Interview with the Author: Annaliese Avery

By: Shanleigh Klassen

Beware, for here there be dragons! Back in November, we were thrilled to include Annaliese Avery's debut middle grade novel, The Nightsilver Promise, in our 'Dragons' themed box. The first in a new fantasy trilogy, follow Paisley as she races to protect her dragon-touched brother and find their missing mother before fate catches up with her.

Read on for our interview with Annaliese as she answers our questions on the inspiration behind the story, science vs. magic, and of course, dragons!

Photo by @xiomys_book_tales

Want a copy for yourself? Go grab a 'DRAGONS!' box or one of our exclusive editions of this great book from the OwlCrate Shop while you can!

Hi, Annaliese! The Nightsilver Promise is a totally unique premise! What inspired you to write this story?

Many of the things I love and find interesting informed the creation and writing of The Nightsilver Promise, mostly my love of astronomy, which I’ve had ever since I was little. Also my interest in mythology and the stories that we connect with as a society in order to try and make sense of the world around us. I spend a lot of time thinking about big questions, and with Nightsilver I wanted to explore destiny and self-fulfilling prophecy through the idea that the position of the stars at the moment of your birth dictates your destiny and sets your track for life. 

Science plays a big role in this fantasy adventure. What was it like combining science with such fantastical elements?

I was surprised by how naturally the fusion of fantasy and science worked; the two blended in ways that opened up some rich and interesting elements in the world. For example, I love the way that the characters believe stars were formed by the fiery breath of Great Dragons, and how that mixes what we think of as fantasy and what we think of science. Most of the connections that came from the blending of science and the fantastical ended up feeling very intuitive to the world. 

Of course dragons are important in this world! Do you have a favorite dragon from books or movies?

I love a good dragon! The Game of Thrones dragons are most in line with how I think a dragon should look, wild and rugged. When I was little I would have loved to have been friends with a dragon like Falkor from The Neverending Story! The bit at the end of the movie when Bastian rides after the bullies is amazing. When I was growing up there was also a movie called The Flight of Dragons that I was obsessed with; in that movie there are different types of dragons and I loved the way that it explained how these dragons used chemistry to create flight. 

The Nightsilver Promise is set in a London parallel to our own. How did you reconcile the real city of London with your fantasy one?

The London of The Nightsilver Promise formed quite organically with all of the unique elements coming from the needs of the world and those who inhabit it. For example, in the story we visit the Dragonian Wing of the Natural History Museum. There’s no such section of the museum in our London, but I’ve spent many a happy hour wandering around the Natural History Museum and the nearby Science Museum and V&A museum, and all became inspirations for the world of The Nightsilver Promise . . . with a Dragon Touched spin. 

Exclusive dust jacket art by Alyssa Winans.

Are there any middle grade books you’ve read recently that you would recommend to our readers?

There are so many amazing middle grade books out at the moment — we are such lucky readers. A few new reads I’ve recently enjoyed are B.B. Alston’s Amari and the Night Brothers, L.D. Lapinski’s Strangeworlds Travel Agency, and Dominique Valente’s Starfell series. All of these stories have bold and dynamic characters, amazing world building, and stories that are full of exciting adventure! 

Thanks so much, Annaliese! We can't wait for the next instalment!

Don't miss out on our OwlBabble with Annaliese Avery on Wednesday, January 12 at 2:00 PM PST / 5:00 PM EST on Instagram Live.

This will be a spoiler-free discussion, so make sure you stop by for a great conversation with a fantastic author!

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Graphic by Michelle Gray.