Debut '19 Interview: Elizabeth Lim & Spin the Dawn

In 2019 our goal is to work with as many debut authors as possible and spread the word about their debut novels. Follow us this year as we pick the mind of the 2019 debuts and chat with them. Also stay tuned for news of giveaways, twitter chats and more! 

Today we are sitting down to interview Elizabeth Lim the author of the most highly anticipated SPIN THE DAWN, which is pitched as: "Mulan meets Project Runway. To provide for her family, a seamstress disguises herself as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor. Her task to sew the legendary dresses of the sun, moon, & stars lead her on an adventure of danger & romance along a re-imagined Silk Road." I (Amber) was lucky enough to be approved for an eGalley of SPIN THE DAWN and it was absolutely amazing! 

About Elizabeth!

Elizabeth Lim grew up on a hearty staple of fairy tales, myths, and songs. Her passion for storytelling began around age 10, when she started writing fanfics for Sailor Moon, Sweet Valley, and Star Wars, and posted them online to discover, "Wow, people actually read my stuff. And that's kinda cool!" But after one of her teachers told her she had "too much voice" in her essays, Elizabeth took a break from creative writing to focus on not flunking English. Over the years, Elizabeth became a film and video game composer, and even went so far as to get a doctorate in music composition. But she always missed writing, and she turned to penning stories when she needed a breather from grad school. One day, she decided to write and finish a novel -- for kicks, at first, then things became serious -- and she hasn't looked back since. Elizabeth loves classic film scores, books with a good romance, food (she currently has a soft spot for arepas and Ethiopian food), the color turquoise, overcast skies, English muffins, cycling, and baking. She grew up in Northern California, with a brief stint in Tokyo, Japan, but now lives in New York City with her husband and their daughter. Elizabeth graduated from Harvard College with a degree in music and a secondary in East Asian Studies, and completed her graduate degrees at The Juilliard School.

Keep up with Elizabeth: 


The Book Bratz: How does it feel that SPIN THE DAWN is debuting this year?
Elizabeth: It’s nerve-wracking, exciting, terrifying, and wonderful all at once. But I think the biggest feeling I have is relief! Publishing moves slowly, and when SPIN THE DAWN officially releases, it’ll have be nearly two years since my editor bought the manuscript—I’ve had a long time to anticipate and agonize over its release!

The Book Bratz: In the length of a tweet (280 characters!) can you give us an overall summary of SPIN THE DAWN?
Elizabeth: Mulan meets Project Runway. To provide for her family, a seamstress disguises herself as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor. Her task to sew the legendary dresses of the sun, moon, & stars lead her on an adventure of danger & romance along a reimagined Silk Road.

The Book Bratz: Where did your inspiration for SPIN THE DAWN come from?
Elizabeth: I was inspired by the fairy tales my father used to tell me as a child. SPIN THE DAWN draws influence from three in particular: Donkeyskin, East of the Sun, and the Chinese legend, The Cowherd and the Weaver.

The Book Bratz: Is there anything from your personal life that you used as inspiration in SPIN THE DAWN?
Elizabeth: After immigrating to the US, my grandmother spent many years as a seamstress. Maia Tamarin’s talent and passion for sewing is directly inspired by my grandmother.

The Book Bratz: Can you share a secret about SPIN THE DAWN that not many people know yet?
Elizabeth: There might be a little extra something at the end of SPIN THE DAWN in the hardcover edition. Can’t say what just yet!

The Book Bratz: Do you have any ideas you plan to visit after the SPIN THE DAWN world?
Elizabeth: I’d love to write another fairytale-inspired novel, set in a country that’s mentioned in Book II. I’ve already written a few chapters and my goal this year’s to finish a readable draft.

Title: Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars #1)
Author: Elizabeth Lim
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: July 9th, 2019

Summary:  Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars. Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she'll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There's just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job. Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia's task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise. And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor's reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined. Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.

Thank you so much Elizabeth for stopping by to answer some of our questions. We loved SPIN THE DAWN and can't wait for it to be out in the world! 

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