Blog tour: Unraveled

Welcome to the blog tour for Unraveled by Claire Olivia Golden. If an LGBTQI and YA fantasy sounds just like your cup of tea… keep reading!

Hi Claire Olivia! First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the publication of Unraveled! Can you please briefly tell us what it is about?

A: Thank you so much, and thank you for wanting to do this interview! Unraveled is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty where two girls fall in love while trying to break the curse on a crochet shawl. It’s about faeries, OCD, first love, and figuring out who you are... and it has pigeons and yarn. It has a little piece of my heart.

Did you have the plot entirely figured out when you started writing the book or did it take an unexpected turn as the characters grew on the page?

A: I had absolutely no idea where the plot was going, except for that it involved a crochet shawl. I also did not plan for Cat and Auri to fall in love, but they had a mind of their own. It was fun figuring out the plot as I went along, with help from the characters. The twist halfway through the book caught both me and them by surprise!

Was Unraveled your working title? Either way, how did you choose it?

A: I am usually really bad at titles, but this one came to me a couple of chapters in. Until then, it was called Yarn Emporium, which is the name of the yarn store where Auri works – and also the title of “Part 1” of the book. I also considered Magical Thinking, but ultimately went back to Unraveled because I’m a sucker for one-word titles.

If this novel was going to be turned into a film, who would you cast in the roles of Aurora and Catherine?

A: Ooh, this is fun. There’s a model named Luca Hostelle who is the spitting image of Cat, and I picture Mackenzie Davis for Auri.

Without giving too much away, can you tell us about a scene in the book that you love or that was difficult to write?

A: Near the end of the book, there’s an emotional scene involving Cat and someone close to her. I had to get into a pretty intense mental space to write it, and ended up revisiting some of my journal entries from when I lost my pet chicken Harriet last year. Some of the scene is word-for-word what I wrote in my journal about Harriet, who was more than just a pet to me, she was a friend. So, I definitely cried while writing that scene, and I hope some of that emotion comes through. Sorry, Cat!

Is there anything that didn’t make it into the final version of the book?

A: The original version of the book was just from Auri’s perspective. I rewrote the entire thing to give Cat a point of view, because it was lacking without. Auri’s brother Aidyn also snuck his way into Unraveled in a much bigger capacity than I originally intended, which actually leads to your next question.

If you are already working on your next writing project, would you mind giving us a little anticipation of what we are to expect?

A: I am plotting the sequel to Unraveled, which is going to feature Aidyn in a much bigger role, because he won’t give me any peace until I do! I’m also working on a prequel set in the same world but taking place many hundreds of years before. In between, though, I’m working on another book that’s completely different and that I hope will see the light of day in the near future. I have too many ideas and too little time.

What are you reading at the moment?

A: Right now I’m rereading the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, which is my favourite fantasy series of all time. I’ve also been reading a lot of poetry because I find it quite calming, particularly Mary Oliver and Amanda Lovelace.

Due to the popularity of social networking websites, interacting with readers – be it via Twitter, Facebook Instagram etc. – is becoming increasingly important. How do you cope with these new demands on authors and do you think that they somehow disrupt your writing schedule?

A: I’ve connected with so many fellow writers through social media that I would never have met otherwise. In fact, I found Gurt Dog Press through a Twitter pitch event – or more accurately, they found me – so I owe my book deal to social media, in a way. It’s been a real blessing to make online friends, especially during the 2020 pandemic. However, I definitely find myself spending too much time “doomscrolling” and it doesn’t help improve my mental health. So I try to keep my social media time to an hour or so a day (keyword “try”) and do a little writing every day.

What one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?

A: The more you read and write, the better you’ll get. I learned to write by reading 200+ books a year as a kid. I didn’t take an actual writing class until college, and I actually didn’t find it all that helpful – I think it’s much more useful to read books and figure out what works and what doesn’t work. Then you can try out things in your own writing. Even writing for school was super useful for me. I was an English and French major in college, which meant I had to write a ton of essays, and all of those helped my writing improve. It doesn’t have to be creative writing to help you on your journey to becoming an author. Just write!

The best creative decision I ever made was to join NaNoWriMo, where writers all over the world try to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. It provides exactly the motivation and community I need to hammer out a first draft. My username is cog98 if you’d like to add me as a friend. Come join us!

Thank you for your time!

A: Thank you so much for chatting with me and for picking up Unraveled, it means the world to me!

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