Finalist Spotlight

Addie Thorley

Addie Thorley is the author of Night Spinner and An Affair of Poisons, which was chosen as a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and is a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults nominee. Sky Breaker, the conclusion to the Night Spinner duology, will release on May 4th, 2021.

Addie spent her childhood playing soccer, riding horses, and scribbling stories. After graduating from the University of Utah with a degree in journalism, Addie decided “hard news” didn’t contain enough magic and kissing, so she flung herself into the land of fiction and never looked back. She now lives in New Jersey with her husband, daughters, and wolf dogs. When she’s not writing she can be found gallivanting in the woods and eating cookies

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Addie Thorley on her Whitney Award Finalist novel,

Night Spinner

What was the inspiration for your Whitney Awards finalist novel?

Night Spinner began with a song. I randomly had “Out There” from Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame stuck in my head for a week straight, even though I hadn’t seen the movie for well over a decade. Then one day, as I was cooking and singing this song, a very distinct image popped into my head of a scarred girl sitting on a temple rooftop in the howling wind and snow, fiddling with black threads that could only be the darkness. I dropped what I was doing and immediately stated jotting down notes. Then I read the original Hunchback of Notre Dame by Hugo to flesh out my idea.

What was the tipping point that turned this novel from “just an idea” to a project you HAD to complete?

I was completely obsessed with this book from the moment the idea popped into my head. Probably because it poured out of me faster than any previous manuscript had. It felt like I was watching a movie in my head, and I was just transcribing what I saw.

 How did this book evolve into the final story? Did it end up the way you thought it would, or did the plot or characters change along the way?

The bones of Night Spinner never changed, but the characters and specific plot points evolved a LOT from draft to draft. I’m a pantser (and notoriously bad at middles) so I’m very grateful for my editor, Ashley Hearn, who helped me tighten the plot and quicken the pacing.

Who is your favorite secondary character, and why?

Serik! He’s Enebish’s best friend and the world’s most irreverent monk. He was so fiery and fully fleshed out from the very beginning. It was like he was sitting on my shoulder, telling me exactly what to say.

If your book was made into a movie, which scene would you want to be a background extra in?

I’d want to be an eagle hunter in the fateful festival scene! They wear cool outfits and I’ve always wanted to see a golden eagle up close.