Hello and Happy Wednesday readers! Today we are doing another Author Spotlight for our Sword & Silk crew, featuring Amelia Loken and her breath-taking fantasy Unravel. Full of unique magic, court intrigue, and a tangled romance, this beautiful fantasy is an excellent read to get lost in.
Author Spotlight: Amelia Loken and Unravel
If your book was adapted to the screen, would you want to see it as a movie, a limited short series, or something else?
I’ve thought for a while that a movie may not be long enough to hold such a slow magic like
embroidery, or share the nuances of sign language. However, I just finished watching the second
Enola Holmes movie on Netflix and I am amazed at what a skilled director can do to speed up
the boring bits or slow down to focus on the details while still feeling fresh and original. I would
love such a wonderful type of adaptation.
There is so much visual detail that is described through Marguerite’s point of view in UNRAVEL.
Those who are D/deaf or hard of hearing rely on visual languages such as sign language, facial
expressions, body language, etc. and there is so much political intrigue that Marguerite misses
because of being deaf, she must rely on sight, scent, touch, and other clues. I think that a clever
director could lead the viewers along to understand the world in Marguerite’s body.
If you could write a spin off novel for one character in your book, who would it be and why?
I have long harbored a wish to publish sequels to UNRAVEL, follow three of Marguerite’s friends:
Isabeau, Feroulka, and Renata. Each would be their own story, but continue the larger thread of
political movement on the continent as the Haps-Burdian empire threatens Valonia. Something
similar to the Lunar Chronicles (Cinder series) by Marissa Meyers. Since, I started grad school the
week after I signed a publishing contract for UNRAVEL, I haven’t been able to write fiction as
much as I’d like, so the sequels are slow in coming. But I graduate in a few months, so if the
muse cooperates and the publishing gods approve, there may be more to the story in the
Your characters are dropped into an alternate universe! What AU would you love to see your characters run amok in?
There are so many Alternate Universes out there, but I am a big fan of Avatar: The Last
Airbender. I think it would be so stinking awesome to watch Marguerite and Tys, Feroulka and
Tanja, Renata, Isabeau and the rest of the gang explore their magics in a universe that is
specifically designed for the four elements. Marguerite and Tys would work with air magic, like
Aang. Tanja has talent with fire magic, though I don’t think of her as a fire-bender per se.
Renata’s kitchen magic and herbcraft would match up well with water-bending, but with her
attitude, she’s more like Toph than Katara.
What are the themes songs for your main characters?
For theme songs – I have fallen in love with “Going Down Fighting” by Phlotilla and I think it is
the perfect theme song for Marguerite. It starts out so quiet and slow. It doesn’t seem to have
much power. It’s easy to miss. But there’s a beat that starts building, and by the end you can’t
ignore the power of that music. I think it’s perfect for a Skein-Mage who works with slow magic
that most people don’t even realize is woven into their surroundings – curtains, bedding,
clothing, etc. Those who disregard Marguerite do so at their peril.
What is your next project? What other works would you like to share?
I have a project that I’ve been working on during semester breaks that is totally unconnected to
UNRAVEL. It’s been a good mental “palate cleanser” and has turned into a really fun manuscript.
My family was playing Dungeons and Dragons together weekly, so I started with an NPC
character who never gets to go on adventures. I made her a craftsman who is ridiculously good
at her job, but she’s also legally blind. She longs to get out in the world and explore, but
everyone says she can’t. It’s too dangerous.
To compliment her character, I have the son of the most famous explorer – he has the life she
has always wanted. He’s out in the Wild, discovering new species and walking unexplored
regions. But he’s hiding a secret – he’s lost much of his hearing. And the Explorer’s Guild (those
ableist jerks) forces anyone whom they deem disabled into early retirement.
When his crew is set upon by a massive creature, leaving him the only survivor, he stumbles
back into civilization. He asks her for special protective gear so he can face the dragon that killed
his father and his crew. A series of mishaps, his stubbornness, and her ambition bring them to
be stranded in the Wild on the hunt for the creature. They must partner up to find it and bring
evidence of its existence to the Explorer’s Guild (to earn their permanent exploring licenses)
before a competing rogue crew captures the dragon and sells it on the black market.
I pitch it as Indiana Jones meets Dragonriders of Pern with a healthy dose of disability rep.
I’m having SO MUCH FUN writing it.