Annie Sullivan is the author of the new young adult novel Tiger Queen, based on the classic story "The Lady, or the Tiger?". She also has written the YA novel A Touch of Gold. She teaches at the Indiana Writers Center, and she works at the John Wiley and Sons, Inc., publishing company.
Q: Why did you decide to write a novel based on the story "The Lady, or the Tiger?", and what inspired your character Kateri?
A: I knew I wanted to write a retelling after reading the short story in grade school. The story has a cliffhanger ending that always bothered me, so I gave it the ending it always should have had. I also wanted a strong female protagonist who could hold her own in a fight, so I created Kateri to be a strong character capable of leading.
Q: How did you come up with the world you create in the novel?
A: I actually based the desert setting on the time I spent in Antarctica. I took the endless white landscapes and replaced those with sand. I took the blowing snow and used that as inspiration for blowing sand. I also did a lot of research into desert creatures, which I then used to alter creatures to make the landscape even more dangerous.
Q: Did you know how the novel would end before you started writing it, or did you make changes along the way?
A: I always knew how it would end because I'd been thinking about it since I read the story in grade school. I had a very specific vision in mind, and I'm very happy with how it turned out.
Q: What do you hope readers take away from the story?
A: I really want readers to enter into this fantasy land and come back to reality a little stronger, believing in themselves more. I want them to see a strong female character and envision that if she can conquer the obstacles thrown in her way, then so can each they. It’s all about building them up while entertaining them at the same time.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I'm working on the sequel to A Touch of Gold, called A Curse of Gold. It's full of even more action, adventure, and Greek mythology. I can't wait for readers to see what happens to Princess Kora as she deals with her golden curse.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: I love interacting with readers, so they can find me here: Instagram, Twitter, website, Facebook.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb