BRIGID KEMMERER is the author of the New York Times bestselling ‘Cursebreaker’ series and the ‘Elemental’ series. Her latest book Destroy the Day is the thrilling conclusion to the ‘Defy the Night’ series. Good Reading for Young Adults caught up with the author to discuss her latest novel.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Prince Corrick is out of options. Held captive by the vicious Oren Crane, he’s desperate to reunite with Tessa, but will need to ally with the rebel leader Lochlan, who until now wished him dead. An unlikely but deadly pair, Corrick and Lochlan must plot their next moves carefully …
An island away, Tessa Cade is heartbroken and angry. Grieving Corrick, and unsure how to find a way back to Kandala, she doesn’t know who to trust. Until Rian – the man she trusts least – makes an offer: aid in a plot to finally oust Oren Crane and see what the future holds …
Meanwhile in Kandala, Harristan is dethroned and on the run. He’s struggling to unite the rebels in his fractured kingdom, but he finds support – and maybe more – in unexpected places.
Can Harristan be the king his people need? Can Corrick and Tessa find their way back to each other? As outside threats loom and the fires of revolution burn from within, time is running out to save their kingdom.
Q&A WITH BRIGID KEMMERER
This is the third instalment in your ‘Defy the Night’ series. What’s in store for Corrick and Tessa in Destroy the Day?
Tessa and Corrick – and King Harristan! – are not having an easy time of it in Destroy the Day! At the beginning of the book, they’re all divided for the first time, and they need to work with some really unexpected partners to get what they want.
Can you tell us about some of the new characters you’ve introduced in this novel?
I had so much fun creating new characters (and bigger roles for existing characters) for readers to fall in love with! There’s Erik Rocco, of course, one of King Harristan’s guards … who’s now trapped with Tessa. There’s the rebel Lochlan, who’s now trapped with Prince Corrick. And then there’s Olive, a completely new character who ends up befriending Tessa and providing help in the most unexpected ways!
How did you go about creating the kingdom of Kandala?
I knew I wanted to create a world different from my previous fantasy novels, and I wanted it to be a little more modern. So I went with a pre-industrial society: there’s some electricity, some early machinery, some more modern weaponry. From there I was able to explore the class differences between the Royal Sector (where the wealthy live) and the Wilds, where people are truly struggling. As I’ve written the story, the conflict between the two seemed ever more consistent with the conflicts in our changing world.
The worldbuilding in this series is rich in detail and plots – what’s involved in your writing process?
Thank you! I tend to be very loose about worldbuilding when I start writing, because I want the freedom to allow room for inspiration as I go. When it comes to plotting, I have the general idea of the major conflicts, but I don’t have a detailed outline. I never worry about ‘getting it right’ the first time, and that’s one of the key pieces of advice I give to aspiring writers. Writing a book isn’t like getting an A in class. Any story can – and should! – change and evolve once you begin creating.
Who are some authors or books that have inspired you?
So many! When I was young, I read a ton of authors like Christopher Pike and Lois Duncan. I remember tearing through the original Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith, and later, books by Vivian Vande Velde. As an adult, I love so many different types of books, from Yellowface by RF Kuang to Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult to House of Marionne by J Elle. I love discovering new stories in all their varied forms.
What did you find most challenging or rewarding about writing this novel?
I really loved writing Destroy the Day, and it will always have a special place in my heart. Brothers and brotherhood are major themes in this book, and as the mother of a bunch of boys who are growing into young men, the story tugged at my heartstrings the whole time I was writing.
This is the final book in your ‘Defy the Night’ series – what emotions ran through you when you finished?
I was elated to be done writing … and so sad I was going to have to say goodbye to these characters.
What are you working on next?
Right now I have the next book in the ‘Forging Silver into Stars’ series to look forward to, along with a new romantic fantasy novel for adults called Warrior Princess Assassin. I can’t wait to tell my readers more about both!
OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES