Stacey McEwan is joining us today to talk about her novel, Ledge. Here’s the publisher’s description:
In a place known as the Ledge, a civilization is trapped by a vast chasm and sheer mountain face. There is no way for anyone to escape the frozen wasteland without befalling a deathly drop. They know nothing of the outside world except that it is where the Glacians reside; mystical winged creatures who bring them meagre rations to survive, in exchange for a periodic human sacrifice.
Dawsyn, axe wielder and only remaining member of her family, has so far avoided the seasonal culling, but her luck has run out. She is chosen and ripped from her icy home, the only world she knows. No one knows what will happen to her on the other side, least of all Dawsyn. Consumed? Enslaved? Worse?
Thankfully, escape may be within her grasp with the help of a half-Glacian called Ryon. But who is to say that the life below will be any better than the one she has run from?
What’s Stacey’s favorite bit?
The world I launched my heroine into is hostile and intriguing (at least to me), and I could delve into the lore and parameters of the Ledge and its surroundings, but truthfully, my favourite bit is the heroine herself – Dawsyn (boring, I know.). She’s a twenty-something woman who has somehow survived thus far on a glacial mountain shelf, with the most recent years (7 of them, in fact) spent alone. What does that do to someone, living in solitude in a place so hazardous?
And holy hell, I made that place dreadful for her. Blizzards and famine and a chasm to boot (a big one, slippery edges etc.). It’s the kind of place where people will steal the clothes from your dead body before it has time to cool. Raiding. Brawling. No-nonsense murder. That’s when she isn’t using every one of her faculties to stop her toes from freezing and falling off. Like I said – dreadful. It seemed essential to me that the very least I could do for her was turn her into a living nightmare. Fighting fire with fire, as it were. If she was to survive such a place, she had better be ruthless. Give her an axe, make sure she knows how to use it. Make sure her skin is thick. Give her the mentality of a browbeating prisoner with something to prove, territory to defend, a name to protect.
But the real kicker, the truest of my affections for Dawsyn, was watching the way she reacted to someone like Ryon – her love interest in the story. I say watching because her strength of character directed that romance plot more than I did. Someone like Dawsyn would be made of steel, impassable, distrustful, careful, violent, mercenary. Imagine my delight watching the likes of Ryon unravel her – her enemy no less. Well, I thoroughly confused the poor woman. It was much like explaining something arbitrary to a child – these are called feelings, Dawsyn.
Ryon serves as a source of great frustration for my heroine, as though I hadn’t tortured her enough. He’s self-aware and patient and altruistic. He seems as charmed by Dawsyn’s violence as he is any redeeming quality she might show. In fact, much to Dawsyn’s chagrin, he seems endlessly fascinated by her. Any conversation of theirs was written in a sort of drunken trance (and by that, I mean I wore a stupid grin, and the spelling was poor).
I’m a romantic at heart, next to my deep fondness for fantasy. I love to sink my teeth into the plot, but I’m forever character-driven. I could talk all day on Dawsyn’s impenetrable exterior, her infuriating rigidity. But, my absolute favourite bit about Ledge will always be the to-and-fro of reluctant but budding attraction from a woman who wonders if she shouldn’t just kill the object of her desire, and save herself the trouble of figuring out how to feel. And to be honest, I find that rather relatable.
Stacey McEwan is the author of Ledge, the heart-stopping beginning to the Glacian Trilogy. A school teacher by day and fantasy writer by night, Stacey lives on the Gold Coast, Australia with her husband, two children and one questionable dog. When Stacey isn’t writing, teaching, or making ridiculous tiktoks, you’ll find her playing with her children, reading, annoying her husband, or possibly all three at once.