If Fireborne stole your heart (and then promptly launched into the sky with it cuz DRAGONS) and you have some burning questions for Rosaria about what to expect next, get ready! We asked Rosaria our questions and asked you for your questions too, and she answered both. Scroll down to read her interview!
I’m about to read Fireborne and it looks great! Anything I should know before I do?
One thing I like to tell people is that although dragons define the world of Fireborne, they aren’t the kind who talk or go on quests themselves—they are weapons of mass destruction. This a story about what people choose to do with them.
Favorite Fireborne character to write? Character with the most “you” in them?
Oof, this is like asking me to pick a favorite child! The character with the most “me” in them was definitely Annie. But I have a special fondness for Lee, the character the story started with.
What was your biggest struggle with writing Fireborne?
There were some scenes at the end that were pretty hard to write, because they were (spoiler) kind of dark. I had to go back over them, layering in more emotions, over time because it was too overwhelming to get into that headspace for very long.
Did you know from the beginning that you wanted Lee and Annie to have different socioeconomic backgrounds or was that a decision that evolved over time?
This is a great question. Yes, I did. That was the crux of the tension I wanted to explore in the story—two kids with a classic “friends from the orphanage” backstory, but behind that extremely different histories and biases that their friendship forces them to question.
Most fantasy is about what happens *during* the revolution. What inspired you to write about the aftermath?
Another great one! I worked in Paris in college and wrote the first draft of Fireborne while living in Beijing, and those experiences definitely sparked my interest in the legacy of revolutions. In Paris, guillotine sites from the 1789 Revolution have been turned into traffic turnarounds, mass graves of exhumed royalty are stuffed in closets of church crypts, and an entire museum in the Palace of Versailles manages not to mention the 18th century at all. It’s like they aren’t sure what to say about it. Beijing has a much more recent history of revolution, which meant I could talk to people who had lived through the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. Those whose families had risen through the Party were very positive but those who had been a part of the previous aristocracy had lost everything—they had watched their parents be beaten in the courtyards of their homes and been shipped out to the countryside as sent-down youth. When they returned to the cities they were born in, they returned with nothing. A lot of that went into Fireborne.
Did you read/extensively take notes on Plato’s Republic while working on this novel?
No, and that was intentional. I wanted to keep the elements of the Republic that stuck out to me (the Guardians, the Noble Lie, banning Homer), but not let the original inspiration bog down the story in inorganic ways.
How do you write such amazing angst??? Need book 2!
This is the highest compliment ever, because I delight in angst. I would say the key is understatement, but that is because I grew up on good old fashioned repressed English heroes.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how badly will the sequel hurt my heart?
Will Power play a bigger role in Book 2?
That troublemaker. He’s been one of my favorite characters to develop in the sequel J
WILL THERE BE MORE CRISSA
Absolutely! What would Lee and Annie do without her?
Will there be more making out in book 2?
Yes. It is required by YA law.
What Philo readings do I need to prepare myself for the sequel?
This question makes my nerd heart happy. No philosophy readings, but thematically Flamefall is very much treading in the water of Antigone (the play by Sophocles, and Annie’s namesake) and the Iliad, particularly Book 24. Quotes from both those works will be easter egged in as well J
How many books are you planning to be in the Fireborne series?
There will be 3 books.