Monday, June 18, 2018

Song of Leira Blog Tour: Interview with Gillian Bronte Adams!

Hey'a, everyone! The Lightporter tour is over, so we now return to Song of Leira! For today's post, I got to interview Gillian, which was super fun. But before we get to that, let's recap some info about the book and author.

About the Book:  

 The Song bids her rise to battle.
Reeling from her disastrous foray into the Pit, Birdie, the young Songkeeper, retreats into the mountains. But in the war-torn north, kneeling on bloodstained battlefields to sing the souls of the dying to rest, her resolve to accept her calling is strengthened. Such evil cannot go unchallenged.
Torn between oaths to protect the Underground runners and to rescue his friend from the slave camps, Ky Huntyr enlists Birdie's aid. Their mission to free the captives unravels the horrifying thread connecting the legendary spring, Artair's sword, and the slave camps. But the Takhran's schemes are already in motion. Powerful singers have arisen to lead his army - singers who can shake the earth and master the sea - and monsters rampage across the land.
As Leira falters on the verge of defeat, the Song bids her rise to battle, and the Songkeeper must answer.









About the Author:

Gillian Bronte Adams is a sword-wielding, horse-riding, wander-loving fantasy author, rarely found without a coffee in hand and rumored to pack books before clothes when she hits the road. Working in youth ministry left her with a passion for journeying alongside children and teens. (It also enhanced her love of coffee.) Now, she writes novels that follow outcast characters down broken roads, through epic battles, and onward to adventure. And at the end of a long day of typing, she can be found saddling her wild thing and riding off into the sunset, seeking adventures of her own (and more coffee).

She loves to connect with fellow readers and wanderers online through her blog, Facebook page, newsletter, and Instagram.





Interview with Gillian:

Hello, Gillian! To start out, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Who you are, your favorite books (besides your own), hobbies, anything else you want to share?

Sure thing! I am a writer, wanderer, and wordsmith. I would love to live out of a backpack, provided it was a magical backpack that could fit my bookcase, power my laptop, and run my coffee maker. (That’s not asking too much, is it?)

Some of my favorite books are The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson, the Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown, and The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.

In addition to reading, I love riding my wild thing (a high-spirited quarter horse named Ariat), hiking, kayaking, and road trips.

Anyone reading the Songkeeper Chronicles can probably tell that you were influenced by Tolkien's works, but what are some of the other books and authors that have shaped either the trilogy or Song of Leira specifically? 

Yes, I would say that I have definitely been influenced by Tolkien the most. His books were the first novels I ever read, and I read them over and over again over a span of several years, falling ever more deeply in love with the characters and storylines. Of course, Tolkien’s mythology also included a creation song and one of my favorite moments in the Silmarillion was when Sauron and Felagund strove with songs of power against one another. That idea of powerful music seeped into my head and eventually appeared in The Songkeeper Chronicles.

I don’t know if there are any other books or authors that shaped this trilogy specifically, but there are definitely books and authors whose works I have loved and that I have learned from over the years. I love Brandon Sanderson’s worlds and his characters. I love the way C.S. Lewis weaves truth into his tales in such deep and yet simple ways and the feeling of wonder and hope that his stories evoke.

So, I hope to continue learning from other excellent authors as I continue to write. That’s the beauty of being a writer. You never stop learning and growing and being shaped by the books you read!

One of the things I love about your books is the way you weave in deep, inspiring themes without making them seem preachy or unnatural. Generally speaking, do you set out in the beginning to write a story with a particular theme? Or do the themes appear as you write?

Oh, thank you! Themes usually appear as I write. I approach my writing through prayer and it is often deeply influenced by the Scriptures I am reading and studying at the moment. As I figure out my characters and the issues they are struggling with, as well as the events they will face and the choices they will make throughout the book, the themes tend to grow organically out of and around that.
Once the theme has made itself clear, I often give the story another passthrough to see if there are ways that I can strengthen and foreshadow that theme in the story. It’s kind of a working backward and then forward process.

What was the hardest part of writing Song of Leira? The best part?

Because Song of Leira is the last book in The Songkeeper Chronicles, weaving together all of the threads (some of which had been set in place all the way back in Orphan’s Song) was one of the most fun and most challenging parts of the process. There were so many characters to deal with as well as world-changing events to set in motion and wrap up, so the writing process took me a long time.

And it definitely had some moments where I wasn’t sure if I would be able to finish or if the story would ever seem cohesive. But seeing how all of the threads finally came together at the end was the best and most satisfying part of writing the book.

Song of Leira is the third book in the Songkeeper Chronicles and your fourth book total. What are some of the things you've learned in your publishing journey so far?

Fear is the enemy of creativity. For a fair portion of my writing career, I have allowed fear to hold me back and to limit my dreams. Fear of what readers will say. Fear of not achieving what other writers achieve. Fear of somehow not measuring up.

But fear completely stymies creativity and can stop you from writing before you’ve even gotten started! Learning to write from an attitude of freedom instead of an attitude of fear has had one of the biggest impacts on my writing and publishing journey. And I know that is just “one thing” and it might even seem obvious to others, but it can have far-reaching effects!

Finally, do you have any plans for new books now that you've finished with the Songkeeper Chronicles?

Yes, I have been working on a new “top secret” project for the past several months. It’s another epic fantasy series, and this one is bigger and broader than anything I’ve ever attempted before, so nailing it down has been challenging. But I am loving every minute of the writing process, and I am very excited about this story and can’t wait until I can share it with people.

Meanwhile, there are a couple other story ideas percolating at the back of my mind, but they’ll need some additional simmering before I’m ready to actually start writing them. All in all, I hope to keep sharing stories with y’all for years to come!

Thanks, Gillian, for allowing me to interview you, and thanks to all of you for reading! Please tell me in the comments: have you read Song of Leira yet? Are you curious about Gillian's top-secret project? Also, don't forget to submit your photos of your adventures with the book to the Take Your Book on an Adventure contest! Winners will be announced during the Facebook  party on June 22.
Have a great day!
 -Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)


  1. Ooh I love this cover and the Q&A was fantastic! It's always the best to get a bit of a sneak-peek into the behind the scenes of an author's life! (I'm curious about the top secret project!) Also I can imagine how hard finales must be to write, so I'm glad it all worked out in the end. 😱🎉

    1. Glad you enjoyed the interview! (And yes, I'm also super curious . . . hopefully she reveals it soon!)

  2. Thanks so much for hosting this interview, Sarah! I had so much fun answering the questions. You made me think hard for some of them, and I LOVE that! :D

    1. You're welcome, and thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed my questions!


I'd love to hear your thoughts! But remember: it pays to be polite to dragons.