Hello everyone and welcome to another spotlight here on Stuck in the Stacks. Today we are so thrilled to welcome Kristina Perez to the blog to talk about her Sweet Black Waves Trilogy. Stay tune for a spoiler free review of each book in the series as well as some themed recommendations next week.
About the BookBright Raven Skies (Sweet Black Waves, #3) by Kristina Pérez
Published by Imprint on August 25, 2020
Bright Raven Skies is the thrilling conclusion to the lush and heart-wrenching romantic fantasy trilogy about ancient magic, warring families, and star-crossed lovers by Kristina Pérez.
To save the kingdom, Branwen embraced the darkest aspects of her magic. But she may have lost herself––and the two people she loves most.
Tristan and Eseult are missing. As Branwen searches for them, she must hide the truth surrounding their disappearance from both the king and her lover. Above all, she must find the Queen and her Champion first.
New and old enemies circle Branwen, clamoring for power and revenge, and threatening to destroy the fragile peace that she has sacrificed everything to secure.
About the Author
Kristina Pérez is a half-Argentine, half-Norwegian native New Yorker who has spent the past two decades living in Europe and Asia. She holds a PhD in Medieval Literature from the University of Cambridge and has taught at the National University of Singapore and the University of Hong Kong. Sweet Black Waves is her debut novel.
1- Your Sweet Black Waves trilogy is based off of the story of Tristen and Eseult. Can you tell us about the original story and how you decided to write a retelling of it?
Kristina: There are many variations of the legend starting from around the 12th century in Old French, German, Italian, Occitan etc. The origins are rooted in Celtic mythology and folklore, however. I studied both the source material in Old Irish and the later iterations in the High Middle Ages before deciding on how I wanted to switch up the legend to tell Branwen’s story.
2- The trilogy is rich with folklore and mythology. What is your research project like when you are writing?
Kristina: In a way, I was doing the research for this project all of my life. I did Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic studies as an undergraduate at Cambridge and then pursued my PhD in comparative medieval literature. I’ve been living and breathing the folklore and mythology of the British Isles for over twenty years.
3- What is it like writing a trilogy as opposed to a standalone novel like your recent release: The Tesla Legacy?
Kristina: A trilogy is a much bigger beast! You really need to have all of the plot twists, world building, and cliffhangers worked out far in advance to keep the reader engaged.
4- The trilogy is told from Branwen’s POV. Why did you choose to retell the story from Branwen’s perspective rather than Eseult’s?
Kristina: Because Branwen never gets enough screen time in the medieval legends. She’s the one responsible for the Loving Cup going awry and she’s the one who tries to keep the peace after disaster strikes. I thought her story was the one worth telling.
5- Since Bright Raven Skies is the final book in the trilogy what’s next? Are you working on anything right now that you can share with us?
Kristina: I can’t share anything just yet but I definitely have something percolating.
6- Bright Raven Skies, and it’s predecessors, are so rich in detail and the writing is beautiful. Can you share with us how you have grown as a writer over the course of the trilogy?
Kristina: Thank you so much! I think I’ve grown more confident in my writing over the past few years and I’ve learned a lot about pacing from my brilliant editors. I know this world so well now that I can just get lost in it and that’s the best feeling.
7- Which authors inspire your writing the most? Anyone you would love to co-author a book with? Any genres you would love to try writing outside of fantasy?
Kristina: I greatly admire Madeline Miller, Naomi Novik and Pat Barker in the fantasy space, but I would say I have been most influenced by the medieval legends that I researched as an academic. As an only child, I’m not sure I could ever co-author a book but never say never! Outside of fantasy, I love Thrillers and Historical Romance so I may try my hand at those categories one day.
8- Did you always want to be a writer? What are some of the books that shaped your love of reading?
Kristina: I didn’t actually start thinking about writing a novel until I was thirty, although I’d written lots of articles as a journalist. The book that most influenced me as a girl was The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi. It taught me that I can be the captain of my own ship and I highly recommend it.
9- Do you have any reading or writing quirks?
Kristina: I always write my first drafts long hand. I just can’t quite make the magic happen on a computer.
10- When you are not writing (or reading) what do you enjoy doing?
Kristina: I’m a total museum nerd. And I’ve become somewhat of a fox watcher since there is a family that lives in the garden behind my house in London.
Rapid Fire Questions
1- Coffee or tea?
2- Dogs or cats?
Kristina: Cats! (or foxes!)
3- Favorite place to read?
Kristina: In the bathtub.
4- What types of books are in your reading wheelhouse?
Kristina: Fantasy and SF, of course. I’m also addicted to Historical Romance. I love novels-in-verse. On the non-fiction side, I adore feminist histories and biographies of lesser known women throughout history.
5- What are some 2020/2021 releases you are excited about?
Kristina: I’m excited for the conclusion of Rebecca Schaeffer’s Not Even Bones trilogy this year and Olivia Abtahi’s debut Perfectly Parvin, which will come out next spring.
6- What do you hope people will take away from Sweet Black Waves and the other books in the trilogy?
Kristina: I hope that people will be inspired by Branwen’s journey as a young woman navigating a patriarchal world and finding her own power.
7- Lastly, where can our readers learn more about you and your books?
Kristina: I’m very active on Instagram (@kkperezbooks) and on my website: www.kristinaperez.com