A few days ago I reviewed The Ship of Shadows by Maria Kuzniar as part of TheWriteReads blog tour and you might still remember that I absolutely loved it and it was one of my few 5 star reviews of the year so far! If you’re interested in having a look, you can find it here. As part of this blogtour, Dave from TheWriteReads organised an interview with the lovely author, and today I’m posting a part of this interview on my blog, but there’s also three other parts of this interview which you can find on Fiona, Sabrina, and Ellie’s blogs (I’ll link them below, so stay tuned!).
Why did we do this interview together, you may ask? Well, the four of us (together with a bunch of other lovely people) are part of the Middle Grade Marvels, a book club solely dedicated to middle grade literature. Since The Ship of Shadows falls into that category, it was the perfect opportunity for us to read and discuss the book and it was awesome to be able to ask Maria some questions, so thank you to Maria for answering and to Dave for organising our interview spot!
Let’s get straight to the interview, and stay tuned for the other blogs featuring more Q&As for and from Maria at the end!
By the way, Maria’s answers are in orange 😊
Thank you so much for agreeing to do an exclusive interview with us! Us, that is the participants of the middle grade book club “Middle Grade Marvels” we founded on Twitter (@GradeMarvels) because we love middle grade books and find that they are often underrated and also underrepresented on social media. Some of our participants have sent in questions we would like you to answer, if possible. Thank you so much, we’re all very excited for your answers!
Thank you so much for having me! It’s a real pleasure and of course I love to see people spreading more middle grade love online!
- Was it always your dream to become a writer?
Oh yes, 100%. I wanted it as badly as Aleja wanted an adventure! It feels surreal and amazing to have finally reached this point. For anyone else sharing this dream, definitely don’t give up! It might take longer than you think or real life might get in the way for a bit, but it’s definitely worth persevering through the rejections and fighting for—seeing my book in a real live bookshop was one of the greatest moments.
- Was there a special book in your childhood that shaped your love of books and reading, and ultimately also writing?
My reading and writing has been a journey of hundreds of books. I think each book gives you something different and it is that precise combination of your favourite, most inspiring books that shapes your own individual journey. That said, my most special childhood book was Northern Lights by Philip Pullman. I adore it to this day!
- If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I think being able to control the elements would be pretty amazing! It would feel like I had magical abilities and what could be better than magic?!
- If a pirate ship would appear on a coast in front of you and the crew would offer you a place aboard and ask you to come with them, would you? Why / why not?
Oh, of course! I’m always up for an adventure and I’ve been meaning to learn how to sail. I wouldn’t like to spend too long purely at sea but I find a long sea voyage quite romantic and would love to experience one at some point! I think it would be quite fun to don a tricorne hat and try my hand at pirating—besides, it would be fabulous research for the next Ship of Shadows book!
- If yes, would you like to be the captain of the crew or one of the other crew members?
I feel like the captain would be too much responsibility for me! I’d resent not having enough time to read or write or wander around different ports worldwide. I think Aada has possibly the best role onboard my ship so maybe I’d have a go at being the navigator!
- I love that Aleja never gives up hope while waiting for the ship to arrive. Do you share that character trait with her?
I’m generally a bright and positive person but I’m also much more anxious than Aleja is! I think she’s much more single-minded and hopeful than I am. Though I gave her my love of adventure and reading, our personalities are actually quite different!
- Are you an adventurer? Have you been adventurous when you were little?
Oh yes, I live for an adventure! I didn’t have the opportunity to be as adventurous as I wanted to be when I was younger, I think travelling requires a lot of time and money so not everyone has the means to experience it. I’m very aware of my own privilege that I’m able to travel as an adult. My first big adventure was taking the highest train in the world—54 hours from Shanghai to Lhasa—across the Himalayas into Tibet when I was nineteen. I’ve had lots of amazing experiences since then, including seeing the Northern Lights three times and kayaking to an uninhabited tiny island in Vietnam. Hopefully next year I’ll be travelling around Uzbekistan!
- Did you like myths and legends like Aleja?
I love myths and legends. I think they’re some of our oldest surviving stories and am constantly fascinated by how they’ve developed in different regions around the world and endured throughout time. I would love to study them more in the future!
Thank you so much for answering, Maria!
Thank you so much for having me and for such brilliant questions!
I hope you enjoyed the questions I asked Maria – I really love what she had to say!
Are you a fan of middle grade books too? Why don’t you join us in our lovely little book club on Twitter or Goodreads? You can find all the info in our pinned tweet on our account, and we would love to have you on board!
You can find the rest of the interviews over on:
Be sure to check them out!
Big thanks again to everyone involved, I had a blast!
Thank you all for reading,