Rae Carson‘s debut fantasy novel The Girl of Fire and Thorns centers on Elisa, an overweight and insecure 16-year-old marked for an unknown act of service by the stone she bears in her navel. Married off to a king who hopes she will save his nation from war, Elisa is forced to leave behind everyone she knows to embark on a dark journey that risks her life.
Armed with Kleenexes and Benadryl, Carson battled an allergy attack to talk to EW about her fantasy adventure, its upcoming sequel, The Crown of Embers, and how a love of black-market hosiery can help you become a published author.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The Girl of Fire and Thorns was your first book. Can you talk a little bit about the road to publication?
RAE CARSON: It was long and agonizing. I wrote this book 2005, 2006 and sent it out on submission with my agent at the time. It did not sell. The reason it did not sell — it came really close a couple times, which was heartbreaking — [was because my agent] sent it out on the adult market as a fantasy novel. And I even said to her at one point, “Don’t you think this is a coming-of-age story and maybe it’s YA?” But she felt really strongly that it was an adult fantasy novel. So I took her word for it because I was a brand-new author and I just thought those were words of wisdom. READ FULL STORY