Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Interview with Nadine Brandes for Romanov


by Nadine Brandes
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: May 7th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Retellings
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The history books say I died.

They don’t know the half of it.

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them . . . and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of survival are to either release the spell, and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya’s never dabbled in magic before, but it doesn’t frighten her as much as her growing attraction for Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her . . .

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.

Can you briefly describe the world in ROMANOV and their main characters?

Romanov is set in Imperial Russia in the year 1918. Anastasia Romanov and her family are currently being held under house arrest until the Bolsheviks decide what to do with them. Trial? Exile? Freedom? Thus, our story starts.

Who would you say is your favourite character from the story and why?

Aside from Nastya—the main character—I would have to say my favourite character is her little brother Alexei. He’s sassy and brave and resilient. I love sibling relationships and she and Alexei remind me so much of my own relationship with my younger brother.

How did the story occur to you? Did you find inspiration anywhere?

There are three key moments in the development of this story for me:

1) When I first travelled to Russia as a teenager. Once I became a writer I knew I wanted to write something based in Russia.

2) Three years ago I was brainstorming book ideas with my author friend Sara Ella and she suggested an Anastasia retelling. *lightbulb moment*

3) Two years ago I was on a road trip listening to the soundtrack of the animated Anastasia and I guess it sparked my imagination because I was hit with the idea of having a magic spell trapped in a Matryoshka doll that could be the only way to save the Romanov family. The rest of the story idea snowballed after that.

What’s your favourite quote from the book?

“Let no one ever call you tame.”

If you could choose one song to describe your book, which one would it be?

Probably “Game of Survival” by Ruelle (which is also on my Romanov Spotify playlist.)

If the book was a movie/TV show, who would you imagine representing your characters?

Although she’s probably too old for the roll, I adore Lily James and think she’d make a fantastic NASTYA. As for the other main characters, I would love to see Noah Jupe as ALEXEI (he would be perfect!) and maybe Max Willems as ZASH.

Since it is starting to get warm outside, what drink do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date?

An iced chai, of course! Because the word chai is actually the Russian word for tea. Plus chai = perfection.

Can you recommend your readers any other books in case they are left hungry for more once they finish ROMANOV?

Ooh definitely! If they want to go the historical research route then I highly recommend The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport. If you’re wanting Slavic-based fantasy then I recommend The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye. And if you’re wanting more retellings with a fantasy twist basically any of the books in C. J. Redwine’s Ravenspire Series will treat you quite well. And, of course, if you prefer my writing style there’s always Fawkes, my historical fantasy retelling of the Gunpowder Plot.

What’s next for you?

I’m working on a new fantasy right now in between learning how to be a mom! (My son is 5 months old so this is a brand new juggling act for me!) Unfortunately, I don’t have any book announcements I can share right now. J

Nadine once spent four days as a sea cook in the name of book research. She's the author of FAWKES and of the award-winning The Out of Time Series. Her inner fangirl perks up at the mention of soul-talk, Quidditch, bookstagram, and Oreos. When she's not busy writing novels about bold living, she's adventuring through Middle Earth or taste-testing a new chai. Nadine and her Auror husband are building a Tiny House on wheels. Current mission: paint the world in shalom.

1 comment:

  1. Adding magic to the story of Anastasia sounds like a great idea!