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Kaylie Smith Wrote The Book She Wanted to Read | Author Interview


Kaylie Smith said she was ecstatic when she found out that the cover for her debut YA fantasy, A Ruinous Fate (out Jan. 3, 2023), was going to be designed by Charlie Bowater.


"I begged my team at Disney to email her," Smith recalled. They thought Bowater would be too busy, but it turns out the artist had time to design the stunning cover.


A Ruinous Fate is the first book in a series and takes place in a world where witches' fates are tied to magic dice. Smith said she had been playing around with this book since she was 16, but it was really during a family game night when she rolled a bad roll that, "It clicked that…what if my whole life was just tied magically to dice?" Smith said. "It could determine the entire course of my fate and that is how the whole idea was born."


Smith said she always knew she was going to be a writer, because books have been her "happy place." She couldn't find exactly the books she wanted to on the shelves, so she decided to write her own. "It's very fulfilling," she said, adding, "I was 16 or 17 the first time I ever read a character who was bi like canon in a book, so I was like… I’m gonna do it myself. Things are more diverse now and I love the opportunity that I get to be a part of that."


Speaking of queer identity, Smith said she is especially proud of the spectrum of queer relationships in the book, adding that nearly every character is queer. The world of A Ruinous Fate is queernormative, so Smith said it was delightful to "be able to dive into the plot and characters and know that their identities are welcome in this world."


And Smith hopes teen readers will be able to see themselves in the book, saying that every time she gets that particular piece of feedback, "[It] makes my heart grow like the Grinch." Alternately, she hopes readers just have a good time reading the book; writing is a form of escapism for Smith, so offering that to readers is important to her.


For aspiring authors, Smith gave some gentle reminders: "Be kind to yourself and remember that you are not one book," she said. "Just because it’s taking a while or this book is not right at this moment, you are not a bad writer. You have value and your work has value. A lot of publishing is luck and privilege."


For readers looking to get into some other delightful fantasy worlds, Smith recommended Liselle Sambury's Blood Like Magic and Blood Like Fate, saying, "It knocked my socks off." For a book with incredible pacing, she recommends Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson, and said that Sabaa Tahir's Ember quartet is, "an epic masterpiece of what you can do with fantasy."


A Ruinous Fate releases Jan. 3, 2023, meaning there's still time to pre-order (that is an affiliate link to Bookshop; if you use it and purchase the book, I may get a commission). Go ahead and dive into this fantastical world!o

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