Welcome to the next stop on the Fate of Flames tour hosted by Irish Banana Tours! We have a special post from Sarah Raughley discussing the inspiration behind her debut novel!
What inspired me to write Fate of Flames? Well, to be honest, I think Fate of Flames has been in the making for a couple of decades now. See, since I was a kid, I’ve always been creating “magical girl group” storylines, I guess because I wanted to be in one! Whenever my brothers would buy a Final Fantasy game I’d pretend to be the dark mage, like Rydia from Final Fantasy IV or Terra from Final Fantasy VI. I think every major story idea I’ve ever had starts out like, “there were these four/five girls and they each had different powers.” I’m not sure why. I think there’s something very empowering about these kinds of narratives. And considering how male-centric speculative fiction can be, I’ve always appreciated the idea of girls who have the power of the cosmos at their fingertips!
So when they announced Sailor Moon Crystal in 2012, I just had to go ahead with it and finally write a novel. I re-watched the anime and re-read the manga. And I started to imagine a whole world in which girls like the Sailor Scouts had to fight but without the comfort of secrecy. Stories like Sailor Moon were really formative for me as a young storyteller. That, Buffy, Avatar: The Last Airbender, are all stories that the book can be compared to and with good reason. Fate of Flames is basically my answer to the question: what if the Sailor Scouts had to fight evil in the public eye in an era of social media? I started to create the world around that very simple pitch. What would they fight against? Monsters of course. But if you’re going to go with monsters, you might as well go all out. That’s where the Pacific Rim part of the pitch comes in. Pacific Rim is like a lot of kaiju narratives out there. It’s got huge monsters and people have to band together to fight them off. So really, Fate of Flames is: four girls with magical powers come together to fight giant monsters. I couldn’t resist writing it!
It was difficult at first to get everything together, because the more I thought about the world, the bigger it got. I made sure to outline and plot everything out, always leaving room for surprises because that’s often where the magic happens. Flexibility is a big thing for me, but I couldn’t write this series without a bible that I could keep referring back to. There’s so much backstory and character stuff there’s no way I’d be able to keep it all in my head! From then on its writing. Writing, writing, editing, fixing, and more writing. But the one thing I had to keep in mind while writing was that no matter how hard the writing process got, I didn’t want to lose the spirit of that initial imaginative spark that created the idea in the first place. After all, we write because it’s fun. And magical girls kicking ass? Well, that’s always fun!
Fate of Flames
Four girls with the power to control the elements and save the world from a terrible evil must come together in the first epic novel in a brand-new series.
When Phantoms—massive beasts made from nightmares and darkness—suddenly appeared and began terrorizing the world, four girls, the Effigies, each gained a unique power to control one of the classical elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Since then, four girls across the world have continually fought against the Phantoms, fulfilling their cosmic duty. And when one Effigy dies, another girl gains her power as a replacement.
But now, with technologies in place to protect the world’s major cities from Phantom attacks, the Effigies have stopped defending humanity and, instead, have become international celebrities, with their heroic feats ranked, televised, and talked about in online fandoms.
Until the day that New York City’s protection against the Phantoms fails, a man seems to be able to control them by sheer force of will, and Maia, a high school student, unexpectedly becomes the Fire Effigy.
Now Maia has been thrown into battle with three girls who want nothing to do with one another. But with the first human villain that the girls have ever faced, and an army of Phantoms preparing for attack, there isn’t much time for the Effigies to learn how to work together.
Can the girls take control of their destinies before the world is destroyed forever?
About Sarah Raughley
Sarah Raughley grew up in Southern Ontario writing stories about freakish little girls with powers because she secretly wanted to be one. She is a huge fangirl of anything from manga to SF/F TV to Japanese Role Playing Games, but she will swear up and down that she was inspired by ~Jane Austin~ at book signings. On top of being a YA Writer, she is currently completing a PhD in English, because the sight of blood makes her queasy (which crossed Medical School off the list).
She is represented by The Bradford Literary Agency.
So far, you can also find her on Twitter, where work ethic goes to die.
3 Finished Copies of FATE OF FLAMES (US Only)
Thank you Sarah for the lovely guest post! I am so excited to read this book inspired by my favorite Anime of all time! Also thank you Hannah for allowing me to participate in this blog tour