Rae Carson 60 Second Interview

In celebration of the David Gemmell Award long-lists being published, Gollancz is thrilled to be running a series of interviews-in-sixty-seconds with as many long-listed authors as we can get our hands on. Today we’re delighted to talk to Rae Carson, author of the wonderful debut fantasy novel Fire and Thorns which is nominated for Best Fantasy Novel 2011 AND Best Debut Novel 2011 (as well as being short-listed for The William C. Morris Debut Award, and The Cybils Award. My word!). We caught up with her, and took a moment to ask a few questions . . .

Congratulations on being long-listed for the David Gemmell Awards! Can you tell us, in a few words, why any readers who are new to your work should rush out and read it?
Camels. Magic. Deserts. Political machinations. Camels. Sandstorms. Food. And also camels.

Who was your first favourite author?
Carolyn Keene, who wrote the Nancy Drew series. My innocence was tragically ripped away when I learned that Carolyn Keene is not actually a person, but rather a conglomerate of authors writing under that name.

I still love Nancy Drew, though.

Who would you cite as your influences?
Robin McKinley, Scott O’Dell, & Margaret Atwood. I love these authors madly.

Do you think authors have a responsibility to do more than tell an entertaining story?
Definitely not. I want to live in a world where authors have license to do whatever they want. As a reader, though, I prefer a layered story that challenges my worldview and makes me think.

Is there a storytelling tradition you see your work as part of?
I write feminist adventure fantasy.

And finally:
If your novel were to be arrested for a crime of passion, what crime would it be and why (society may not be to blame!)?

Fire and Thorns would be arrested for the heinous crime of gluttony. My book is particularly passionate about almond scones with honey glaze.

Rae Carson has published short stories in venues such as Weird Tales Magazine and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and is a graduate of the Blue Heaven Novel Writing Workshop. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband, novelist C.C. Finlay, two (reasonably) well-behaved teenaged stepsons and a pair of naughty cats.You can learn more about her and her novels on her website, or follow @raecarson on Twitter.

You can vote for Fire and Thorns, or any of the novels long-listed for the Legend Award for Best Novel, here, or vote for it as Best Debut novel (or any of the others) here. You can also vote for Collaboration JS’ amazing artwork, as the Best Art of the year, here.