Hello everyone, and welcome back!! Happy Valentine’s Day ❤️ I hope you’ve all been doing well…. my midwinter break just started yesterday (happy late Lunar New Year, by the way 🎉) and while my teachers have again assigned a crazy amount of homework, I’m so excited to be blogging again!! I have so many post ideas and hopefully I can get some of them published during the next week or so 😊
Today, I’m bringing you something really special — my first ever author interview, with no other than Brigid Kemmerer, one of my all-time favorite authors!! For those of you who don’t know, Brigid has an impressive backlist from a variety of genres, ranging from fantasy (Cursebreakers series) to contemporary romance (Letters to the Lost) to paranormal (Elemental series). I am a HUGE fan of the Cursebreakers books and Brigid’s contemporaries, so imagine my fangirling when Brigid readily accepted my interview request 🤩
Although we had to keep the interview on the shorter side due to time constraints on Brigid’s part, the answers she was able to give are brilliant! I hope you enjoy reading through them as much as I did!!
So let’s get started!!
Abby: Thank you so much for joining us here today, Brigid! Your contemporary and fantasy books are famous for including the most swoon-worthy romances. So my first question is: What do you think is the most important ingredient in developing realistic romantic relationships?
Brigid: There are a lot of layers to realistic romance. For me, I always start with an initial attraction. Physical attributes are obvious, and they do play a small role, but what I really mean is something that catches the other person’s attention in a surprising way. Is it an unexpected skill? Their tone of voice? The way they treat animals? All of the above? And then there are the opposites: challenges to overcome. Is someone stubborn? Angsty? Aloof? Are these challenges worth looking past? Just like people are multi-faceted, characters should be, too.
Abby: That’s so fascinating! I’ve always wondered how authors create chemistry between characters. I know this next question may seem like a personal attack, but I have to ask: Who was your favorite character to write from the Cursebreakers series and why?
Brigid: While I can’t choose a favorite character overall, I can definitely tell you my favorite character to write. That would have to be Rhen. He has so much internal thought, and he’s so driven and purposeful, his voice just flows right out of my head and onto the page. I love all of them, but Rhen is by far the easiest to write.
Abby: Rhen is definitely such an interesting character! Though I have to say that Grey will always be my fave 😍 Speaking of characters from that series, let’s talk about Harper! Fans of the Cursebreakers books know that Harper, one of the MCs, is affected by cerebral palsy. What research did you have to do to accurately depict someone with CP? Do you have any other book recommendations featuring disability rep?
Brigid: I started with a close friend who has CP, and I asked her about a million questions about her teen years, her challenges, what it was like in high school … anything you can think of. I also spoke with a pediatrician to make sure I had the medical aspects portrayed correctly, along with a lot of reading and watching online. Finally, once the manuscript was complete, I hired two sensitivity readers to make sure Harper wasn’t portrayed in an inauthentic way, and to make sure I didn’t fall prey to any stereotypes. It was important to me that Curse wasn’t a book about dealing with CP, but that it just happened to be a part of Harper’s character. Here’s a great list of #ownvoices YA titles with disabled characters.
Abby: I’m definitely going to have to check that list out! Next question: Your acknowledgements sections are always notoriously long, and I’ve noticed the names of some of my other favorite authors included in there. Can you tell us about what authors you’ve worked with in the past? How have they helped you to become a better writer?
Brigid: I’ve grown close to so many authors over the course of my career! From Jodi Picoult, who blew me away when she first sent me a DM, to Gillian McDunn, who is one of the most talented MG writers I know, to Isabel Ibanez, who gives phenomenal critique notes, to Jennifer L. Armentrout, who is always an inspiration. They all make me want to be a better writer, just because they’re all so amazing.
Abby: Isabel is a brilliant writer, and I’m looking forward to checking out Ms. Armentrout’s work soon! So, you have another book coming out in September. What can you tell us about Defy the Night and other projects you’re currently working on?
Brigid: Defy the Night is so much fun! I’m so excited about it! It’s a brand new fantasy, unrelated to the Cursebreaker series. It’s about the kingdom of Kandala, which is ruled by a cruel king and his brother, a man named Corrick, whose job it is to punish thieves and black marketeers. In Kandala, the people are afflicted by a mysterious illness that can be fatal, and the only cure is an elixir made from the petals of a plant called the Moonflower. Because the Moonflower is rare and expensive, only the richest citizens can afford it. A girl named Tessa takes it upon herself to steal moonflower petals and distribute them to those who can’t afford them, but she’s always at risk of being caught and having to face the terrifying Prince Corrick. But Tessa soon discovers that the only way to truly save the people is to start a revolution, and that might just mean destroying Kandala if she has any hope of saving it.
Abby: Defy the Night publishes September 14, 2021! I don’t think I speak for just myself when I say that I’m beyond excited to read Tessa’s story!!
Thank you so much to Brigid for taking the time to answer my questions! 💖
Brigid Kemmerer is the New York Times bestselling author of dark and alluring Young Adult novels like A Curse So Dark and Lonely, More Than We Can Tell, and Letters to the Lost (Bloomsbury), as well as paranormal YA stories like The Elemental Series and Thicker Than Water (Kensington). A full time writer, Brigid lives in the Baltimore area with her husband, her boys, her dog, and her cat. When she’s not writing or being a mommy, you can usually find her with her hands wrapped around a barbell.
You can find Brigid on Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and her website.
OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS I’M SCREAMING. I had to keep some degree of professionalism with my questions but OH MY GOSH THIS IS SUCH A FANGIRL MOMENT FOR ME OMG HELP. I can’t believe that I had the chance to talk to one of my all-time fave authors??!?!? HELP?!!?!? I wasn’t really expecting anything when I first thought about sending an interview request and then emailed Brigid after much hesitation… but then omg this happened. I guess there’s a lesson to be learned here about going after your dreams or something 😂 Maybe I can make this a monthly feature or something?? I’d love to interview some of my other favorite authors as well 🤩
Anyway, my review for A Vow So Bold and Deadly will be posted soon (hopefully within the month), so be on the lookout for that!! Until then, you should chat with me in the comments! Have you read any of Brigid’s books? Who’s your fave character from the Cursebreakers series? Any book recs you have for me that feature disability rep? I’d love to talk with you all!
And to end on a more somber note, please take some time to read about the Uighur concentration camps in China and the systemic rape Uighur women are facing (TW: rape, torture, gang rape, sexual abuse). And if able, please consider donating to stop the genocide.