Sunday, 17 March 2013

Author Interview with Miriam Forster + Giveaway!

I'm so psyched to have Miriam Forster, author of City of a Thousand Dolls, here on the blog today! If you haven't already, check out my review here :)
In other news - today is my 6-month blogoversary! I honestly can't believe it :D

Interview with Miriam Forster

If City of a Thousand Dolls had a Warning! Label on it, what would it say?

Warning! This book does not contain dragons, travel or swordfighting. It does contain talking cats, dagger throwing and a poisonous snake. Please proceed accordingly.

How did you come up with the idea for your novel?

The core idea of City of a Thousand Dolls came from a random like about "being groomed" for someone that I found in another book. The idea of being raised specifically for someone else caught hold of me and suddenly I had this whole estate in my head with all these girls being trained for different things. Then I had to figure out why and where and what my plot was going to be. That was harder. 

The cover is absolutely gorgeous! How much of a say did you have in creating it?

None at all! All credit for the cover art and the gorgeousness of the actual book, has to go to my book designer and cover artist. They hammered out something they thought was awesome and then sent it to me. I thought it was awesome too, so that worked out well. 

My editor did ask if there was anything I wanted or didn't want on the cover. I believe my response was "Please don't put a blonde girl on the cover of my book." (There are only a handful of people with light hair in the book and my main character wasn't one of them. And as you can see, they didn't, so I was happy. 

How did you come up with the characters? Do you see yourself in any of your characters?

Nisha definitely came first. I had this place where everyone had a role, and a specific thing to do, and I thought my main character should be someone who was outside the system, someone who didn't have much of a place at all. I figured such a person would be a bit of a loner, someone who didn't like drawing attention to herself, naturally cautious, and also fiercely loyal to the few people she considered friends. 

The cats came next, and they just kind of showed up and demanded to be in the book. (As cats do.) Then I figured out the book would be a murder mystery and that someone Nisha cared about would be a suspect. After that, the other characters just sort of fell in line. Except Devon. It took me ages to get him right for some reason. 

I didn't really see myself in my characters while I was writing them, but now that it's done, little things kind of stick out to me. Like the way Jina collects knowledge, just because she likes to understand what's going on. I do that. And the way Nisha freezes up sometimes and doesn't know what to say is a bit of me too. Stuff like that. 

Quick! Name the three closest things to you... Go!

Coffee cup


You are what you eat, so I am (a/an) a bowl of soup*sloshes*
The scariest movie I've ever seen would have to be Critters, when I was eleven, and because of it, I couldn't look in my closet for a week.
If I was in the Harry Potter world, my patronus would be a porcupine because they are peaceful and non-agressive, but still badass.

What would be some of the songs on City of a Thousand Dolls' playlist?

I have a general writing playlist on Pandora, but some of the songs that might apply the most would be:

Sugercane- Missy Higgins 
Angel- Kate Voegele
Empty Place Beside Me- Andrea Wellard
10,000 Stones- Adrianna
Avalanche- Marie Digby
Lovely- Sara Haze
Ocean Wide- The Afters

As this novel is your debut, what was the road to publishing like?

I actually ended up following a pretty standard path to publication. I wrote a book, tried to sell it, failed, wrote another book, tried to sell it, failed, wrote another book, rewrote the second book, tried to sell the second book again, failed, wrote another book, rewrote the second and third books, tried to sell the third book, failed, tried to sell the second book and got an agent. Agent sold the second book, and here I am. 

There was a lot of failure involved. *grin*

What advice do you have for aspiring authors out there?

Write the next book. It gives you something to do while querying, it makes you a better writer, and it gives you the tools you need to rewrite old material. Also, it keeps you sane. The most unhappy people I see are people who let selling a book replace writing a book. Always keep writing.

What can we expect from you next?

Companion novel! Out in 2014. It's going to have some crossover characters with City of a Thosuand Dolls, but the story will follow a different pair of characters and hopefully fill in some details on the world a little.

I'm dying to read this companion novel! I can't wait to revisit this world. Thank you to Miriam Forster for taking the time to answer our questions :)

About the author:

Miriam Forster learned to read at the age of five, wrote her first story at the age of seven and has been playing with words ever since. CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS, her debut novel, will be coming from HarperTeen on February 5th, 2013. 
In real life Miriam is a recovering barista, a terrible housekeeper and a bit of a hermit. But in her mind she’s a deadly international assassin-ninja AND a fantastic dancer. When Miriam isn’t writing, she plots out fight scenes, obsesses about anthropology, nature shows and British television, and reads far too much.

Find Miriam on:

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Blog

Rabiah (Confessions of a Readaholic) and I are giving away a hardcover copy of City of a Thousand Dolls as part of Books That Glow: YA & MG 2013!

This giveaway is international
Giveaway ends on April 1st 2013
We are not responsible for lost/damaged packages
The winner will get 48 hours to reply to my email
Enter the Rafflecopter below, and good luck!


  1. Great interview, i love your first question. I may have to borrow it :-)

  2. No, I have not read it. Nice warning.

  3. So looking forward to reading this! Loved the interview (especially liked the warning label and the playlist question), and thank you for the giveaway!

  4. No I haven't read it yet, and I just love author interviews, it lets me learn a little more about them.

  5. Read it, loved it! Great interview, I love that you're a bowl of soup! *slurps* "Hey where'd Miriam go?"


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