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Gina Chen Books In Order

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Publication Order of Violet Made of Thorns Books

Violet Made of Thorns (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

The House Where Death Lives(2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Gina Chen
Gina Chen tells stories all about fantastic worlds featuring antiheroes, heroines, and the sort of cleverness which brings trouble in its wake.

She spent most of her life just thinking that she hated writing. She had a difficult time generating words, and struggled finishing essays for school. Until she churned out a few hundred thousand words of fanfiction and figured that she maybe was a writer after all. And she just loved stories, both creating her own and reading them, then sharing them, and her interest just grew from there.

Gina loves fairy tales, whether the appropriate soundtrack is something low key or done by Smash Mouth. You are able to cover so many of her favorite things between “Uprooted” and “Shrek”. She loves how fairy tales can be remixed and retold, heightened to absurdity or drawn into surprising darkness. There’s the common archetypes like a friend, and there is a comfort in their familiarity and a thrill when they act against that type. In the end, these tales so often come down to love, whether it is of oneself, of community, or of others.

She also loved the roster of teen comedies which littered the 90s and 00s, particularly the ones with snarky, blunt protagonists such as “10 Things I Hate About You”. Violet narrates this story in a very direct manner with a kind of contemporary voice, as though she is talking to the reader beside her, and Gina imagined Violet fitting in with these very same protagonists.

Violet is an unrelatable character. This is because Gina would hear about “relatable” characters, they mean the sort of characters that are hopeful and warm, and want to be brave. Which are admirable traits yet not all of us come of age in a way which nurtures such traits.

Some people grow up in tougher environments or have less-than-ideal guardians, or simply develop such a bleak outlook since the world does not always reward kindness. There is a lot of media which says that you’re able to be the hero if you believe in yourself, however what if you truly think you are the villain? What if you do not have the building blocks to be somebody that can, and wants to, save the day?

The skeleton of Violet’s character arc comes from one of the very first stories that Gina wrote, a contemporary one. She has always been writing stories about girls like Violet. Girls that are brash and vocal. And probably practical to a fault. When Gina was a teen, she believed she had it all figured out. Gina never lacked self-confidence, it was exactly the opposite that plagued her: a certainty that she’d always remain that same cold cynic.

You just don’t often get those heroines in a coming of age story, since women are usually assumed to have a higher amount of empathy, and when you struggle with your emotions as a female, there are a few blueprints for how exactly to navigate that, since society never expects you to have such a problem in the first place. So Gina put these failings she had growing up down on paper.

It took her three years on and off to complete “Violet”, mainly because she had to learn how to introduce characters for the first time and learn how to world build. After finishing the manuscript, she queried for a few months, got herself an agent, and revised for a few more months. This manuscript sold during their first round of submissions, and got to announce shortly after.

As a self taught artist with a degree in computer science, she generates creative nonsense in all forms of media and there is always some kind of project stewing. Gina has a particular fondness for demon tales, fairy tales, quiz shows, and romantic comedies.

“Violet Made of Thorns” is the first novel in the “Violet Made of Thorns” series and was released in 2022. A cursed prince, a morally gray witch, and a prophecy which ignites their fate twisted destinies.

Violet is a liar and a prophet, influencing the royal court with her cleverly phrased, and not always truthful, divinations. Honesty is for suckers, like the oh-so-very charming Prince Cyrus, who plans on stripping Violet of her official role once he gets crowned at the very end of the summer, unless Violet does something about that.

However when the king asks her to falsely prophesy Cyrus’ love story for some upcoming ball, Violet ends up awakening a dreaded curse, one that’s going to end with salvation or damnation for the kingdom, it all depends on the prince’s choice of his future bride. Violet faces a choice of her own: Give in to the ill-fated attraction that grows between her and Cyrus, or seize an opportunity to gain control of her own destiny, no matter what the cost might be.

Her wits might protect her in the cutthroat court, however they just cannot change her fate. And while the boundary between love and hatred grows thinner with the prince, Violet is forced to untangle a wicked web of deceit in order to save the kingdom and herself. Or she’ll doom them all.

Readers found this beautifully vicious, and for the fairy tale fan that has always wanted the heroine to grow sharp teeth and chomp down hard on Prince Charming. “Violet Made of Thorns” introduces you to a lush land where magic and dark curses reign supreme, and Gina’s prose is simply a delight. She delivers a dark fantasy which turns tropes on end and changing them into something original, new, and remarkable, all while making us fall in love with Violet, whose own droll opinions and cunning self-protectiveness offer up a beautifully layered and endlessly fascinating narrator.

Gina creates a sparkling and delightful story of a sharp tongued antiheroine that will have readers rooting for her right from the very start of the novel.

Some finished reading this book only to want to read it over again. Then the second thing was to write down every moment that made them shiver, cry, laugh, fling the book clear across the room just to pick it back up.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Gina Chen

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