Saturday, February 8, 2020

Blog Tour + Interview + Giveaway - Ink in the Blood (Ink in the Blood, #1) by Kim Smejkal

Find the tour schedule here.

 Ink in the Blood (Ink in the Blood, #1) by Kim Smejkal
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: February 11th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, LGBT, Fantasy


A lush, dark YA fantasy debut that weaves together tattoo magic, faith, and eccentric theater in a world where lies are currency and ink is a weapon, perfect for fans ofLeigh Bardugo and Kendare Blake.

Celia Sand and her best friend, Anya Burtoni, are inklings for the esteemed religion of Profeta. Using magic, they tattoo followers with beautiful images that represent the Divine’s will and guide the actions of the recipients. It’s considered a noble calling, but ten years into their servitude Celia and Anya know the truth: Profeta is built on lies, the tattooed orders strip away freedom, and the revered temple is actually a brutal, torturous prison.

Their opportunity toescape arrives with the Rabble Mob, a traveling theater troupe. Using their inkling abilities for performance instead of propaganda, Celia and Anya are content for the first time . . . until they realize who followed them. The Divine they never believed in is very real, very angry, and determined to use Celia, Anya, and the Rabble Mob’s now-infamous stage to spread her deceitful influence even further.

To protect their new family from the wrath of a malicious deity and the zealots who work in her name, Celia and Anya must unmask the biggest lie of all—Profeta itself.

Book Links:

How did you come up with the idea for Ink in the Blood?

The first seed of an idea came from a conversation I had with my father about his time living under communism in Czechoslovakia. He said the worst part about it wasn’t the lack of personal freedom, but the constant flow of lies from those in charge. It got me thinking about the nature of lies, and whether one could get so big it could take over an entire nation. The antagonist in INK was born from this, and everything else—the tattoo magic, the theatre aspect—just fell into place! I wrote this book for teen me, so I made sure to put everything I loved as a young adult into it.

Did you do any research for Ink in the Blood?

I think writing a book always comes with some research! The Rabble Mob is loosely based on the Commedia dell’arte, an early form of professional theatre that started in Italy, so I did a lot of research on the stock characters, masks, and trademarks of that particular kind of improv theatre. I also researched tattoo art across cultures, tarot, and carnival life. In terms of theme, I did some reading on body autonomy, faith, and indoctrination. From the moment I began drafting INK, I was researching so many random things!

Do you have a favourite character in Ink in the Blood?

At its heart, this is Celia’s and Anya’s story, and if I had to choose my absolute favorite part of Ink, it would have to be their friendship. Their love powers the entire story, and exploring their deep bond was an amazing experience.
The side characters, particularly the members of the Rabble Mob, were super fun to write. Seer Ostra is a minor character but one of my favorites. Honestly, I want her in my life. And then there’s the weirdness of characters like the plague doctor, Kitty Kay, Georgio, Ravino, Lilac, Caspian and Sky… all of them bring something unique to the story, and I love them all! It's impossible to choose a favorite when they're all so real to me.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

I think immersing yourself in story is the best way of learning how to tell one, and you can do this in so many ways! Playing video games, watching great movies, and reading books that inspire you not only fuel your creative side, but if you take time to analyze what works and what doesn’t, you can learn so much about storytelling.
And then to hone your own storytelling voice, the best thing to do is practice. Write a lot. Experiment. Have other people read your work and listen to what they say about it. Apply what you can and ask for more feedback. Craft books like John Truby’s The Anatomy of Story or Donald Maass’s The Emotional Craft of Fiction work for some people too!
The biggest thing, I believe, is to keep moving forward. Absorb all you can, practice, and find people who support you. The writers who have their first books published are as rare as unicorns—the vast majority have been working on their craft for years! And honestly? I think that journey to discovering your unique voice is one of the best parts of writing. It's magic. :)

What's your favourite book?

My all time favorite book is Wild Seed by Octavia Butler. It’s a fantastical exploration of good and evil, male and female, and life and death, with two of the most compelling main characters I've ever read. One aspect of Ink In The Blood was heavily influenced by this book, and if you read both, you’ll immediately know which one. *mysterious cackle* I heard Wild Seed is being adapted for television and I’m so excited about that!

Thanks for having me on your blog, Jess!

About the Author

 Kim Smejkal lives with her family on muse-satiating Vancouver Island, which means she’s often lost in the woods or wandering a beach. She writes dark fantasy for young adults and not-so-young adults, always with a touch of magic. Her debut novel, INK IN THE BLOOD, will release from HMH in early 2020, with a sequel to follow in 2021. She is represented by Daniel Lazar of Writers House.

Author Links:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest


 Tour-wide giveaway

Open to US only 

1 comment :

  1. Thanks for the post. Ink in the Blood sounds like an interesting read. I will add this one to my to read list.