Blog Tour // "The Sorceress and the Squid" by Emily Mundell // Ft. Author Interview

by - June 23, 2017

I realized I missed posting on Monday. *nervous laughter* I hope that won't happen again. But today is the day I've been waiting for for a couple of weeks - it's the blog tour for Emily Mundell's book, The Sorceress and the Squid!

images all from Emily's Pinterest collage


In the magical land of Perth, divisions between the Old Kingdom and the New have waged for centuries. The humans have long harbored a mistrust of the spell-casting Fae and vice versa. In the midst of this conflict, Estrella the Sorceress lays waste to the Training Academy for Human Warriors, making an enemy in the soldier, Jalen. During their standoff, Jalen is turned into a squid and Estrella, unable to restore him to his original form, takes pity on him and travels west across the Sea to bring him to the Wizard in hope he can be saved. But is there more to the unrest in Perth than meets the eye?

Author Bio:

P1130191.jpgEmily Mundell is a 19 year old author, artist, horsewoman and lover of the wonders of the wide world. She hails from the Great White North of Canada and has spent her life growing up in the heart of rural Alberta in a close-knit farming community - though she has often entertained fantasies of inhabiting the Shire.

Writing is her true passion – though horses and art take a close second. With fantasy as her primary genre, Emily has been writing stories since the tender age of eight when she finished her first “book.” She is currently working to complete her Creative Writing Certificate through the University of Calgary. An avid bookworm, true country-mouse, and unconventional tree-climber, Emily can usually be found on a horse, working on one of her half-dozen projects, chasing a loose cow, or being swept off her feet by the man she calls her own personal “hobbit.”

So go follow Emily on her social media:

And this is where you buy the book (or add it to your tbr):

Now for the interview! I asked fourteen questions, and at first I didn't intend to post them all, but the answers all turned out so interesting, I decided to give them all to you anyway!

(Also, this being my first blog tour, I completely forgot I am supposed to say to Emily, thank you for being here. Thanks for the interview... and things like that, so just saying now, THANKS EMILY. It was fun and fascinating!)


LISA: How was the idea for this tale born?

EMILY: The story came about through a late night Facebook conversation between myself and Jonathan (my then-not-yet-boyfriend-now-fiance). We were avidly discussing his secret identity as a ninja squid training an army of squidlings. Later on, after he had asked me to be his girlfriend and I agreed, we decided that I was a sorceress who had turned him into a squid, and the rest is history.

LISA: How long did the idea grow in your mind before you began writing?

EMILY: About a year actually. I came up with the idea right away but it seemed really silly in my mind initially so I didn’t actually start writing it til nearly a year after we had been dating (in late 2015). It took me into February of 2016 to finish. Originally it was going to be sweet, short and silly but it morphed into something quite a bit more - which I am quite content with.

LISA: How long has this journey been?

EMILY: From idea to publication it was September of 2014 to June of 2017. So about three years I guess? It has been long, though these last three years have been among the fastest and funnest of my life.

LISA: What was your writing process like?

EMILY: I started writing with the intent to finish it for Jonathan as a gift for our October 2015 first anniversary - but since I’m a procrastinator that didn’t happen. :P I did manage to get it done by Valentine’s Day the following spring though, which worked as well. My writing process is a bit messy. If I’m in the middle of a project I have two methods: write at least 300 words every day or finish one chapter a week. I employed a bit of both for this story.

LISA: What were your writing habits like (e.g. time of day, computer or paper, drinks, music, number of hours, special place, etc.)

EMILY: I’m a morning writer, once it gets beyond lunchtime my creative writing juices generally dry up. Sometimes I can make myself go back to it at night - if I have to. I enjoy being outside or doing something more during the day though and just being on the internet at night, so morning is my best writing space. Other than that, I don’t really have too many habits. I definitely use a food or drinks special defined amount of time. I’m a pretty laid-back writer.

a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor..png
LISA: What real life experiences/people/places did you draw on when creating this world and story?

EMILY: Hehe, well I did not really take any real life experiences or places, but I DID draw from real life people (very loosely). Every character aside from the Wizard, Morana, Arian, King Hubrik, Estrella’s father, Jalen’s mother, and Commander Han are based off of friends/family of mine. Perhaps if you know me personally you have your guesses? ;)

LISA: How did you name your characters?

EMILY: Since the majority of them were based on my friends and family, I took the first letter of their name and made a name from that. There wasn’t really a method otherwise. Jonathan named Estrella, I named Jalen. I named the others. XD I come up with character names usually quickly and easily so that wasn’t much of a process.

LISA: What was the hardest struggle?

EMILY: I think the hardest struggle for me as a writer anytime is sitting down and making myself write the first draft. There is so much going on in my life that it can be very easy for me to procrastinate and put things off far longer than necessary. I am also not super knowledgable when it comes to social media marketing, so trying to figure all of that out has been a bit difficult. I have had some very good help from some very good friends/examples though, which I am incredibly thankful for.

LISA: What was the most fun part?

EMILY: Having the story grow into something much bigger than I previously anticipated was really fun and cool. Originally it was going to be short and silly, then it suddenly became more serious and more like an actual book. I had planned a novella - it turned into a 60,000 word novel. Basically, it exploded. But I really enjoyed that process, and seeing how it grew and just kind of forming it as it went, like working with clay. Also, I love Estrella and Jalen to bits now and they have become some of my favorite characters ever.

tsatsgraphic.pngLISA: What was it like to write about a squid? How much did you research for it?

EMILY: Literally no research was done. XD Since Jalen was magicked into a somewhat magical squid, I figured I didn’t have to be entirely scientifically accurate. I mean, he can talk, that’s not really typical of a normal squid. I basically just went off of the basics I know concerning squids and that was it. Should I have done some research? Probably. :P

Writing about a squid presented a few challenges. Particularly how to travel with him needing to be in water. As I wrote about Estrella and Jalen’s adventure I kept running into little problems with that and having to solve them. I think it was good for me though, learning to write myself out of corners. I did enjoy the squid aspect quite a bit, it was ridiculous, but I had a lot of fun with the ridiculousness.

LISA: Which authors do you consider your "mentors"/inspiration/teachers?

EMILY: Definitely CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien. I have admired their work through my whole life and draw from their masterpieces, particularly in writing fantasy. JRR Tolkien is my world-building inspiration and CS Lewis is my other-world inspiration. Between the two of them I have learned so much about writing and grown so much. I absolutely love all their work. If you have not yet read their stuff or have only read Lord of the Rings and Narnia, go and READ MORE.

LISA: Who was the first to read your book?

EMILY: Since I was writing for Jonathan, he got to read first/read as I went. He was also among the first to read the final draft. I had some other readers in between, beta reader friends including Abigayle, Stacey, Billie-Gean, and Lisa. They were all wonderful and very helpful and pointed out some big stuff that I had missed.

LISA: What was the harshest criticism and best compliment you received from your readers/editors/alphas/betas?

EMILY: Hmm, a tricky question. I didn’t get very harsh criticism about the story as a whole. There was criticism for parts of it, my gaping plot hole with the Academy that Abi pointed out. :P I can’t think of anything worse than that - I have very nice reader friends. The best compliment? Well, I was so happy that Jonathan really liked it, that he said he could see little bits of us in the characters and that it was super cool. Also, Lisa, when you sent me your informal review and said that you had read it in a day, that was super cool to me. :)

LISA: Do you ever think beyond what you wrote about the stories of the secondary characters, or the world's past/future?

EMILY: I definitely do, great question! I had a lot more background in mind for both Estrella and Jalen but cut it out in order to make it less complicated. However, I will gladly indulge anyone who is interested in hearing about it. I tend to think more about the world’s past than it’s future, however, I have had a few images of Estrella and Jalen flitting through my mind from beyond the closing scene. So who knows, maybe I will be able to come up with something substantial to write about someday?

Thank you so so much for hosting me on your blog, Lisa! I had a great time answering these questions - they were great.

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So now go and read the rest of the blog tour posts from the previous blogs (I read them all and they were great!) and go stalk the blogs with the upcoming interviews! I also wrote a review of the book here on Goodreads!

Thanks for joining us today, everyone! Trust me, friends, you have to read this thing!

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  1. I love the title so much, OMW!

  2. Thank you, Lisa!!! This is so fantastic to see!

    1. Welcome, Emily:D So glad to be part of ths!

  3. This book sounds like so much fun! And the cover is really lovely! <3

    1. Quite so! Glad you got such a good impression from my post :D