Saturday, June 14, 2014

Class of 2014 Day 11 ~ Adi Rule

Welcome to the eleventh day of Class of 2014! For a few weeks, I'll be spotlighting some of this year's debut authors. I wanted a way to celebrate both my high school graduation and one year blogoversary, so I decided to feature authors of the same "class" as me on Reading is My Treasure! (Want to learn more about this event? Go here.)

I have an interview with Adi Rule today! She's the author of Strange Sweet Song, which is a fantasy with a music focus. It seems like a mysterious and rich book--just as the cover looks. I hope you enjoy this interview.☺

Adi loves cats, singing, video games, and laughing. She has an MFA in writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and a bachelor's in voice from the University of New Hampshire. When she's not writing, she sings in the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the chorus of the Boston Symphony/Boston Pops, and gives tours of a really cool/weird historic mansion. She collects dragons, biographies of Napoleon, and memorabilia from Disney’s Robin Hood. YA novel STRANGE SWEET SONG is out now from St Martin's Press, with REDWING forthcoming. She is represented by Ammi-Joan Pauqette of Erin Murphy Literary.

Genre: YA fantasy
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: March 11th, 2014
Purchase: Amazon / B&N
Find it on Goodreads

Goodreads description:

A young soprano enrolls in a remote music academy where nothing, not even her mysterious young vocal coach, is as it seems

Outside Dunhammond Conservatory, there lies a dark forest. And in the forest, they say, lives a great beast called the Felix. But Sing da Navelli never put much faith in the rumors and myths surrounding the school; music flows in her blood, and she is there to sing for real. This prestigious academy will finally give her the chance to prove her worth—not as the daughter of world-renowned musicians—but as an artist and leading lady in her own right.

Yet despite her best efforts, there seems to be something missing from her voice. Her doubts about her own talent are underscored by the fact that she is cast as the understudy in the school's production of her favorite opera, Angelique. Angelique was written at Dunhammond, and the legend says that the composer was inspired by forest surrounding the school, a place steeped in history, magic, and danger. But was it all a figment of his imagination, or are the fantastic figures in the opera more than imaginary?

Sing must work with the mysterious Apprentice Nathan Daysmoor as her vocal coach, who is both her harshest critic and staunchest advocate. But Nathan has secrets of his own, secrets that are entwined with the myths and legends surrounding Dunhammond, and the great creature they say lives there.

Lyrical, gothic, and magical, Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule will captivate and enchant readers.
Hi Adi!

What kind of magic did you include in Strange Sweet Song?

The magic in SSS comes from the Felix, a celestial beast that roams the forest near the music school where the main character's story is set. The Felix is a brutal predator, but if she looks into your eyes and sees there a sadness greater than her own, she will shed one tear, which is a wish to be granted. (If she doesn't, you're dead!) Magic always has a price, and in this story, the price is emotional, and you must already have paid it for the magic to work.

As far as the music itself, music feels magical to many of us in the real world, so it's natural that it's often connected to actual magic in fantasy stories. I chose not to give supernatural qualities to the music in SSS because I wanted that part of the main character's story to reflect her real life struggles.

What kind of heroine is Sing?

Sing is a teenager who is being groomed by her celebrity father to follow in her (dead) opera singer mother's footsteps, so in that way, she is both privileged and under incredible pressure. The twist, I think, is that Sing is legitimately passionate about opera. She struggles with the same insecurities as many young singers, but her place in the spotlight kind of amps that up a bit. She's also learning how to form real relationships with people, and because of her upbringing, and simply because she's young, she makes a lot of mistakes. But as she figures out who she is as a person, separate from the identities of her parents, she figures out who she is as a singer.

What themes are included in Strange Sweet Song?

Music, certainly! Identity. And reality versus illusion.

What is one of your favorite quotes from your book?

"She wasn't to know that her happiness set the universe listing, and something had to be done to put it right again."

I think this sentence captures so much about the Felix -- her innocent beginning and the eventual darkness that was beyond her control.

How does it feel to read the amazing author blurbs your book has gotten?

The blurbs were a wonderful surprise. I'm very grateful to the authors who took the time to read the book and give a quote. If I'm ever in a position to, I will definitely pay it forward.

Has publishing a novel been tougher or easier than you thought it would be?

That's a great question. There have been tough bits and easy bits. The process itself has been surprisingly easy, thanks to my fantastic agent Ammi-Joan Paquette, who is secretly a wizard. And everyone at St. Martin's Press has been so supportive and enthusiastic; it's a great place to make books. The tough bits mostly happen in my own head. It's quite a shock to go from writing stories at home with a cat on your head to having your stories out in the world for everyone to see. I mean, that isn't a bad thing, but it can be a lot for your (introvert) brain to handle! Luckily, the YA/kidlit community/blogosphere/dimension totally rocks. :)

What's the best advice you've ever received—writing or otherwise?

"You can't control the others."

Thank you for answering my questions!

I hope you enjoyed the interview! Come back tomorrow for the next one.

Hint: Her debut releases on July 29th from Spencer Hill Press.


  1. I got to read an ARC from Strange Sweet Song and absolutely loved it! The mix of magical, gothic and the real struggles of fame and the music scene was done so fantastically!
    Great interview, I'm happy to finally hear from the author of this book and have some of her insight on the book too!

    1. I'm so glad to hear you loved the book! :)

  2. I AM SO GLAD TO SEE THIS INTERVIEW! I added this book after I saw a raving review for it (and something about talking cats). It's definitely something I am looking forward to reading once I find the time to do so! :)

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful interview with us, Kaitlin! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the interview, Rashika! I really look forward to reading this one too (any book with a talking cat is a book for me :D).

      You're welcome. :)

  3. I've heard really good things about this book -- look forward to reading it!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

    1. I've been hearing good things about it too. :)

  4. I am a musician, and I love everything that includes magic, so this book sounds just right to me. I am going to add it to my Gooreads TBR shelf.

  5. Oooh, what an awesome feature, thanks for sharing this! I haven't heard of this book before but the Felix sounds so interesting. Sounds like an evil phoenix haha

    1. You're welcome. :) I really want to know what the Felix is!


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