Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk

Title: Blood and Sand
Author: C.V. Wyk
Published: January 16th 2018 by Tor Teen

The action-packed tale of a 17-year-old warrior princess and a handsome gladiator who dared take on the Roman Republic--and gave rise to the legend of Spartacus....

Roma Victor. The Republic of Rome is on a relentless march to build an empire--an empire built on the backs of the conquered, brought back to Rome as slaves.

Attia was once destined to rule as the queen and swordmaiden of Thrace, the greatest warrior kingdom the world had seen since Sparta. Now she is a slave, given to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, as a sign of his master's favor. Enslaved as a child, Xanthus is the preeminent gladiator of his generation.

Against all odds, Attia and Xanthus form a tentative bond. A bond that will spark a rebellion. A rebellion that threatens to bring the Roman Republic to its end--and gives rise to the legend of Spartacus....

How many drafts did you go through before you settled on a copy to submit?

Probably about three. I submitted my second draft of BLOOD AND SAND when I was querying agents (because I was a young noob who didn’t know what a truly polished manuscript looked like), and then my agent and I went through a third round of edits before submitting to publishers. It still took another three or four rounds with my editor though before we got to the final thing. Publishing can be a super long process.

How do you outline? (paper, post-its, google docs)

It really depends on the story. For BLOOD AND SAND, having a detailed timeline—literally writing down what happened to the characters day by day—helped pace the story and figure out what was logistically plausible in terms of travelling from one city to another. When I’m on the go, I jot down lines of dialogue or plot points in my Bullet Journal and on the Notes app on my phone. And when I’m just starting out a brand-new story…I totally pants it!

How did you celebrate the news that your book would be published?

I didn’t really. At least, not for a few days. When I first got the call from my agent that Tor had acquired the book, I got tangled up in my earphones and fell out of my chair. That bruised. After the call though, I just sat down, hugged my laptop to my chest, and closed my eyes. I was excited and happy, of course, but mostly grateful and awestruck and relieved. Someone else had read my story and thought it was worth publishing. After years of pursuing writing on my own, quietly, with no real hope of ever “making it,” that phone call was almost surreal. I needed a few days to myself just to process what was happening before I could fully share the news with others. When I finally did, a bunch of my friends and I went out for tacos 😊

Did you have any input into your cover?

Cover designs are really at the discretion of the publisher. But I saw a sample of text that looked like metal and fell in love with it. The artists at Tor were able to take that concept and run with it, hence the forged iron look of the text used for the title!

If your book was going to be turned into something ie, MMORPG, Graphic Novel, Movie. What would you want it to be?

MMORPG. I have no idea how that would work, but I’m an avid gamer, so it would be awesome to play as some of the characters from BLOOD AND SAND. Maybe they could make hambones and turkey legs options for melee weapons, too!

What genre do you typically read for enjoyment?

SFF is my go-to and how I’ve found some of my all-time favorite books. I also read a lot of YA (of course), historical non-fiction, and, lately, memoirs.

Describe your book in 5 words. This girl’s got a sword.

C.V. Wyk is the author of BLOOD AND SAND, debuting from Tor Teen January 16, 2018. Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Wyk has lived in five states in the continental US (and hopes to add a few international locales to that list). Prone to wanderlust and getting lost, Wyk likes to explore local hiking trails, mountain ranges, dark caves where nefarious mythical creatures undoubtedly reside, and libraries. She currently lives in Maryland with a precocious mini poodle and a demanding guinea pig. In her not-so-spare time, she enjoys playing MMORPGs, kayaking, coding, staring listlessly at blank walls, and nursing a totally healthy coffee addiction.

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