Friday, January 6, 2012

Class of 2K12 -- Interview with Robin Bridges, THE GATHERING STORM -- and an ARC giveaway

Welcome! Today, I'm thrilled to be interviewing Robin Bridges, author of the debut YA novel, THE GATHERING STORM,  which pubs January 10, 2012, from Delacorte Press.

 Book One of the Katerina Trilogy
Book One of the Katerina Trilogy
In the midst of superstitious and dangerous 1880's Russia, Katerina of Oldenburg hides a dark secret: she can raise the dead.  Here's the official trailer from Random House to show you more:

Wow!  That's a cool trailer and a  beautiful cover.  And what a great premise!  Robin, did you start with a character or with an image or phrase or setting?  This story actually started with the setting.  I’ve always loved Russian history and wanted to write a fantasy based in a Slavic-type kingdom.

I love Russian history too! Do you outline before you write? If so, does it end up changing before you finish the first draft? What change surprised you the most?  Yes and no.  I have a road map, a list of scenes I want to include, and then I write and rewrite trying to figure out exactly what happens.

 Robin Bridges (photo by Erin Glisson)

Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate while writing? And where do you write? Briefly describe your writing space. Diet Coke is my poison of choice.  My writing space is a computer nook off of my living room.  I only get to write when the rest of the family is asleep or at school/ work and the living room is quiet.

Do you listen to music while writing or at least while thinking about and planning a book? What song or album had the most influence on this novel?  Katerina’s playlist was mostly classical Russian composers like Tchaikovsky and Glinka, but it’s kinda eclectic:

A Life for the Tsar: Polonaise and Mazurka by Glinka
Eugene Onegin: Polonaise by Tchaikovsky
Queen of Spades: Overture and Lisa’s Aria by Tchaikovsky
Kol Slaven
Black Eyes (old Russian love song)
Chrysanthemums (old Russian love song)
Skazhite Yey (Tell Her) (old Russian love song)
Russian Easter Festival Overture by Rimsky-Korsakov
Forestalling the Morning (and other Russian Orthodox chants)
Snow White Queen and Lacrymosa by Evanescence
Transylvanian Concubine by Rasputina
Second Waltz by Shostakovich (written past Katerina’s time but I still love it)

That's an amazing song list, Robin.  Tchaikovsky is one of my favorite composers!  And my son introduced me to Rasputina.  I studied Russian in college and I love that your novel has so much Russian influence.   

Thank you so much for joining us today, Robin!  And happy launch day next week!  

To learn more about Robin, visit her website or the Class of 2K12 website.

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Readers, I'm happy to tell you I have an ARC of The Gathering Storm to give away.  It's simple: be a follower and leave a comment on this post.  This giveaway is open internationally and will close at 11:59 pm EST on Wednesday, January 18.  Don't forget my other giveaway of a middle grade novel, MAY B. by Caroline Starr Rose.  Go to this post to enter (edited to add the link!).

Visit My Brain on Books next Friday for another interview with a debut YA author, Megan Bostic, author of NEVER EIGHTEEN.


  1. I love the cover. And I've heard great things about The Gathering Storm. The Russian history aspect makes it sound even more interesting. Thanks for the giveaway.

  2. I'm really intrigued with the storyline and I love how it encorporates Russian history in the story! Plus the cover is also breath taking!

    I'm a GFC follower: Kai Agito

    Thanks for this great giveaway!

  3. I love Russian history and music. Thank you!

  4. Great interview. That playlist was crazy. I've been on vacation and I'm glad to be back. Love your blog.

  5. I agree, Natalie. The cover's gorgeous.

    Glad you found my blog, Kai!

    You're welcome, Myrna. Glad to hear someone else loves Russian history and music.

    Thanks, Brooke and welcome back! Missed you.

  6. Joanne,

    This title would be the perfect one for my historical fantasy list!! And of course, knowing a thing or two about Russian history ;), I am double curious. Can't wait to check it out!!

    P.S. Didn't know you studied it in college!

  7. I'm such a historical fiction fan! I've been itching to read this one since I first saw it. The cover definitely caught my eye as well.
    GFC: Vivien

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  8. Da, Katia! Add it to your list! (I majored in English, minored in Russian)

    Hi Vivien! Thanks for always entering my giveaways and not giving up. Maybe this time randomizer will pick you!

  9. I got chills from watching the trailer ! (like I'm watching movie trailer) Now that means I want to read this book!


  10. It was so nice to meet you tonight, Joanne. I've heard a lot about you from the other members of PLN. You did a great job hosting Kate's launch party; I was highly impressed by everything you guys planned. Not to mention, your store is AMAZING. I'll be back soon!

  11. Hi Natasha! I love that trailer too.

    Thanks, Paul. It was great to meet you, too! I've heard of you from Ilene. In this digital world, it's always nice to meet someone face-to-face, though. That was some party, wasn't it? Kate planned most of it herself!

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  13. This book is HIGH on my list for 2012 debuts. Great interview and ohhhh so AWESOME trailer :D

  14. Hi Akoss! I love that trailer too. So chilling and intriguing!

  15. Awesome trailer and cover! I did study a little bit of Russian and Russia is such a fascinating place! definitely a book to read!

  16. Yes, Reading mind. I'm reading the book right now and it's lavish and romantic. Even for people who never studied Russian or knew anything about Russia, it's a great read.