Friday, March 14, 2014

Stolen Songbird Blog Tour: Q&A With Danielle L. Jensen

Hi everyone!
Today, I welcome the lovely Danielle Jensen, the author of Strange Chemistry's new fantasy title, Stolen Songbird. I hope you'll like both Danielle and her debut at least as much as I did.

Title: Stolen Songbird
Series: The Malediction Trilogy
Released: April 1st 2014
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Format: Paperback, 436 pgs

For those who have loved Seraphina and Graceling comes another truly fabulous fantasy...
For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.
Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.
But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.
As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.

Hi Danielle, and welcome! 

First I should say that I just finished Stolen Songbird and loved it. I can't imagine how exciting it must be to see it already so well accepted by the readers. Tell me, now that your debut is finally out there for everyone to read, what is your fondest memory from the whole writing/publishing process?

Thank you! There is very little I like better than hearing someone enjoyed reading my novel. Waiting for reader response on my work has been both nerve-wracking and exciting, and it has been a dream come true that so many people have connected with the story so far.
My fondest memory in my journey to publication is probably when I signed with my agent, Tamar Rydzinski. I woke up one morning to see I had a missed call from New York and that I had a voicemail. I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited. That phone call changed my life.

Is there something you wish you'd have done differently?

I think everything happens for a reason, even the mistakes we make. I feel really great about where I am right now, so I’m not sure I’d change anything. If there’s anything I’ve learned from reading science fiction and fantasy it’s that messing with the past can have disastrous outcomes!

Many authors avoid reading reviews of their books. How do you feel about that? Stolen Songbird has been getting fabulous reactions so far, but have you given much thought to dealing with negative reviews?

Not reading reviews is certainly the smart thing to do, but I doubt many debut authors can resist the temptation. I certainly couldn’t. When the reviews first started coming in, I couldn’t help but read them, but now I only look at them when they are specifically sent my way. As much as reviews are a critique of a writer’s work, who they are really intended for is other readers, either as recommendations or as a way to create conversation within the reader community. All books have bad reviews. There isn’t a book out there that is universally adored, because different people like different things. I know that there will be people who don’t like my book and that some of them will write scathing reviews. It’s inevitable, so there isn’t too much point getting worked up about it.

That said, most of my experiences so far have been really positive, and I have to say that I feel nothing but intense gratitude towards the book-blogging community for all the support that has been given to Stolen Songbird thus far.

I don't think I've ever read a book about trolls before. I imagine you get asked this far too often, but I simply must know - of all the mythological creatures in all the world - why trolls?

That is a popular question! Writing about trolls wasn’t so much a conscious decision as a realization I had once I’d already started writing the novel. It was an idea about the setting that inspired the story, and the trolls came into being as I figured out who would populate it. They created themselves as I wrote, and I hope everyone enjoys reading about them as much as I enjoyed writing about them.

I always like to point out that Strange Chemistry is the most reliable imprint out there. Do you have a favorite among their titles?

That’s a tough one to answer, but I’d have to say Pantomime by Laura Lam.

Finally, after that painful ending, I must ask: what's next for our Cécile?

The ending was originally much more painful as it finished with what is now the end of the second last chapter. So it could have been worse! As to what is up next for Cécile, I’d say the very last sentence of the novel is a good synopsis of what she’s going to attempt to do next :)

Danielle was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. At the insistence of the left side of her brain, she graduated in 2003 from the University of Calgary with a bachelor’s degree in finance. But the right side of her brain has ever been mutinous; and in 2010, it sent her back to school to complete an entirely impractical English literature degree at Mount Royal University and to pursue publication. Much to her satisfaction, the right side shows no sign of relinquishing its domination.

And that's it for today! Thanks so much to Danielle and Strange Chemistry. It's so good to be back! :)


  1. Great interview, Maja!
    I also adored Stolen Songbird and have my review scheduled on my blog for next Monday!
    Strange Chemistry really is full of gems!

  2. I love her views on reading reviews and I couldn't agree more with her. As a writer that must be the hardest thing to deal with, someone else critiquing your work.

    I have this one in my TBR pile and can't wait to get to it!

  3. I featured this book for my WoW this week. Gurrr I want to read this so badly. I'm glad you liked it too Maja :D Can't wait to get my hands on it.

  4. I have the paperback of this sitting next to me right now! I really want to start it but I have two others I need to finish first. But I'm SO excited to read it! And it's nice to get to know the author a little. I agree that Strange Chemistry puts out some amazing books. I haven't been let down yet. Pantomime is probably my favorite as well.

  5. Yay you're back!

    Anyway. I don't read a lot of books with trolls in them, so I am pretty interested about this one now.

    Lovely interview, ladies! <33

  6. I love, love, love, LOVED this book Maja!!! And if I was a debut author, even though I'd tell myself no good can come from reading the reviews of my book, I wouldn't be able to stay away. I'd have to Google it, it'd be too great temptation just like she said. I'm so glad the book didn't end with the second to last chapter, that would have been far more brutal:) I can't wait to see where Cecile heads in book two!

  7. Great interview! I can't wait for this book!! :)

    Jessica @ Rabid Reads

  8. I LOVED Stolen Songbird and I can't wait for it to come out, so other people can enjoy it too :D I agree about her opinion on reading reviews. I think sometimes you can't help yourself, but in the end it's better to stay away and only read the ones people send to you. Thanks for sharing this interview!

  9. I am DEFINITELY glad she didn't finish with the second last chapter then because I actually adored the ending. It's kind of perfect isn't it? It's hopefully but at the same time it makes you want to read the next book.

    I also love her views on reading reviews. It's nice to hear her positive take on them.

    Great interview, ladies!! :)

  10. I don't think I've ever read a book with trolls before either. Great Q&A ladies! Happy Friday. :)

  11. First, I am so glad you are back, Maja! I missed you. I hope you are on your feet. I hear ya someone has been sick in my house since Christmas. We are just getting over coughs and colds too. I am so excited to read this one, I have it scheduled in April and I can't wait to check out the trolls. Some great insight on how to handle reviews as well. Lovely interview, ladies!

  12. I'm really curious about this book, I heard some nice things about it and I just LOVE the cover. Thanks for the little post.

  13. I have to admit, I've been attracted to this cover and have been wanting to read it ever since I saw it. Now that I know it has the Maja stamp of approval... I want to read it even more!! I'm also curious about the trolls! Great interview! Welcome back and I missed you too! :)

  14. This one does sound really awesome :D

  15. I did the interview with Danielle as well. She is amazing. I'm so glad we didn't ask same questions (except for trolls, but I think everyone ask for that). Anyhow I cannot wait to see what's next when it comes to this series. Also I cannot wait to see your review for this book. Great interview, Maja :)

  16. I think if I had written a book, I'd be googling reviews constantly, against my better judgment. Glad to hear you enjoyed the book Maja, it seems like it's exactly the sort of book I'd love from the reviews I've been reading. Thanks for sharing this wonderful interview!

  17. Fabulous interview! I love that it's about trolls just because it's different alone. That cover is one of my favorites too! I need to read my ARC soon!!

    Tressa @ Tressa's Wishful Endings


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