Wednesday, March 18, 2015

March Madness: The Thorn and the Sinking Stone by CJ Dushinski

I guess this week is for the March debuts, because this next author's first book published on the 1oth. Today I have the lovely CJ Dushinski on the blog talking about her book, where the inspiration for it came from, and how it feels to have a debut. :)


Hi CJ! Welcome to The Fox’s Hideaway!

Thanks for inviting me. Glad to be here!

Describe The Thorn and the Sinking Stone in a single tweet.

In a crumbling city overrun by enemy gangs, two young foes risk everything for love.

Where did the inspiration for this story come from?

So many places. Romeo and Juliet, obviously, although it was the Baz Lurhman film adaptation that truly inspired the story. I loved the twist he created in a modern world, and I wanted to take it one step further, into a bleak future. There are other sources, of course, including West Side Story, one particular song by the Decemberists called ‘Valenica’ and the film Gangs of New York. As I was writing, all the elements came together to craft the story, and it just seemed to blend well.

This has a Romeo and Juliet vibe. Is that pretty accurate?

Yup! It’s such a timeless story and has resonated strongly with me ever since I was a teen. I’ve read and seen so many different versions of the story in literature and film and I wanted the opportunity to tell it from a futuristic perspective, capturing all the things I love about it, while creating characters that could challenge the traditional roles. 

What is one word that describes both the Two Daggers and the Black Roses the most?


I love that Valencia sounds like a kick-butt heroine, and that Sebastian seems like an equal match to her. Will there be awesome sword-fighting and hilarious banter between the two?

Absolutely! I wanted Valencia to be strong—someone who can hold her own in life yet chooses to invite Sebastian in regardless. That said, Sebastian is no pushover either, and these two are one heck of a blade-wielding, insult throwing, perfect match. 

^--(I've read it and can definitely confirm this! So much good banter and bicker) How does it feel to be a debut author? Are you scared/nervous/excited about your book being out in the world?

It’s a weird feeling! I’m definitely nervous. More nervous than excited, truthfully. I want people to like the story and there is no guarantee of that, so that makes it scary. I’ve been writing seriously with the goal of being published since I was about seventeen and several years before that just for fun, so it’s been a very long road to get here. Now that it’s finally come it’s surreal. It’s strange to have people you’ve never met read your work and even stranger to have them actually want to read it. But all-in-all it’s a very humbling experience and I’m just grateful to have to opportunity to share my story with the world. 

Thank you so much for stopping by the blog and answering my questions, C.J. :)

It has been my pleasure. Thanks again and happy birthday!


Check back tomorrow for a cool guest post from an author whose book has been receiving SO much praise! Hint: it has to do with a queen. :)


  1. Whoa, this sounds right up my alley for sure! First of all, I fell in LOVE with the Baz Luhrmann Romeo & Juliet. I was so in love with that movie, sigh. And I adore dystopian settings, so I will definitely have to check this out! Great interview, Holly & CJ!
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    1. Yay, glad I could put it on your radar!! :) And thank you, Shannon.

  2. interesting about the inspiration

  3. A Romeo et Juliet retelling, it sounds great ! This book looks interesting...

  4. Sebastian and Valencia sound like a couple that I would really like! Something about banter makes me fall for a couple.


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