Author Interview: Gillian Philip + FIREBRAND + Giveaway

Dear fellow fantasy fans,
We have a special treat for you all. We have recently discovered a fantasy series we are very excited about. It was previously published in the UK but it has made its way to the US.

We are talking about Gillian Philip's Firebrand, the first book in the Rebel Angels series and it is out in story today!

It’s the last decade of the sixteenth century: a time of religious wars in the full-mortal world. But the Sidhe are at peace, hidden behind the Veil that protects their world - until their queen, Kate NicNicven, determines to destroy it.

Seth MacGregor is the half-feral son of a Sidhe nobleman. When his father is assassinated, and Seth is exiled with his brother Conal to the full-mortal world, they vow not only to survive, but to return to reclaim their fortress and save the Veil.

But even the Veil’s power can’t protect the brothers when the brutal witch-hunts begin…

Let's learn more about Gillian Philip and Firebrand.

Photo source: Goodreads
Hi Gillian! Welcome to our blog!
Hi Michelle and Leslie, and thanks for inviting me!

What were your favorite classes when you were in high school or college?
This is going to sound like a writer’s cliche, but I loved English. And I could never get to write enough stories. I was really lucky in my teachers - there was Mr Hall, a really droll bearded guy whose classes were so much fun. We (especially the girls) used to try to outdo each other trying to shock him with our stories, but of course we never succeeded because he was unshockable. And there was Mrs Dutch, who was could be quite scary but who never stopped encouraging me to write, while reining in my worst excesses. If it hadn’t been for her I’d never have had faith in myself.

Sadly I was completely rubbish at Maths, and had I not married an accountant I’d be in jail by now for tax return incompetence.

What is the best thing about living in Scotland? And what is a not-so-great thing about living in Scotland?
I love Scotland to bits, and missed it enormously when I was an expat for twelve years. I’m going to have to resort to cliche again and say that the best part is the landscape, though not just the countryside. I live in the Highlands, which is of course beautiful, but so are the cities - Glasgow is so vibrant and full of contradictions, Edinburgh just classically beautiful. The landscape’s full of inspiration, whether it’s a gorgeous wilderness or a run-down alley in a city. But I love being a Brit too - there are places in England I’m crazy about, like Bristol and Newcastle and of course London. I like loads of aspects of being British and Scottish - the TV and newspapers, the arts scene, the political system, the national character...

As for what’s not-so-great... I know people usually say ‘the weather’, but living in Barbados for years I found I really missed the seasons, so now I try not to get annoyed with rain and snow. Being way up in the north of Scotland means it takes ages to get anywhere, and I’d like to see my friends in the south a lot more often. So that’s a drawback. And sometimes I get really cross with the TV and newspapers, the arts scene, the political system, the national character... (see what I did there?)

Uh-huh. Lol. We live in Hawaii and we know exactly what you mean about the non-changing weather (we have never seen snow or experienced a true autumn season). 

Is it true that book 2 is harder to write than book 1? Did you have a harder time writing the sequel to FIREBRAND?
That’s kind of a complicated answer where the Rebel Angels series is concerned! The thing was that I wrote BLOODSTONE (under a different title) long before I wrote FIREBRAND. It started with a whole different concept and plan, but Seth, who appeared as a minor villain originally, completely took over the story. I found I had to write a prequel, to find out what happened to Seth in his early years; then the ‘prequel’ turned into the foundation for the whole series. So everything changed, and I had to rewrite BLOODSTONE pretty much from scratch. So I guess it was hard, but not in the usual way because I had the skeleton of the book there already. It was more a case of changing the focus.

Generally though I think it’s true that it’s much harder to write a second book. I had a contemporary crime novel out in the UK, called Crossing The Line. It was pretty much a success, critically speaking anyway, and I found that writing the follow-up to that was a nightmare!

If you can hang out with any character in FIREBRAND, who would it be and what will you do together?
I ought to say Seth because I fancy him and he’s my favourite character. But I think he’d be kind of cranky. I couldn’t take him to the movies because he’d sit there bitching about the plot or the special effects, and then in the restaurant afterwards he’d be bound to be rude to someone. So I’d probably have a happier evening with Conal, who’d be a complete gentleman and would listen to me bitch or rave about the movie instead.

What is your favorite scene in FIREBRAND?
Because I have a really soft spot for the animals, I’d probably say the part where Seth masters his kelpie, or when Conal and Seth find the wolf-pups. But I also kind of like the part where they leave Kate’s fortress and, without giving spoilers, there’s some violence. Seth’s just so darn cocky and rude, and it’s very him.

Thanks Gillian for answering our questions. We are looking forward to reading Firebrand--it sounds amazing and the Goodreads reviews have been positive.

Find Gillian and learn more about her novels on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

Check out the book trailer Tor had made for Firebrand:

Now for the giveaway: Thanks to Tor, one (1) lucky winner get a copy of Firebrand! Open to US only and ends Mar. 9th. **Come back everyday to earn more entries.**
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a great week,
Michelle & Leslie

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