The Sin’s Eater’s Daughter is one of those ideas, a story that combines her own personal history and classic elements of doomed love and sacrifice.
“Originally I saw it as a kind of re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood, but instead of a young girl navigating a forest, she had to move through castle politics, where the wolves were the people around her.”
In The Sin Eater’s Daughter, Twylla is a girl embodied by a Goddess who can kill with a single touch. She is the court’s executioner, and even the prince, whose royal heritage supposedly makes him immune to her touch, avoids her. But when a new guard arrives who can look past her executioner’s robes and see the girl within, Twylla must choose between her kingdom and her doomed love.
Though macabre fairy tale elements can still be found throughout the story, the ‘Red Riding Hood’ motif was largely lost as Salisbury found herself further and further drawn into Twylla’s world.
Many of the locations in The Sin Eater’s Daughter, especially the Hall of Glass, were inspired by Salisbury’s travels.
“Traveling anywhere is a gift for anyone who likes to tell stories and I would encourage everyone to do it. It doesn’t have to be another country, or even another city. Just go somewhere new. Look at it. Take photos of it. Make notes about what you can see, or what you can’t see. Root around in it. You’ll see new things and they’ll stay with you and bubble up when you least expect them to.”
Writing is an infamously long process – especially when building a fantasy world – and the publication process can take even longer. After months of writing, editing, and getting ready to publish The Sin Eater’s Daughter, the most exciting thing for Salisbury is that her book is finally on shelves.
“I can’t quite believe it. The whole thing has been surreal; I’m not sure it is something you can ever feel really feel ready for. How can you prepare for a dream to come true?!”
Perhaps by writing a sequel. Salisbury began writing a sequel to The Sin Eater’s Daughter while going through the publication and editing process for The Sin Eater’s Daughter. For Salisbury, it was simultaneously an incredibly helpful and incredibly difficult experience, but one that allows her plenty of advice to give to aspiring writers.
“It’s hard sometimes to remember that once upon a time The Sin Eater’s Daughter was in the same sort of shape as book two is now, and that a lot of time and work went into making it the story that will appear in bookshops. I think that’s something that all writers, no matter where they are in the publishing process, should remember. First drafts are not supposed to be outstanding. They’re the clay you get to mold into something wonderful. So don’t pile all of your expectations onto the raw material, it’ll drive you out of your mind.”