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19 August 2020

Q&A with Adalyn Grace

I got the chance to do a Q&A with the author before my copy of All the Stars and Teeth arrived, and now it's here (and having done the Q&A) I'm more excited than ever to read it.

All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace: Pirates and Mermaids and Magic, oh my!

Q&A with Adalyn Grace

Q&A with Adalyn Grace

Can you describe All the Stars and Teeth in five words?

Magic, pirate, adventure, man-eating mermaids!

What inspired you to write the All the Stars and Teeth?

Amora, the main character of the story, was the initial inspiration for the book.

At the time, I knew nothing about the world or the magic; all I knew is that there was a girl on a ship who, more than anything, wanted an adventure.

Amora came into my head as this brazen and ruthless girl who didn’t abide by any of the typical gender roles that are so often forced upon young women. I wrote her during this time when Game of Thrones was airing, and there was all this nonsense about how Arya Stark was so amazing while Sansa was annoying—because Sansa loved the idea of dating and court politics, while Arya was drawn to swords and fighting. It was very clear that in the minds of way too many, girls who liked dresses and dating were considered weak and worthless. It was as though, to be considered powerful as a woman, who had to shun all things considered “girly.” It felt very much like you could only be one role or the other, and that the “girly” role was very much considered “less than.” Amora was created in response to this. I wanted her to be the epitome of both of these things that are often portrayed in the media as polar opposites. She loves weapons and being in the thick of action, but doesn’t need to give up her gowns and makeup. To be fierce, she doesn’t need to turn up her nose at the idea of courting. In fact, she loves dating and getting attention. I didn’t want Amora to be a “not like other girls” character. I wanted her to just be a girl—one who’s messy, who likes many different things and is strong in many different ways, and who is unapologetically herself.

Which of your characters would you most like to sit down and have a cuppa with?

I would absolutely choose Vataea, the mermaid character from the book! I think her stories would be incredible, and imagine I’d either be gasping in disbelief or laughing the entire time I was with her. Everyone else would certainly be fun to hang out with, but Vataea is just so fascinating and vibrant, and I know it’d be a great time.

What magic would you choose for yourself?

I’ve thought about this quite a bit, and I’d choose enchantment magic! Can you imagine never having to spend time to get ready? I could have my makeup and hair done in seconds! And as anyone with curly hair knows, that would be a miracle. I also think the magic is so versatile, and would love to have it in my daily life. I recently bought some wigs because I wanted to see what I’d look like with fun hair colors without the commitment. With enchantment magic, I’d never have to commit and could try something new every day! I just think it’d be so much fun and so convenient.

Are you a planner or a pantser?

I started out as a bit of a hybrid. When I wrote All the Stars and Teeth, I outlined the book three chapters ahead at a time, and gave myself quite a bit of room to still explore. Now, I’m a pretty thorough outliner. I really love the beat sheet method, and in particular enjoy using the one from Save the Cat. I think pantsing and freewriting can be a lot of fun, but it’s really hard for me to write without knowing where I’m going. If I did that, the whole book would probably just be dialogue and bad jokes

What is your favourite thing about writing?

Outlining and discovering the concept and plot of the book is actually my favorite stage of the process. Everything feels so exciting at this stage! You have this fresh new idea, and it’s flourishing in your head. That said, that idea goes nowhere unless you actually draft the book, which is my least favorite part! Hahah, I’d love it if the idea from my head could just appear on paper, and then I could spend some time polishing it in edits. But alas!

Finally, what are you working on now? What can we expect from you in the future?

I recently finished up the sequel, All the Tides of Fate, and I’m so excited to get to share the conclusion of Amora’s story with everyone! Beyond that, I’m working on a project that’s a bit darker, and more romantic. I can’t talk about them too much just yet, but I’m having so much fun with it and am dying to talk about it publicly. Hopefully I’ll be able to soon!

All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace cover

Will you be reading All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace?


  1. Really looking forward to this book!

  2. This is an excellent interview and this book sounds really interesting!

  3. Nice interview, the books seems exciting.

  4. Interesting interview, sounds like a great read

  5. These were such great questions and I like the sound of gender roles being challenged!

  6. u had me at man-eating mermaids + i WISH people had been more vocal about that i would've picked it up much sooner

  7. Great interview! This books sounds very interesting!

    Lois |

  8. Love the idea of gender roles being challenged!


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