Leigh Bardugo: „I love falling into other worlds, that are more exciting and dangerous than my own“

An interview with Leigh Bardugo – author of „Shadow and Bone“ and „Siege and Storm“.

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Leigh Bardugo is from the new generation of hit teen-fantasy writers. She made ​​furore worldwide with her debut novel „Shadow and Bone.“ Her fantasy world that draws inspiration from Russian mythology, managed to touch the hearts of readers and permanently settled there. Now the „Grisha“ trilogy is being sold successfully all around the world and in Bulgaria and a movie adaptation is being prepared. The writer chose the period between Thanksgiving day and Christmas to thank and surprise her Bulgarian fans with an interview for SciFi.bg.

The Bulgarian cover of Shadow and Bone

Hello, Leigh, and thank you for agreeing to this interview! Our first question is what inspired you to become a writer and why did you choose the fantasy genre?

I didn’t have siblings and we lived in a neighborhood without many kids, so I kept myself entertained by telling stories. But I didn’t get serious about writing until I was a teenager, and that was also when I discovered science fiction and fantasy. I loved the feeling of falling into other worlds, worlds that were more exciting and more dangerous than my own. I still do, but now I get to create them.

What attracted you to Russian mythology and why did you decide to use it in the Grisha trilogy? Did you know that Bulgarian mythology also shares a lot of these elements?

A lot of fantasy uses Medieval Europe or Victorian England as its cultural touchstone. I wanted to take my readers someplace that drew on different influences. And yes! People tend to focus on the Russian flavor of the story, but the beautiful thing about folklore is that, once you dig in, you find surprising points of confluence—in Slavic myth, Chinese legend, European fairy tales.

We are very exited about „Ruin and Rising“. What can you tell us about it?

I can’t tell you much without giving away spoilers, but I can say that there will be lots of action, some big surprises, and you’ll learn much more about Grisha power and the Darkling himself — including his real name.  Not everyone will make it out of the series alive, and those that do survive will be much changed.

Leigh Bardugo and a Russian doll

What can we expect from you after the end of The Grisha trilogy?

I have a few projects in the works. One of them is fantasy, but I can’t say more about that just yet.

We‘ve heard news that we are going to see „Shadow and Bone“ on the big screen. How is that project going? Are you involved in it ensuring that the movie will do the book justice?

We have fantastic people involved at Heyday and Dreamworks, and I’ve met with our screenwriter Chris Kyle. He asks excellent questions and it’s been reassuring to know that he cares about my ideas. Beyond that, I’m not sure how much I’ll be involved. It’s a scary process, but I feel like my story is in good hands.

Finally, you have quite a lot of fans in Bulgaria. Now you have the chance to address them directly – what would you say to them?

I am so thrilled and grateful to know that my books are on shelves in Bulgaria. I hope you enjoy visiting Ravka and joining Alina on her journey, and I love hearing from readers so don’t hesitate to contact me at http://lbardugo.tumblr.com or http://leighbardugo.com. Much love, and many, many thanks.

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