Interview with C.J. Redwine + Giveaway

Filed in CJ Redwine , featured , Giveaways , Interview , The Latin Lover Posted on October 10, 2012 @ 7:00 am 19 comments

Dragons! Hot nerd boys with swords! Debut author C.J. Redwine is all about bringing the goods to us in her recent YA paranormal release, Defiance. We’re very excited to have her visit BLI today to talk a bit about her new book, including the main characters and their complex world. She also discusses her writing and reading habits, and dishes on future projects. Please welcome C.J., and enjoy! 


Stella: Hi C.J. welcome to Book Lovers Inc! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m a mom of four (two teens, a pre-teen, and a toddler!) who writes YA fantasy, adores Johnny Depp, and could survive on lemon bars alone.

Stella: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?

I’m a plotzer. I know the general shape of the plot (some big moments, a few key scenes, and where I think the book will end), and then I discover the rest of the story as I write. A typical writing day is either me writing in my home office during my daughter’s nap and then again late at night once all the kids are in bed, or me leaving my hubby in charge and spending all afternoon and part of the evening writing at my local book store.

Stella: What do you think is the difference between a reader and a real Book Lover?

I think a bona fide Book Lover is a story junkie. Not only do we have a book in our hands at every spare moment (and maybe one or two others partially read and lying around the house waiting for us to pick them up again), but we have an entire bookcase devoted solely to the books we haven’t yet read. And we keep adding to those shelves because if the number of unread books falls below fifty we start feeling a nagging sense of panic.

Also, it’s possible that a real Book Lover hides bags of books from nosy husbands who don’t understand that the TBR pile must be constantly fed.

Book Lovers also have personal relationships with the characters in the stories we read. We went to school with Harry, Ron, and Hermoine. We wouldn’t have passed up the chance to kiss Jacob Black. We cried when Rue died because part of us died too. We have crushes on literary characters, we long to live in their worlds, and they are as real to us as the people who live next door.

Stella: Your debut novel Defiance was released on August 28th, congratulations! Can you tell our readers what they can expect of it?

Defiance is a post-apocalyptic fantasy adventure with romance, heartbreak, monsters, and a hot geek with a sword. ☺ When Rachel Adams commits treason against her brutal leader so she can escape into the Wasteland to rescue her missing father, she discovers danger, romance, and a truth that will incite a war two decades in the making.

Stella: Could you introduce Logan and Rachel, the hero and heroine of Defiance?

Rachel: Red hair, blue eyes, secretly trained to be a warrior in a society that expects girls to concentrate on hosting dinner parties and sewing dresses. Stubborn, loyal, and suffering from poor impulse control. Would be bffs with Katniss as long as Katniss didn’t get in the way of Rachel’s goal. Possible love child of Tris and Buffy. Fiercely committed to those she loves. Just as committed to destroying those she hates.

Logan: Dark blond hair, dark blue eyes, declared an outcast at the age of six when his mother was put to death for breaking his city’s law. Loyal, logical, and seriously brilliant. Would be bffs with Q from James Bond as long as Q didn’t mess with Logan’s meticulously hand-drawn blueprints for his inventions. Possible love child of Sherlock Holmes and MacGyver. Fiercely committed to standing up for injustice, even if it costs him everything.

Stella: And has your heroine Rachel Adams been inspired in any way by the actress with the same name? 😉

Lol. Not at all! I didn’t even think of that as I was writing (but I am also notoriously bad at remembering the names of actors and actresses. With a few notable exceptions. *coughJOHNNYDEPPcough*)

Stella: Upon reading the blurb of Defiance some might say that your heroine bears some resemblance to Katniss and the Hunger Games set up. In what way do you suppose this is true/untrue?

I think Rachel and Katniss share a few similar character traits. They’re both survivors in a world designed to break them down, and they’re both willing to do what it takes to make their goals happen. However, the problems they face are quite different and their methods are different, too. I think Rachel begins her story in a much softer place emotionally than Katniss, and also Rachel processes the terrible things that happen to her and comes up with “revenge is mine” as an attitude because she thinks that will help her pain. Katniss doesn’t choose revolution or revenge in The Hunger Games. She’s simply doing what she must to survive and go home. Rachel believes her own inner survival depends on making her tormenter pay for his crimes.

Stella: Defiance has been categorized as a dystopian, sci-fi, fantasy story, but how would YOU describe it?

It’s a post-apocalyptic fantasy adventure. 😀

Stella: Could you tell us about the world-building you created for Defiance: take us on a tour: what is Wasteland, who are the Protectors, and what kind of monster is lurking there?

Protectors are male guardians assigned to the females in Baalboden (pronounced Bay-uhl-boh-den), the city where Rachel and Logan live. One of the ways the Commander (the leader of Baalboden) stays in power is by keeping his people firmly subjugated under his thumb. The Protectorship Protocol is one of the ways he keeps women sidelined so that they don’t threaten his power. The other city-states throughout the continent have different forms of government. Baalboden is the only one that marginalizes women like this, and it’s all due to the Commander.

The Wasteland is the wild, overgrown area between the city-states. There are nine city-states total spread out over hundreds of miles. All of the land between the city-states has been left to its own devices for fifty years. Nature has reclaimed the ruins of the previous civilization with a vengeance! The Wasteland is dangerous for several reasons. There is a monster lurking underground (a blind, wingless fire-breathing dragon who tracks prey by sound and tunnels up to destroy), gangs of highwaymen who loot the remains of the previous civilization and also rob and kill unwary travels, and trackers from the various city-states who will kill you in a heartbeat if they think you’ll try to stop them from attaining their goals.

Stella: Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read Defiance?

  1. There be dragons! Granted they have no wings, but they can still turn you into a human nugget with one fiery blast.
  2. There be hot boys with brains and swords!
  3. There be a swoony underwater scene!

Stella: Can you summarize Defiance for us, Twitterstyle (140 characters or less)?

Treason + evil + badass girl + hot nerd + monster + assassins + swoony + swords = Defiance!

Stella: Defiance is the first book in a series sharing the same name, how many novels have you planned in the series and when will they be released?

Defiance is book one in a trilogy. Book 2 will be released August 2013, and Book 3 will be released August 2014. ☺

Stella: What made you choose to write in the genre that you write in? Do you still remember your introduction to the paranormal/fantasy world? Was it a book? A film, or a TV series?

Oh, I definitely remember my introduction. I grew up without a tv (Dad threw it away when I was in 2nd grade. Literally. Threw it away.), so I read voraciously. My favorite books were the Chronicles of Narnia series and the Grimm’s Fairy Tales books. I’ve been a fantasy fan for as long as I’ve been an independent reader. I chose to take my love of fantasy to YA because it’s my go-to genre to read. I love that there are so few genre rules within YA. Anything can be done as long as you execute it well. There’s such a sense of adventure and risk within the stories!

Stella: What is next on your schedule? Any future plans you’d like to share with us?

Next is Book 3, but I’m also working on co-writing a middle grade book, and of course, I have some future YA projects in the works as well. ☺

Thanks so much for having me! In keeping with our discussion about fantasy novels and fantasy worldbuilding, I’d love to know which fantasy worlds or characters your blog readers love most, and why.



C.J. Redwine loves stilettos, lemon bars, and any movie starring Johnny Depp. She is the author of Defiance, the first in a post-apocalyptic fantasy trilogy from Balzer + Bray/Harper Collins. C.J. lives in Nashville with her husband, four kids, two cats, and one long-suffering dog.

Where to find C.J.:

Website | BlogTwitter | Facebook | Tumblr

Defiance by C.J. Redwine
published by Balzer + Bray

Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan—the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.?

Find it at: AmazonBarnes & Noble | Book DepositoryGoodreads


 C.J. will be providing the chance for two commenters to win a signed Defiance bookmark!

All you have to do is leave a meaningful comment or answer C.J.’s question: Which fantasy worlds or characters do you love most, and why??

(You can read our full giveaway policy here)

Please be sure to include a valid email address in the comment form (need not be in the actual body of the comment).

This giveaway is open to all!

Giveaway ends on Saturday, October 20, 2012; we will announce the winner on Sunday.

Good luck!

About Stella

Stella is a proud bookaholic and a self-taught multilinguist in training. Besides reading, her other great passions are travelling and baking. When she is not globetrotting she lives in sunny Budapest, where she loves to spend her free time preparing (and feasting on) delicious cookies or devouring equally yummy books. Her favourite genres are urban fantasy and romance and she couldn't live without her daily dose of sunshine. Besides being the Latin Lover on BLI Stella also blogs about books and a bookish life on Ex Libris.

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Join the Discussion
  • blodeuedd October 10, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Hm, I love so many worlds but I do have a soft spot for Pug from Feist’s Magician

  • erinf1 October 10, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Thanks for a fabulous post and congrats to CJ on the new release! I’ve been dying to read this book 🙂 Ummm…. I’m pretty much game for wherever, whenever, however an author wants to create a story. Don’t really have a favorite per se but I’m not a very picky reader 🙂

  • draconismoi October 10, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I admit it, I stopped reading at the first word. DRAGONS!

    But when I scrolled down, there were dragon pictures. Color me devastated. I guess I have to go back and read the whole thing now.

    • draconismoi October 11, 2012 at 6:25 pm

      Okay, you had me at dragons, but upon actually reading everything else, I am totally IN.

      I hope Rachel isn’t as culturally dense as Katniss. I had issues with Katniss’ complete an utter inability to process atrocities committed against anyone not her.

  • Diane October 10, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    I love the Archangel world in Nalini Singh’s series.

  • eli yanti October 11, 2012 at 10:28 am

    hem.. i think never never from iron fey series

  • aurian October 11, 2012 at 11:56 am

    I love the world created by Maggie Furey, the chronicles of Aurian. I want to meet Shia and the whales and the dragons!

  • Victoria Zumbrum October 11, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    I love so many different fantasy worlds. I especially love the Twilight series. That is one of my all time favorites.

  • Giselle from BookNerd October 12, 2012 at 12:43 am

    I am definitely in love with the Lord of the Rings trilogy. ORCs, Elves, Wizards, HOBBITS! That world was just an incredible place to be. No wonder it stemmed from movies. Even the books are just great. Tolkien’s writing for worldbuilding is classic, and will still be one of my favourite fantasy novel series’ of all time.

  • Katie Young October 12, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    My favorite fantasy world is Tamora Pierce’s Tortall, because I love how magic works there and the characters are all so wonderful and flawed and dynamic.

  • Sarah October 12, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Which fantasy worlds or characters do you love most, and why??

    Well, my first thought was: Do I know any fantasy characters? (I couldn’t come up with any name right away.) So I took a look in the fantasy section and well, there are quite a lot of books that I’ve read… But I have two main kind of characters that I prefer: Vampires and Witches. My favorite vampires are those from J.R. Ward: The Black Dagger Brotherhood, because they can kick a** and there’s deep-going (Is that an actual word?) romance. My favorite “witchy” world is that of Harry Potter. The world is so beautiful constructed and these books are just fantastic.

  • Shelver506 October 12, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Eek! Well, Middle-Earth is a gimme. LOVE Middle-Earth. It’s the perfect fantasy world with all of its details and scenic vistas and such. I also thought the world developed by Rae Carson (Girl of Fire & Thorns) and Rachel Hartman (Seraphina) were impressive in their scope and organic feel.

    As for characters, that’s a pretty impossible question. I adore fantasy books. I loved Katsa, Po, Fire, Brigan, and Bitterblue (all from Kristin Cashore). I loved every single character from Grave Mercy (it’s a historical fantasy, so I count it). I loved Defiance, of course, and Seraphina and GoF&T (and its sequel, Crown of Embers). I love everyone created by Tamora Pierce, and I am such a die-hard Megan Whalen Turner (Queen’s Thief series) fan that it’s not even funny.

  • Sarah October 13, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    It might sound cheesy, but I am still in love with the HP world. It fascinated me for so long and I still read them every now and then, when I’m in the mood for them. I know every single character and everything there is to know about them. It’s such a well-written tale with so much depth and so detailed characters. Actually one of my favorite characters is Petunia Dursley, though I only started to like her when the story about Lily and her and Hogwarts was told. I felt so much for her and completely get how she became the woman she is now.

  • Orsi October 14, 2012 at 4:57 am

    huh, if there will be dragons, this book is definitely for me!:) Thanks for the post and the giveaway.

  • Filia Oktarina October 14, 2012 at 11:10 am

    My favorite fantasy world is Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series, where was in that place we can meet Angels 🙂

  • Mel S October 14, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    I love any visits to Obernewtyn series by Isobelle Carmody. I started reading those books when I was a teen over 10 years ago – and still visit regularly – especially as the the series hasn’t finished yet! I’m not sure I want it to end…

  • Aline October 16, 2012 at 3:20 am

    I love Narnia!
    Narnia fulls of dwarfs, satyrs, fauns, centaurs and the talking animals. But most of all I love Aslan! 🙂

  • bn100 October 17, 2012 at 3:18 am

    The Harry Potter world because they can cast spells.

  • Aimee Nelson October 18, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    I love an awesome dystopian book becasue it could actually happen! It could could be a glimpse into our distant future! Hey it could happen! Also, I love the strong characters in dystopian novels and their fight for life, fighting for something better and the fact that one person can change the world! Thanks!

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