Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of your new fantasy novel, The Sky Weaver! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the book’s premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
Kristen Ciccarelli: Thank you! The Sky Weaver is a young adult fantasy novel about Safire (the captain of the king’s guard) and Eris (an uncatchable pirate-thief) who are thrust into each other’s company as they race to rescue (or hunt down, in Eris’ case) Safire’s cousin. Things you can expect to find in its pages are dragons, pirates, meddling gods, mysterious islands, and an enemies-to-lovers f/f romance.
It’s a standalone novel in a series of books which intertwine but can all be read on their own.
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in writing the book, and what have been some of your creative influences?
KC: In a lot of ways, this book was the easiest of the three to write. It almost just fell out of me. I think that had a lot to do with my readers who have been so supportive of me and these books. I often say that The Last Namsara taught me how to write a book, The Caged Queen taught me how to push through fear, but The Sky Weaver is the book where I really found my stride. Because of the support of my readers, I had no fear as I wrote it (unlike the first two) which meant there was nothing standing between me and the page. I was totally free. And in that way, it’s the most *me* of all three books.
BD: As this book is the final chapter in the larger Iskari series, what can you tell us about your process in bringing all of the puzzle pieces into place while also allowing the book to serve as a standalone story in and of itself?
KC: Because I wrote all three books as separate entities that stand alone, there weren’t too many puzzle pieces to fit together. The world is the same in all three books (though you see much more of it in The Sky Weaver), and the supporting cast is the same, as well, and each book happens after the events of the former have ended. I think the fact that each book centers a different girl—Asha, Roa, Safire/Eris—gave me a lot of freedom to just write each one the way it needed to be written, with the occasional checking to make sure I wasn’t messing up a timeline or a plot point in an earlier book.
BD: As a writer, what draws you to the fantasy genre, and do you feel that the genre offers specific storytelling tools to you?
KC: I love weird and impossible things, and fantasy does weird and impossible best. I also love fantasy because it does metaphor so well. In fantasy, you can talk about any one thing without seeming to talk about that thing by disguising it as magic or a monster. For example, in The Last Namsara (book one of my series) I created dragons who are lured by stories (instead of, say, treasure) as a way to talk about the power of stories and storytelling. I love things like that.
BD: What do you hope that readers will take away from your work?
KC: In many ways, all three books of this series—The Sky Weaver most especially—are about strength: finding it, honing it, and using it for good. I hope that’s what my readers take away. That, and the realization that they are so much stronger than they think.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
KC: I can’t get too specific, so I’ll just say that I’m working on a standalone fantasy novel right now that I gave up on almost ten years ago, because I didn’t how to make it what it needed to be. (That and I wasn’t a strong enough writer to make it what it needed to be.) After writing a 3-book series, and doing a bit more living, I know how to write it now. So, that’s what I’m working on.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about The Sky Weaver and your other work?
KC: The best way is to either head to my website (www.kristenciccarelli.com) or my Instagram account.