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Monday, January 15, 2018

Blood and Sand by C. V. Wyk Blog Tour: Q&A + Giveaway

Hey everyone! Today, I'm sharing with you my Q&A with C.V. Wyk, author of Blood and Sand out tomorrow (Jan. 16th, 2018)! It was a really fun interview and I hope you guys enjoy it, and be sure to check out the other tour stops and giveaway below! 

Publisher: Tor Teen
Pub. Date: January 16, 2018

The action-packed tale of a 17-year-old warrior princess and a handsome gladiator who dared take on the Roman Republic—and gave rise to the legend of Spartacus...

For teens who love strong female protagonists in their fantasy and historical fiction, Blood and Sand is a stirring, yet poignant tale of two slaves who dared take on an empire by talented debut author C. V. Wyk.

Roma Victrix. The Republic of Rome is on a relentless march to create an empire—an empire built on the backs of the conquered, brought back to Rome as slaves.

Attia was once destined to rule as the queen and swordmaiden of Thrace, the greatest warrior kingdom the world had seen since Sparta. Now she is a slave, given to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, as a sign of his master’s favor. Enslaved as a child, Xanthus is the preeminent gladiator of his generation.

Against all odds, Attia and Xanthus form a tentative bond. A bond that will spark a rebellion. A rebellion that threatens to bring the Roman Republic to its end—and gives rise to the legend of Spartacus...

The story continues in Fire and Ash, coming in 2019 from Tor Teen.

C. V. Wyk was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She has lived in five states in the continental US (and hopes to add a few international locales to that list). Prone to wanderlust and getting lost, Wyk likes to explore local hiking trails, mountain ranges, dark caves where nefarious mythical creatures undoubtedly reside, and libraries. She currently lives in Maryland with a precocious mini poodle and a demanding guinea pig.

In her not-so-spare time, she enjoys playing MMORPGs, kayaking, coding, staring listlessly at blank walls, and nursing a totally healthy coffee addiction.
Connect with C.V.: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr

Who are some of your favorite female warriors (fiction or real) that are not your own characters? 

C.V.: Tomoe Gozen, Boudicca, Grace O’Malley, Wonder Woman, Lagertha, River Tam, and Mulan

What are your favorite and least favorite scenes to write?

C.V.: The action scenes are definitely the most fun to write. You constantly have to envision every single person’s movements, playing it in your head like a film reel. I get a bit bored during periods of exposition—even if they are short or necessary—so I try to minimize them or write them in bursts to keep from feeling weighed down by them.

How much research did you do in order to write this book?

C.V.: A lot of the research started in college before I even knew I was going to write this book. Some of my favorite female warriors are women I learned about in class. But I went to the library pretty much every day for weeks after I wrote the first chapter of BLOOD AND SAND, for both research and inspiration. Even now, while I’m working on the sequel, I’m still constantly looking up people, places, and events and finding translations of various sources. The research doesn’t really end when you’re working on historical fiction (albeit alternative history).

What was the most interesting thing you found while researching for Blood and Sand?

C.V.: The unreliability of ancient documents haha. Some accounts completely contradicted each other. I wonder if there was ever any drama between historians in ancient Rome, fighting over who was “right” or who was telling the story better.

How many drafts did it take to get to the final version of Blood and Sand?

C.V.: Oh boy, including my first very sketchy draft…6, maybe 7. At some point when you’re nearing the end of edits, it becomes a sort of ping-pong match between you and your editor, sending a manuscript back and forth for smaller and smaller changes. But the big modifications happened early on.

Which of your characters was the hardest to write, and why?

C.V.: Lucretia, by far. The things she endures and survives were nearly too painful in their authenticity. Quite a few times, I had to put a scene aside because I was falling too deeply into it, and it was starting to affect my mental health.

Which fictional character (that is not your own) do you identify with the most, and why? Could be from a book, a TV show, or a movie.

C.V.: I was definitely Hermione in school, though I wasn’t lucky enough to have a loyal band of magical friends to buffer the bullying. It’s comforting to know how many other folks out there identify with Hermione, too.

If you could collaborate with any author (living) on a project, who would it be, and why?

C.V.: I’d love to contribute to an anthology of short stories with historical-fiction or SFF authors, especially other women of color like Karuna Riazi, N.K. Jemisin, S. Chakraborty, Julie C. Dao, or Kristina Perez.

What was your favorite book of 2017? It could have been published in 2017 or just a book you’ve read during 2017.

C.V.: “The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller. I know I’m late to the game with this one, and it’s been on my TBR list for a while. I’m so glad I finally got to it. The audiobook accompaniment was also amazing.

Have you read any other 2018 debut books early that you think readers should be on the lookout for?

C.V.: I’ve been lucky enough to get a few ARCs so far, and I’m especially excited for T. E. Carter’s “I Stop Somewhere” and Jessica Leake’s “Beyond a Darkened Shore.”

Brittany: Thank you, C.V. for being on the blog today! 

Jan 9 – Novel Knight

Jan 10 – The Book Nut

Jan 12 – Rabid Reads

Jan 15 – Brittany’s Book Rambles (You are here!)

Jan 16 – Powder and Page

Jan 17 – Arctic Books

Jan 19 – Itching for Books

Jan 23 – Chasing Faerytales

Jan 26 – Gizmo’s Reviews

Tor Teen has provided 3 Hardcovers to be sent to 3 winners in the US or Canada. You must be 12 years or older to enter.


  1. This sounds like a fun read and I keep seeing it around lately! Definitely getting intrigued!

  2. This book sounds really good. I read the synopsis and knew I definitely had to read it at some point. Thanks for putting it on my radar.

  3. This one sounds so good! I love a good female character, especially in fantasy! :D

  4. This book sounds amazing! Thanks for the giveaway (:

  5. I just love that she named Boudicca as one of her favorite female warriors. SAME HERE! And also about wondering if there ever was any drama between historians in ancient Rome. It made me laugh because I'm sure there was. Also, funny!

  6. Honestly, the first part where you listed the female warriors had me on board with this book. I do think I need to read it. :)

  7. Great answers from the author:) And I admit I was sold at "strong female protagonist" ;) Lol.

    Action scenes are also my favourite to write! They're so awesome.

    Thanks for sharing this post, Brittany.

  8. Eee, lovely blog tour post Brittany :D I have seen this book lately, and it seems so awesome. Sigh. I'm curious about it :D And author sounds great too. <3 (I also really adored Beyond a Darkened Shore, like she did :D)

  9. I always enjoy learning about the process authors use to write their novels. Discovering ancient documents would be such a cool experience! Sounds like a really interesting book. Thanks for sharing this! :)

  10. I was hooked as soon as I read warrior princess. Thanks for introducing me to this book.
    Fantastic interview Brittany!
    Aneta @ Angelic Book Reviews 

  11. Wonderfullll interview, and thanks for the giveaway!

    I already read this book and really adored it! I thought the romance was soooo well-done (XANTHUS MY LOVE) and the action both brutal and intense. I really can't wait for the sequel, and to see where the story goes from there.

    - Aila @ Happy Indulgence

  12. What a great interview! I always love the questions you ask authors! I've been excited to read Blood and Sand for a while but I'm so much more excited now after reading this interview. Historical Fiction and YA are my favorite genres so when they come together I'm one happy girl! I'm working on a HF novel right now myself so reading about Wyk's experience writing and researching was really inspiring. And strong females FTW(such a redundantt thing to say though because female is synonymous with strong!💪😊)! I can't wait to read about Attia's journey! Also- The HF/SFF anthology with women of color must happen now! 🙌