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Author Interview: Joanna Ruth Meyer


1.      You write gorgeous fairy tales; do you have a favorite story?

          Thank you! My favorite fairy tale has been Beauty & the Beast ever since I read Robin McKinley’s lovely retelling Beauty when I was about 11 years old. Echo North is a retelling of the Norwegian fairy tale East of the Sun and West of the Moon, which is a cousin fairy tale to Beauty & the Beast and contains a lot of similar elements, so I had the pleasure of exploring both fairy tales while writing it! Wind Daughter is set in the same world as Echo, but is not a retelling.

2. Who is your favorite character in the book and why?

          I absolutely loved writing the Winter Lord, but my favorite is probably Satu. I have never put so much of myself into a character as I did into Satu—I gave her my insecurities, my high sensitivity, my social anxiety… writing the book in some ways felt like a self call out on every single page. :D But I wanted to write a character who is hyper sensitive and cries allllll the time but still is capable—and more than worthy—of telling her own story, of changing the world. Satu is my heart on the page—the only difference is the magic.

3. One of the things I enjoy most about your writing is the world-building. What helped you create Satu North’s world? And the Weaver?

          The excellent thing about writing Wind Daughter was I had created the world for Echo North, so I mostly got to expand and develop what was already there—this did end up being a two-edged sword occasionally, though, as I was bound by things I’d written in Echo that I had to be sure and keep consistent! It was a joy to take some of the themes from the first book and explore them even more deeply here. I expanded a lot on the idea of “threads of magic,” and the Weaver grew naturally out of that concept—Satu’s world was first woven together by the old magic, so it stood to reason that someone had to do the weaving!

4. Satu North worries that she’s not enough. How do you think teens will relate to her character and her becoming enough?

          I think all of us have felt, at one time or another, set apart from our peers, like we don’t fit in, like we’re not interesting enough or smart enough or good enough. Satu eventually comes to learn that her unique perspective of the world has merit, that she, in and of herself, has value. I hope that teens will feel certain, by the end, that they too, like Satu, are enough. That their story matters. That they matter. As I wrote in the dedication, the world needs your great hearts!

5. I’m a sucker for a good romance and the ones in WIND DAUGHTER melted my frozen heart. How do you create a compelling hero?

          Okay I’m going to be completely honest here! Part of what inspired the romance in this book was me imagining how to fix the ending of a certain space movie that came out a few years ago that was Rather Upsetting. :D That said, digging into the character of the male lead, seeing his cracks and his flaws, his passions and hopes and failures—showing the depths of his heart is what makes him compelling for me. That and sarcastic banter! :D

Your books:

Beneath the Haunting Sea

Beyond the Shadowed Earth

Into the Heartless Wood

Echo North

Wind Daughter

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