As you know I’m a big fan of middle grade books and I’m always on the look out for new releases. The Firebird Song by Arnée Flores releases on June 1st and sounds so good! Today is my stop on the book tour for this book hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours. I’m honored that the author wrote a guest post for the blog. She is going to tell us what a typical day of writing this book look liked! Keep on reading to find out more about this book and to find out what a typical writing day looked like for the author.
Debut author Arnée Flores spins an exciting and original tale about hope in even the darkest of places, perfect for fans of Shannon Hale.
The Kingdom of Lyrica was once warm and thriving, kept safe by the Firebird, whose feather and song was a blessing of peace and prosperity. But the Firebird disappeared, and Lyrica is now terrorized by the evil Spectress who wields her powers from within a volcano. All that remains is a mysterious message scrawled on the castle wall in the Queen’s own hand: Wind. Woman. Thief.
Young Prewitt has only known time without the Firebird, a life of constant cold, as his village is afraid to tempt the volcano monsters with even the feeblest fire. But he has heard whispers that the kingdom’s princess survived the attack . . . and he is certain that if he can find her, together they can save Lyrica.
Princess Calliope has no memories beyond living on her barge on the underground lake. But as she nears her twelfth birthday, she is certain there is more to life than the walls of a cave. When Prewitt finds her, he realizes that she is the missing princess: the only hope for Lyrica. Determined to decipher the meaning of her mother’s strange message and find the Firebird, Calliope and Prewitt set off on a quest that puts them in more danger than either of them ever anticipated.
Writing THE FIREBIRD SONG: A day in the life
by Arnée Flores
THE FIREBIRD SONG came to be through four distinct eras.
The Work Era (During which I stole writing time in quiet moments at the Italian restaurant where I worked.)
The Sink Hole Period (When my apartment fell into an ACTUAL sink hole, and rather than move—have you tried finding an apartment in Seattle these days?—I stayed and dealt with the drilling and the hole filling and the floor cracking and the walls tilting.)
The Pregnancy Epoch (A time in which I was so exhausted and sick I could barely function, but somehow survived through a diet of ginger candy and sparkling water.)
The Black Hole (The era when I had a newborn with health troubles and time stopped having any meaning and my brain stopped functioning and every day lasted forever and went by in an instant.)
Each era was crazy in its own way, but the time when I was able to write best was during the Sink Hole Period. I had just quit my job in a dramatic way, and I was broken and sad and OVER IT. I knew that what I wanted more than anything was just to write. I gave myself six months.
Six months to eat ramen, to leave the heat off, to scrimp, and pinch, and live as frugally as possible.
Six months to finish my book and sell it. (It was only a few days after this decision that my apartment started to sink . . . I decided not to take that as a sign.)
Here’s what full day of writing looked like during the Sink Hole Period:
3:30am – Wake up!
3:30-4:30 – Yoga and meditation with Insight Timer (contemplation of the ever-widening whovian crack in my cement floor)
4:30-5:00 – Zen Dog Moonlight White tea and Morning Pages (a practice from THE ARTIST’S WAY by Julia Cameron)
5:00 – 10:00 To work! (This period consisted of timed work and break intervals. 52 minutes work, 12 minutes break. I had on noise cancelling headphones with binaural beats TURNED ALL THE WAY UP to block out the drilling, but things rattled of my desk and the picture frames fell. It was so distracting and a bit Mary Poppins in a bad way.)
10:00 – 12:00p Go for a 3 mile run around the neighbourhood, shower and get dressed, have lunch
12:00-3:00 NAP (ah, BLISS!)
3:00-7:00 Back to work!
7:00-9:00 Make dinner and spend time watching tv with my husband
9:00-10:00 Read in the bathtub
Even though the drilling drove me crazy, The Sinkhole Days were some of the best. I felt extremely focused. I knew what I wanted, and I was grateful for dedicated time to write.
Now that I have a baby, the routine looks completely different. Babies rule the world, and my days are very full of everything BUT writing. At night, I steal words in the dark beside my baby’s bed after she goes to sleep. It’s a new writing era, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
The book tour for The Firebird Song is filled with a lot of other amazing bloggers and bookstagrammers. If you want to read some reviews or just see some amazing posts, click here for the full tour schedule.
About the Author
Arnée Flores spent her childhood shifting across rural Washington towns, lugging along boxes of books, and switching schools nine times before her family finally settled down on a wheat farm in the tiny town of Reardan, Washington.
Arnée identifies as Vietnamese American, but as a transracial adoptee raised by a Caucasian family in small-town America, she grew up feeling displaced.
It took a long while and a winding path for her to find herself. She spent a few nomadic years exploring, working odd jobs, and studying subjects from Piano Performance at Washington State University to Pre-Law and Political Science at Gonzaga before she finally understood that all she really wanted was to stay in one place and write the kinds of stories that had helped her feel safe during her chaotic childhood.
Today, she can be found collecting rocks, shells, and other curiosities on the beach near her Seattle apartment, all the while dreaming up wild and magical tales, her little white dog splashing along behind her through the tide pools.
I have to say it was interesting to read what a day looked like for the author while writing The Firebird Song and I definitely hope to read this one soon. Keep an eye out on the blog for my review in the near future.