Writer Wednesday: Author Interview with Kalyn Josephson on The Storm Crow (+INTL Giveaway)

A little birdie dropped this post off, and wow, I’m excited to share it!

I know we’ve been getting a lot of bird books recently (crows! ravens! idk eagles!) but this is one you definitely do not want to miss out on.

Kalyn Josephson’s The Storm Crow features magical elemental crows, invading empires, and dangerous plans. It’s one I’m so excited to read–especially because it features depression rep in a fantasy–and I have it requested from my library!

That being said, I interviewed Kalyn to chat about The Storm Crow, its influences, and more! So I hope you enjoy reading, and also make sure to keep an eye out for something else at the end . . .


Hi Kalyn! Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today about your debut, The Stork Crow–ACK! Sorry, I mean The Storm Crow. Anyways, before we begin, do you mind telling us a little bit about The Storm Crow, the Illucian invasion, and Princess Anthia’s current situation? 

The Stork Crow! I’ll never live that one down lol. Practice typing your own title on Twitter, friends. 

But yes! In The STORM Crow, Princess Anthia trained her entire life to become a crow rider–until the Illucian empires destroys the crows. When she discovers a surviving storm crow egg, she teams up with her sister, her best friend, and a kind-hearted inventor to hatch the egg in time to protect her kingdom.

One of the most compelling parts of The Storm Crow’s summary was actually the Illucian invasion. This is such a complex and layered topic which has a lot of roots in our modern history. Was there anything in particular that inspired this element in The Storm Crow and the Illucian empire? 

I can’t point to any specific inspiration for that element (though I’m sure AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER played a part), but mostly it grew from me exploring this idea of having your entire world turned upside down. Of all the things you take for granted as normal and expected suddenly being ripped away from you. Life can change so quickly. The things we think are permanent aren’t always, and learning to adjust can be difficult.

Another thing that made me really interested in The Storm Crow was how it incorporated depression into a genre that doesn’t normally deal with mental health. I can list all the YA fantasies I know that have main characters with disabilities or mental health issues on one hand. So seeing depression in a fantasy novel is really cool–was there anything notable that made writing depression in a fantasy different/more complex than it would have been in a contemporary novel? What type of role does it play in the story? 

Definitely! For a lot of people, depression steals your motivation and energy. Doing even simple things becomes incredibly difficult. So taking a genre that’s meant to be fast-paced and action-packed, and putting a depressed heroine at the forefront of it presented a lot of challenges in terms of pacing. I had to balance being true to and respectful of Thia’s depression with still pushing the plot forward.

I’m not sure whether I’d say it serves a “role” in the story so much as felt like a natural response to everything that happens to Thia. For many people, depression isn’t triggered by a certain event, and for others it begins with moments or events that are enveloped in grief and loss. It felt natural to explore that with Thia after everything she loses, but it was also an avenue to explore my own experiences with depression, which is something I’ve always wanted to see more of in genre fiction.

Also, this has been tickling me for a while! Why crows? What led you to choose that Crows had such a significant role in the story, rather than say ravens or other birds? 


I think they’re absolutely adorable but also beautiful and they’re sooo smart! For example, did you know that crows hold grudges? They can remember faces of people who’ve been mean to them and pass that information on to friends and offspring. They were also the source of my original idea for the story. I read an article about a little girl who fed her neighborhood crows, and in return they brought her gifts. Her neighbors called her The Crow Queen which inspired this idea of a kingdom whose way of life was based on magical, elemental crows.

And finally, to wrap it all up, if you and Thia were in the modern world for 24 hrs, what would you do together? Would you take her to a spa to just relax or go mountain climbing or something else? 

Oh gosh. Thia would actually fit really well into my friend group. We’d probably take her out for a day at the beach to play sports, then to dinner, then to every type of dessert we could possibly find.

Also, if there are any content warnings readers should be aware about, you can leave them below!

There are a few:

  • Depression/Anxiety (major)
  • Parental abuse (minor)
  • Self-mutilation related to cutting (minor)
  • Violence (not graphic)

Ahhh! That crow tidbit really was interesting! I totally didn’t know that, but now it makes sense why crows would be so exciting. Honestly I can hold a solid grudge for a while so maybe in another life I was a crow.

And I also loved what Kalyn said about having your world turned upside down. That felt really on point, and I’m ready to experience it through reading!

If you enjoyed this interview, make sure to let Kalyn know on her social channels below! And don’t forget to check out the content warnings!

(Also this trailer! Oh my gosh!)

More About the Book


The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson
Hardcover, 352 pages
July 9th 2019 by SourcebooksFire

In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.

That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.

But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.

Content Warnings:

  • Depression/Anxiety (major)
  • Parental abuse (minor)
  • Self-mutilation related to cutting (minor)
  • Violence (not graphic)

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

More About the Author

Kalyn Josephson is a fantasy writer living the California Bay Area. She loves books, cats, books with cats, and making up other worlds to live in for a while. THE STORM CROW is her debut novel.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Photo Credit: Kalyn Josephson


Ca-caw! Calling all crow fans!

Are you excited for The Storm Crow? Well, today is (hopefully) your lucky day, because Kalyn & I have a feathery giveaway for you!

One lucky winner will receive a finished copy of The Storm Crow by entering through the Rafflecopter button below or on Twitter! This is open where Book Depository ships.

I’m so excited to read, and there’s a very high chance that the copy you get will have the gorgeous gold naked hardback with the lightning and stars. You know you want it (and it’s only available in the first edition!).

Good luck! This ends next Tuesday at 11:59 PM EST!

What fantasies feat. mental health would you recommend? Are you excited for The Storm Crow?

5 thoughts on “Writer Wednesday: Author Interview with Kalyn Josephson on The Storm Crow (+INTL Giveaway)

  1. Before this post, I didn’t realize that this book also deals with depression, so that adds a huge dimension to this character and plot. I did know that crows are very smart and can recognize human faces as well as hold grudges. This is valuable information when we have many crows around here.


  2. Stork crow lol. I also didn’t realize that depression was going to be a major aspect in this novel, but it totally makes sense and I’m glad she included it. You are a really great interviewer! I think I said that before but I totally think you are 🙂


  3. That is really one of the most eye-catching covers ever, but like the other commenters here, what really strikes me as unique about this book is the representation of depression in the world of a fantasy novel, I’m eager to read that.


  4. Ahhh, you always just ask the best questions in author interviews! also, I learned that crow holding grudges fact because of Crooked Kingdom. It’s soooo interesting and ahhhh crows and ravens are just up there in my favorite birds lists! Needless to say, I’ve been anticipating reading this book for a while–ah I love the cover–and I’m so excited to see a depressed character at the forefront of a fantasy!


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