Monday, March 13, 2017

Traitor to the Throne Blog Tour: Alwyn Hamilton Talks Worldbuilding!


Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: March 7th, 2017
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
The sizzling, un-put-downable sequel to the bestselling Rebel of the Sands!

Mere months ago, gunslinger Amani al'Hiza fled her dead-end hometown on the back of a mythical horse with the mysterious foreigner Jin, seeking only her own freedom. Now she's fighting to liberate the entire desert nation of Miraji from a bloodthirsty sultan who slew his own father to capture the throne.

When Amani finds herself thrust into the epicenter of the regime—the Sultan's palace—she's determined to bring the tyrant down. Desperate to uncover the Sultan's secrets by spying on his court, she tries to forget that Jin disappeared just as she was getting closest to him, and that she's a prisoner of the enemy. But the longer she remains, the more she questions whether the Sultan is really the villain she's been told he is, and who’s the real traitor to her sun-bleached, magic-filled homeland.

Forget everything you thought you knew about Miraji, about the rebellion, about djinni and Jin and the Blue-Eyed Bandit. In Traitor to the Throne, the only certainty is that everything will change.
Alwyn Hamilton was born in Toronto and spent her childhood bouncing between Europe and Canada until her parents settled in France. She grew up in a small town there, which might have compelled her to burst randomly into the opening song from Beauty and the Beast were it not for her total tone-deafness. She instead attempted to read and write her way to new places and developed a weakness for fantasy and cross-dressing heroines. She left France for Cambridge University to study History of Art at King’s College, and then to London where she became indentured to an auction house. She has a bad habit of acquiring more hardcovers than is smart for someone who moves house quite so often.
Connect with Alwyn: Website | Twitter | InstagramTumblr
I was the girl in school who actually liked exams. Not because I particularly loved all the anxiety and not sleeping that lead up to them. But I liked having somewhere to put all the information I’d been taking in so far. As soon as I take something in I want to be able to turn it around back into something useful somehow. I used to study for exams, itching to be able to take it, so I could use this information I was learning. Research for a book is sort of the same feeling, as soon as I learn something I want to put it in the book.

I have an entire lower shelf of my biggest bookshelf is dedicated to research books for REBEL. There’s everything on there from a cookbook called the Persian Kitchen, to a visual guide of clothing through history, to travel accounts through the desert, a huge tome from a charity shop about Harems, and a book called “Fire Beings” about the Jinn (or Djinn as I spell it, so as not to confuse matters with my male lead). There is at least a small something learned from each of these in REBEL. In fact, there is a scene in the harem baths in TRAITOR, with women diving for jewels, which is pulled from an account about of life in the real harems. But yet again, like with studying for an exam, it was hard for me, every time I read something interesting or useful not to rush into putting it into my own writing.

The books that were the most useful in building the world I wanted, were collections of folktales. The 1001 Nights of course, but also collections put together by Amina Shah, a wonderfully skilled anthologizer. When I found these stories, it was totally different to the way I approached nonfiction. I was not just reading these to study them and pluck information out of them. I was reading them for pleasure, cover to cover and absorbing them in a way that I do only with fairytales.

It turns out these were exactly the books I needed to really give shape to the world in REBEL OF THE SANDS. For one there was the fact that the world I was building for REBEL was a fantastical one, so it helps when your point of reference if full of quests and fantastical beings and just a tiny sidestep from our world. But it also was a great point of reference for daily life. Historical texts often deal with the people at the top, the rulers and so on. And travel diaries, while very interesting, tend to be written by westerners and so have an point of view. What these stories provided was a view of daily life, of people who were not commanding armies or living in palaces, as told in their own words.

And ultimately that is what I wanted the feel of the world in REBEL OF THE SANDS to be. To feel like a normal grounded world, where magic was part of day to day life. Which is exactly what fairy tales do so well, weave the extraordinary into a world where no one is astonished by it. And they were a bit part of what helped me build an ordinary extraordinary world. 

Brittany: Thank you so much for this wonderful guest post, Alwyn! And guys, if you haven't already, definitely check out both Rebel of the Sands and Traitor to the Throne :)

Week One:
3/6 – The YA Book Traveler – Mood Board
3/7 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Author Q&A
3/8 – Love is Not a Triangle – Review
3/9 – Mundie Moms – Review + Favorite Quotes
3/10 – Butter My Books – Guest Post

Week Two:
3/13 – Brittany’s Book Rambles – Guest Post (YOU ARE HERE!)
3/14 – The Eater of Books! – Favorite Quotes
3/15 – Two Chicks on Books – Author Q&A
3/16 – Lost in Lit – Review
3/17 – My Friends Are Fiction – Review

Week Three:
3/20 – The Young Folks – Author Q&A
3/21 – The Book Addict’s Guide – Traitor Candle
3/22 – Seeing Double in Neverland – Review
3/23 – Bookworm Everlasting – Review
3/24 – Fiction Fare – Guest Post


Enter for a chance to win one (1) grand prize set of Alwyn Hamilton’s books, including a paperback copy of Rebel of the Sands and a hardcover of Traitor to the Throne, or to win one (1) of five (5) paperback copies of Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton (ARV: $10.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on March 6, 2017 and 12:00 AM on March 27, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about March 29, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

36 comments:

  1. I've had my eye on these books for such a long time, I really need to pick up a copy! Thanks for hosting the giveaway! ❤

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should! I hope you enjoy them! And you're welcome ^_^

      Delete
  2. I love this cover. Did they do a change or is this for a different edition?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The covers were recently changed before the release of Traitor to the Throne

      Delete
  3. I still have to read Rebel of the Sands, but I have heard nothing but good things about both of these books, so I'm super excited to get started with the series.

    Reading about the world building regarding these books was a nice treat!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really hope that you enjoy Rebel of the Sands. I'm glad you stopped by and enjoyed Alwyn's post!

      Delete
  4. Alwyn does a really great job with worldbuilding. And ahhhh this book, I still need to read it. But I'm really excited for it! <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would definitely agree with that! I hope you enjoy Traitor to the Throne.

      Delete
  5. This was so interesting to read!! One thing I'm continually impressed about is the world building in this series, so it's awesome to see how much work went into it. 😍 And inspiring!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alwyn does a great job with world-building. I'm glad you enjoyed her post!

      Delete
  6. I have really got to get around to reading these! And while I did love the original cover of the first book, for some reason I really like these new covers better. Thanks for sharing this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The story of the never-ending TBR, it's the bookworm life. I really love these new covers! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  7. Admittedly I have to question your sanity for liking exams... LOL! This one does sound interesting and I have the first book on my wishlist so the giveaway is perfect! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah... seriously lol. Good luck on the giveaway!

      Delete
  8. Based on your love and passion for research, I know that the world built in this novel will feel real. Can't wait to read it and the first book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The world-building is definitely one of Alwyn's skills! I hope you love these books!

      Delete
  9. Honestly I am so impressed with this lady. The amount of research that she did for this series is astounding, and the fact that she really enjoyed doing it is even cooler. The world-building is quite possibly one of the best aspects of this series. =)

    I loved this book and cannot wait for book three! Need! Waiting the year (or more) is going to be painful. D:

    Have a great week, Brittany!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm always impressed with how much research authors put into their books and it really shows! I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed Traitor to the Throne, I still need to read it.

      You too, Alyssa!

      Delete
  10. I had totally forgotten that she is a Canadian! It is so interesting to read about how authors collect information and research their books. I think it is so cool that she has space on her bookshelf that includes a Persian cookbook. I loved Rebel so much and I am really looking forward to this next book. Thanks for sharing this interview! <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too, I thought she was from London xD I hope you love Traitor to the Throne!

      Delete
  11. Eep. I have just read Rebel and I ADORED IT!!!! I can't wait to read more of this series and I LOVE seeing how the author is so into the world building!!! It's definitely evident in the book how much research she has done and how dedicated she is! AMAZING!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree! You can definitely tell that she did her research :D Thanks for stopping by! :)

      Delete
  12. I love the research put into this book! Maybe it would have been a plus to have an Arab sensitivity reader, considering the culture? Either way, it's great to see that Hamilton puts so much time and effort into it, and it really shows in her writing. The descriptions and atmosphere in ROTS and Traitor were so immersive.

    - Aila @ One Way Or An Author

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree, and I think it's awesome to see how much research Alwyn does as well :)

      Delete
  13. I haven't read this series and I didn't plan to until I saw the paperback covers and I was like ohmygosh pretty! So yeah LOL Especially TttT cover. I mean *heart eyes* I love when authors actually do lots of research to write a novel. It feels like the story is believable :)
    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed! You can kind of tell when an author didn't research enough because the details don't feel natural. Thanks for stopping by! :D

      Delete
  14. Awesome blog tour post Brittany :D Thank you for sharing. <3 I adore Alwyn. And I adored book one :) Hoping to read this one soon. <3 Love the interview.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!! I'm so glad you enjoyed this post, and I hope you love this book :D

      Delete
  15. I ❤️ your blog and I love visiting! You do so much for everyone! 😊
    @TeacherofYA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so sweet to say that, thank you so much! <3

      Delete
  16. I can't believe I haven't read Traitor yet! I feel like I've had a copy for ages. I blame work. This is a fascinating post. I LOVE learning how authors tackle their world-building. I'd love to flip through the books on Alwyn's research shelf, and I'm definitely going to check out Amina Shah.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I blame work for pretty much all my reading-related woes, haha XD I'm so glad you enjoyed this post! And I hope you enjoy Traitor :D

      Delete
  17. I am so excited for this book. Rebel was one of my favorites from last year. Definitely my favorite debut!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eeep, then I really hope that Traitor lives up to all of your expectations! Thank you for stopping by, Vivien :D

      Delete