Happy Release Day!!
In honor of the release of Daughter of Deaths, I have an interview with the author Christopher Mannino! The Daughter of Deaths is the third book in The Scythe Wielder’s Secret. If you haven’t checked out this series, i highly recommend it.
1. Can you start off by telling us a little about the Scythe Wielder’s Secret series?
The Scythe Wielder’s Secret is a YA Fantasy trilogy. Susan Sarnio is a middle school student in Maryland who is forced to become a Death, or Grim Reaper. She is the first female Death in generations, and must overcome sexism and bullying at the all-male Colelge. She and her friends find themselves at the center of a war between Deaths and Dragons. The fate of the Mortal World and the World of Deaths lies in the balance. visit www.ChristopherMannino.com for more.
2. What was your inspiration for this story and world?
The series as emerged from a trip I took while studying at Oxford. During a side trip to Tintagel, Cornwall, the supposed birthplace of King Arthur, I became stranded. I had no car or phone, and no way back to Oxford, since the next bus arrived the following day. I ended up finding a pub that let me spend the night, but it was a noisy place and I got little sleep. At 4 am the following morning I walked out onto Barras Nose, a rocky outcropping that juts out into the ocean. I crawled on all fours, fighting fierce winds from every direction. There were no railings and I could’ve easily fallen off the fifty foot cliffs into the ocean. I watched the dawn rise over the castle ruin and Cornish coast, with no people visible. I imagined a character completely alone, whose life was in danger, attacked from every side much like the winds were attacking me. However, the character wasn’t afraid. Susan emerged from that moment.
3. What characters were easiest/hardest to write?
I found Susan and Frank to be the easiest- both are fascinating and really central to everything. Their arcs also parallel each other in a way. On the other hand, I found Will a little harder to write. I wanted him to have his own personality without just being “Susan’s boyfriend” but that presented challenges at times.
4. Which scenes were your favorite to write?
In book three, there’s a long scene in Oxford. It was one of my absolute favorite scenes because it really brought up a lot of memories of the experiences that inspired the book. I also have a brief Reaping scene set in Tintagel in book two.
5. How did you know you wanted to be a writer & What was your first book?
I have wanted to be a writer for most of my adult life. My first published novel is School of Deaths, however I did write another book earlier which I abandoned.
6. Any tips for emerging writers? Writers block?
Writing is not a hobby, it’s a full-time job. Drafting, editing, querying, and marketing never lessen, they just get more and more time-consuming. I work two full-time jobs and have a newborn. Time is a commodity I have little of. However, I make the time to draft a minimum of 200 words daily. 200 words isn’t much, but it keeps me writing every single day, no matter what else is going on.
7. What are your favorite authors and books?
Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Gaiman and Pratchett’s Good Omens, Follett’s Pillars of the Earth and many others.
8. Do you have any book recommendations for people after finishing this trilogy?
Brian Selznick’s “Wonderstruck” is one of my favorite young adult books that I’ve read recently- brilliantly written.
9. Are you working on anything now that you can tell us about?
I am currently querying an adult sci-fi thriller which is like Dan Brown meets Michael Crichton. I am also hard at work on an epic adult high fantasy series.