Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Interview with Laini Taylor & Daughter of Smoke and Bone Giveaway

I am so thrilled to have author Laini Taylor with us here today. Her latest book, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is as incredible as books come. The writing is exquisite, the story breathtaking and the characters mysterious in all right right ways. To keep my gushing short, this book is phenomenal.

I was lucky enough to be part of this blog tour by Little, Brown and had the extraordinary honor of interviewing Laini. Plus, be sure to check below for your chance to win a finished copy of the book for yourself. You seriously want this book.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher:  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA Fantasy

Book Description: Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?


BCM: You have three scuppies. What do you wish for?

LT: Scuppies, well. They can’t do much. They are great for annoying people, of course—I don’t think I’d be above sending out itches every now and then. Guy talking too loud at the cafe? Itch. Mean kid on playground? Itch. Crazy Michelle Bachman? Itch itch itch. (Ooh, I sense a career in plaguing awful politicians! Just imagine those pasted on smiles going all tight and grimacey )

When I was a teenager I’d very likely have used scuppies for pimple-banishment. Thank goodness I don’t need that anymore! Wishing stains out of clothes, maybe, as mundane as that sounds. I never thought about the way that having a toddler would ruin my clothes! Silly me. Little handprints everywhere.

A shing, now, I would definitely make use of a shing in the same way Karou did. I would wish my hair naturally pink so I wouldn’t have to go to the salon! 

BCM: Which wish from DoS&B is your favorite? I'm partial to the itch myself. :-)

LT: I thought Svetla’s eyebrows were pretty wicked punishment—if slightly unfair. Kaz was the one most deserving punishment! He got it, of course, eventually 

My favorite wish would have to be Karou’s gavriel wish, I don’t want to say what it is. I didn’t always know I was going to do that, and when it hit me, I was so glad the book went in that direction. It was such fun, and it felt like an “of course” when it played out.

BCM: If you were chimaera, what attributes would you possess and why?

LT: I would have to go with Kirin: high-human aspect with bat wings, gazelle horns, and legs that taper from the knee to antelope’s feet. Horns are just cool. In the earliest freewrite I ever did with these characters, out of which the whole story grew, Karou was teasing Brimstone by telling him she was going to have horns surgically implanted in her forehead. 

This was before I knew who these characters were; I only knew there was a father-daughter relationship going on, in spite of the “father” being a monster. Karou was more antagonistic and more troubled in her very earliest incarnation, but the roots of her were there, and she soon found herself.

Like her, I would dream of flying. Wings are beautiful. A fox’s tail would be fun too. That made its way into the book in a small scene. 

BCM: What is the weirdest/creepiest errand you've ever been sent on?

LT: There was that terrible time I had to bring the One Ring into Mordor and throw it into the fires of Mount Doom …

Oh wait, okay, that wasn’t me. But that has to be the worst errand ever. Poor Frodo.
For myself, nothing is coming to mind! I’m pretty bad at errands, actually, pretty bad at many daily life things like laundry and bill-paying too. Head in the clouds. Thank goodness my husband steps up and does these things. 

I can say though (this isn’t an errand), that while traveling in Vietnam in the 1990s, I did visit an animal market in Saigon like Karou does early on, and her reaction to it was pretty much based on my own. It was a horrible place, every imaginable animal being sold as food or parts or medicine or whatever. It made me ill.

BCM: Do you have any drawings of Karou's that you could share with us?

LT: Here are two that Jim has done of her, and I love them! (Writers: marry illustrators! It's so handy!) I love that these are so beautiful but you still don’t get a clear sense of Karou, and can visualize her as you wish.

Want to learn more about this awesome book and it's even more awesome author? Check out these sites:

***Giveaway Rules***
  • Thanks to Little, Brown Books for Young Readers we have one (1) finished copy of Daughter of Smoke and Bone to give away;
  • Must be 13 years of age or older;
  • Open to U.S. mailing addresses only;
  • Giveaway ends midnight on Friday, October 7, 2011;
  • Fill out the form below to enter.


  1. Awesome interview. It was so much fun to read, especially having enjoyed DoSaB! Scuppies really come in handy at times. :)

  2. the black handprints intrigues me - I must know more...

    Pabkins @ Mission to Read

  3. I've really been wanting to read this! Thanks for the chance to win!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing with us today and for the wonderful giveaway opportunity. I really want to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I will have to look up scuppies, as I have not figured out what they are yet LOL

  5. The drawings are beautiful!

    Karen @ I Read To Escape



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