Series: A Thousand Nights #2
on December 6th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling
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The world is made safe by a woman...but it is a very big world.
It has been generations since the Storyteller Queen drove the demon out of her husband and saved her country from fire and blood. Her family has prospered beyond the borders of their village, and two new kingdoms have sprouted on either side of the mountains where the demons are kept prisoner by bright iron, and by the creatures the Storyteller Queen made to keep them contained.
But the prison is crumbling. Through years of careful manipulation, a demon has regained her power. She has made one kingdom strong and brought the other to its knees, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. When a princess is born, the demon is ready with the final blow: a curse that will cost the princess her very soul, or force her to destroy her own people to save her life.
The threads of magic are tightly spun, binding princess and exiled spinners into a desperate plot to break the curse before the demon can become a queen of men. But the web of power is dangerously tangled--and they may not see the true pattern until it is unspooled.
Tell us about your inspiration behind Spindle!
So back in 2012, I had just sold The Story of Owen and I was looking around for what I should do if I wanted to make a career of this writing thing. Though I would shortly get sidetracked by Exit, Pursued By A Bear, I was thinking about fairy-tale retellings.
I really, really love retellings. I love the straight-up ones, I love the trope-inversion ones, I love the ones that take place in space. I love them because the stories are so familiar, but we have changed, and so the story changes with us.
I love Sleeping Beauty a lot, but when I as little I was always perplexed by the King and Queen’s decision NOT to tell their daughter about her curse. I don’t have children, but I like to imagine that if I did, and if they had been cursed by a fairy to prick their finger on a spinning wheel and die, I would, from the time they were quite young, be all “This is a spinning wheel. NEVER TOUCH IT.” I wanted to write the story where the girl knows all the information.
Later, when I was at university for archaeology and learned about textile production, I realized that if you tell a pre-industrial society they can’t spin, they starve to death, because all of their food money goes to clothing instead.
Finally, one night I was at my friends’ house, and we were playing Settlers of Catan. Rachel dealt the board, and the three of us looked at it, and it was TERRIBLE. She was all “I’m going to deal again” and I was all “Wait, let me take a picture first!”, and that was the final piece. (It also turned out to be an excellent map in the book itself, which is a total career goal.)
About the Author
E.K. Johnston had several jobs and one vocation before she became a published writer. If she’s learned anything, it’s that things turn out weird sometimes, and there’s not a lot you can do about it. Well, that and how to muscle through awkward fanfic because it’s about a pairing she likes.
Her books range from contemporary fantasy (The Story of Owen, Prairie Fire), to fairy-tale reimaginings (A Thousand Nights, Spindle), and from small town Ontario (Exit, Pursued By A Bear), to a galaxy far, far away (Star Wars: Ahsoka). She has no plans to rein anything in.
You can follow Kate on Twitter (@ek_johnston) to learn more about Alderaanian political theory than you really need to know, or on Tumblr (ekjohnston) and Instagram (ek_johnston) if you’re just here for pretty pictures.
E.K. Johnston is represented by Adams Literary
3 Finished Copies of SPINDLE (US Only!)
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