Every time we release a book, we’ll post an interview with its author during the month before the book is published. Our next novel, Skate the Seeker, comes out on September 12th. Skate the Seeker is the second installment of The Rag and Bone Chronicles. Book one, Skate the Thief, is hailed as “a fast-paced fantasy debut with heart” (Greg Wright of The Godyssey Podcast). Today we are sequel-interviewing author Jeff Ayers about his expanding fantasy world and cast of memorable characters.
Thinklings: Was it easier, harder, or about the same to write your sequel book, as compared to the first one in the series?
Jeff: In almost every way, I found the second book more difficult to write. When it comes to a brand new book or the first in a series, you can create with abandon. Here, I already had an established world to work with and characters that readers would know. Keeping things consistent across books was far more difficult for me than I’d anticipated.
T: Your characters continue to grow and develop. Is there any character(s) whose growth—or regression—you particularly enjoyed writing?
J: Skate and Twitch are very fun to write. I also enjoyed writing a lot of the adults around the children in this one, allies and enemies alike.
T: With Skate and friends leaving Caribol and going on a quest (plus the addition of a map so readers can follow their adventures!) you’ve expanded your fictional world. What part of world-building do you like best?
J: It’s fun to develop myths, especially around names. Places have to exist, so why not get a little weird with them! Names and history come up much more than they did in book one, and carving out those details is where I got to spend a lot of new energy this time around. Of course, the nature of history is that we can’t know everything, and keeping stuff unknown is part of the draw of fictional histories—the fuzzy edges of the map of knowledge means there is always more to find.
T: You’ve introduced some great new characters in this book. Do you have a favorite among them?
J: Of all the new characters, I think my favorite might be one we meet in the capital city, Herzeschal. I don’t want to give anything away, but he helps Skate on her journey after being—well, not so helpful at first.
T: Usually interviews ask for an interesting tidbit about you. We’ll flip that and ask: What’s a boring fact about you?
J: You’re in luck; I’ve got a list:
●I’ve never been to Colorado.
●I enjoy breakfast foods.
●I once got unduly excited to eat at a Subway restaurant in New York City that was connected to an actual subway station.
T: If your characters could turn into animals, what animals would they be?
J: Skate would be a weasel or marmot—some sort of mustelid. Twitch is a mouse. Haman would be a smart, dark bird, like a crow. Belamy is a ragged owl. Ossertine is a cat. Sindale, a new character, would be a German Shepherd. I don’t know what Rattle would be—something with thumbs? A flying monkey.
Thanks, Jeff! We’re excited to release this gripping fantasy adventure that both kids and adults will love!
The Rag and Bone Chronicles do need to be read in order, and are perfect for fans of The Mortal Instruments and Lockwood and Co.
A character interview, our official book review, and our top ten favorite quotes from Skate the Seeker are coming soon!
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