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Q&A with Stacey McEwan – Ledge


Ledge

By Charlotte Bonner.


We are very happy to welcome Stacey McEwan to The Reading Corner to discuss her debut book Ledge, released September 13th!


In a place known as the Ledge, a civilization is trapped by a vast chasm and sheer mountain face. There is no way for anyone to escape the frozen wasteland without befalling a deathly drop. They know nothing of the outside world except that it is where the Glacians reside; mystical winged creatures who bring them meagre rations to survive, in exchange for a periodic human sacrifice. Dawsyn, axe wielder and only remaining member of her family, has so far avoided the seasonal culling, but her luck has run out. She is chosen and ripped from her icy home, the only world she knows. No one knows what will happen to her on the other side, least of all Dawsyn. Consumed? Enslaved? Worse? Thankfully, escape may be within her grasp with the help of a half-Glacian called Ryon. But who is to say that the life below will be any better than the one she has run from?

Ledge is story of survival, sacrifice, and revenge.


Ledge

Hi Stacey! Thank you so much for your time. I absolutely adored “Ledge”, and I cannot wait for everyone to read it.

Before we start the interview, I would like to give you the space to introduce yourself to our readers.


My name is Stacey McEwan, otherwise known as @stacebookspace, and I’m Australia’s resident internet idiot. I talk about books a lot on Tiktok and Instagram and exploit my husband with absolutely zero regard for his patience. I wrote a book called Ledge (book one of a trilogy), and somehow, through the power of social media, it has now been published!


There are so many wonderful and diverse characters in “Ledge”, do you have a favourite that you’ve written? Was any one character more fun to write than the others? Is there a character that you strongly relate to?


I have different answers to these questions. Esra is the most fun to write. He has such a strong personality; the writing just flows when he’s around. I relate most to Ryon, I think. He has this inescapable need to right things, fix things, sort everything out, and to his own detriment. It’s a sort of “if you want it done right, do it yourself,” mentality that he and I share. As for my favourite character? I have to pick Dawsyn. She is the woman I’m too afraid to be (because I would be arrested).


What inspired you to write “Ledge”? Are there any books or authors that inspired you?

I love survivalist stories, so the idea of building a hostile world was intriguing to me. I loathe the cold. I am a lizard. I only want to lie in the sun. The thought of being trapped on snowy terrain sounds awful. Awful enough to write a book about, I thought. I needed to construct obstacles to trap the main character, Dawsyn, there. So, then came the idea of a mountain shelf, an unclimbable mountain face in one direction and a chasm on the other side (ta, da).

Walk us through what a day-in-the-life of author Stacey McEwan looks like when your deep into the writing process. Do you have any rituals that help get you motivated and stay focused?


Writing has always been a source of peace for me, so I find it difficult to write when I have outside distractions. I work as a part-time teacher, part-time writer, so my day-to-day schedules shift. On my one ‘writing day’ each week, I get up at 6am, get myself ready and catch-up on social media messages and emails. I then wake the kids, get them ready and take them to school and kindy. I’m usually home again by 9:30 and I stay in front of the laptop until 2:30. There is barely any movement during those five hours. I soak up as much of that quiet time as I can before school pick-up. On a typical workday, I tuck the kids in at 7:30pm, switch off my devices, grab a cup of tea, and get into it. If the world seems quiet, then getting into the zone is easy. As for staying motivated…I want this career. I want to write. I love it. It isn’t difficult to find motivation when you want something enough.


Dawsyn is such an incredible character, tell me more about her, please. Did you discover Dawsyn first and the plot developed around her character, or was the plot more central in your mind when initially plotting and writing in the early stages?


Dawsyn came to me before the plot did. I find I’m very character-driven, so that makes sense. Dawsyn is what I imagine would evolve if a child were born and developed in her circumstances. She is a woman who has survived twenty-four years of malnutrition, exposure, starvation, and violence. She was raised exclusively by women who were ferocious and strong, but who inevitably succumbed to the perils of the Ledge. She is a person who lives in a state of trauma response, i.e.: fight or flight. We now know so much about how trauma impacts the development of the brain and so I had to surmise that Dawsyn’s character would be, by need, merciless, fiercely independent, defensive and violent herself. This presented a problem, because ultimately, I still wanted readers to be sympathetic to her. To that end, her caregivers instilled in her a sense of deep moral justice. It allows her to direct that rage appropriately.


Are there any messages that you hope your readers will take away from “Ledge”?


Mostly, I just want them to be entertained. 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.


But…more than anything, I want this book to be a place for readers to escape for a little while, before the calls of adult responsibility drag us back to reality.


I know your day job is teaching currently, did you always want to become an author or was it something you fell upon and loved? What was your dream career when growing up?


I wanted to be a writer first and foremost. When I was younger, I thought that might be as a journalist, but soon discovered that what I really wanted was to write stories, so becoming a fantasy or a romance author was always the dream. It just seemed so far-fetched. I did the ‘sensible’ thing and went to university to become a teacher.


There’s a big contrast between the book’s climate and temperatures (cold, icy and snow on the mountain and Ledge) to what you personally often experience through living in Australia. What was the thought process behind choosing such an opposing climate? Did you find there were any difficulties when writing this aspect of the book?


I detest the cold so perhaps this was a moment of self-insertion, ha! My aim was to place the main character into an incredibly hostile environment to showcase her general badass-ery, so an eternal winter seemed like a good place to do that. I actually loved using sensory writing to depict the cold. I might be Australian, but I’ve been cold.


What books would you recommend for fans of “Ledge”?


The Bridge Kingdom series, the Plated Prisoner series, A Forbidden Fate by Kaven Hirning. All of these have similar themes and vibes, and all were great reads.


And lastly, where can readers get ahold of your book?


Ledge is available to buy now wherever books are sold!

Ledge

Stacey McEwan is a school teacher by day and fantasy writer by night. She is a book influencer on multiple platforms and began writing her most current manuscript LEDGE after book lovers of the internet begged her to share her story ideas. Stacey was born and raised on the Gold Coast, Australia. She still resides in her hometown with her husband, two children and one questionable dog. Before she entered the online bookish community, Stacey received her Bachelor of Education from Griffith University. She has been teaching children in the classroom for 9 years to date. When Stacey isn’t writing, teaching, or making ridiculous tiktoks, you’ll find her playing with her children, reading, annoying her husband, or if she’s lucky – all three at once



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