LEDGE by Stacey McEwan (COVER REVEAL & INTERVIEW)
We’re thrilled to be a part of Angry Robot’s cover reveal for Stacey McEwan’s upcoming novel Ledge. Firstly though, here’s a little bit about Stacey:
Stacey McEwan is a school teacher by day and fantasy writer by night. She is a book influencer on multiple platforms and began writing Ledge after book lovers of the internet begged her to share her story ideas. Stacey lives on the Gold Coast, Australia with her husband, two children and one questionable dog. When Stacey isn’t writing, teaching, or making ridiculous tiktoks, you’ll find her playing with her children, reading, annoying her husband, or possibly all three at once.
Now without further ado, let’s see the gorgeous cover:
Quote from Kate:
“This has been one of the most exciting covers I’ve yet to work on for Angry Robot. The cover is inspired by the freezing cold the story is set in.”
So that you can get to know a bit more about Ledge, Stacey has kindly let us interview her.
Welcome to the Hive, Stacey. Let’s start with the basics: tell us about Ledge – why should readers check it out?
Ledge is a combination of my favourite types of stories – a survivalist tale, an escape story, and a quest all tied together. Intertwined is the slow-burn romance between two conflicting characters, forced together by circumstance and opportunity. Personally, I am in constant search of stories that bring together high fantasy, romance, and a little spice. When I wrote Ledge, I aimed to bring readers a fine balance of the three.
Tell us a little something about your writing process – do you have a certain method? Do you find music helps? Give us a glimpse into your world!
I wrote Ledge at the dinner table between the hours of eight and twelve pm, while the kids slept and the house was quiet. Writing has always been a source of peace for me, so I find it difficult to write when I have outside distractions. Most nights, I tuck the kids in, switch off my devices, grab a cup of tea, and get into it.
Speaking of worlds, what inspires your worldbuilding? Do you have a magic system? If so, can you tell us a bit about it?
To build a world, I start with one mental image. When I first pictured the concept of Ledge, I saw a fierce woman in a snowstorm, withstanding the cold. I knew that she was trapped there – wherever there was – and that she’d learnt to survive against all odds. This led me to the Ledge: a mountain shelf with no means of escape. I wondered how someone would arrive there, if it was to be so unreachable. I immediately thought of creatures born from the cold, their great leathery wings and skin as icy-white as the mountain they perched on – Glacians. If they were the creatures responsible for trapping humans on the Ledge, then why would they do so? What purpose could humans serve them?
These questions led – one after the other – to the development of two kingdoms and their magic systems quite easily.
Can you tell us a bit more about your characters Dawsyn and Ryon? Do you have a favourite type of character you enjoy writing?
Dawsyn, despite being a character I love, was in fact difficult to write. She is a woman born on the Ledge, with only a rudimentary understanding of the world below. As all others on the Ledge, she has lived to see adulthood due to blatant savagery. She was raised in a kill-or-be-killed world. Hours in the day are spent in the relentless pursuit for warmth and the basic needs of the living, and she is therefore, metaphorically and literally, cold. She is weary and impenetrable and almost frustratingly tough, and so there were times when I wanted to break her apart earlier than I knew I should. I wanted to thaw her out and let her live a little, but that is not who she is.
Ryon, on the other hand, is an absolute pleasure to write.
Ryon is half-Glacian, half human, a fact that is evident the first time he is introduced to readers. My favourite part of Ryon’s character is his decency, despite the influence to be anything but. He holds a confidence, a power that can only be inherent, considering he has always lacked a sense of belonging. He is, by all accounts, endlessly endeared by Dawsyn and her obstinacy, her abruptness, and perhaps her lack of social grace.
What (or who) are your most significant fantasy/sci-fi influences? Are there any creators whom you dream of working with someday?
I will always read anything by Renee Adhieh and Danielle Jensen – aspiration authors.
I’ve had the very great pleasure of meeting and working with creators of all types over the last year. If there is a single person on this planet who will bear the great burden of listening to me ramble about my stories, I endeavour to find them.
We see such varying opinions from authors when it comes to the time of editing their books. How have you found the editing process? Enjoyable, stressful or satisfying?
Gratifying. Oddly, it is the most fitting word that comes to mind. I still shut my eyes and get the sick bags ready when I go back to the first chapter. By the time the first draft is done, I’ve usually convinced myself that the story is rubbish, the writing is rubbish, I’m rubbish, I should throw the whole thing in the rubbish. And then I go back and begin to read and it’s…surprisingly not rubbish. I’m renewed with hope that I can write…at least well enough to entertain myself.
We always appreciate a beautiful book cover! How involved in the process were you? Was there a particular aesthetic you hoped they’d portray?
Angry Robot Books created something truly beautiful, and I’ve been blessed with a cover that encapsulates all the tension and the danger of Ledge. Usually book covers are not something authors have any say over in trade publishing, but I was lucky enough to be updated with ideas and edits throughout the process. I’m so pleased with the result.
The world shifts, and you find yourself with an extra day on your hands during which you’re not allowed to write. How do you choose to spend the day?
Ah, but alas, I have spawn. Two of them in fact. Let’s pretend, for the sake of fantasy, that my children are by some miracle occupied. I would hang out with my husband, Michael. It sounds cute, I know. The truth is that we’d just be sitting…for long periods of time. I’d read, he’d binge Netflix. I’m getting emotional just imagining it.
One of our favourite questions here on the Fantasy Hive: which fantastical creature would you ride into battle and why?
I don’t understand the question.
Am I not supposed to say dragon?
The answer is dragon.
Tell us about a book you love. Any hidden gems?
Making me choose one is cruel. The Unflinching Ash by Angela Armstrong is a favourite of mine. A beautiful witchy tale.
Can you tell us a little something about your current work(s) in progress? Have you any upcoming projects which you can share?
I am deep into the second book of the Glacian trilogy. I love this world, and I don’t plan on leaving it anytime soon. There are a few other story ideas I will pursue, but all in good time.
Are you planning anything fun to celebrate your new release? Do you have any upcoming virtual events our readers may be interested in?
I’m lucky enough to have a tribe of supporters around me, both online and in real-life, and I plan on sharing that time with them. I’m unsure what form that will take just yet, but it will likely involve some kind of cheese and an all-nighter.
Finally, what is the one thing you hope readers take away from your writing?
Enjoyment, mostly. But if we’re getting deep, I want them to see that we don’t need to stay confined to the mould we were born to. We aren’t condemned to the limits of our surroundings. We can beat it. We can grow out of it.
Thank you so much for joining us today!
Thank you so much for your support!
Ledge will be released on 13th September but you can pre-order your copy here: