“Red, red, the lights glow red
Beware the danger up ahead…”
-Lisa Lueddecke, A Shiver of Snow and Sky
Hi everyone! I’m thrilled to tell you all that I’m on the blog tour for A Shiver of Snow and Sky and today I have an interview with the lovely Lisa Lueddecke for you all!
Could you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m the daughter of an Air Force veteran who is no stranger to moving, so growing up, something that I could do on planes, trains, and automobiles was write in a notebook. I started from a very early age, and kept going and going until I started book blogging, interning at a publishing house, and ultimately got my first book deal.
When did you decide to start writing A Shiver of Snow and Sky and why?
I had the first inkling of an idea in 2014, but I was living in New York at the time, and found myself less than inspired to write. So I took notes, made lists of words for the world I wanted to write about, and waited until the spring of 2015 to write it. I wrote only one chapter at a time, and read each chapter to my two youngest sisters, and their enthusiasm and feedback kept me going for the roughly four weeks it took me to complete the first draft.
What inspired you to write a Nordic fantasy?
I didn’t originally set out to write a Nordic fantasy, but I knew the kind of world I found interesting, and they always say to write what you’d want to read. Having spent some time in Iceland as a child, and then living for many years in Maine, winter has always been a big part of my life, so that was always very important for me to include. Everything else just fell into place!
Have you got any exciting projects you’re working on next?
I’m currently editing book two, which does not follow the same characters but is set in the same world, and I’m alternating that with an entirely different high fantasy project (early days yet). I write every day, so I work on one thing for a few hours until I feel like I’ve reached my limit with that world, and then I close it and open my other project.
Can we have a little hint about what to expect?
For book two, you can go ahead and expect more snow (surprise), but also a bit more about Skane itself. I’m loving having the opportunity to explore it a bit more, and delve into things that I only barely touched on in A Shiver of Snow and Sky.
What is your favourite thing about writing?
My favourite thing about writing is the feeling of anything being possible. I love being behind a keyboard with the power to create people and worlds that almost become real in my mind, and following their stories like they were there all along.
Can you tell us a little about your writing process?
I am a morning person, so I tend to get up sometime between 5am and 6am every day, and spend a good few hours writing. I often come back to it in the afternoon, but after about 3pm, my creative window closes and I struggle a lot more. I may keep taking notes, or jot down ideas for the next day’s writing session, but that’s it. My process is also different per project. For book two, I’m writing it straight into my computer with wintry ambience noises playing in the background. For my other project, I’m handwriting it into a notebook with fantasy music playing, and then typing it up later. I’m not sure why I’m doing them differently, but that’s just how it’s going.
Do you have any specific music you like to listen to while writing?
I tend to go between ambient music and sounds, and epic fantasy music. I also love soundtracks, like those from The Lord of the Rings, the game Dishonored, and Skyrim. I also find playlists on YouTube and just let those play for a while.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
With A Shiver of Snow and Sky, everything about the world was new and exciting to discover, so when I sat down to start the second one, I was worried that I’d done everything I could do, and that there was nothing left to learn about the island. But it turns out I was wrong, and I’m rolling full-steam ahead now. I just needed to get going on it.
Do you have a special time of day you prefer to write in? Or how is your day structured?
Mornings, mornings, mornings. I’m a sunrise girl, and I love writing when the day feels new, like there’s something to be discovered.
Which writers inspire you?
The Brontës, for sure. Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights were my favourite books, growing up. I also loved reading Tolkien and Lewis, and then got hopelessly obsessed with Ella Enchanted. I’ve reread that book more than any other. I’m also hugely inspired by my friend Samantha Shannon. She is so dedicated and focused and writes such amazing books. She has also been a huge support to me during my publishing journey, and I feel very lucky.
How do you switch off and unwind when you’re not writing?
I love to watch TV. Not movies, so much, but my husband and I have a pretty solid routine of finishing work (he also works from home), cooking dinner together, chatting about our day, and then we watch TV until bed. I read just before going to sleep.
As I have a lot of aspiring authors reading this blog, is there any advice or words of wisdom you’d like to give them?
As most people will say, it is so important to practice writing. A Shiver of Snow and Sky was not the first book I wrote—it was the fifth, I believe. Those other ones will never get published or read, but I had to write them to learn how to write. That’s not to say that you must write five books to be a published writer, but you have to let yourself explore your creative voice and find your style. For me, that took five books. Also, don’t measure yourself by someone else’s standards. Their journey will not be the same as yours. Their struggles and successes will be different than yours. Don’t let the wonder of writing be consumed by a sense of competition. Just write, write, write, and let your journey unfold as it only can for you.
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
Thank you so much for the interview! I love your Instagram account so much, and I’m honoured to get to chat with you about my book.
A huge thanks to the lovely Lisa for this interview, and for the fab Olivia at Scholastic for organising it all!
Check out the following links to find out more about Lisa and her book:
Thanks for reading everyone, I hope you enjoyed reading Lisa’s answers as much as I did! Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour: