Interview with Stephanie Burgis

Dragons and chocolate seem like an odd combination. How did you come up with the idea? 
Dragons and chocolate are two of my very favorite things in the world, so I just loved the idea of mixing them together! And of course it gave me a fabulous excuse to make myself a rich, strong dark hot chocolate EVERY DAY for writerly inspiration. 😉
Your previous middle grade books were set in Regency England; was creating the world for this one more or less difficult? Or just different? 
This was the first time I ever wrote a book set in a high fantasy world instead of in a real historical period, and I loved the freedom and flexibility it gave me. Although I wanted the country of Drachenheim to have the feel of a late 18th-century/early 19th-century German kingdom, I loved getting to change some of the big social rules. For example, there’s one point in the book when Aventurine barges into a meeting of the king’s privy council, and I started automatically writing the council members as being all-male but then thought: WAIT! Why should it be all-male, or even mostly-male? There’s no reason it has to be! So I immediately rewrote it as a 50/50 male-female group, because I could, and because it made me happy.
One of the things all the panelists said about dragon was that it was “sweet” (and not just because of the chocolate!). Was that your intention when writing this? 
I wanted to write a story that felt as sweet and nourishing and full of comfort as a really rich dark hot chocolate. I’m so glad that’s come across to readers!
Will we get to see more of Aventurine and her world? 
Yes! The Girl with the Dragon Heart is coming out from Bloomsbury in the UK, US, and Australia later this year. This one stars Silke, Aventurine’s all-human best friend, and it’s a story about spies and dangerous fairies and chocolate – and OF COURSE, because dragons always stand with their friends, Aventurine insists on getting involved in Silke’s perilous adventures! 🙂
If you don’t mind telling us, what’s next for you? 
The Girl with the Dragon Heart comes out in the US in November (yay!), and I’ll also have another two adult books coming out this year. 
The first one is an anthology called The Underwater Ballroom Society, which I co-edited with Tiffany Trent , and which will come out on April 30th and include a romantic fantasy novella of mine called Spellswept. (It’s a prequel to my novella Snowspelled, Volume I of The Harwood Spellbook). The second is Volume II of The Harwood Spellbook, Thornbound, which will come out by the end of 2018 but which doesn’t have an exact publication date yet. 

I’m also about 1/4 of the way through writing another contracted MG novel that I hope to be able to announce very soon! I can’t give any public details yet, but I think/hope it will make my readers happy. 🙂

Thanks so much for your time!
Thanks so much for the interview!
Be sure to check Stephanie out at her website or on Twitter!