An Interview with S. M. Mitchell

Could You Tell Us A Little About Yourself?

Of course! I’ve been writing for about a decade and some of my biggest passions are history, folklore and the gothic. Incidentally I actually hated reading as a kid but I read Malorie Blackman’s Noughts & Crosses as a teen and immediately fell in love. Ever since then I’ve consumed books from all sorts of genres – my favourites being fantasy, the classics and non-fiction. Ever since then I’ve been obsessed with the idea of portraying philosophical and moral questions in the form of stories. I spend most of my time writing, planning story ideas, and taking in all the inspiration for new stories that I can, whilst hanging out with my son and spending time with our animals.

What Was The Inspiration For The Bloody Maiden?

If you follow me on social media or via my website you’ll already know that my main inspiration for this dark and violent pirate adventure was a lecture during my university years about the justification of murder. But before this lecture gave me that ‘eureka’ moment where everything fell into place, there was just a little spark. A painting that had crossed my computer screen while mindlessly browsing Pinterest one morning, of a girl with hair as black as the night, staring out into the choppy ocean at a galleon lit up by lanterns across its deck. That’s all there was, but it’s an image that remains spot on for my story even now publishing it five years later – it’s an image of my main character Prudence that you can see represented in a number of scenes across the book.

Could You Give Us A Little Sneak Peek At Your Favourite Scene?

It’s a very difficult thing to choose a favourite scene. There are so many moments throughout the story that are kept close to my heart but if I had to just go with one I guess I’d have to say this scene within Chapter 7. It’s a scene of real growth and vulnerability…

What’s Going to Happen as the Series Progresses?

Well it’s dark, controversial concepts are going to continue that’s for sure. The characters won’t be following typical growth arcs that antiheroes often follow. The point of my characters is that they are grey, they are not heroes, they aren’t even antiheroes – they’re just people. Heavily flawed people who will do what it takes to get what they want and think they deserve.

All I’ll say further on the matter is – prepare for more violence, more hard choices, and more ambiguous characters.

Who’s Your Favourite Character?

That’s a really hard one! I mean obviously my main character Prudence is an obvious choice, but aside from the main characters, I’d have to say… Lieutenant Gibson. Not because he’s a nice person or anything like that, he’s arguably the worst. But as a writer I found writing him very enjoyable. The scenes where he gets to interact with some really important characters are always fascinating and fun to write.

What’s Been Your Favourite Part of Publishing with Ink & Fable?

I think probably it’s a tie between getting my cover from the amazing @artbykhuggs and the last two weeks. The lead up to launch was incredible – support and excitement from friends, family and fans waiting for my book is just an amazing feeling.

Finally, What Are You Most Excited About For The Rest Of The Series?

Honestly? There are so many things I am just so exciting to get written down to share with everyone – both in the sequel The Wayward Damned, and book three. I’ve been living with these characters in my head for so many years that I am just beyond keen to get the rest of their lives down on paper.

You can now purchase The Bloody Maiden at all good book retailers!

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