Welcome to another feature for Celebrating Debutantes 2017. Today I am interviewing author Breeana Shields about her debut novel, Poison Kiss. This YA fantasy made it to the top of my TBR pile the moment I read the blurb – about a girl assassin who kill by kissing her targets.
Following the interview with Breeana is her bio along with places where to find her online. Then there’s also the book description and where to buy copies of Poison Kiss. And for a chance to own one, check the bottom of the post for the special giveaway. Breeana is giving away a signed hardcover copy and it is open to all. How cool is that? But before that, here’s my interview with Breeana. Enjoy reading!
Interview with Breeana Shields
Congratulations on Poison Kiss, which has been out for a few months. What has been the most surreal thing about seeing Poison Kiss as published story? What’s the best part and the oddest?
Thank you! After several months, it’s still surreal to see a photo of a stranger reading Poison’s Kiss. The best part is receiving emails from readers letting me know they loved the book—it’s so wonderful to connect through stories. The oddest part is feeling like the book doesn’t really belong to me anymore. It’s out there living its own life and doing its own thing.
What was the inspiration for Posion Kiss? What drew you Indian mythology such as Visha Kanya?
A few years ago, I was listening to a lecture series on espionage and covert operations when the instructor mentioned a legendary figure in Indian folklore—the poison damsel, a woman fed poisons from childhood so that she gradually becomes immune but is toxic to any man she lures as her lover.
It was just one sentence in an eighteen-hour course, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. What a terrible choice to make for a child—sentencing her to a life that she’s powerless to leave and isolating her forever from true human connection. I wondered what would happen to a girl who was turned into an assassin, but wasn’t cut out to be a killer. How would that life affect her? How would it break her?
When I was still thinking about it several months later, I knew I had to write the story.
When you started writing Poison Kiss, what was important for you in creating the story and the main character? Did any of them change from your initial inception to the final story that ended to the publication?
Marinda was always the most important part of the story for me. I wanted to write about a girl who had been turned into a deadly weapon, but didn’t have the temperament to be a killer. That was a far more compelling story idea for me than an a hard-as-nails, kick butt heroine that we usually think of when we hear “assassin”.
It was a really tricky balance, though, because it’s hard to write a character that has lived a life under the thumb of people who are controlling her entire world view and insulating her from any kind of knowledge that might make her rebel, without having that character come off as naïve. Marinda is really smart, but she only knows what she’s been told and she’s always been punished for asking questions. With another personality type—one like Iyla’s for example—that life might make the character rather merciless and tough. But Marinda temperament and her relationship with Mani make her react differently. Trying to strike that balance—lack-of-knowledge vs. naivety—is something I worked on a lot.
Do you have a favourite scene to write in Poison Kiss? What scene are you most proud of, and why?
I love every scene that features Kadru. She was so much fun to write and the scenes with her were effortless.
If we could snoop in your room, what books would we find on your bedside?
The Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale, which is an old favorite that I’m re-reading, and a stack of Advance Reader Copies of soon-to-be-released books from colleagues.
Without giving anything away, what can you tell us about the sequel for Poison Kiss?
Yes! It’s called Poison’s Cage and is told from duel perspectives—both Marinda and Iyla get a POV in this book. I hope readers will enjoy it!
A huge thank you to Breena for taking the time to answer my questions. I’m looking forward to the continuation of Marinda’s story in Poison’s Cage.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Breeana Shields is the author of the recently released young adult fantasy, Poison’s Kiss (Random House, BFYR) and its forthcoming sequel, Poison’s Cage (Random House BFYR, Spring 2018). She graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in English. When she’s not reading or writing, she loves traveling, eating good food–especially if it’s pasta or chocolate–and spending time with her husband, her three children and an extremely spoiled miniature poodle.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Poison’s Kiss
Author: Breena Shields
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 10, 2017
Format: Hardcover, Paperback
Marinda has kissed dozens of boys. They all die afterward. It’s a miserable life, but being a visha kanya—a poison maiden—is what she was created to do. Marinda serves the Raja by dispatching his enemies with only her lips as a weapon.
Until now, the men she was ordered to kiss have been strangers, enemies of the kingdom. Then she receives orders to kiss Deven, a boy she knows too well to be convinced he needs to die. She begins to question who she’s really working for. And thread, once pulled, will unravel more than she can afford to lose.
What’s up for Grab?
- Signed Hardcover Copy of Poison Kiss
- Open International
- There will be one (1) winner
- Winner will be chosen and announced through rafflecopter
- Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
- Ends June 28th, 2017
- Prize will be sent by the author
To enter fill out the rafflecopter form
Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2017 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post or check out twitter and facebook using #CelebratingDebutantes2017.