Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Interview: Victoria Aveyard + Red Queen

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.


  1. Loved this Jenny and I loved this book! I can't wait for book two and I am with the both of you, no way would I want to be in the ring with either of those abilities!
    Fun interview!!

  2. Nice interview, very insightful and dun. Looks like the novel is also fun to read. Can't wait to get a copy and find out myself.

  3. Wonderful interview! I could see Mare in the Hunger Games and in Westeros. I totally personally would hang out in the Shire too. :-) Loved this book!

  4. Hah yes I cannot keep my mouth shut either. IT'S JUST WAY TOO HARD, OKAY? Thank you for sharing this interview, Jenny! I loved reading it.

  5. Haha, Jenny! High fives you and Victoria because I'm like you guys too! Can't shut my mouth and I will be killed if I were in this world almost immediately. That last question has got me really excited! How murkier can the plot get?! NEEDS IT NOW!
    Great interview, Jenny!

  6. Wonderful interview, Victoria and Jenny! I have trouble knowing when to keep my mouth shut, too! *sigh* Red Queen sounds exciting and the heroine sounds bad-ass. I approve! :)

  7. Wow, Jenny! I applaud your questions. You really asked very interesting and original questions, which consequently resulted to answers that were equally riveting. It's really fascinating to know that the color of the next book is Gray because of the murkiness of the plot and character development... that's making me so excited because I can see a lot of depth ahead!! Thanks for this amazing interview, it was so fun to read :)

    Faye at The Social Potato

  8. I agree, self control with the people who hurt you is the hardest and she'd have to be really awesome to navigate court life :)

    Lovely interview :)

  9. I would definitely not want to be in that gladiator-style ring. I know for sure that I would not last long. Lol

  10. The gladitator death match was one of the highlights of the book. Fun interview. This book was definitely the buzz yesterday. I am sure lots of people will be reading it this week.

  11. I have a picture in my head of this book and what's in it and I bet it's so different. Especially as I read more about it in reviews and interviews. I may have to consider reading it once the 2nd book comes out. :)

  12. I loved this story and your questions a perfect for it Jenny! I have to say after reading the last one, I'm even more on edge and excited for the next book. Thanks for the wonderful post Victoria and Jenny :)

  13. I am very curious about this one now

  14. Wow, what a great interview Jenny! This really makes me want to read the book for sure!
    And ooooh, I'd so move to the Shire without looking back!!

  15. I use to have a problem with not holding my tongue, but as I grew older, dealt with BS and realized it wasn't worth it, I learned to bite my tongue. Now mind you I sometime bite hard enough that it bleeds and sound off in my head like a champ..but in the end I am in a better place..LOL I liked Mare, and see a lot of room for her to grow and mature. Cannot wait for book two.

  16. lol - Yeah, it has taken me year to learn to hold my tongue in certain situations. I'm looking forward to reading this. Another wonderful interview, Jenny.

  17. Ooh, murkier is great! (Not that this first time around wasn't murky enough...) Most excellent interview.

  18. Jenny, I appreciate your ability to write quality interview questions. I always struggle with that!

    I love that Victoria takes such pleasure in writing villains. We're going to be good friends, I like it. And it looks like they all live in shades of gray!

  19. I was completely hooked from beginning to end. If you liked Graceling, you'll like this one. The twists and turns keep you on your toes. The description says it's a mix between Graceling and the selection but there's not much of The Selection in it. Rather, it's more like the Graceling in a world like Hunger Games. I loved every minute of it!