds like one of the most original books I've come across in a long time. Can't wait!

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  22. Great interview, funny info about the author :))

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  23. I loved the book trailer of this book! It is so epic!!

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  24. Nice review! I think my spirit animal is a cat (I so act like a cat sometimes)

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  25. I love Pocky! Especially the Strawberry one!

    Anyway, sorry for the random outburst. :P I'm really excited to read this, because this is the first Japanese steampunk book I've heard of! Plus chainsaw katanas totally caught my attention. ;)

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  26. Wow! The premise of this book is certainly original ;) It sounds like a really fun read. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  27. Nice interview. Thanks for sharing more about the book.

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  28. Stormdancer sounds hecka awesome because of the combination of elements etc. Chainsaw katanas and griffins and all? Plus humor? Love it already.
    ...I'm not sure how I feel about the trailer through.

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  29. Great interview! This sounds like an amazing book! :)

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  30. Loved Stormdancer! I have to have it on my bookshelf. Thanks for doing the interview! I always love to learn more about books and their amazing authors.

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  31. Great interview! I've heard amazing things about this book, but I can't get my hands on it anywhere!

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  32. That Arts degree totally explains the heavy descriptions, not that I minded. It really made the world come alive.

    Thanks for the Giveaway!

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  33. Loved the interview! It's awesome that he chose to veer away from Victorian England! I can't wait to read it

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  34. I really enjoyed the interview! I've heard amazing things about Stormdancer and would LOVE to win it. :)

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  35. So glad he's already working on the third book!! I'm so eager to read more from this guy. He's a genius!

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  36. Jay Kristoff is so freaking hilarious XD

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  37. Thank you for this wonderful giveaway and interview. I feel I learn a lot more about this novel. I love how the autho put Steampunk and Japanese cultures into a book.

    - Beckie

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  38. Ok so this book sounds really awesome from just reading the above. Now I can see why my sister wants to read it so bad.

    "Sadly, my Delorian is all out of plutonium ☹ " This is hilarious! I wish we could jump ahead and read these books too. But with this awesome giveaway maybe that chance will be sooner than later. Thank you for the interview.

    wendyrailey@yahoo.com

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