Friday, 29 December 2017

2016 Debut Authors Bash ~ Erin Beaty Interview

Welcome back to this year's Debut Authors Bash.

The Debut Authors Bash is an annual event that YA Reads started in 2013 to promote debut authors through reviews, guest posts, interviews, promo posts, etc. It's an exciting chance to get to know a little more about the year's incredible authors and their brilliant books!

This year's Bash runs from December 1st through to December 30th. To view the rest of the tour schedule click here.

The author I'm featuring today is the lovely Erin Beaty!

I got the chance to chat with Erin about her novel The Traitor's Kiss (which I loved!), writing characters, and femininity. 

Along with the interview is a giveaway you don't want to miss thanks to Erin Beaty and the wonderful people over at YA Reads, so be sure to check that out if you love books and free things I mean who doesn't?!

Now let's get this Debut Authors Bash started!

Erin Beaty was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, which means she can't drive a tractor, but she won't eat veggies that come from a can.

She graduated from the US Naval Academy with a degree in rocket science and somehow always ended up writing her study group's lab reports. After serving in the fleet as a weapons officer and a leadership instructor, she resigned to pursue her side hobby of populating the Church of Rome. It still amazes her when other people want to hear the stories that come out of her head.

She and her husband have five children, two cats, and a vegetable garden and live wherever the navy tells them to go.

Erin Beaty is represented by Valerie Noble. Her young adult fantasy adventure, THE TRAITOR'S KISS, the first in a trilogy called The Traitor's Trilogy, was released May 9th, 2017 

Connect with Erin via her:

Booknut: Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview today! It truly is a pleasure to have you on the blog.

Erin Beaty: Thank you so much for picking me! I was so excited when I saw this was an Aussie blog. Someday I’m coming down there!

Booknut: Tell us a little about yourself. What inspired you to be an author? What is your favourite genre(s) to write?
Erin Beaty: I was always an engineer. I built models and huge Lego castles, and my favorite subjects in school were math and sciences. Writing was a tool for expressing ideas clearly and concisely, so I put effort into mastering it, but I never considered a strength. I knew I was a decent writer because everyone always wanted me to edit their stuff, and in group projects I was voted to do the write-up (the majority of engineers are terrible writers).

All my life I’d created stories for myself, so it was really just a matter of letting one out of my head. When I first decided to write this one down, I loved how easy it felt. By the time I realized how hard it actually was - both writing and publishing - I was hooked. I can’t stop now, no matter how much it makes me want to bang my head against the wall.

It may seem like an odd jump to storytelling, but at its heart, engineering is about how parts within a system interact. Whether that’s thrust and stress forces on a rocket or limited resources and power plays within a society doesn’t matter. It’s all about those interactions and what gets pushed in a certain direction and for how long before another force exerts influence. Science!

Fantasy and historical will always be my favorite genres to write in, I think, though sci-fi has appeal, too. Where else can I fight dragons, pilot spaceships, or be involved in world-altering events? I don’t think I ever really lived in my own time.

Booknut: You’re the author of the YA fantasy novel The Traitor's Kiss. What ignited your imagination and brought about the creation of this book?
Erin Beaty: I’ve always been interested in the historical aspects of marriage and politics - the engineering of the world as we know it. I read a lot of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir around the time I was teaching personality theory in leadership courses, and as a consequence the two topics are stored two side-by-side in my brain. I started wondering if some sort of E-harmony-like compatibility-based matching thing would have worked in those times. Wouldn’t it have been cool to have a guild of matchmakers that put people together like that? It would be a great way for women to protect each other but also to influence national and international events. You could bring families down or build them up, and you could strengthen ties between regions that could win wars. But then I started thinking that system could also be exploited. The plot of The Traitor’s Kiss grew out of that.

Booknut: The title for your book is truly captivating. How do you come up with it?
Erin Beaty: That was 100% my publisher, and I was actually afraid people would think it was a Jesus/Judas book. My working title was “The Matchmaker’s Apprentice,” but I knew that would never make it to publication so I wasn’t attached to it. When it came to the 2nd and 3rd books, the publisher asked for words I thought sounded good and fit where the plots were going, so I had some say in The Traitor’s Ruin and the next, which is secret-ish right now.

Booknut: If you had to pick a favourite character to write about from The Traitor's Kiss who would it be?
Erin Beaty: I have a soft spot for Captain Quinn. He’s a lot like me in personality and ways of thinking, but that makes him kind of boring. EVERYONE I talk to wants to hear more about the Matchmaker Darnessa Rodelle. I’d love to write a novella about her, but she’s not told me all her secrets yet.

Booknut: Your novel is centred on a protagonist (Sage) who is thought to be unfit for marriage due to her supposed lack of femininity. However, as we see in The Traitor's Kiss, Sage turns out to be quite the empowered female. What would you define ‘femininity’ as, and do you think judging women by their amount of/lack of it is an issue in today’s society?
Erin Beaty: I’ve been told by many that Sage is a “feminine” heroine, and when I ask people to break that comment down, I usually get because she’s not a ruthless assassin or something, nor does she want to be. Until recently strong female characters were predominantly shown as successful only when they acted like men, which was a huge shame - and I say this as someone who did that in real life. In the military I enjoyed eschewing the girlish things I was never into growing up. Ironically, it was being in an asexual/masculine environment made me appreciate the “traditional” feminine qualities I’d always disdained (emotion, mercy, nurturing, or even just wanting to look pretty).

We spend our whole lives receiving conflicting messages about what we’re supposed to be. When we’re little, we’re princesses. Later, magazines tell us on page 43 how to be mega-sexy, while on page 91 there’s an article on why you shouldn’t dress to please men. We want women to be tough and strong, but there’s nothing wrong with being loving and nurturing, which is why I lovedlovedloved the Wonder Woman movie. You can be both.

While there are huge differences between Mad Max’s bad-ass Furiosa and Jane Austen’s very girlish Emma, both character extremes show there’s no greater ferocity than that of women protecting those they love or feel motherly toward. (Love and motherliness often intertwine, but can be separate - just look at Scarlett O’Hara.) Whether they do it with bullets and roundhouse kicks or ballroom dances and social calls doesn’t matter. I welcome the wide variety in female characters because it sends a very powerful message: Be comfortable with where you are on that scale. Embrace it. None of it makes you any more or less of a woman.

Booknut: What is your favourite line or quote from The Traitor's Kiss?
Erin Beaty: Maybe it’s because it’s Sage trying to bend social convention back on the matchmaker, but I love it when she apologizes, and Darnessa makes her stew a bit until she says, “You see, the way this works is, I say I’m sorry for the horrible things I said, and then you say you’re sorry for the horrible things you said. Then we smile and pretend we believe each other.”

Booknut: What are you most excited for readers to experience in The Traitor's Kiss?
Erin Beaty: There’s a “big twist” in there, and I love when people are surprised but then happier than they ever thought they’d be.

Booknut: If you could tell readers one message or moral of the story to take away from The Traitor's Kiss, what would it be?
Erin Beaty: I hope it sets the bar pretty high for romance. I don’t want my daughters (or sons) settling for anything less than the respect, admiration, and caring Sage and Ash have for each other.

Otherwise, I hope Sage is a heroine a broad spectrum of young women can relate to. As cool as highly skilled assassins and lost princesses with dormant magical powers are, I truly believe in the power of ordinary people. There’s no agenda behind Sage’s character or the plot, however. I only wanted to create someone with realistic abilities within a familiar society. If my story inspires young women to believe what they have within them is valuable, then I’ll pat myself on the back.

Booknut: Thank you so much again for sitting down with me! It was wonderful having you on the blog. I wish you the best of luck with all your future writing.
Erin Beaty: Thank you for inviting me!

An obstinate girl who will not be married. A soldier desperate to prove himself. A kingdom on the brink of war.

With a sharp tongue and an unruly temper, Sage Fowler is not what they’d call a lady―which is perfectly fine with her. Deemed unfit for marriage, Sage is apprenticed to a matchmaker and tasked with wrangling other young ladies to be married off for political alliances. She spies on the girls―and on the soldiers escorting them.

As the girls' military escort senses a political uprising, Sage is recruited by a handsome soldier to infiltrate the enemy ranks. The more she discovers as a spy, the less certain she becomes about whom to trust―and Sage becomes caught in a dangerous balancing act that will determine the fate of her kingdom

Add to your Goodreads bookshelf today!

Signed copy of The Traitor's Kiss and bookmark

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enjoying this year's Bash? Let us know by using the hashtag #17DABash!


  1. My favorite female protagonist of 2017 was Alosa from Daughter of a Pirate King.

    1. Ooh that book is totally on my TBR! I can't wait to experience Alosa for myself <3

  2. I'm going to go with Kamzin from Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett. She' was persistent and resilient. I can't wait to see what she brings in the sequel :)

    1. Great pick! Omg I know - hopefully she gets the chance to really shine in the sequel too <3

  3. My fave female character of 2018 was Cyra from Scythe by Neal Shusterman!
    Megan S.

    1. A few of my friends have read Scythe and I've heard nothing but great things about its characters, especially Cyra :)

  4. I have to go with Vasya from The Girl in the Tower. She's such a strong female character that always stands up for what she believes in (and The Girl in the Tower is also beautifully written!)

  5. Tough question! I think my favorite contemporary character was Elle from Ashley Poston's Geekerella and my favorite non-contemporary character was Scarlet from A.C. Gaughen's Scarlet trilogy! Both were strong female protagonists who are also great role models.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...