Happy Saturday, everyone! 💙
I’m so incredibly excited and honored to welcome the wonderful Elizabeth Lim on my blog today for my Sprinkles of Dreams Author Feature!
As you all most likely know by now—since I haven’t been able to stop talking about it endlessly on all my social media profiles—Spin the Dawn is one of my absolute favorite books of 2019, and has also joined the ranks of the very few books that made it onto my all-time favorites list, and I can’t wait for you all to fall in love with it (if you haven’t already)!
Liz is such a sweet soul, and I’m so in awe of everything she’s accomplished—do you ever meet those people that seem to be able to do it all, and you wonder how they make it seem as if one day has more than 24 hours? M a g i c.
Without further ado, here’s all you need to know to convince you to pick up a copy of Spin the Dawn, gift it to your friends, family members, and neighbors, or tempt you to reread it—honestly, I’ve been looking forward to doing so in preparation for the sequel ever since I finished the ARC months ago.
(Yes, I’m currently suffering very much as I wait for it, but let’s focus on the bright things in life. Such as listening to an incredible author, par exemple.)
How would you describe Spin the Dawn in one sentence?
To save her kingdom, a young tailor must sew the dresses of the sun, the moon, and the stars.
(Me, whispering softly in the background: beautifully written family dynamics, a tale spun out of magic and glitter, an intriguing love interest … I could go on for hours)
What or who was your main inspiration for this book?
I was inspired by the fairytales my father used to tell me as a child.
Spin the Dawn draws influence from three in particular: the Chinese legend, The Cowherd and the Weaver, the French fairytale, Donkeyskin, and the Norwegian story, East of the Sun.
I decided to write about a tailor in particular because of my grandmother, who spent many years working as a seamstress when she first moved to the United States.
Which of the characters do you identify with the most, and why?
I relate most to Maia Tamarin [the main character].
At the beginning of the book, she wants nothing more than to become recognized for her skill at tailoring, but no one will ever give her a chance because she’s a girl.
While I was studying to become a music composer, a similar incident happened to me (several times!), and Maia’s grit and determination to prove them wrong stems from my experiences.
But she’s also very loyal and close to her family, which have always been important to me.
(I love this answer.)
Because I love Harry Potter, and I always love imagine characters I adore at Hogwarts, but asking which Hogwarts Houses the main characters would be in feels too obvious …
Whom would they be best friends with, and which subject would be their favorite?
What a fun question! I usually sort Maia into Hufflepuff, but the more I think about it, the more I think she could also fit into Gryffindor … so here’s my pick for now:
Gryffindor, Charms – best friends with Fleur Delacour
Ravenclaw, Transfiguration – best friends with Snape
Slytherin, Defense against the Dark Arts – best friends with Viktor Krum
Slytherin, Muggle Studies – best friends with Draco Malfoy
Hufflepuff, Herbology – best friends with Luna Lovegood
Hufflepuff, Care of Magical Creatures – best friends with the Weasley twins
If you could meet any of your characters in real life, whom would you want to meet?
Although I love Maia with all my heart, I’d love to meet Edan. I just think he’d be so fun to hang out with, and I’d be so curious what tricks he has up his sleeve…
The book starts off on quite a heartbreaking note, and Maia struggles a lot right away, but you managed to make her such a formidable character, and give her such a strong will, and determination, and she’s one of my absolute favorite heroines now—who in the fictitious worlds would she team up with, if she had to save the world?
Ah, thank you! Maia is very dear to me too! Hmm if she had to save the world with friends, Alanna from Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness quartet would be an easy choice, but I’d also choose Katsa from Kristin Cashore’s Graceling and Inej from Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows.
Every single one of the scenes in your book is always incredibly atmospheric, and tinged with a certain emotion—do you listen to music while you’re writing, and are there any songs you associate with writing this book?
I actually don’t listen to music when I’m writing! For most of my life, I trained to be a composer, so I find it a bit distracting when I’m writing. My years studying music have helped me immeasurably in my writing, though, and I often think in terms of musical structures and themes when I’m organizing my storyline.
Spin the Dawn has been likened to Mulan (who is one of my favorite Disney characters and role models growing up, and Maia more than lived up to the comparison!), and it definitely gave me a lot of Disney vibes overall—do you have a favorite Disney movie?
I love Disney, too!
What about favorite books you’ve read this year?
How are we halfway through the year already? Gosh, that happened quickly.
I absolutely loved Hanna Alkaf’s The Weight of Our Sky, which is about the 1969 race riots in Malaysia. I’m also very excited to start Kat Cho’s Wicked Fox.
If Spin the Dawn was turned into a movie—what would your dream cast look like?
So this is another tough one for me, because if Spin the Dawn ever became a movie, I would LOVE for the roles to go to new, undiscovered talent.
In spite of all the new wonderful Asian-cast films like Crazy Rich Asians and Always Be My Maybe, Asian talents are still often overlooked and underrepresented in Hollywood, and I’m really hoping that will change.
What is one thing that very few people know about you?
I don’t drink coffee!
I feel like I’m in the waaayyy minority of writers who don’t have at least a cup of joe before they get into their writing groove, but I just never picked up the habit.
What is a pet peeve of yours?
Having long nails! This is a personal one – I don’t mind them on other people. But after years and years of playing piano, I’m still not used to having long nails. It’s just very uncomfortable for me.
I also really dislike lack of empathy, hypocrisy, rudeness, and unflushed toilets :p
And lastly … Can you give us a little spoiler for Unravel the Dusk?
You can expect a lot more Lady Sarnai 🙂
Elizabeth Lim 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.
Elizabeth loves classic film scores, books with a good romance, food (she currently has a soft spot for arepas and Ethiopian food), the color turquoise, overcast skies, English muffins, cycling, and baking. She grew up in Northern California, with a brief stint in Tokyo, Japan, but now lives in New York City with her husband and their daughter.
Have you read Spin the Dawn yet?
Who is your favorite character, based on this interview?
What is your favorite Disney movie? ✨