Good news, everyone! I’m excited to host Audrey Coulthurst, author of OF FIRE AND STARS, today as part of the blog tour! I’ve got a great guest post from Audrey, and if you stick around until the end of the post, you can enter to win one of three copies of the book.
ABOUT OF FIRE AND STARS
Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.
Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.
When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.
But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AUDREY COULTHURST
- Wake up. This is a bit of a misnomer because it’s unlikely that I was sleeping. The sun comes up early on the west coast and so does whatever my darling Siamese cat ate the night before. Nothing says rise and shine like a fresh mound of cat vomit.
- Activate corporate drag sequence. Shower. Don a dress. Iron hair. Apply makeup and mascara. Hey, het, hey! PSYCH!
- March to work. My walk, or “dyke stomp” as one of my college friends dubbed it, has all the delicacy and daintiness of a freight train. If people are not scared out of my way by the thunder of my boots over the pavement, a well-timed hiss helps part the crowds (I’m almost always nonverbal before 10am and caffeine).
- Initialize robot (day job) mode. Cleverly disguised as a corporate cyborg, I sip tea while performing a variety of useful functions for the company that furnishes my paycheck and health insurance.
- It’s food o’clock! My favorite! I sometimes walk home but have a weakness for some of the lunch options available near my office, like spicy pizza, spicy Thai curry, or spicy sushi (you may notice a theme). In times of overwork or desperation I will eat funky licorice out of the secret stash in my desk (thanks to my critique partner Paula Garner). It has the texture of tire rubber, the meatiness of roadkill, and an aroma somewhat reminiscent of cat litter. DELICIOUS!
- Complete roboting sequence. During the afternoon I plot (fictional) murder while continuing to earn a living. On the best days I receive hilarious emails from Paula that cause me to cackle so loudly my coworkers scatter like startled pigeons.
- Hurry home. There is usually a little more spring in the stomp home. Sometimes I smile as I ponder the magic my evening will hold. In tandem with the speed walking, this tends to confuse and alarm other pedestrians.
- Deactivate corporate drag sequence. Discard all accessories and clothing items that suggest I belong to civilized society. My love of pajama pants is boundless. I would wear them 24/7 if I could.
- Write. This is usually when the words happen—after cocktail hour, before dog walking and in between other necessary adulting like laundry, dishes, cooking, and the occasional fit of gloom over the need for more hours in the day. Siamese cat snuggles help offset the hard parts!
- Read, sleep, repeat! I try to get in a little reading just before bed, then it’s off to dreamland and back up in the morning. Balancing a day job and a writing career can be very challenging, but it’s wonderful to have the financial stability to pursue my dreams. Plus, if anyone at work makes me angry, I can threaten to write them into a book. ☺
Thanks so much for telling us about your day, Audrey! What’s a day in YOUR life look like?
Audrey Coulthurst writes YA books that tend to involve magic, horses, and kissing the wrong people. Her debut novel, Of Fire and Stars, will be published on November 22, 2016 by Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins. When she’s not dreaming up new stories, she can usually be found painting, singing, or on the back of a horse.
Audrey has a Master’s in Writing from Portland State University, is a member of SCBWI, and studied with Malinda Lo as a 2013 Lambda Literary Foundation Fellow. She lives in Santa Monica, California.
3 Finished Copies of OF FIRE AND STARS (US Only)