Q&A with Leigh Bardugo, author of Shadow and Bone

I am so pleased to welcome Leigh Bardugo to I'd So Rather Be Reading today!  I was tickled pink at the chance to ask her a few questions about Shadow and Bone, which was one of my favorite books of this year.  My questions are in red. 

What inspired you to write Shadow and Bone?
The idea for Shadow and Bone came to me one night at the end of a darkened hall. I was staying with friends in an unfamiliar house and, as my fingers scrabbled along the wall, trying to find the light switch, I was suddenly sure that there was something there with me in the dark, just waiting for me to take a step closer. I mean, I'm a mostly rational, grown up person. I knew I was being ridiculous, but it didn't change the fact that my heart was ready to pound right out of my chest.

When I finally got back to bed, I found myself lying awake, wondering what it might be like if darkness was a place. What monsters might populate such a wasteland? What would they look like? What would it take to fight them on their territory? Why would it be important that you try? The questions kept coming. I couldn't sleep, so I got up and started writing.
The world of the Grisha is so unique.  How did you come up with it?  Did Alina's world evolve as you wrote? Thank you! I was always interested in the functionality of magic and the idea of the Small Science has been with me for a while. I wanted to create a system that operated as a kind of magical version of molecular chemistry. In the first draft, the basics of that system, the parameters of the Darkling's and Alina's powers, and the Shadow Fold were really the only world-building elements in place. It was in the second draft that I began to draw on historical inspiration to lend the world texture and consistency. I focused mostly on Tsarist Russia and I think the research not only altered the narrative, but also brought some existing elements of the story (the history of Keramzin, the plight of the First Army, the tension between the Grisha and the Ravkan peasantry) into sharper focus.
Are you a reader?  What are your favorite types of books to read/favorite books?
(For some reason, this question made me giggle. So tempted to say, "Nope. Not a reader. Words are for suckers!") I'm always reading, but I'm not picky about genre. If the idea sounds interesting or the book comes with a good recommendation, I'm there. It's hard for me to list favorite books because it really depends on my mood. I'm fickle that way. Today, I'll say Carter Beats the Devil, The Phantom Tollbooth, and Dune. Recently, Sharp Objects blew me away, and I'm a longtime fan of A Song of Ice and Fire.
What's next for you?
I've finished Siege and Storm, the second book in the Grisha Trilogy, so next I'll be diving into the third book, Ruin and Rising. I also have a horror project in the works, but that one is a bit of an experiment. *Puts on goggles, heads back into the lab.* 

Thank you so much, Leigh!  I can't wait for the release of Siege and Storm...I'm sure it will be just as good as Shadow and Bone!

Find Leigh Bardugo here:

1 comment:

Word verification stinks--- but spammers are worse. Thank you for your patience!