Hello Readers & Writers,
Today I’ll be featuring Elizabeth Lim and her novel Spin the Dawn, releasing in July 2019 from Knopf. If you’re looking for an East-Asian fantasy filled with mythology and an incredible heroine, don’t click away. I am beyond thrilled to be showing off the very recent (as in yesterday) released cover!
Before we dive in, here’s the gorgeous cover and blurb of Spin the Dawn!
This sweeping fantasy duology, steeped in Chinese culture, will entice fans of Sarah J. Maas.
When her ailing father is summoned to compete to become the Emperor’s tailor, 17-year-old Maia Tamarin dresses as a boy and goes in his stead. At the palace, Maia competes with twelve other tailors to win the job. While deceit and sabotage among the tailors complicate the task and a budding romance with the court magician, Edan, threatens to expose her secret, Maia emerges victorious.
Or so she thinks. The recent treaty between her nation and a rebel warlord is precarious, and the Emperor’s marriage to the warlord’s daughter, Lady Sarnai, is the only thing keeping the peace. However, Lady Sarnai demands three magical dresses — one made from the laughter of the sun, one from the tears of the moon, and one from the blood of stars — before she can marry the Emperor. With the fate of their country at stake, Maia and Edan embark on a quest along a reimagined silk road in search of the sun, the moon, and the stars.
- Thanks so much for joining me Elizabeth! I am beyond excited to have you and talk about Spin the Dawn. Let’s start with how does it feel knowing that this book will be out in the world next year?
Elizabeth: Thank you so much, Megan! I’m excited to be a part of your blog and talk about Spin the Dawn. Honestly, part of me is still in awe that Spin the Dawn comes out next year! The deal was announced in November 2017, so I’ve had a long time to anticipate its release, but every time I think about it I’m still nervous, excited, worried, and ecstatic all at once!
- What is a major theme that you explore in your book?
Elizabeth: Family is a major theme in Spin the Dawn. Maia embarks on her quest to disguise herself as a boy and compete to become the imperial tailor in part to save her father. Breaking the glass ceiling is another theme; the other reason Maia enters the competition is because she wants to prove that she’s an amazing tailor and being a girl is no impediment to her talent.
- Lady Sarnai demands a dress made out of the laughter of the sun, one from the tears of the moon, and one from the blood of stars. If you could have an outfit crafted from anything in the universe, what would it be?
Elizabeth: Hmmm…I’ll go with an outfit crafted from film of my favorite memories. Extra points if they can play all at once.
- How are you and Maia similar – if at all? How are you different?
Elizabeth: Maia and I are both very serious about our crafts: hers, tailoring, and mine, writing. We are also family oriented, and total introverts. I like to think of her as a fellow INFJ. We’re different because Maia’s a lot less of a worrywart than I am, and she’s much more of a risk-taker.
- Describe your book in three words.
Elizabeth: Enchantment. Journey. Lies.
- What was your favorite part about writing Spin the Dawn?
Elizabeth: My favorite part was incorporating allusions to fairytales. The most obvious ones are to East of the Sun, Donkeyskin, and the Chinese legend The Cowherd and the Weaver. I also loved creating new mythology for the world, and writing romance. I love romance.
- If you were a character in your Maia’s world, who do you think you’d be?
Elizabeth: Realistically, I’d probably be a zither teacher in Gangsun. But if I could choose anyone, I wouldn’t mind being a chef for the emperor with some magic spices.
- I read in your bio that you wrote Sailor Moon fanfic? Who was your favorite character?
Elizabeth: Ahh! I had a soft spot for Rini (the pink hair!), and Sailor Neptune because she was so awesome at the violin. But I think my favorite’s Sailor Mars – always loved her fire and her fierce loyalty to Sailor Moon J
- Do you have any fun facts about yourself or about your book that you would like to share?
Elizabeth: Me? I used to be a film and video game composer before becoming a writer. I also used to be a serious hoarder when I was really young: trading cards, pogs, beanie babies, Happy Meal toys…you name it, I probably collected it.
About SPIN THE DAWN: I rewrote the ending multiple times. It was the most difficult part of the book because it just didn’t feel right, but my agent Gina came to the rescue with some ideas, and what’s in the book now feels perfect to me. Without spoiling anything, the original ending inspired the beginning of the sequel…
About the Author
Elizabeth Lim grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she was raised on a hearty diet of fairy tales, myths, and songs. Before becoming an author, Elizabeth was a professional film and video game composer, and she still tends to come up with her best book ideas when writing near a piano. An alumna of Harvard College and the Juilliard School, she now lives in New York City with her husband and their daughter. She is also the author of Reflection: A Twisted Tale, published by Disney Press.