IceyBooks: Pitch CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS in a tweet.
Miriam Forster: One Empire cut off by magic. One assistant, in over her head. Murder, caste systems and talking cats abound in the City of a Thousand Dolls.
IceyBooks: You've got quite a sense of humor, as is evident to anyone who follows you on Twitter. Does it reflect in your debut at all?
Miriam Forster: Aww, thanks! The book is really more angsty and suspenseful than funny, though there are a few fun moments. Writing humor is a skill I haven't quite mastered yet. :)
IceyBooks: Do you have a favorite line that was removed from the original draft of CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS?
Miriam Forster: I have a favorite character, which is kind of the same thing, right? Originally there were three cats that followed Nisha around all the time: Jerrit, Esmer and Esmer's mate Brill. Brill was a very calm, comforting sort of character, but he got cut in the Great Character Reaping of 2011. It was very sad.
IceyBooks: Tell us a little bit about how you signed with your agent.
Miriam Forster: This is my favorite story. :)
Okay, so I finished writing City of a Thousand Dolls in 2008 and spent two years revising and querying it with no takers. I got really close a couple of times but no dice. So at some point I decided, "to heck with this" and I tore the whole thing apart and rewrote it. I was querying another book at the time and getting even less results with that one, so I sent City out again and got a full request. I promised myself if the full request came back as a no, then I was going to send out City one more time, just to keep momentum, and then shelve it and work on my middle grade.
Of course I got a very nice no on the full. So I shot off one more query to Jennifer Laughran at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, and started revising my middle grade. (I'd recently started following Jenn on Twitter and she was hilarious. Also, she'd repped several books I loved.) A week or two before I was ready to query the other book, she wrote back and asked for the full of City. So I sent it to her and she loved it. And the rest was history. :)
IceyBooks: Give us the three:
-Items on your desk right now
Miriam Forster: Actually, I'm currently sitting on the floor in front of our fireplace. Next to me is..
1. A box of author copies of City of a Thousand Dolls. And no, I'm not cuddling with it. Much.
2. A cup of delicious and much needed coffee.
3. One of those foam roller things you use to get muscle kinks out. It's pretty awesome.
-Types of snacks you're craving right now
Miriam Forster: Pretzels, dried cranberries and popcorn. But not together, because that would probably taste weird.
-Books you can't wait to read
Miriam Forster: I can't choose! Um... Scarlet by Marissa Meyer would definitely be one. And Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan. (I'm a total Rusty/Kami shipper.) And the last Wheel of Time book, because I started reading it in the early 90s when I was a teenager, and I want to finish the series and GET SOME CLOSURE GOSHDANGIT!!! *sigh*
Thanks so much for having me!
Miriam Forster learned to read at the age of five, wrote her first story at the age of seven and has been playing with words ever since. Her debut novel, CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS is being published by HarperCollins.
In her daily life, Miriam is a wife, a terrible housekeeper and a dealer of words at the local bookshop. In her internal life, she imagines fight scenes, obsesses about anthropology, nature shows and British television, and reads far too many books.
Miriam is represented by Jennifer Laughran of the Andrea Brown Agency.
Add CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS to Goodreads
Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was just a child. Now sixteen, she lives on the grounds of the isolated estate, where orphan girls apprentice as musicians, healers, courtesans, and, if the rumors are true, assassins. Nisha makes her way as Matron’s assistant, her closest companions the mysterious cats that trail her shadow. Only when she begins a forbidden flirtation with the city’s handsome young courier does she let herself imagine a life outside the walls. Until one by one, girls around her start to die.
Before she becomes the next victim, Nisha decides to uncover the secrets that surround the girls’ deaths. But by getting involved, Nisha jeopardizes not only her own future in the City of a Thousand Dolls—but her own life.
Now for the giveaway! Thanks to Miriam, one lucky US/Canada reader will receive a signed copy of CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS! Just fill out the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!
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