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July 28, 2015

Interview with Mary Weber, author of the Storm Siren Trilogy

Imagine if the only way you were allowed to live is if you agreed to be a weapon in an escalating war. That's exactly what happens to 17-year-old Nym, a storm-summoner and the protagonist of Mary Weber's Storm Siren trilogy. Since the second book the series --- SIREN'S FURY --- was just published in June, we decided to celebrate by asking Mary some questions about her writing process, her own taste in YA and her advice to future writers. 

Question: If you were thrown into the world your characters lived in, what would you like to be doing?
Answer:  *Laughs.* Okay, at the risk of sounding shallow, I’d love to attend one of the palace parties with the big hats and crazy costumes and weird Lord Myles hitting on the old ladies. However, I’d also like to be on an airship with a few of the wraiths. Partly because good grief an AIRSHIP, and also because my bloodthirsty side would be enormously intrigued. 
Q: Did your writing process change from your first book to your second?
A: It did! With STORM SIREN, I plotted and wrote totally straightforward. With SIREN’S FURY, I ended up getting stuck halfway through and had to rework 100 or so pages before moving on. (During this time there might’ve been phone calls with my sister in which I was possibly like, “This is the worst book idea ever and also I’m eating chocolate and watching “Doctor Who” like nobody’s business.”)
Q: What's the most important thing you think young writers should know? 
A: Enjoy the process --- whatever that looks like. Because the life adventure you’re living right now is just as dramatic and thrilling as any you will write. So make it a good one. ;0)
Q: What's the most fun thing about writing? 
A: Ooh, interesting question. I think I have two favorites. 1) The people I’ve met --- whether bloggers, readers, teens or other writers. They’re all so kind and generous and fun! And 2) reading something you wrote a while ago and thinking, “Oh thank heavens this isn’t as lame as I thought.”
Q: What's harder: Writing the beginning, middle or end? 
A: The MIDDLE. Hands down. 
Q: Do you have any tips about creating a fantasy world or just about world-building in general?
A: *Laughs.* I’m not sure I’m the right author to be answering this question. I’m definitely of the “let’s make stuff up as we go” and “ooh, look at this shiny idea!” sort. 
Q: What do you love most about YA literature?
A: The authenticity of it. There’s such a non-judgmental, raw honesty to the voice and characters that says, “I see your soul and here’s mine. Let’s be friends.”
Q: What's your favorite YA book? 
A: Gah, there are so manyyyyy!!!! So I’ll just safely say Harry Potter. ;0)
Q: What kind of YA books do you think you would have loved as a teenager? Do you think it's the same as what your favorite YA is now? 
A: To be honest, my favorite books as a teen were adult mysteries (here’s looking at you, Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers), but I think I definitely would’ve loved the YA stories I adore these days. Particularly, Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles, Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Trilogy, The Hunger Games (of course), and William Ritter’s JACKABY.
Q: If you could describe your book in pop-culture comparisons what would it be? 
A: Oh nice. ;0) How about Marvel Comics meets “Avatar: The Last Airbender”. ;0)

Mary Weber is a ridiculously uncoordinated girl plotting to take over make-believe worlds through books, handstands and imaginary throwing knives. In her spare time, she feeds unicorns, sings 80’s hairband songs to her three muggle children, and ogles her husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine. They live in California, which is perfect for stalking L.A. bands, Joss Whedon and the ocean.