Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.
But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.
Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.
What inspired you to write Daughter of the Burning City?
I started writing DOTBC for an assignment in a Writing Children’s Literature class in college. I only needed to turn in 1,000 words (roughly ⅓-½ of the first chapter), so I had little idea what came next. But a year later, I was looking for a new project, so I returned to it and cracked its mystery.
Was Sorina based off of anyone you knew?
Definitely not! I don’t base characters off of real life people. I feel like that’s an easy way to end up in hot water with someone!
Do you wish that you had the same powers as Sorina?
It would certainly be fun! I’d love to use illusion-work to give a 4-D life to figments of my own imagination. I don’t know if I’d want to create permanent, autonomous imaginary friends, though. It would be thrilling to meet my characters but probably also heart-breaking. I put them through a lot.
Did you ever expect your book to get published?
I had been working with a literary agent for several years when I wrote this book, so I was hoping for publication, although you can never be certain. I was already on a professional track, already aware I wanted to be an author. DOTBC was far from my first book.
Do you have any advice for people that are looking into getting their first book published?
Read as many books about the craft of writing as you can get your hands on, no matter how experienced you see yourself. They are truly invaluable teachers. If you get one thing out of a book, it was worth reading.
Amanda Foody has always considered imagination to be our best attempt at magic. After spending her childhood longing to attend Hogwarts, she now loves to write about immersive settings and characters grappling with insurmountable destinies. She holds a Masters in Accountancy from Villanova University, and a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature from the College of William and Mary. Currently, she works as a tax accountant in Philadelphia, PA, surrounded by her many siblings and many books.
DAUGHTER OF THE BURNING CITY is her first novel. Her second, ACE OF SHADES, will follow on April 24, 2018 from Harlequin TEEN.