Author Interview: Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo, author of the Grisha trilogy, is taking us on yet another engrossing ride with the novel, SIX OF CROWS. The book follows six outcasts as they are part of one impossible heist…and you’ll be on the edge of your seat as you read it. We spoke to Leigh about the book and her excitement about its release.

What makes you the most excited about SIX OF CROWS?

I’m ready to take readers somewhere new. The Grisha Trilogy was very much a “chosen one” story—grand destinies, kings, queens, revolutions. But the characters in Six of Crows aren’t looking to save the world. They’re just six kids who happen to be stronger together than they are apart—and who are all in desperate enough situations to try to pull off an impossible heist. I can’t even really call them heroes because this is a story where the bad guys are the good guys.

Your books feature quite the engrossing fantasy world. What’s your inspiration?

Thank you! The trilogy was heavily inspired by Russian history and folklore. The new books draw on everything from Amsterdam to Las Vegas, to the slums of Victorian London. I honestly never know where inspiration will come from. I read a lot of non-fiction. Music is huge. And never underestimate the power of a good road trip.

“Six Of Crows” follows six outcasts. Have you ever felt like an outcast yourself? 

I remember starting the seventh grade and how fast things felt horribly wrong. I just didn’t understand the rules of the new world I was in. I didn’t dress right. I didn’t like the right things. I did a good job of pretending I didn’t care, but every day felt like a battle. Honestly, I thought life might just always be like that, that I’d never quite feel at home even among my friends. But really I just needed to get out of my tiny little school and go find my tribe of glorious weirdos.

What are some of your favorite YA authors? 

Gene Yang, Laini Taylor, Jandy Nelson, Holly Black, Jason Reynolds, Sarah Rees Brennan, Marie Lu, Robin LaFevers, Laura Lam, Rainbow Rowell, Victoria Schwab, Maggie Stiefvater, and I’m loving new books by Adam Silvera, Sabaa Tahir, and Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Honestly, I could go on all day. There is so much great stuff happening in YA.

SIX OF CROWS features a lot of world building. Any advice for authors who are seeking to create magical worlds of their own? 

Don’t let the world get in the way of the story. Get the basics down and dig into your draft. When you have questions or you’re not sure how something works, write a note to yourself and move on. Too often, I see people get bogged down in mapping out every last detail of a world before they ever get to the story, when really the story is the most important part.

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