TEATIME TEN: Rosamund Hodge

Welcome back to the Teatime Ten, an author interview series!  Today we have Rosamund Hodge chatting about her latest novel, Endless Water, Starless Sky.

Rosamund has generously offered to give away three books, so check out the end of the article for how you can win a copy for yourself! 

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself! 

I was raised a homeschooler in Los Angeles. I went to college at the University of Dallas and grad school at Oxford (yes, that Oxford). I'm still a little surprised that my life is no longer measured out with coffee spoons and GPAs. I live in Seattle, I raise chickens, and I write novels.

2) What's your latest book about?

I'm in the middle of a duology right now.  The first book, Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, was published in 2016; the conclusion, Endless Water, Starless Sky will come out this July. It's a high fantasy retelling of Romeo and Juliet, set in the last city left alive after a zombie apocalypse—a city whose walls are protected by blood-magic, and whose people are riven by blood-feuds.

3) What inspired you to write it?

Ballet. (No, really!)

I always thought that I hated Romeo and Juliet (even though I couldn't stop thinking about it, which should have been a hint).  But when I got a chance at cheap tickets to the ballet Roméo et Juliette,  I thought that surely the dancing would be worth the stupid story.

Boy was I wrong. The dancing was beautiful, of course, but the story—you see, the ballet frames it from the perspective of the Friar, so that it's not just a story of teenaged hormones, but of an attempt to end a murderous blood-feud through marriage. The most dramatic moment in the ballet is when Romeo kills Tybalt, because that's when the attempt at peace fails, and tragedy becomes inevitable.

I'm kind of meh about teenaged hormones. But I adore blood-feuds and tragedy.  And my experience with the ballet led me to start looking at Romeo and Juliet  with new eyes, and to start imagining a new story.

4) What was the hardest part of the book to write?


Some people plot naturally. I think they are alien hybrids.  For me, the joy of a story is in its characters and its themes and the three to twelve dramatic  scenes that come into my head at the start. All the rest is toil and trouble, and the connective tissue—a.k.a. "plot"—is worst of all.

5) What's your favorite part of the writing process?

When I'm drafting, it's editing. When I'm editing, it's drafting.  But really, I think my favorite part is brainstorming and outlining the story at its start. That's pure creativity with none of the work.

6) What was your journey to publishing like?

Agonizing yet boring. After I had revised the first draft of Cruel Beauty  a few times, I started querying. The process took about eight months and most of my sanity. Finally I signed with an agent, and she told me to revise again. Once we went on submission, HarperCollins made their offer within a couple weeks.

7) Do you have any tips for would-be authors?

Honestly, I feel as if all the really good tips have already been given? What I will say is this: someday, you are going to lose your joy in writing. It will happen, whether it's your first revision for an agent, or your twenty-second for an editor.

But this is the secret: you can find your joy again. It may take time and it may take trouble. It may take  a total break from the world of publishing. But if you really love writing, then no matter how hard it gets, you can always find that joy again.

8) You're on a spy mission to save the hero(ine) of the last book you read.  Who are you saving and is it worth it?

The last (fiction) book I read was Something Dark and Holy by Emily Duncan, which won't be published until 2019. The heroine, Nadya, is the one person left in her country who can talk to the gods, and I would absolutely consider it worth saving her even though it's kinda ambiguous as to whether her gods are good news or bad.

9) For twenty-four hours, you can live in one of your worlds.  Which do you pick and why?

All of my worlds are terrible and uncomfortable and I would never want to live in them.

If I were forced to choose, I would live in the world of Crimson Bound, where at least they have really cool dresses.

10) What's up next creatively for you?

I'm drafting a new novel, and for the first time in my (published) career, it's not a retelling! It's still fantasy, though: about a girl who kills the evil sorcerer controlling her contry and then finds herself haunted by his ghost.

Rosamund Hodge is a graduate of homeschooling, Oxford University, and the Viable Paradise writer’s workshop. She now lives in Seattle and writes stories about fairy tales, myths, and dangerous girls. Her novels include CRUEL BEAUTY and CRIMSON BOUND.
Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr!  Check out her official website here

BOOK GIVEAWAY!  Leave a comment and be entered to win an e-copy of Bright Smoke, Cold Fire from the author!  The three winners will be notified by next Tuesday's Teatime Ten!

CONGRATS to Mary Preston for winning last week's give-away, a copy of Rebecca Loomis' A Whitewashed Tomb.  See the full Teatime Ten interview here.

Want more blogs supporting women in the arts?  Become my patron on Patreon today!


  1. I love Hodge’s connection to her characters! It honestly shows in her writing. I’m super excited to read this book!!!!

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  2. Have you ever thought of publishing a collection of your short stories? I think ‘And Her Eyes Sewn Shut With Unicorn Hair’ was the first thing of yours I ever read and made me a devoted fan.

  3. Happy ending for someone in this duology? I can't decide how I feel either way. I can appreciate tragedies but it's harder for me to love them. On the other hand, I tend toward purism and literary fidelity.

  4. I too appreciate blood-feuds more than angst. R&J kind of misses the big picture (both the play and the main characters!) but I haven't seen the ballet, so thanks!

  5. Ooo! Yes, I'm a big fan of blood feuds as plot points also. And people choosing love over hate, despite how hard it is.

  6. I love her books so much, I can see how much effort she puts in it, and also, her female characthers are always amazing.


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