Interview With Author Annie Sullivan!

Hi! Hello! Today we have an awesome interview with Annie Sullivan, the amazing mind behind A Touch of Gold and her newest novel, Tiger Queen. I met Annie briefly at BookExpo in 2018 and she is the sweetest most bubbly person I ever met. I had the opportunity to read Tiger Queen and posted my review yesterday (It can be found here!) and I really enjoyed it!

Tiger Queen is a quick enjoyable read that is perfect for fantasy lovers. This is also a standalone (!!!) which means there was no cliffhanger! I think Annie did an amazing job at wrapping up Kateri’s journey and tying up the loose ends of the last several chapters. Annie Sullivan will be an author I look out for in the future of YA Fantasy and can’t wait to see what she comes up with next! -Amber's Review

Interview Time! 

The Book Bratz: In the length of a tweet (280 characters!) can you give us an overall summary of TIGER QUEEN?
Annie: TIGER QUEEN is about a warrior princess who fights suitors in an arena to win her right to rule, but when her last opponent is announced as the one man she's never been able to beat in a fight, she has to scramble to keep her throne.

 The Book Bratz: Quick! You are stuck in the desert and you are running out of water, what are you going to do?
Annie: I’m probably going to go full survival mode and try to find a poisonous cactus to drink from or a juicy bug to eat. I’d do what I have to in order to survive!

The Book Bratz: Did you draw any real life inspiration in TIGER QUEEN and its characters?
Annie: I actually did draw from the real world when writing Tiger Queen. This may sound odd, but the desert landscape was actually inspired by the time I spent in Antarctica. Antarctica is actually one of the world’s largest deserts because it is so dry, and I wrote a lot of Tiger Queen while I was there. So I took the blowing snow and freezing cold and just reversed it to be blowing sand and unbearable heat.  As for the characters, they aren’t really inspired by real people I know, but I do think that all of my characters have some small piece of me inside them—either a good quality or a bad one that I see in myself. That helps me connect with them all on a deeper level. 

The Book Bratz: What was your inspiration behind choosing names for your characters? (Amber: I’ve always been curious how authors choose names for their characters!)
Annie: The name Kateri was actually inspired by the Catholic Saint named Kateri. She’s the patron saint of people in exile and of the enviornment, both of which play a role in Tiger Queen. I just love Kateri’s history and how she really had to examine what she believed in, which is very similar to what happens in my story. For the other characters, I keep a list of names that I come up with, and I go through it sounding out names and seeing how they feel for each character. When I finally find one that fits, it just sounds right. And it may sound odd, but I have a hard time writing about a character unless I know their name. So I can’t keep writing until I know that about a character at the very least.

The Book Bratz: Was the experience between writing A TOUCH OF GOLD and TIGER QUEEN different or the same? Was it easier with TIGER QUEEN being your second novel?
Annie: Whereas it took me about 2 years to write A Touch of Gold while I was getting a master’s degree in creative writing, Tiger Queen only took me about 3 months. It was a little easier because I knew I could write a novel because I’d already written one. However, in some ways, each novel is its own beast with its own challenges. You always have to figure out who this new character is and how the world they live in works. But overall, Tiger Queen was easier because it didn’t have a complex magic system like A Touch of Gold—because magic is one of the most complex things to write. You have to clearly define who has magic, how they got it, how it can be used, it’s limitations, etc. And if anyone can find a flaw in your magic system, then the whole book falls apart.

The Book Bratz: If you had to create Twitter or Instagram handles for your characters, what would they be?
Annie: I love this question! I think for Princess Kateri, she would probably pick @QueenKateri since she wants to be queen so badly. For Cion, he’s probably go with something like @LegendaryCion because of how skilled he is with a blade and how so many rumors circulate about him and his skill. Dimic, who is sort of the comic relief would probably go with @YouCantCatchMe because he delights in making getaways. For Rodric, I think he’d pick something like @DesertKing because he wants the desert to pick him as its ruler and will do anything to make it happen. And just for fun, the tigers would go with @WhosComingForDinner because they love to eat people in the arena!

Title: Tiger Queen
Author: Annie Sullivan
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Blink 
Publication Date: September 10th 2019
Summary: From Annie Sullivan, author of A Touch of Gold, comes Tiger Queen, a sweeping YA fantasy adventure that tells the story of a fierce desert princess battling to save her kingdom. Fans of Rebel of the Sands and Meagan Spooner will devour this retelling of Frank Stockton’s famous short story, “The Lady, or the Tiger?” In the mythical desert kingdom of Achra, an ancient law forces sixteen-year-old Princess Kateri to fight in the arena to prove her right to rule. For Kateri, winning also means fulfilling a promise to her late mother that she would protect her people, who are struggling through windstorms and drought. The situation is worsened by the gang of Desert Boys that frequently raids the city wells, forcing the king to ration what little water is left. The punishment for stealing water is a choice between two doors: behind one lies freedom, and behind the other is a tiger. But when Kateri’s final opponent is announced, she knows she cannot win. In desperation, she turns to the desert and the one person she never thought she’d side with. What Kateri discovers twists her world—and her heart—upside down. Her future is now behind two doors—only she’s not sure which holds the key to keeping her kingdom and which releases the tiger.

Thank you so much Annie for stopping by today and answering our questions! We loved Tiger Queen and can't wait for it to be out in the world (10 more days!!!) Today I also learned that Antarctica is also a desert, I think I should have paid more attention in my geography class. Make sure to pre-order and add Tiger Queen to your TBR!


1 comment

  1. I don’t know about eating bugs, but a cactus I could try. Thanks for doing this interview, I love the style. I am glad to hear of another stand alone fantasy as well!!!


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