Helen Corcoran shares how she came about to write Daughter of Winter and Twilight, the sequel to 2020’s exciting YA debut – Queen of Coin and Whispers.
When I wrote my first book, Queen of Coin and Whispers, I knew it would be a standalone but there was also potential for more books set in that world. Like many fantasy writers, I’d soon realised that after creating a world with a past, present, and future, it would be a shame to only spend time there once.
And like many writers of Young Adult fiction whose first books have older teen characters, I then had to figure out what to do now that my original main characters were firmly on their way to becoming adults.
I followed a time-honoured tradition: I moved on to a new generation.
This solved two problems: Lia and Xania, the protagonists of Queen of Coin and Whispers, finished the book in their early twenties as co-ruling monarchs. The new book, Daughter of Winter and Twilight, would be set fourteen years later and focus on Emri, their adopted daughter and heir. It would mean a brand new set of teen characters, so readers could start with the new book, but would also give those who’d been with me since Queen a chance to catch up with Lia and Xania as secondary adult characters.
I could also go in a new direction. In Queen of Coin and Whispers, magic and religion are interconnected. Faith has dwindled, and magic is now dormant. The ancient gods, symbols of the seasons, are considered little more than myth, perhaps based on people who once existed and were elevated into legend over centuries. But when I was plotting out Queen, I wrote a question in my notebook: what if magic and the gods come back later?
Daughter of Winter and Twilight is the answer to that question.
Emri, as a princess and a future Queen, has been raised to rule and navigate Court politics and intrigue. She has not been raised to handle the return of magic, or face vengeful gods who are furious that their worship has dwindled into pageantry.
But if Emri wants to survive, and protect her family, it’s precisely what she’s going to have to do.
You can now pre-order Daughter of Winter and Twilight by Helen Corcoran.