Debut '19 Interview: Mara Rutherford & Crown of Coral and Pearl

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! 

Over the summer of 2018 we had tweeted about wanting to discover more debut authors and their books and Mara responded with her novel CROWN OF CORAL AND PEARL and we have been obsessed with it since. We are so excited to have Mara on the blog today to answer some of our questions! 

About Mara! 
Mara Rutherford began her writing career as a journalist but quickly discovered she far preferred fantasy to reality. Originally from California, Mara has since lived all over the world with her marine-turned-diplomat husband. A triplet born on Leap Day, Mara holds a Master's degree in Cultural Studies from the University of London. When she's not writing or chasing around her two sons, she can usually be found pushing the boundaries of her comfort zone, whether at a traditional Russian banya or an Incan archaeological site. She currently lives in Belgrade, Serbia, with her family and a small red muppet named Mishka.
Keep up with Mara: Website / Instagram / Twitter / Goodreads 


The Book Bratz: How does it feel that CROWN OF CORAL AND PEARL is debuting this year?
Mara: Honestly, it doesn't feel real yet! I've been waiting fifteen years for this and until I'm holding a copy of my book in my hands, I'm not sure I'll believe it. But I am so excited to finally share my writing and characters with the world, and hopefully to connect with readers!

The Book Bratz: In the length of a tweet (280 characters!) can you give us an overall summary of CROWN OF CORAL AND PEARL?
Mara: When her beloved twin is tragically injured, Nor must leave their ocean village behind and impersonate her as Princess of Ilara. But Nor soon discovers that the power-hungry prince has plans that will destroy her home, unless she can steal the crown and save the kingdom first.

The Book Bratz: Where did your inspiration for CROWN OF CORAL AND PEARL come from?
Mara: I wanted to write a story about twin sisters because my own twin is so important to me, but I wanted to focus on what it means to be an individual, the importance of beauty in a culture, and the definition of home. This book was also my first attempt at creating a fantasy world - I'd only written contemporary fantasy up until this novel, and I wasn't sure I had what it takes. Hopefully I succeeded!

The Book Bratz: Is there anything from your personal life that you used as inspiration in CROWN OF CORAL AND PEARL?
Mara: The relationship between the main character, Nor, and her twin, Zadie, is inspired by my own relationship with my sister in a lot of ways. I have obviously never left an ocean village for a mountain castle, but I have moved many times in my life (including to Russia, Peru, and now Serbia), so I have often felt like a fish out of water, as Nor does in the book. At least she speaks the language!

The Book Bratz: Can you share a secret about CROWN OF CORAL AND PEARL that not many people know yet?
Mara: Since we're still working on it, I can't guarantee anything, but I have heard there is going to be a map and I am so excited!
The Book Bratz: If you had to create Twitter or Instagram handles for your characters, what would they be?
Mara: For Nor, the main character: @nobodyswavechild and for Zadie, her twin: @theworldisyouroysterTheir mom would have to be @motherofpearl
The Book Bratz: Do you have any ideas you plan to visit after CROWN OF CORAL AND PEARL?
Mara: I am currently working on a contemporary fantasy about a girl seeking revenge on the wishing well spirit who cursed her family.

Title: Crown of Coral and Pearl
Author: Mara Rutherford
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Publication Date: September 1st 2019
Buy CROWN OF CORAL AND PEARL: Amazon / B&N/ Indie Bound / Book Depository 
Summary: Impetuous and outspoken, seventeen-year-old Nor is used to living in her identical twin sister’s shadow. As the most beautiful girl in Varenia, Zadie is destined to marry the prince of Ilara, heir to all the ocean realms. Though free from her mother’s strict constraints, Nor still feels trapped. Just once, she longs to see Ilara’s glittering towers and encounter its dashing prince… But when Zadie is injured, Nor is chosen to replace her. And she soon finds Prince Ceren is as forbidding and cold as llara, a realm carved into a mountain and devoid of light. Ceren’s plans would strip Varenia of its most precious resources—a decree Nor will risk anything to stop. And through Ceren’s half brother, Talin, she pursues an even darker mystery rooted in the failing royal bloodline, a murdered queen—and Ilara’s sinister secret history. Now Nor must negotiate the treacherous protocols and insidious deceptions of a dazzling court where lies reign and obsession rules. And discovering her own formidable strength may be the one move that costs her everything: the crown, Varenia and Zadie.

Thank you so much Mara for stopping by and answering our questions! We are super excited about CROWN OF CORAL AND PEARL and wait for it to be out in the world on September 1st! 

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