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DSC08992-8Hello everyone! So, I’m excited because today’s interview is with Claire Eliza Bartlett, the author of We Rule The Night* which sounds absolutely fantastic and has one of the most beautiful covers I have ever seen! Before we get into the (not spoilery) interview, here is a synopsis of the book, via Goodreads:

Two girls use forbidden magic to fly and fight–for their country and for themselves–in this riveting debut that’s part Shadow and Bone, part Code Name Verity.

Seventeen-year-old Revna is a factory worker, manufacturing war machines for the Union of the North. When she’s caught using illegal magic, she fears being branded a traitor and imprisoned. Meanwhile, on the front lines, Linné defied her father, a Union general, and disguised herself as a boy to join the army. They’re both offered a reprieve from punishment if they use their magic in a special women’s military flight unit and undertake terrifying, deadly missions under cover of darkness. Revna and Linné can hardly stand to be in the same cockpit, but if they can’t fly together, and if they can’t find a way to fly well, the enemy’s superior firepower will destroy them–if they don’t destroy each other first.

We Rule the Night is a powerful story about sacrifice, complicated friendships, and survival despite impossible odds.

Now, let’s get into the interview….

1. To start off, how did you come up with the idea for We Rule The Night and what was first running through your mind right after you thought of the idea for it?

I got the idea from going to a concert! I’m a moderate metal fan, and a friend had tickets to see a Swedish metal band so we went together. The band draws from history for a lot of their work, and one of their songs was about the Night Witches. The song was catchy, and I started to research. What I learned was unlike anything I learned in my World War II history class, and I was hooked!
Initially, I wanted the story to be a bit more positive, a bit less heavy. But the more I researched, the more I felt the weight of what the Night Witches went through and the angrier I got – which I think shows itself in the story!
2. From reading the synopsis, We Rule The Night sounds like a combination of fantasy and historical fiction, both of which are very hard to write on their own. What was your experience like when writing an overlap of the two together?
That’s interesting! I have always loved and wanted to write fantasy, so I’ve never stopped to consider how difficult it might be. History is a little trickier – if your audience ever thinks you don’t know what you’re talking about, you’ve destroyed their trust in the novel, so you have to be very precise. I opted for the cheater’s route – I let history strongly inspire me, but I made changes where I thought I could sharpen the story, and I very obviously put my tale in a different world. That way I don’t have to be quite so exact!
3. Going off my previous question, what research did you do to write We Rule The Night?
I did a lot of research on the Night Witches themselves, and as a tangent to that, Russian history from the Romanov dynasty through the Stalin-era USSR. I also read other material on World War II, though I did try to stick to a Soviet perspective. Because my main character, Revna, is a double below-knee amputee, I also did a lot of research on amputees and amputation – reading books, conducting interviews, watching video essays by amputees and so on. I also hired an amputee freelancer to give me a manuscript edit focused on my main character and her disability – how she relates to it, practical assessments of it and so on.
4. As well, were there any specific experiences in your life that you think lend themselves to you becoming a writer/writing We Rule The Night?
Nothing specific turned on my love of writing (except perhaps my 3rd-grade teacher – thank you Kirsten!), but I did draw on a lot of personal feelings and experiences while writing We Rule the Night. One of the not-so-fun facts about the novel is that everything sexist that happens to the female pilots in the story is inspired by something that happened to the Night Witches, or happened to me.
5. Is Revna or Linné based on you or anyone you know in real life?
Neither of them are based on people I actually know, but both Revna and Linné are aggregates of people from history. Linné is based off of some of the female snipers who worked for the Soviet Union during World War II, as well as a few of the women who had been soldiers with the army before any women’s regiments were formed. They were reportedly rather displeased to be taken from their original regiments and lumped in with the girls! As for Revna, there are two main inspirations for her: Virginia Hall and Douglas Bader. Both of these are famous figures from World War II, but in brief: Virginia Hall was an American woman and the most wanted member of the French Resistance during World War II, and climbed the Pyrenees on a prosthetic leg. Douglas Bader was a double amputee and pilot with the Royal Air Force of Great Britain, and he shot down 23 Nazi planes, then proceeded to escape from his prisoner of war camp no less than three times – on two prosthetic legs.
6. If you weren’t a writer, what do you think your job would be?
I actually took my master’s degree in Egyptology – so I’d probably look for a job where I can sit with indecipherable handwriting all day and make musty translations that nobody cares about (Seriously, don’t ask me about ancient Egyptian housing contracts). (Editor’s Note: YASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS #EgyptiansRule)
7. What is your favorite thing about writing and what is your least favorite thing?
My favorite thing is that feeling when you know exactly what has to happen next – when a piece of the puzzle slots into place and you just can’t write fast enough to get it all down.
My least favorite part is looking at a piece of the novel I have to edit, and knowing I have to edit it – but not knowing how! I can spend hours on one paragraph, and that usually ends in a breakdown of some kind.
8. Was there anything you found surprising either in writing the book or in the pre-debut process in general?
What surprised me most was that I couldn’t really use other debut authors as a measuring stick. Everything happened to each of us at such different times! Some of us had more rounds of editing than others; some of us had contact with different parts of the publishing arm that others weren’t expected to talk to. This is why it’s best to keep your eyes on your own paper, so to speak, and talk with the people who can give you the best information for you – your agent and your editor.
9. And, for the final question, is there any advice you have for writers hoping to become a published author?
Keep learning! Even when you’ve got your finished manuscript, or your agent, or your book deal – there’s always more to learn. I love taking classes and pushing myself to improve, and I think the biggest mistake an author can make is thinking that we’ve hit the peak, and can’t get any better. We can all do better!
Unless you’re Leigh Bardugo. She’s perfect.

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly bookish meme created by Breaking The Spine to highlight some of the upcoming books you can’t wait to read!

SLAYSummary, courtesy of Goodreads: “By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm, who believes video games are partially responsible for the “downfall of the Black man.” But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Even worse, an anonymous troll infiltrates the game, threatening to sue Kiera for “anti-white discrimination.” Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically Black in a world intimidated by Blackness. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process?”

Why I Can’t Wait:

  • it’s a STEM book !!!!!
  • it reminds me of Warcross by Marie Lu which I loved


Catch it on shelves September 24th, 2019!

Most Anticipated Releases: September 2019

Hello everyone! So, quite a few books are coming out in September but there are 26 we specifically can’t wait for! Check out the list….

  1. Sword and Pen (The Great Library, #5) Rachel Caine
  2. She’s the Worst Lauren Spieller
  3. American Royals Katharine McGee
  4. Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake, #2) Victoria Schwab
  5. Five ​Dark Fates (Three Dark Crowns, #4) Kendare Blake
  6. The World of Throne of Glass Sarah J. Maas
  7. Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1) Shelby Mahurin
  8. A Match Made in Mehendi Nandini Bajpai
  9. A Treason of Thorns Laura E. Weymouth
  10. Capturing the Devil (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #4) Kerri Maniscalco
  11. Tiger Queen Annie Sullivan
  12. Rebel Girls Elizabeth Keenan
  13. Kingdom of Souls Rena Barron
  14. Unpregnant Jenni Hendriks
  15. The Ten Thousand Doors of January Alix E. Harrow
  16. Suggested Reading Dave Connis
  17. It’s a Whole Spiel Katherine Locke
  18. The Babysitters Coven (The Babysitters Coven, #1) Kate Williams
  19. The Deathless Girls Kiran Millwood Hargrave
  20. The Tenth Girl Sara Faring
  21. SLAY Brittney Morris
  22. Verify (Verify #1) Joelle Charbonneau
  23. The Bone Houses Emily Lloyd-Jones
  24. No Judgments (Little Bridge Island, #1) Meg Cabot
  25. The Tenth Girl Sara Faring
  26. Verify (Verify, #1) Joelle Charbonneau

Are any of the books above on your most anticipated reads list for September? What else is on your list? Let us know in the comments below! Thanks, have a great day/night and tata for now!


Red Bubble ❙ Society 6

#GoodOmens: Episode 1 – Lili’s Recap Review

Good OmensDo I ever really need a reason to watch David Tennant? The amount of films and tv shows I’ve watched since Doctor Who because of my favorite doctor is…a lot. So just for a matter of perspective, that’s where I’m coming from – a David Tennant fan. I’ve never read Good Omens, even though any Neil Gaiman book has been on my TBR (of which I’ve read none). Because of this, going into “Good Omens” I was more or less completely blind. I had no real clue of what was going on. I’ve watched the entire series (binged it really) and so now for this blog post I’m going back and starting from episode 1.

I loved this introduction scene, not only because of the narration over the very graphic and eye-popping background, but also because it’s so fun. There’s a bit of snark, tons of imagery for your eyes, and it sets the mood for the entire show. I’m interested to see how this would play out in the book. What I love about “Good Omens” is how this is a story about friendship and more specifically, in unlikely places. Things I’m also a fan of? Those cold starts to shows where the credits come in later after your heart rate has spiked. And David Tennant.

Back to “Good Omens”. At the same time, “Good Omens” is about questioning our purpose, being afraid to deviate, and what we would be willing to sacrifice. How no matter what we do, sometimes we can’t avert people’s decisions or ambitions. It’s also about the chemistry of friendship between Crowley and Aziraphale. I can’t just keep calling him David Tennant. From their very first meeting, it’s fabulous the incredulity and Aziraphale’s innocence and just pure heartedness.

I also want to butt in to say, if you like “Good Omens” then you should pick up Serpent and Dove because I got that vibe when reading it – although it isn’t as snarky/comical – there are similar themes I think although they are portrayed in different ways.

Back to “Good Omens”. Crowley’s first entrance, in the more or less present-day, gets me every time – the combination of the car, Crowley’s walking style, his outfit *chefs kiss*! But then again, there’s also a pureness to Crowley too, which is why I think his friendship with Aziraphale is so tender. And Aziraphale is such a foodie – ugh I’m clutching my heart right now. But the characters in this show are so well executed, whether it be the two main characters or the little touches of all the side characters. It’s all so quirky with tinges of hilarity, facepalms, and good-natured tenderness.

I think the more you watch the show, the more you’ll fall in love with their friendship, the different characters who are introduced, and the overall quirkiness of it all. And when they’re drunk they get even funnier. Can you imagine if the way to cure a hangover was just to give the alcohol back? His snake eyes take some getting used to, and I’m not sure I’m used to it yet. Themes of nature versus nurture, the influence of choices, and intentions versus actions are all explored in “Good Omens’. All with a fantastic friendship, wonderful banter, and snarkiness.

Want more of Lili’s writing? Check out Utopia State of Mind and follow her on Twitter!

Suggested Reading by Dave Connis – Waiting on Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly bookish meme created by Breaking The Spine to highlight some of the upcoming books you can’t wait to read!

Suggested ReadingSummary, courtesy of Goodreads:

“Clara Evans is horrified when she discovers her principal’s “prohibited media” hit list. The iconic books on the list have been pulled from the library and aren’t allowed anywhere on the school’s premises. Students caught with the contraband will be sternly punished. Many of these stories have changed Clara’s life, so she’s not going to sit back and watch while her draconian principal abuses his power. She’s going to strike back.

So Clara starts an underground library in her locker, doing a shady trade-in titles like Speak and The Chocolate War. But when one of the books she loves most is connected to a tragedy she never saw coming, Clara’s forced to face her role in it.

Will she be able to make peace with her conflicting feelings, or is fighting for this noble cause too tough for her to bear?”

Why I Can’t Wait:

  • banned books!!!!!
  • and fighting them!!!!!
  • that cover is so cool
  • an underground library sounds ridiculously LIT (pun so intended)


Catch it on shelves September 17th, 2019!

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