Interview with Sorboni Banerjee & Dominque Richardson, Authors of Red

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What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Red as Blood (Everbeach 1)?

SORBONI and DOMINIQUE: Fairy tales are something we grow up reading and hearing, and they promise a happily ever after. But in the real world, it takes hard work and strong bonds to make your dreams come true. We wanted to write a story that inspires readers to be relentless in their pursuit of their truth. We loved Nancy Drew, Scooby Doo and Archie comics as kids—that intrepid team of friends going up against the bad guys. Friendships can fuel the strength of hope against all odds.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Red as Blood (Everbeach 1), what would they be?

SORBONI: Billie Eilish’s “You Should See Me in a Crown”

DOMINIQUE: Christina Perri’s “I Don’t Wanna Break”

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

SORBONI: YES! Young adult, romantic thrillers. But I love any book with a strong poetic voice.

DOMINIQUE: All of them! Haha but really—fantasy, urban fantasy, thrillers, and I always need a little romance in there.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

SORBONI: All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir, Remind Me to Hate You Later by Lizzie Mason, All The Broken Girls by Linda Bond, Flight 171 by Amy Christine Parker, and Time is a Mother by Ocean Vuong

DOMINIQUE: The Curse series by Rebecca Donovan, The Weight of Blood by Tiffany Jackson, I’ll Stop the World by Lauren Thoman, Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber, and the Calculated series Nova McBee

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

SORBONI: There’s a scene where Aarya finds unexpected strength in a moment of critical need, and it all hinges on her relationship to the heritage she thought she resented.

DOMINIQUE: My favorite scene happens in the middle of the book when tension spikes for Raven as she comes face to face with a forbidden attraction.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

SORBONI: If the house isn’t clean or the room I’m in isn’t organized, I have to turn my back to the chaos or I can’t shut out real life.

DOMINIQUE: I like to turn on appropriate mood music in the living room—even though I write in an office around the corner—so it’s there, but not there. Then I light a candle and put my phone face down (after texting Sorboni I’m disappearing into Everbeach.)

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

SORBONI: “What if…” I think this is the beginning of every dream, every action plan, every creative idea and possibility. I live by asking “what if.” It removes limits. It inspires discussion. It fuels my motivation.

DOMINIQUE: No matter where you come from or what you’ve been through, you can make your own happily ever after.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

SORBONI and DOMINIQUE: Truth is not a fairy tale. Stand up for your beliefs, yourself and for those you love. Keep searching. Keep fighting. Keep believing.


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