November 21, 2016

Happy book birthday to Audrey Coulthurst! I'm looking forward to reading her LGBT fantasy, OF FIRE AND STARS

Congratulations to Audrey Coulthurst on her debut, an LGBT fantasy. The book has drawn rave reviews for the sweet, gentle romance woven through this adventure tale. And it has a blurb from Mercedes Lackey, which I still can't believe.

The Story

Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.

The Reviews

“A powerful and exquisite love story”
--Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A deeply romantic, bold, and nuanced fantasy. You will be captivated by Denna and Mare and their star-crossed love for each other.”
--Malinda Lo, Author of Ash and Huntress

“I devoured Of Fire and Stars in two sittings; it’s a delightful debut, full of all the things I like best in a fantasy story, including not one but two wonderful heroines. I’m looking forward to seeing what Audrey does in the future!”
--Mercedes Lackey, New York Times bestselling author

Coulthursts’s debut is an absolute delight; I loved seeing these smart, fierce princesses fall in captivating, slow-burn love as they investigate political assassinations and unravel magical conspiracies.”
--Corinne Duyvis, author of Otherbound and On the Edge of Gone

Romantic, compelling, and bursting with fascinating characters, Of Fire and Stars is the fantasy novel we’ve all been waiting for.
--Amy Tintera, author of Ruined

The Interview

Q: Where did you get the inspiration for your book?
OF FIRE AND STARS is a tribute to all the things I love to read about--magic, horses, music, and girls who fall in love with other girls. I wrote the book I wish I'd had as a teenager, and have a little more to say about that in a guest post I wrote for Malinda Lo's blog.

Q: Describe your writing process, from idea to final draft.
My writing process has changed a lot over the years, but in the case of OF FIRE AND STARS, the first draft was completed relatively quickly, and then I spent a long time revising. I'm a retroactive outliner, meaning that I tend to write a first draft, then outline it, and then use the outline as a blueprint for the revision.

Q: Tell us about your journey, from finding an agent to publication.
My path was straightforward and traditional. I spent a long time writing and revising before querying. I entered Pitch Wars in late 2013 (fellow Class of 2k16 author Elizabeth Briggs was my mentor!) and then began querying in early 2014. I signed with my agent that summer, and she sold OF FIRE AND STARS the following spring.

Q: Why would someone want to buy your book?

Anyone who loves fantasy books full of horses, magic, and intrigue will find something to enjoy in OF FIRE AND STARS. It's all about falling in love with the wrong person and trying to make peace with the parts of ourselves that are the hardest to face.

Q: What are your favorite books? What are you reading now?
It's too hard to narrow down the list, so I'll provide some of my favorite books featuring same-sex relationships: Summit Avenue, Fingersmith, I'll Give You the Sun, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Ash, and Huntress.

Check out the book on Amazon and on Goodreads