I am thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Fire Lines by Cara Thurlbourn today. You can read my more detailed thoughts a bit further down the page, but for now let me tell you that I really enjoyed this book and would rather like the sequel right now thank you very much!
First though, Cara was kind enough to write a guest post for me about her top five inspirational authors.
Five Inspirational Authors
I’ve always wanted to be an author, for as long as I can remember, and I think what I find ‘inspirational’ has probably changed a fair bit over the years. It used to be that I was simply inspired by fantastic story telling, but now I think that the way authors interact with their readers and handle the business side of their lives plays a part too. At the moment, my top five would be:
- Margaret Atwood. Not just because of her incredible writing, but because of the way she conducts herself as an author. She interacts with readers, does lots of speaking engagements and is fiercely intelligent without being even a little bit patronising. Her work is also completely timeless, as we’ve seen with the reaction to The Handmaid’s Tale adaptation.
- William Nicholson. Nicholson wrote The Wind On Fire trilogy, as well as some adult novels. I saw him do a talk at Heffers book store in Cambridge when I was perhaps thirteen or fourteen and I’ll always remember him talking about the reality of being an author – that sometimes you have to take a script-writing job you don’t really want, in order to pay the bills so that you can keep writing what you love. The Wind Singer books were also a huge inspiration for me.
- Joanna Penn. Also known as J. F. Penn, Joanna runs The Creative Penn website which offers advice and guidance to authors hoping to self-publish. She is an absolute inspiration to me because she achieved exactly what I hope to achieve – she quit her day job and is now a full-time author/entrepreneur. She divides her time between writing fiction and non-fiction and if I could emulate even half of her success I’d consider myself very lucky indeed.
- J.K. Rowling. How could I possibly miss out J.K? It seems ludicrous to even list the reasons why she’s an inspiration because I think so many people feel the same. But, for me, the biggest thing is that she bridged the gap between children’s and adult’s fiction. Harry Potter was originally for kids but adults fell in love with it too and I think it was instrumental in YA and children’s literature being taken more seriously. I also love that she has crossed genres to write her adult crime books under Robert Galbraith. I love writing fantasy and, while I can’t see myself writing anything other than YA, I do want to explore other genres, in particular a crime/mystery series that’s been floating around in my head for a while.
- Alwyn Hamilton. Rebel of The Sands is one of those books that made me go ooh I wish I’d written this! Alwyn’s fab at interacting with her readers, has an awesome website and always champions fans’ artwork and blogs. Her world building is fantastic too and her heroine kicks butt.
About the author
Cara Thurlbourn writes children’s and young adult fiction. ‘Fire Lines’ is her first novel and it’s a story she’s been planning since she was fifteen years old.
Cara has a degree in English from the University of Nottingham and an MA in Publishing from Oxford Brookes University.
She lives in a tiny village in Suffolk and has worked in academic and educational publishing for nearly ten years. Cara blogs about her author journey and in November 2016 she crowdfunded her first children’s book. 10% of its profits are donated to animal rehoming charities.
Cara plans to write at least two more books in the Fire Lines series, as well as a young adult mystery series, and has lots more children’s stories waiting in the wings.
You can sign up for Cara’s newsletter, for giveaways, updates and latest releases, here: http://www.firelines.co.uk
When your blood line awakens, how do you choose between family and freedom?
Émi’s father used to weave beautiful tales of life beyond the wall, but she never knew if they were true. Now, her father is gone and Émi has been banished to the Red Quarter, where she toils to support herself and her mother – obeying the rules, hiding secrets and suffering the cruelties of the council’s ruthless Cadets.
But when Émi turns seventeen, sparks fly – literally. Her blood line surges into life and she realises she has a talent for magick… a talent that could get her killed.
Émi makes her escape, beyond the wall and away from everything she’s ever known. In a world of watchers, elephant riders and sorcery, she must discover the truth about who she really is. But can the new Émi live up to her destiny?
Fire Lines is a great YA dystopian fantasy novel. I loved the structure of this world, and the way the Quarter you lived in demonstrably affected your chance in life – and how the other parts of the city didn’t understand the deprivations suffered in the Red Quarter. Sometimes it felt like the fantasy world of Fire Lines wasn’t too far away from our own.
That wouldn’t be a totally bad thing mind you. While I wouldn’t want to live in Nhatu, the rest of the world created by Thurlbourn is much more pleasant, and includes the angel-like Watchers, who take Emi under their (literal) wings to help her fulfil her mission. The gang quickly establish themselves, and I was genuinely fearful for them at some of the more dramatic parts.
Fire Lines does suffer a little bit from that age old problem of no-one talking to anyone else, when problems could be so easily solved by a bit of communication, and it is true that Emi and her friends don’t always take the wisest course of action. However, despite this, I did really enjoy the book. I want to know what happens next. I desperately want to know what happened to the people Emi left behind in Nhatu, and I hope we get to find that out in the next book – which I will be reading. If you’re a fan of dystopian fantasy, Fire Lines should definitely be at the top of your TBR pile!
Fire Lines will be published by Bewick Press on the 26th September 2017.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35581157-fire-lines
ARC received from the publisher via Faye Rogers, in exchange for an honest review.