Ever wondered what goes on inside an author's head? Have you disturbingly itched to delve into their thinking processes when they create those fabulous and harrowing places, and remain there? I have the answers - or some of the answers - for the stormy and punishing world of A Shiver of Snow and Sky by Lisa Lueddecke!
On the frozen island of Skane, the sky speaks. Beautiful lights appear on clear nights, and their colours have meaning: Green means all is well, and the Goddess is happy. Blue means a snow storm is on the way.
And then there’s red. Red is rare. A warning.
Seventeen years ago, the sky turned red just as Ósa was born, unleashing a plague that claimed the lives of hundreds of villagers, including her own mother. This time, when the night sky once again bleeds crimson, she must discover how to stop the onslaught before so many lives are lost again.
Lisa Lueddecke was born into an Air Force family, giving her a love for travel, and has spent her life moving between four countries and five US states. She currently resides in England, is one of five sisters, and is a former publishing intern and book blogger turned writer. A Shiver of Snow and Sky is her début novel. Thankfully, brain surgery was not required for Lisa to share stories of the many wonderful and envy-filling countries that she's visited in today's post. Prepare to add these to your bucket lists because they look truly magical!*
"Even though I was very young at the time, a couple years of my childhood were spent living in Iceland. I was born in California, but we moved shortly thereafter, spending a few years in Iceland before moving on to Germany for a spell. My dad was in the Air Force, so moving around was a big part of my life, and even though I’m married now and my dad is retired, that sense of wanting to live somewhere new and start over again has remained.
"Much of my memory of Iceland is through the many pictures and home videos my parents have, which I’ve looked at and watched over and over again. The landscape there has truly stuck with me, with its barren, wild countryside and freezing storms.
"Anyway. Even though Skane is a bit more wintry than Iceland, and it has a lot more trees, I used the idea of the island set in a cold, northern part of the world as my building point for Skane, and I added from there. I didn’t visit Scandinavia until last October, but much of the world was built on Norwegian and Swedish inspiration that I picked up from the internet, and then finally got to see in person. I didn’t want Skane to read too much like any one real place, so while I read up on myths, legends, and superstitions of various countries, I didn’t get too specific with them while writing, and I invented a lot of the words used in the book. Writing it was a bit tricky, because I wanted it to almost feel like a tale that was told about Skane many years later, when some of the details might have been lost to time, but the story was still there. Reading up on the fairytales and legends of various countries gave me the inspiration to do that.
"One of the most magical places we (Lisa's husband and Lisa) visited that felt so much like it could have been part of Skane—with a bit more snow—was the Lofoten Islands, off the coast of Norway. We spent two nights there, and then took a long bus journey from the islands back to the mainland, and it was the most stunning scenery I’ve ever seen. I may be a writer, but I honestly don’t think I can put it into words and do it any sort of justice.
"Nothing is set in stone yet, but we are in the early stages of planning a trip to Finland this winter, which I just know is going to inspire me all over again. Right now we are spending some time living in New Hampshire, and if you’ve never been to New England, it gets pretty harsh winters. Lots of very cold days and snow and inspiration for someone who writes books like I do. I do not like being cold (and by that I mean I hate it), but I’m all about cold winter days when I get to stay indoors with coffee and my writing and my cat.
"I don’t know if I ever would have written this book if I hadn’t traveled to some of the places that I’ve been. Maybe I would have, but it would definitely would have been a different book. I was incredibly lucky to have been able to travel and live different places as a child, and I think those experiences really stayed with me into adulthood."
Follow the next stop in the A Shiver of Snow and Sky blog tour! Lisa's debut is out on October 5th but you can click here for a chance to win ONE of THREE copies.
*Disclaimer - all photos sourced from Google.