By Fully Booked Staff Writer

Photo from Victoria Schwab’s Blog

 

Join our giveaway below for a chance to win a copy of Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab!


Humans and monsters, we are proud to present Victoria Schwab: the mastermind behind the fantasy worlds of The Archived, Vicious, and A Darker Shade of Magic.

Today we’ve come to ask her about This Savage Song—a duet between a human girl and a monster boy stuck in a city torn in two. In this realm, violent deeds birth monsters called Corsai, Malchai, and Sunai, and bloodshed haunts the streets nightly.

FULLY BOOKED: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Ms. Schwab! This Savage Song was highly anticipated, and it did not disappoint. What sparked you to write it?

VICTORIA SCHWAB: You know, most fantasy is simply reality through a fantastical lens. The supernatural allows us to consider and examine the natural from a safe distance. In that way, This Savage Song allowed me to explore societal violence. I was looking at my own culture and country, with its mass shootings, its domestic terrorism, trying to understand how there was so little consequence, so little aftermath. And then I wondered, what would the world look like if suddenly there WAS an aftermath, and that aftermath was monstrous.

You’re loved for your speculative fiction—your other worlds, morally gray characters, and the feats of magic mentioned in your books. What first drew you to the worlds of fantasy and writing?

Honestly, I like writing fantasy because that’s my particular brand of escapism. But I’m drawn, again and again, to the moral grey, as a reaction to the idea that the world divides into good and evil. The vast majority of people are neither good nor evil but a product of their own minds and the environments in which those minds are nurtured. I’m fascinated by the idea of outsiders, and to write those, you have to have a very good handle on the world they exist outside, hence the fascination with both a society and those who don’t belong.

How does your usual writing day (or night!) go?

It depends, these days, on the week/month/year. Ideally I write first thing in the morning, then edit and handle non-writing work (such as this interview) in the afternoons, with the evening reserved for more writing, or reading. But I’ve been traveling so much to promote that there are stretches of time when I don’t get to write, so I end up cramming it in whenever I have time to make a cup of tea 😉

This Savage Song is wrought with musical motifs. What did you listen to as you wrote it? 

I listen to quite a bit of classical music, as well as movie/TV soundtracks, everything from Joshua Bell and Lindsey Sterling to Harry Potter and Game of Thrones. I almost never listen to music with lyrics whilst writing, as the words interrupt my attention and flow.

Are the Corsai, Malchai, and Sunai based on specific monsters?

They are my incarnations of a demonic, a vampiric, and an angelic force.

This Savage Song is set in Verity City. What places inspired V-City?

Verity was most definitely inspired by several cities in the US fused into a supercity (essentially, multiplied far beyond its current size/boundaries). One of the big inspirations was St. Louis, another Chicago.

Which of your characters do you relate to most?

I honestly relate to all of them. I believe that a book’s cast of characters are all facets of the author themselves, some desirable, some dark. In A Darker Shade of Magic, Lila Bard is the person I wish I was, while Kell is closer to who I am currently. In This Savage Song, Kate and August are the different manifestations of my own anxiety, one control, the other madness, and so on.

What are your favorite books? What are you reading right now?

The is one of the hardest questions to ask an author (or any reader, for that matter!). But a few of my recent favorites include Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh, Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson, More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera, A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, and Lab Girl by Hope Jahren.

Right now I’m reading The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemesin, Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova, and Fingersmith by Sarah Waters.

What’s a story you’d like to write about, but haven’t started yet?

I’m a back-burner author, meaning at any given time I’ve got 2-3 ideas sitting on the back of my mental stove, stewing. Two stories I can’t wait to dive into, but haven’t really started yet, are about an estate at the border between the human world and the fae called Gallant, and a love story between a French girl and the devil over 300 years.

Thanks again, Ms. Schwab! Now, to make sure you aren’t a monster, can you please take a selfie for us and your fans in the Philippines?

victoriaschwab


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61 Comments

  1. Can’t wait to get my hands on this!

  2. I haven’t read any of her books but I’ll try soon.

  3. Can’t wait to read this!

  4. Her books are awesome and I love everything about the world building, the characters, how they are portrayed. It is just awesome!

  5. Stanley Tavanlar

    The Monsters of Verity series reminds me of post-apocalypse meets Romeo and Juliet, with monsters and magic thrown in the mix. Should make for an amazing read!

  6. I have always loved Victoria’s Writing style and This Savage Song has hooked and tooked me to a whole new world. I can’t wait to read Our Dark Duet! ❤️

  7. More stories please. And again some.

  8. Victoria Schwab’s writing style is so fascinating to me. I can be reading her book and it will feel like I’ll be going through the characters day with them and there might not be the most exciting events happening but before I know it I’ve already read 100 pages! And I just love how easy it is to get caught up in her books without realizing how fast the story’s been progressing.

  9. Fantasy and dystopian novels are what lead me to my passion for reading. What sparked my interest is Vicious’ similarity to Maddigan’s Fantasia. I look forward to reading more of Victoria Schwab’s masterpiece.

  10. My beach read on vacation this year was the Shades of Magic series and that was my first foray into the wonderful worlds crafted by V. E. Schwab. I absolutely loved the world building and the characters came to life so vividly. The way those books sucked me in was pure magic, plain and simple.

    Without even realizing at first that it was written by the same author, Vicious has been on my to read list for a while and This Savage Song/Our Dark Duet was instantly added to that list the moment I found out about them. I eagerly anticipate the day those books can be in my hands that I can experience more of those insanely addictive stories that V. E. Schwab has gifted the world.

  11. Why I love her?
    1. Because she is Victoria Schwab
    2. I love her books.
    3. I love fantasy!

    Hope I will be chosen for this. Best of luck!

  12. What I love about Victoria’s stories is how it can connect with its readers, even though the genre are all fantasy. She gives her characters a sense of normalcy with the situation they live in and with. There’s always something great about reading a story and relating to it, and that’s what Victoria captures perfectly.

  13. I love V E Schwab’s description of the relationship between the human girl and monster boy.

  14. Kenneth Mandap

    What I love about V.E. Schwab is that aside from being my writing heroine, she’s a consistent writer and her “mental stove” cooks the coolest (should I say hottest?) idea in the fantasy genre.

  15. Chelsea Pacheco

    I like how Ms. Schwab inculcates pieces of herself in her books. How characters are parts of herself, how the music she listens to influenced her writing. It is as if different forms of art are brought together in her works.

  16. I love victoria schwab but she made me fall in love with fantasy and let me know that fantasy books don’t have to so overly complicated with names and places you can’t pronounce that just end up taking you out of the story. She also made me fall in love with morally gray characters.

  17. I am so inspired by her twitter it is one of the best things about my day everyday!

  18. I love her kick ass female leads. Kate is one, then Lila, and Mackenzie. And of course her subtle love stories♥♥♥♥

  19. Mabrouk Nada

    This Savage Song duology is probably my favourite or second favourite series of ALL time <3 Victoria Schwab's writing and setting and characters just hit all the right chords with me. When I read Our Dark Duet, it painted such beautiful pictures in my mind, I never wanted to finish it because I loved it that much <3

  20. Joshua Gravador

    I really wanted to read a book by her. This is an opportunity so i will not waste it. I hope i can won this giveaway since it is my first time to join giveaway like this. Goodluck to us guys

  21. Christine Acalista

    I love her! I love her books! And I love her world building prowess!!!

  22. Ruby Jane Ong

    I haven’t any book by Victoria Schwab yet but I am really curious about all of them. The plotlines of her stories are all very interesting and I’m hoping to start enjoying her work very soon. Great books give be so much joy

  23. I often look for myself in the protagonists of the books i read. Uncosciously i try to relate to them somehow . But most of the time,i fall short in all the good qualities these characters show. In the books i’ve read they are too attractive , too patient, too forgiving , too good in whatever they put their hearts into. Being stained makes me feel i can only grab a villain’s role. But when i read victoria’s books i realized that i have a place in the literary world as she introduced gray characters . Most of her characters are stained who choose to be humane. ‘Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.’ Hoping to read more from you V.e

  24. I loved This Savage Song and am anxiously waiting for the time when I get my hands on Our Dark Duet. Victoria Schwab is such a distinguished and different author, by that I mean while I see stuff that she alludes to and similarities in other books, I believe that she writes a wholey unique way.

  25. “This Savage Song” bring emphasis to the duality of man’s character, how one is capable of either good or evil, depending on personal circumstances and his reactions to these create a ripple effect on his actions. Here, the world is literally riddled with “monsters”, and the main characters August and Kate struggle with their respective opposing views on whether man should be saved or punished for their wrongs. I can’t wait to read the other books! Schwab is a literary goddess

  26. Fay Soriano

    I really really wanted to read a book by Her. I heard si many good feedbacks about her books especially This Savage Song from my friends and other booktubers and that got me all excited, i’ve tried looking for her books But i’ve got no luck, hoping i could win this one❤ love you Victoria, i wish you will publish more books❤

  27. Sara Garces

    I’ve been a fan since VICIOUS! It’s still my favorite book from her, but Shades of Magic is a close second. Hope she can have a book signing event here too!

  28. Nikkie Bolivar

    Thank you for interviewing one of my favorite authors. I always lover her writing style and all of her characters. Please bring her to the Philippines. I really want to meet her.

  29. Michelle T.

    I havent read anything from victoria but this new book looms interesting and ive been looking for a new one to read. Based on the interview and comments it seems like something i will easily get hooked and make my imagination go wild.

  30. I loved Victoria instantly the moment I read Vicious. There’s just something magical with the way she plays with words; she’s amazing with world-building, and her characters comes alive right before your eyes. She’s also a joy to listen to. I’ve seen more than a dozen of her interviews, I just love her!

  31. Psyched! Psyched! Psycheddddd!

  32. I have not finished reading my first V Schwab (Darker Shade of Magic) but I’m really enjoying it a lot! The writing is excellent and very immersive. I cannot wait to read more from her!

  33. geekeranna

    Ahhhhhh V.E Schwab is one of the best-underrated authors here in the Philippines. I love her books especially the Shades of Magic Series. I AM SO PROUD OF HER

  34. It isn’t easy to become my favorite author, since i normally jump from author to author and don’t stick easily to a single genre; but victoria is easily a favorite author of mine. The first book i read of her is vicious, and i remember going into not thinking it would become a favorite book, but it did. The way she wove past and present together so seamlessly, the vivid world-building plus it wasn’t so info-dumpy! i fell in love easily within the first few pages. The shades of magic trilogy, too, is one of my favorite series. i felt the pain the characters were going through, i felt happy when the characters were rejoicing, and i cried whenever they cried. I. was. so. attached. And i’ve never been so attached to a book series since harry potter! i have loved (and still do love) and completely devoured all of her books, from the archived to everyday angel to the rest of her wonderful books. plus, Victoria adds so much representation in her books!! Rhy and Alucard, and i heard victor is asexual! i’m not the biggest writer, but i can appreciate good writing. And Schwab is definitely an example of an amazing writer.

  35. Selina Zimmer

    I have read every book of Victoria and I totally love her stories!

  36. Sarah Cacas

    I haven’t actually read any of her books right now but some of it are high on my tbr list. Looking forward start any of her books. ❤❤

  37. Fantasy books are definitely my favorite ‘coz it’s like an escape to me. It’s like the book itself consumes me and takes me to their world, ahhh!

  38. Omg, i love it when international writers take the time to share their works and talk to Filo bookworms! It would be such an honor to be able to read her books! I’m not a monster but i look like one, HAHAHAHA! Looking forward to grab her works when i go visit another bookstore here at my place (or i’ll just be here hoping i would win the giveaway, hehe) All the loveee!

  39. Marie Bernadette G. Quilala

    I loooove Victoria & her stories Sooo much I have 10 reasons!

    1. Writing Style

    Victoria’s writing is gorgeous, to say the least! She has a way of telling a story, where the words just flow through you. Her pace is fast, her writing descriptive, and it is beautiful without being lyrical!

    2. Unique Premises

    Her ideas are so original, and the execution is one of a kind! With each book, she brings out a different concept, a different theme, and a different outlook, which is so unique and fresh! People who get superpowers after near death experiences? Four kinds of London, with different outlooks on magic? A library where souls are kept like books? Monsters who kill through song? Only Victoria’s brain could come up with these things!

    3. World Building

    Victoria’s world buildings are intricate, And her description of them is vivid. I also love how she builds up the confusion and the questions of the readers for some time, until she reveals the missing tidbits of the world, with careful timing!

    4. No Info Dump

    Hallelujah for this! I hate info dump, as much as the entire book community hates insta love and love triangles! Pages and pages of explanation gives me a headache, but Victoria’s writing are devoid of this aspect, and I am so thankful for that!

    5. Her books are dark.

    YA fantasy books often don’t get dark. But Victoria doesn’t shy away from violence, from deaths and brutal scenes. I also love her action scenes!!!

    6. Imperfect Main Characters

    Victoria’s characters are flawed. Her main characters make mistakes. Sometimes, they are super powerful ( Kell, August ) but their powers fail them at the crucial moment. They are seen helpless. They lose fights. Their plans fail, badly. They do things which they regret later. Her main characters are so realistic and flawed, that it is beautiful to read!

    7. Diverse Batch of Characters.

    Her characters are anything but stereotypical. She doesn’t go for the typical cardboard cut out YA characters, but rather creates morally ambivalent heroes, tattooed burly guys who’s a tech genius and loves chocolate milk, cross dressing aspiring pirates, bisexual swoon worthy princes and eyeliner wearing love interests!

    8. Villains!!!

    Victoria Schwab’s villains are glorious! Victor is one of my favourites ever and the Dane twins give me the chills! They’re complex, twisted, and interesting! For a villain lover like me, her bad guys have so much appeal!

    9. Her stories deals with the thin grey area between two contrasting forces.

    This has always fascinated me. In The Archived, it was the line between what should be remembered and what’s best left forgotten. In Vicious, it was the complex grey area between good and bad – a villain and a hero. A Darker Shade of Magic dabbles with balance :the balance between power and darkness. And This Savage Song dwells in the aspects that makes a human different from a monster!

    10. Her books make the Lit student in me super happy!

    It’s rare that YA books appeal to the Lit critic in me. But Victoria’s books do! I love the jargons and the literary devices scattered around in her books, like how Vicious started and ended in the same setting and the beauty of the first lines of the Shades of Magic series!!!

  40. Regina regipungz Garcia

    I really love how Victoria Schwab defines herself as an author, I admire how she wrote Shades of Magic Trilogy, where the hell she got her thoughts, ideas, fantasies about that book, so amazing, she’s a j.k.rowling in the making for me haha!!

  41. Lana Caronongan

    This is the reason why I still can’t read another book right now.
    Thank you August and Kate for letting me be part of your life.
    Thank you Victoria for this feeling. I loveee youuu <3

  42. Clarisse Dacanay

    I love Victoria and her books! Her Darker Shade series is one of my favorite series ever. She’s great in world building and character development. I hope you could bring her here soon!

  43. Angelica Chi-Young

    I’m new to this author VIctoria Schwab, and I’ve heard about her book “A Darker Shade of Magic” in several Must Reads of the Year articles. However, I try as much as possible to get the free time to read those books I’m interested, including the one I mentioned! Based on the reviews and this interview, I find the whole concept and theme interesting, especially how she’s able to incorporate those elements together to form that world. I’ve heard about how her writing style is graceful and the way her storytelling has captivated the readers and captured their love with sincerity.

    I would be very much happy to have the chance to win this copy and find out more about her unique story! By then, I’d have the opportunity to be entertained while learning new words and lessons as I read the book.

  44. Rupert Tamayo

    Her writing style gives us untypical kind of fantasy story which can inspire other writers to discover their own style. 🙂

  45. I have yet to read her books. But the TBR queue though! I’ve been wanting to read her Shades of Magic trilogy.

  46. Avy C.Ticzon

    I Love V.E. Schwab!!!! Soooo much!!!! I really am just broke right now cos school. Haha.

  47. I like it how This Savage Song turned out to be the perfect book that I always prefer to read.
    1. I am fascinated by stories of two people of different personalities that has to work together
    2. Fantasy!!!!
    3. Unpredictableeeeeee
    4. no unnecessary love story!
    5. Schwab and I are both more productive at night

  48. Sarah Popham

    Victoria’s writing is honestly beautiful, she’s quickly become one of my favourite authors.

  49. Let’s begin with her writing style shall we? From the very few books I’ve read that she has written (This Savage Song and A Darker Shade Of Magic)I found that I enjoyed V. E. Schwab’s writing style compared to a lot of others. She let’s you see into the minds of other characters and changes scenes every now and then. From the books I’ve read, I like how she sticks to characters with badass women! I hate how most authors now write in a way, the a large percentage of the book circulates either the love life or sex life of two characters. Like seriously. If I wanted something like I would’ve been buying romance books this whole time. (Which I don’t. Most of my books are fantasy and sci-fi, my fave genres) Other than that I love her book covers! Like frick! They’re so darn pretty!!! I love all of them, they’re not intricate and have slight simplicity to it as well as not to simple? (Idk if that makes sense at all) Like if you look at the covers carefully, everything has a meaning it wasn’t there for no reason. I know most books have covers like that, but sometimes they don’t make sense at all. They’re usually just cover-porn, which is stupid. (I don’t want to buy something and just be lied to.) I love Victoria Schwab and I have many plans on reading more of her books.

  50. I love how Victoria is so open in this interview. She discussed about the duology and she discussed about her self. I also like that part where she metioned her music style while she’s writing.

    AND SHE MENTIONED THAT HER RECENT FAVORITE BOOK IS THE WRATH AND THE DAWN WHICH IS MY ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOK!!!! ☺☺

    Ps: i love her hair in the photo

  51. Desiree Festejo

    This Savage Song has high rating in goodreads, this is in my tbr and i’m just waiting for this one because i love to binge-read novels. Hoping to win!!!

  52. Vincelle Yasa

    I love Victoria Schwab and her works. Always have, always will. Before I read A Darker Shade of Magic, I read several reviews classifying it as YA and so my expectations were set. Then I started reading and I felt like I was thrown under the bus (but in a good way!), because the maturity of how it was written was definitely not YA. Yes, the premise may send off that vibe but it’s not. Adult fantasy is definitely a much better term for her style. Her fiction is something that gets under my skin just because it often feels like it’s not really fiction but reality seen through different lenses. Like a single pane refracted and broken to reflect all the gray areas of ethics, humanity, society, politics and pretty much everything else. It’s all of the what ifs of this world spun into a breathing, beating form. And that’s what makes her unique and amazing as an author. I hope I get the chance to explore yet another work of hers through this giveaway!

  53. I love Schwab’s smooth and lyrical prose and her unique world building. She doesn’t overdo the romance; she doesn’t pair up characters just for the sake of having romance. I also like that her books are not predictable.There are also a ton of lessons hidden in her books if you care to pick them out.

  54. Hasmaye Marie M. Pinto

    What I love most about Vee is that she destroyed my world of black and white. I’ve always believed in the radically of things–of good and evil as both sides of a coin but Vee showed me that life is rarely just two sides. I love that her books are messy and wild, that it shows the middle ground of life. That people can be good and bad and bad and good. I learned a great deal of life from her characters. I love Lila and Kell. And Rhy. And Kate. August and Victor, I relate most. Vee’s one of the best writers I know.

  55. Justine Aira Gamboa

    Finally a chance to read Vitoria Schwab’s amazing work

  56. Jemuel Cuarte

    I’m 22 and I just started reading books/novels just 3 months ago. I haven’t read any of Victoria Schwab’s books, but I’ve seen a positive review of “Our Dark Duet” from one my favorite booktubers. As I read above, V. Schwab is indeed a hardworking writer which conveys fictional stories and characters from her own life experiences and surroundings. That alone makes her writings relatable to her, and to everyone as well. Having watched booktube reviews and seeing the attractive cover makes me want to read the book! I hope I win. 🙂

  57. I love Victoria!!! I binge-read her Shades of Magic trilogy in three days (NO SLEEP!) IT WAS THAT GOOD. I’ve read This Savage Song earlier this year and I’ve been dying for Our Dark Duet to come out, though I haven’t read it ’cause I’m not ready to say goodbye to Kate & August yet. I’m so excited and nervous both at the same time.

  58. I haven’t tried reading anything from this author bit I’m willing to try. 🙂

  59. I haven’t read anything from the author but based on the interview, I’m curious to read her latest book!

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