Shiori, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted, but it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.
Raikama has dark magic of her own, and she banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes, and warning Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.
Penniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and, on her journey, uncovers a conspiracy to overtake the throne—a conspiracy more twisted and deceitful, more cunning and complex, than even Raikama’s betrayal. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she’s been taught all her life to contain—no matter what it costs her.
- How was your writing process with Six Crimson Cranes different or similar to The Blood of the Stars duology? Reflection?
My writing process is pretty similar from book to book. I usually write a detailed outline (which I don’t necessarily follow, but I like to have it as a security blanket) before I start drafting. My first draft is EXTREMELY messy and you couldn’t pay me to show it to anyone! From there, I’ll usually do four or five more drafts before I show it to my critique partners and my agent.
- What was your favorite scene to write in Six Crimson Cranes?
There’s a scene toward the end of the book where Shiori goes to the Winter Festival and comes this close to revealing her true identity to the love interest (but can’t because she’s taken a vow of silence). It’s a beautiful scene, and full of tension and drama, and I love it! There’s also lots of lanterns in the scene, which harken to one of my favorite quotes in the book: “Find the light that makes your lantern shine.”
3. Did Shiori remind you of yourself or someone close to you while you were writing?
She doesn’t! Her younger self has hints of my sister when she was a teenager (very stubborn and impulsive, hah!) but Shiori changes a lot during the course of the book (as my sister obviously has as well), and that self-journey is really all her own.
4. What is your perfect writing setup (mood, place, utensils, music, etc.)?
I’m pretty easygoing when it comes to setup! I can literally write anywhere at any time. I don’t listen to music because as a former professional composer I find it too distracting, but I’m fine if someone else is playing music or making noise. All I need, really, is my laptop and a chair and I’m good to go!
5. If you had to pick one song to describe Shiori’s journey in Six Crimson Cranes, what would you choose?
Rise up by Andra Day. It’s such an inspirational song, I think Shiori would have teared up listening to it during the harder parts of her journey.
6. Do you miss the characters you have created once their story is complete?
Yes, of course I do! But thankfully Six Crimson Cranes is a duology, so I have one more book to spend time with them again ☺
Meet the Author
Elizabeth Lim is the author of the critically-acclaimed and bestselling The Blood of Stars duology (Spin the Dawn and Unravel the Dusk), the New York Times bestseller So This is Love, and the USA Today bestseller Reflection. Forthcoming books include the Six Crimson Cranes duology, expected summer 2021 and summer 2022, respectively.
Elizabeth grew up on a hearty staple of fairy tales, myths, and songs. Her passion for storytelling began around age 10, when she started writing fanfics for Sailor Moon, Sweet Valley, and Star Wars, and posted them online to discover, “Wow, people actually read my stuff. And that’s kinda cool!” But after one of her teachers told her she had “too much voice” in her essays, Elizabeth took a break from creative writing to focus on not flunking English.
Over the years, Elizabeth became a film and video game composer, and even went so far as to get a doctorate in music composition. But she always missed writing, and she turned to penning stories when she needed a breather from grad school. One day, she decided to write and finish a novel—for kicks, at first, then things became serious—and she hasn’t looked back since.
Elizabeth graduated from Harvard College with an A.B. in music and a secondary in East Asian Studies, and she completed her graduate degrees (MM, DMA) at The Juilliard School. She grew up in Northern California and Tokyo, Japan, and now resides in New York with her husband and two daughters.
Betwixt The Sheets – Interview
The Urban Reader – Review & Favourite Quotes
Little Corner Reads – 15 Reactions While Reading Six Crimson Cranes
leosthetics – Post about Cranes & Mythologies
Your Words My Ink – Review
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