Book Tour Q&A: Sorrow's Forest by Kaitlin Corvus
Today we're taking part in the book tour organized by Escapist Book Tours for Sorrow's Forest by Katilin Corvus! Continue reading for the book blurb and a Q&A with the author.
About the book
At twelve years old, Mackie King had done something no one had ever done before: he had snuck into the forest, where Queen Sorrow reigned and had unintentionally stolen one of her devils while she slept in a death-like sleep.
In as little as an hour, the devil named himself Blue, fit almost seamlessly into the Kings’ life, and the Township of Lakeview.
Now, Mackie and Blue are grown, Queen Sorrow has awakened, and she wants her devil back.
In a fit of uncontrolled rage and desperateness, she snatches any that match Blue’s likeness. When their identities are revealed, she ruthlessly casts the bodies aside. Each murder is met with the town’s hopeless ignorance. A dark enchantment is sweeping over the land, dulling the minds of the townspeople to the supernatural violence.
Mackie has always been resourceful, but it will take every bit of ingenuity he and Blue have to thwart Queen Sorrow and her minions, save the town, and free themselves from the shadow of the bittering forest.
On to the interview...!
This is one of our standard podcast opening questions, so we’ll include it for written interviews as well! Tell us something great that’s happened recently! :)
There are a lot of things happening in my life right now—good things! Of course, there’s the release of Sorrow’s Forest, which has been met enthusiastically by my readers, and I’m almost done writing the sequel for it, too. Which has a tentative name, after months of drawing a blank on its title—Sorrow’s Blight. 🡨Honestly, that’s the biggest win in my life right now. I’ve been name-blocked about this damn book for months and I’m so, so, so happy to say that it has a title. I’m not taking criticisms on it right now, either, that’s how pleased I am with it.
What are you currently reading or what’s up next on your TBR? What made you pick up this book?
Next on my TBR is a little book called Siren Queen by Nghi Vo. It’s set in the 1930’s and centres around a Chinese American actress who, and I quote, would rather play a monster than a maid. The historical setting, diving in from the roaring ‘20’s into the dirty ‘30’s, snagged my attention—there’s nothing I like much more than flappers, glitz, over-indulgence, and the grunge that walks beside it—but it was the monstrous girl that really sold me. I’m here for all the trouble beautiful and talented Luli Wei is going to get into.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to start writing?
I’m a small-town Canadian girl who grew up consuming Stephen King (IT is my favourite), Tamora Pierce (Protector of the Small, Wildmagic, and The Song of the Lioness series) Shakespeare (I’m such a sucker for Romeo and Juliette, as well as Hamlet) and Tim Burton films (Edward Scissorhands, Batman, Big Fish.) Certainly a lot of these influences come out in my writing, and sometimes in ways that surprise even me.
I’m a dramatic fish by nature and am happiest when I’m lying on a bed of moss somewhere in the forest fifty kilometres from the nearest settlement, with nothing but blackflies, spiders and the occasional moose to keep me company. (Sometimes I take my husband, I suppose. He’s good at indulging my love for near-isolation.) Writing inspiration can be boiled down to an insatiable urge to know what happens next. When I was young and really getting into the Forgotten Realms Drizzt series, I was reading them faster than RA Salvatore could write. I read everything he wrote for Drizzt, was captivated by the darkness of the series, the constant pull between dark and light, the beautiful, horrid Spider Queen, and Drizzt’s love for Catti-bree, the girl he wanted but knew he shouldn’t have. I wrote endless fanfictions. In my head. Dreaming what came next, until the next book was released. Then I discovered anime. Fairy Tail in particular. And it was the same. I ate that up like I was starving. And then when I got to a point where the author hadn’t made anymore and I needed to know what comes next, I discovered fanfiction.com, where people made up their own stories, and theories. This was such a weird notion to me—I didn’t know people did this. Like wrote it down. Played it out. Made their own storylines. And it was near anonymous. I could write whatever the heck I wanted, whatever I desired. And people read it. That was such a high. Some loved it. Some hated it. A lot of them were happy to tell you what they loved and what they hated, even. It was free feedback, and it very quickly turned into something that I not only found supremely satisfying, but also used to hone my writing skills. Once I knew I could write something longer than 20K, and could finish it, it was over. I was determined to take over the writing world. Since then, I’ve written 33 novel-length fanfictions, and 15 full-length original works.
Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of reading/writing that you can talk to us about?
I mentioned a desire to always be in nature. I love hiking and exploring little-traveled forests—the kind of places where you breathe in, and you can feel how old, how strong, how untouched it is. If I’m not slipping through the trees, I’m finding ways to be out on the water, either in a boat listening to the waves lap at the metal sides, or in the water myself, floating over the unknowable deep. I love fish—I was a fish and wildlife technician five years ago, before my life changed. I used to fish with electricity. Now I watch my husband fish with a hook and line (I do sometimes, too, but I don’t like to hurt them, so I’d rather just watch). I like to garden, though I’m not very good at it, or patient. I also like to tinker and fix old things. I have such a romanticism with old cars and motors, as people will very quickly see. I’m not very good at that either, though, so I dabble here and there, doing my own breaks and such, and sometimes help my dad rebuild old engines when the opportunity arises.
Writing is a hard and lonely affair in the best of circumstances. How do you achieve a good work/life/writing balance? Balance? I try to do my writing in the morning and family stuff in the evening, saving mid-day for work, but to be honest, I still haven’t figured that out. I saw once, you get back what you put in, and I vowed to give my entire self to storytelling. Maybe I’m burning the wick at both ends.
Who are your favorite current writers and who are your greatest influences?
Favourite writers: Holly Black, Brenna Yovanoff, Kristen Arnett, VE Schwab, Maggie Stiefvater, Tamora Pierce, M.L. Rio, and more recently, Brigid Kemmerer Greatest Influences have got to be Holly Black and Brenna Yovanoff. No one writes like they do: fantasy and grunge and awful girls is my favourite aesthetic and they do such a great job encompassing it all.
What is one thing that you love about the current state of SFF and what is one thing that you wish you saw more of? There’s a lot of exploration happening by indie authors in the SFF realm. There are some unique and bold ideas coming to us, and some of them are really out there, really pushing the boundaries of what’s considered acceptable in polite company, and there are some badass feminist ideas and LGBT representation being pushed, which I’m so, so happy to see. Something I wish I saw more of is dark urban fantasy. Mixing the benign with the fantastical. It’s always been such an attention sink for me, and I don’t know if I’m just not looking in the right places or what, but I want all of the urban fantasy, all of the time.
What are your favorite types of stories? Of characters? As mentioned above, dark urban fantasy are the stories for me. My favourite characters are the underdogs. The people that don’t have their shit together. They’re messy. They’re falling apart. They’re on the brink of bankruptcy, or crushing addiction, they’re too emotional, or not emotional enough, but something in their life forces them to get their shit together, to try, to be better. And it doesn’t happen overnight. They’re not perfect, or good, even. They’re The Boys’ Frenchie who is such a clusterfuck, just a mess of a man, who isn’t sure if he’s living for himself, or the people that have abused him. And he has worth. And he knows he’s good at what he does. He just doesn’t always remember it.
Can you give us an elevator pitch for your book?
Sorrow’s Forest teems with deadly, beautiful beasts, though for the most part, the people of Lakeview Township pretend they don’t exist. There are a select few, however, including Mackenzie King, that know the truth. How could he forget when at twelve, Mackie did the unthinkable, and not only entered the forest, but miraculously escaped again with her most prized devil at his side? The devil named himself Blue, fit seamlessly into Mackie’s life and the Township of Lakeview. He belonged. Even when he shouldn’t. Years have passed since that day and the consequences of Mackie’s rash decision are coming due. Queen Sorrow has awakened, she wants her prized devil back, and she is willing to tear Lakeview apart to get him.
Describe your book in 3 adjectives.
Dark. Indulgent. Sexy.
In your opinion, what kind of reader would like this book?
Fans of urban dark fantasy—think Lauren Oliver’s Broken Things meets the Duffer Brothers’ Stranger Things and then had a lovechild with Holly Black’s Tithe. This is for the people that love the nitty gritty, the grunge aesthetic, pining, and the good bad things they shouldn’t love.
What would you like readers to take away from this book?
Acceptance, but also knowing when to have a firm backbone, and to take a stance against bullying.
How much do you plan when you write? What’s your writing process like?
Not a lot. I start with a vibe—there’s a feeling kicking around in my head, and I write around the feeling, creating an aesthetic to match it, and the story usually builds from that one scene. It makes for a fun surprise. Writing without a plan can be tedious, and leads to re-writes, but I can’t think of one of my novels that’s suffered from a rewrite.
Is this your first book? If so, what lessons have you learned from writing it? If not, what lessons did you learn from writing earlier books that you brought into this one?
This is not my first book. This is my fourth published. The others are self-published, though. Working with Shadow Spark Publishing has benefitted me greatly—I have two editors now—(hallelujah!) and I have a network of authors associated with my publishing company to fall back on and ask questions. Marketing has been the biggest improvement for me, I would say. I didn’t know half of the resources out there existed—I didn’t even know where to start. I just wrote and wrote and hoped that someone would love my work as much as I did, without really knowing how to reach them.
Do you usually write to background noise, music, etc. or do you prefer silence?
I’m easily distracted, so complete and utter silence is best. I do, however, sometimes write to a song’s aesthetic if I hear it on my music shuffle and it sticks with me throughout the day.
What do you think characterizes your writing style?
Think Lana Del Rey’s old school Hollywood vibes—1950’s dramatic heroines coupled with Garbage’s I would die for you, from the 1990’s Romeo and Juliette. Classic over-indulgence. Add those two together and you have a Kaitlin Corvus special.
How much of yourself do you write into your stories?
I pour all of myself into (some) of my characters all the time. I’m trying to practice keeping a little bit back for me.
They say to never judge a book by its cover and maybe that’s true in the philosophical sense, but it certainly happens with books. Can you tell us about the idea behind the cover of your book?
A recurring theme in Sorrow’s Forest is the heart of the forest. A place this strange and beautiful place draws its magic—its life—from. The cover is really quite literal in this sense because on it is an anatomical heart. I also have a little gremlin, who looks super cute, but shows their teeth a little bit later in the book. He was really just an indulgence—I saved some baby raccoons a couple years ago and he’s a bit of an homage to their sweet faces and vicious nature.
One of our favorite things is sharing quotes from what we’re reading that really resonate with us. Do you have a favorite quote from your book that you can share with us? What about this quote in particular makes it your favorite?
There are a few in this one that I love, but the one that comes to mind first is: “He’s been lulled into her belly, as foolish as all the other humans that grave in her grounds, deeply in love and deeply blind.” This is a favourite simply because, for me, this one line encompasses everything Sorrow’s Forest is. Someplace beautiful, but also deadly and unforgiving, and though Mackie knows he should be wary, and more careful than he has been, he chooses to forge on ahead anyway, dancing with the addicting nature of his obsession.
Is there anything you can tell us about any current projects you’re working on?
Sorrow’s Forest II (Sorrow’s Blight) is in the works. I’m so close to being finished. I only have about 10,000 words more before wrapping up and I start the process of editing.
It’s going to be a more in-depth dive into the forest. There’s an entire section where we get to interact with the devils and learn a bit about their hierarchy. I’ve also added a lot more of an unsung favourite in this second book: Theodora Chester. I cannot express how pleased I am with how her character has developed. She is a masterpiece, the kind of woman I wish existed in everything I read and write.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for us! We always enjoy this little peek behind the curtain. Do you have any parting thoughts or comments you’d like to leave for our readers?
Thank you for having me! I wanted to thank everyone for taking the time to read Sorrow’s Forest and for participating in this book tour. If anyone has any other questions regarding Sorrow’s Forest, I’m available through Twitter and Instagram, and more than happy to talk shop!
And finally, where can you be found on the internet if our readers want to hear more from you?
I’m most active on Twitter. I can be found there @kaitlincorvus
I also have a Facebook page, and am Kaitlin Corvus there as well
Goodreads: (my friends list here is really quite sad, but I’m trying!) Kaitlin Corvus
Where to buy the book:
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B469DJX6/
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0B469DJX6/