When it comes to a good read, we’ll take any genre. We’re the first to snatch up a good love story, we’re down to live vicariously through travel books, and we haven’t met a thriller we didn’t love. What makes Renée Ahdieh’s newest YA novel, Flame in the Mist, so special is that it’s got all of those fantastic traits — swoony dudes, new worlds, and crazy high stakes — and so much more. When Mariko reluctantly embarks on a trip to meet her fiancé, she has no idea that her journey will be interrupted by a dangerous gang of bandits looking to kill her… or that she’ll infiltrate the gang (dressed as a boy) to find out why. It’s the kind of book that’ll have you staying up late and calling in sick, just so you can finish it in one sitting.

We caught up with the brilliant fantasy writer behind this great read and chatted about creativity, lady heroes, and more. Scroll on to learn more about Reneé Ahdieh!

Brit + Co: Describe your book in six words or less.

Reneé Ahdieh: A girl disguised as a ninja!

B+C: Where/when do you do your best writing?

RA: I do my best writing at night, at home, with noise-cancellation headphones.

B+C: What’s your go-to cure for when you’re stuck in a creativity rut?

RA: Turn off the computer and go for a walk, then come back and pick a new dish to make for dinner.

B+C: What two lady heroes do you turn to for inspiration, and why?

RA: Right now I have so much admiration for Amal Clooney and Beyoncé. I think they’re both at the top of their respective fields, yet they continue to challenge themselves in any endeavor they choose to take on. (Photo via Chris Jackson/Getty)

B+C: What’s your latest Instagram (or Tumblr/Twitter/media) obsession?

RA: I’m super in love with BarkPost, @bark, and Desi Perkins, @desiperkins.

B+C: Can you name a book that you think deserves a little more love + recognition?

RA: I will always recommend Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Trilogy because I think it’s an amazing story with gorgeous writing. I also recommend Sarah Nicole Lemon’s Done Dirt Cheap to random strangers every other week.

B+C: What’s next on your to-read pile?

RA: Marie Lu’s Warcross!

What advice do you have for aspiring creative ladies?

RA: I think timing and talent do matter when it comes to putting one’s art out for public consumption, but I’ve found that the most important thing is tenacity.

Got an author you’d like us to interview? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know!

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(Photo via Crystal Stokes Photography)