How long did it take you to write?
Technically? Over a decade. Elivya has haunted me since I was a teenager. Her story and her world have gradually been taking shape inside my head for years, but when I finally got my act together and sat down at a keyboard with intent, it took a year and a half.
Favorite chapter or scene?
I love all of Quintin and Elivya's interactions. She enjoys pushing his buttons and he is so good at shutting her down with a few well-chosen words. Their animosity makes writing dialogue for them a lot of fun.
How did Elivya's character evolve over time?
In painful leaps and bounds. Like any new author, my first attempt was horribly one-dimensional. I made her angry, proud, rebellious, permanent chip on the shoulder. You know the type. After a few drafts, I finally figured out that she needed legitimate reasons for all of these attributes. Why did she resent her privileged life? Why was she so prideful? In exploring these questions, I unearthed some of my favorite parts of Traitor, including Elivya's complicated relationship with her father. Over time, I tempered her to have a far more realistic balance of attributes, the good and the bad. Above all, I wanted Elivya to feel incredibly human, with all the shortcomings and mistakes that go with it.
Hardest part to write?
From a technical standpoint, Elivya's debut was a challenge. It's her first introduction to the lavish setting at Court and I wanted her to feel a little overwhelmed without losing the prideful edge that is core to her character. Balancing her practical inexperience with her innate cleverness and extensive training was difficult for me. From an emotional perspective, the burial scene in chapter 38 wrecked me.
Want to get equally wrecked? Listen to "Rue's Farewell" while reading it. I dare you not to cry. [...] No? No tears? Okay, FINE, maybe I'm just a big softie.
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