I couldn't be more excited today to have young adult author Victoria Aveyard on the blog to answer a few questions about Red Queen, releasing today from HarperTeen. I absolutely adored this book and protagonist Mare in particular, a young woman who made some extremely difficult–and at times off-putting–choices that beautifully showed how war can be just as bloody and brutal far behind the front lines as on them. Welcome to Supernatural Snark Victoria!
The Silvers put on a gladiator-style show for the Reds as a reminder of their strength and power. If you suddenly found yourself in the ring ready to do combat against a Silver, what are the top three abilities you most hope you won’t have to face?
Oh, I definitely wouldn’t want to face a whisper or anyone with any kind of mind control. I also have an intense fear of drowning, so nymphs are right out. If I had to face a creature-controlling animos, I just hope they don’t bring a tiger to the fight. 1) a tiger would rip me up and 2) I would let it because I couldn’t bring myself to hurt it. And there’s an ability that pops up in book 2 that, if I was Silver myself, would never want to come across.
I sometimes lack the ability to keep my mouth shut when it would behoove me to do just that, so I would likely get myself in quite a bit of trouble if I were in Mare’s place having to play nice with those responsible for my family’s hardships. If you were in Mare’s shoes, what aspect of life at the Silver Palace would be most challenging for you?
Besides keeping my mouth shut – I too have that problem – the intense memorization required to navigate court life would definitely trip me up. I’m also quite lazy, so all the running she has to do would not go over well. I’d end up winded in the corner after the first chase.
*Me too Victoria, me too. High five.*
Cal and Maven, the princes Mare trains with at the palace, are not entirely what she would have expected from those with royal blood. What would she say was most surprising to her about each of them?
Without spoiling too much: their compassion really takes her off guard. She’s been raised to think of Silvers as gods, their kings and princes even more so. In her mind, these people would rather eat her than give her the time of day, let alone become her friend. And in regards to Cal, she also can’t understand his hypocrisy. He knows the world they live in is wrong, but he won’t do anything to change it. On the other hand, Maven is very brave in her eyes, more so than his warrior brother, because even though he has no real power, he does what he can to help Mare and the Scarlet Guard.
Let’s say Mare’s ability was such that she could hop from her own world into the world of any other piece of fiction. What other fictional world would most appeal to her?
Oooh, this is a fun one. It’s really fun to picture Mare in The Hunger Games (not that she would enjoy it) because she’d end up sitting in the lightning tree, just hanging out. I think she would flourish best in Westeros – now that she’s cut her teeth on betrayal and war, not to mention the fact that she controls lightning, she could do some serious damage. I feel bad for the first knight who pisses her off. Unfortunately, Middle-Earth would be a little too calm for her at this point, too black and white for her to understand. She’d suspect Aragorn of corruption at every turn. Whereas I personally would set up shop in the Shire and never leave.
There are a number of truly villainous characters in this story. As a reader, what would you say is the number one trait that takes your ability to despise someone a step further than it’s even been before?
A lack of remorse. I love writing villains, particularly those with good reasons for their villainy. But even so, when a character knows what they’re doing is wrong, and doesn’t care at all, that’s truly frightening.
Red is a color that obviously suits the first book in this trilogy. As a teaser for book two, what color would you say best fits the next steps of Mare’s continued journey?
Gray. Things get murkier, both plot-wise and character-wise. And as far as Mare’s concerned, she’s become so tangled up in herself and what’s been done to her. She’s definitely in a fog, and she’s the only one able to pull herself out.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions Victoria!
• • • • • • • • • • • •
The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.
To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.
Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.
But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?
• • • • • • • • • • • •
I’m a writer repped by Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. I split my time between my hometown East Longmeadow, Massachusetts and Los Angeles. After graduating with a BFA in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California, I decided to try my hand at writing a novel. My debut RED QUEEN came out of the terrifying, unemployed year after college.
Currently I’m revising the second book in the RED QUEEN series, along with pursuing other projects in literature and film. My proudest achievements are riding a horse in the mountains of Montana and navigating from London to Edinburgh without GPS.
You can find my blog at www.victoriaaveyard.blogspot.com if you’re interested in some longer ramblings. Follow me on twitter @victoriaaveyard for 140 character ramblings.