Have any of you heard about the newest release in YA fiction, Sky in the Deep? It’s an amazing story based on vikings, and I would recommend it to nearly everyone. I actually received and E-Arc of it about a month ago, and it’s definitely a book I would read the final version of. Here we have a Q&A with author, Adrienne Young.
Q1. What inspired SKY IN THE DEEP? How did the idea and Eelyn come to you? Do you have any
favorite Viking stories?
The sibling betrayal was definitely the first inspiration for this story. I was driving in the pouring rain on
this country road and that first scene just hit me – Eelyn, seeing her brother on the battlefield after
thinking that he was dead for five years. I pulled over on the side of the road and scribbled a million
notes on an old envelope. I was immediately hooked to the idea and I wanted to know what had
happened. I started writing that first chapter and I just never stopped.
Q2. What type of research did you do for your characters and world-building? What languages did
you study to implement the languages that the Aska and the Riki speak? What was the strangest
thing you had to research for this book?
I did a ton of research for this story. I actually really love to research things so it was a lot of fun. A lot of
it was stuff like clothing, landscape, weapons, food, etc. But I did a lot of research into Norse mythology
as well to build a foundation for this world. The language used is Old Norse, but it’s a dead language so
studying it was really difficult. There is a lot of controversy about it among scholars and there’s no real
way to fully understand it, so I just did my best based on my own investigation. I’m definitely not an
expert! The weirdest thing I had to research was how to tear out someone’s eyeball. Yuck.
Q3. What was your writing process like for SKY IN THE DEEP?
Complete and utter obsession. When I draft, I get really buried in the world and I don’t really come up
for air until I get to the end. I write as much as I can and limit my intake of other influencers that could
mess with my mindset. I don’t watch TV or movies or listen to music that’s not on my playlist, and I kind
of don’t have a social life until it’s done.
Q4. What was your hardest scene to write? What was the easiest?
I really didn’t struggle to get this story on the page the way I have with other books so I really don’t
know what the hardest scene to write was. But the easiest was the first chapter. I wrote it so fast and it
just clicked in so perfectly.
Q5. Which of your characters are you the most like? Who was your favorite to write?
Eelyn! We have so much in common and she really inspires me. But I think Halvard was the most fun to
write. I really, really love him.
Q6. Do you have a soundtrack for SKY IN THE DEEP? Can you share a couple songs? What would
Eelyn’s favorite song be?
Yes! Music plays a HUGE role in my writing process and I have a playlist for every project. The ones I
probably listened to the most while drafting SKY are To the Hills by Laurel, Bare by Wildes, and Rise Up
Reprise by Foxes. But a link to the whole playlist is on my site!\
Q7. What books have inspired you to write? What books are you looking forward to reading this
The ones that inspired me to write are nothing like my books. One of the most influential ones for me
was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, because the human element is so beautiful and the author explores so
many things in that book that really took my breath away. I wanted to write stories that went deep like
that, but I love fantasy so I try to it within that realm.
Q8. Any advice on querying? Or writing advice for aspiring writers?
Querying – do not just sign with any agent who will take you. Make a dream agent list of qualified agents
who have good reputations and make consistent sales. Query them. If they don’t bite, then write
another book that they might want. Believe me when I say it is worth waiting for the right agent!
Q9. Any details about the companion novel?
I can’t say anything about the companion novel yet! But I’m hoping that we can start talking about it
soon because I am really excited about it!