Sunday, October 23, 2016

SST Interview with Becky Allen

Bound by Blood and SandTitle: Bound by Blood and Sand
Author: Becky Allen
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: October 11, 2016

Jae is a slave in a dying desert world.

Once verdant with water from a magical Well, the land is drying up, and no one remembers the magic needed to keep the water flowing. If a new source isn’t found soon, the people will perish. Jae doesn’t mind, in a way. By law, she is bound by a curse to obey every order given her, no matter how vile. At least in death, she’ll be free.

Lord Elan’s family rules the fading realm. He comes to the estate where Jae works, searching for the hidden magic needed to replenish the Well, but it’s Jae who finds it, and she who must wield it. Desperate to save his realm, Elan begs her to use it to locate the Well.

But why would a slave—abused, beaten, and treated as less than human—want to save the system that shackles her? Jae would rather see the world burn.

Though revenge clouds her vision, she agrees to help if the kingdom’s slaves are freed. Then Elan’s father arrives. The ruler’s cruelty knows no limits. He is determined that the class system will not change—and that Jae will remain a slave forever.

Welcome to another #SST! Today, I have with me Becky Allen for an interview about her new book, Bound by Blood and Sand (out now!) and writing in general. And of course, a giveaway. So shall we get to the interview?

If you had to describe Bound by Blood and Sand in three words, what would they be?

Three is just about impossible, but weirdy, I can do it in two - "Oppressively hot."

A lot of people love romance, while some aren't a fan. What's your take?

For the most part, I enjoy romance as a bonus to the rest of the story - it can be a ton of fun but isn't really what draws me in as a reader, most of the time. (Except when I'm reading an actual romance novel, in which case, it's the whole point!)

And to continue with that, is this a kissing book?

Nah. You have to squint verrrry hard to see romance in BBB&S. I played around with having that as a more prominent element in the earliest draft or two, but it didn't fit in to the story very well, so I decided not to force it.

That's great for my anti-romance friends! Do you plan out your novel in advance, or do you just go with the flow?

I'm somewhere between the two extremes - I need always start with a fairly short outline to give myself an idea of the biggest plot points, but my first draft is also always a lot of discovery. Usually I look at that first draft and end up rewriting it entirely, expanding on pieces that worked and replacing any plot points that felt weak.

Does music play any part in your writing habits?

Sort of. I always have music on when I write - I write in coffee shops a lot, and it drowns out the sound of everyone else. (Or, on the rare occasion I write at home, it keeps away the quiet - I can't stand quiet!) But I don't create playlists for my books or anything like that. The music I put on tends to just be whatever I'm in the mood for, not necessarily anything related to what I'm writing.

What was one of your favorite books growing up?

There were a bunch of books I read over and over, but I think the one that had the biggest impact on me was ARROWS OF THE QUEEN by Mercedes Lackey. (You’ll find that with the adult SFF titles, but that book in particular is very YA -- I read it in fifth grade.) I really identified with the protagonist, Talia -- a bookish girl who wanted to get away from the small town where everyone thought she was weird, have an adventure, and prove her worth.

Where can we find you online?

A few places! The main one is twitter (, and I also love tumblr ( If you want the full list, you can find it on my website, (come to think of it, that's another good place to find me...).

About the Author
Becky AllenBecky Allen grew up in a tiny town outside Ithaca, New York, and graduated from Brandeis University with a major in American studies and a minor in journalism. She is the website director of, an online HIV resource, and loves New York, brunch, and feminism. Becky lives in New York City.

So how about the giveaway I promised?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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