Thursday, October 15, 2020

Blog Tour Q&A with Samantha Cohoe, Author of A Golden Fury

Please join me in welcoming Samantha Cohoe to Let Them Read Books! Samantha is touring the blogosphere with her debut YA historical fantasy novel, A Golden Fury, (which I'm reading now, btw, and it's so good), and I recently had the chance to ask her a few questions about writing historical fantasy. Read on and grab your copy today!

Set in eighteenth century England, Samantha Cohoe’s debut novel, A GOLDEN FURY (Wednesday Books; October 13, 2020), follows a young alchemist as she tries to save the people she loves from the curse of the Philosopher’s Stone. The streets of London and Oxford come to life as this historical fantasy unravels. Weaving together an alluring story of magic and danger, Samantha’s debut has her heroine making messy decisions as she toes the line between good and evil while it becomes blurred.

Thea Hope longs to be an alchemist out of the shadow of her famous mother. The two of them are close to creating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone—whose properties include immortality and can turn any metal into gold—but just when the promise of the Stone’s riches is in their grasp, Thea’s mother destroys the Stone in a sudden fit of violent madness.
While combing through her mother’s notes, Thea learns that there’s a curse on the Stone that causes anyone who tries to make it to lose their sanity. With the threat of the French Revolution looming, Thea is sent to Oxford for her safety, to live with the father who doesn’t know she exists.

But in Oxford, there are alchemists after the Stone who don’t believe Thea’s warning about the curse—instead, they’ll stop at nothing to steal Thea’s knowledge of how to create the Stone. But Thea can only run for so long, and soon she will have to choose: create the Stone and sacrifice her sanity, or let the people she loves die.

Hi Samantha! Thank you so much for stopping by today!

What inspired you to base your fantasy in a historical setting?

I love history! I’ve spent so much time reading history and historical fiction that I feel almost as much at home in the past as I do in the present day. One thing I really love about writing historical fiction is the way it lets you explore different times and different contexts. That’s interesting in its own right, and it also helps us reflect in a different way on our own time by contrast.

What drew you to this time period?

I love the late 18th century because of all the turmoil and change that came about specifically as the result of ideas. Ideas that make revolutions are exciting to me.

Did you get to do anything fun or learn something surprising during your research?

I really enjoyed all my alchemy research, but one particularly fun fact I ran across in the course of it is that there are researchers who try to work out which Chinese emperors may have died from taking alchemical elixirs!

What are the biggest challenges of blending fantasy with history?

I think the biggest challenges come from seeing the consequences of the changes you make to history. So let’s say alchemy did work, then how would our world be different? I cleverly avoided most of this through methods you’ll have to read the book to discover.

What are you working on now?

I just finished developmental edits for my second book, BRIGHT RUINED THINGS, a 1920s retelling of The Tempest, which comes out Fall 2021 with Wednesday Books. Now I’m excited to get back into drafting a new secret project I started drafting at the beginning of lockdown. 

About the Author:

Samantha Cohoe writes historically-inspired young adult fantasy. She was raised in San Luis Obispo, California, where she enjoyed an idyllic childhood of beach trips, omnivorous reading, and writing stories brimming with adverbs. She currently lives in Denver with her family and divides her time among teaching Latin, mothering, writing, reading, and deleting adverbs. A Golden Fury is her debut novel. Photo credit: Alison McQuain of Alison McQuain Photography

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