Laini Taylor discusses her Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy and the latest novel in the series, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, which releases April 8.
Daughter of Smoke & Bone is an incredibly original blend of mythologies; how did you come up with Karou’s world? How long did it take you to solidify all of the elaborate details?
Thank you! I think that Daughter of Smoke & Bone marked a shift for me in process, or maybe just a natural evolution. With my previous books, I very conscientiously thought out the world in advance. I have notebooks filled with details of my faerie world of Dreamdark, for example. And even before that, when I was a young writer, this was my favorite thing: the world-building. Most of what I called “writing” was actually world-building, with very little actual storytelling happening! But by the time I began Daughter of Smoke & Bone, I’d been experimenting with prompt writing and a freer and more natural approach to writing (which is how I wrote my third book Lips Touch), and its beginnings were in a day of pure free writing. In this case, I let the narrative lead, and interesting clues would crop up—like Brimstone’s wishbone, for example — and I’d examine them, and that was how the world began to develop — as I went along. I never said, at the outset: this is going to be a book about a war between angels and devils. I had no idea. All I knew was this blue-haired girl and this horned “father” and something funky about teeth. Everything else arose organically out of those early seeds.
That said, once it did begin to take shape, I would do bits of research here and there to flesh it out, and a great deal of brainstorming on how to make the most of it.
Read the full interview at Hypable.com