We have made it to day 6 of BIR2011 and I have had so much fun sharing some of the Larks' favorite reads with all of our readers. I have to admit the interview with today's author made me all fan-girly. We are featuring Frost, but since its the second book in the series we couldn't ignore the first book, Stork. Candlewick has graciously provided a copy of both Stork and Frost for one of our readers. A huge THANK YOU to Wendy Delsol for her time and writing such a fun series and to Candlewick for the giveaway books. You can find the giveaway details at the end of this post.
Andrea @ Reading Lark: I love the mythology that you used in Stork and Frost. What type of research did you do to find such interesting tales?
Wendy: Once I decided upon Minnesota as a setting for the novels, the pockets of Scandinavian communities came to mind. I’ve always had a small fascination for Iceland. For literary purposes, both its name and remote location are intriguing. Using a variety of online resources, I explored the cosmologies of both Norse Mythology and The Icelandic Sagas. It’s important here to mention that my books are loosely based on Norse lore. I take liberties, big-time liberties.
Andrea @ Reading Lark: Out of all the myths and legends you used to create Stork and Frost, which one has been your favorite?
Wendy: While exploring the Christmas customs of Iceland, I came across an old folktale of a Yule Cat, a giant and vicious feline that eats children who are without a new piece of clothing at Christmas time. It is speculated that this was an incentive to get children to assist with the autumn wool work. Well, with my Katla being into clothing and design, I simply had to find a place for this legend in Frost.
Andrea @ Reading Lark: Who is your favorite character to write in the series?
Wendy: The obvious answer is, of course, Katla. All three books in the series are written in her first- person voice. She’s funny and snarky and imperfect. Aren’t we all, at times? Having said that, I also love Hulda. Though she’s part of ancient Norse coven of white witches, she respects and cites the beliefs of other cultures: Japanese and Native American, for example.
Andrea @ Reading Lark: Which book was more fun to write: Stork or Frost?
Wendy: Hmm. If pressed, I would have to say Stork. While inventing Katla’s history and exploring her voice, I was fairly obsessed with the writing process. Fueled is the word I use to describe my excitement for the story. I wrote the novel in five months, even while battling an injury to my right arm that had me in a sling and typing with my left hand only.
Andrea @ Reading Lark: Which one of the characters in Frost is most like you?
Wendy: I’m probably most like Katla’s mother, Lilja. Maybe because I’m closest in age to her and a mother, I understand her perspective. I had fun turning her into a task master while on bed rest during a difficult pregnancy. That work ethic or discipline is a part of my own personality. My writing process involves strict word goals and deadlines, all self-imposed.
Andrea @ Reading Lark: Is Norse Falls a real town? If not, which town serves as your inspiration?
Wendy: Norse Falls is a fictional place. Here’s the shocking truth, in fact: I’ve never been north of Minneapolis, yet Norse Falls is set somewhere close to the Canadian border. I did, however, grow up in Michigan and drew upon some of the quaint northern Michigan towns with beautiful alpine settings for a mind’s-eye view of my idyllic Norse Falls.
Andrea @ Reading Lark: I am a Starbucks addict. What made you decide to include so many references to the coffee chain in your work?
Wendy: I wanted Katla to miss some of the more commercial aspects of big-city life. Starbucks seemed a fitting symbol of the new consumerism. When exploring the online menus, I remembered something I had previously read about their logo. It is, indeed, modeled after a sixteenth century Norse woodcut of a twin-tailed mermaid. With Norse cosmology believing in a Vatnheim or water world, the logo lent itself to my intentionally drawn thin line between random acts and destiny. By the way, I also love Starbucks :)
Andrea @ Reading Lark: Can you share a little about your current project with us?
Wendy: There are two books in my In Box, so to speak. Tide, the final and third book in the Stork series, is currently in copyedits. This means that it’s been through the story-edit phase and is now being checked for spelling, grammar, consistency, etc. Tide begins on the first day of Kat’s senior year of high school. She’s shocked to discover that both Marik, the messenger from Vatnheim, and Jinky, the gypsy rune reader, are enrolled as exchange students. Tide is scheduled for release in October of 2012.
I’m also about fifty pages into a new project, a modern-day retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
Andrea @ Reading Lark: What book(s) are you currently reading?
Wendy: I just finished State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. It was excellent, humbling even. I don’t know what’s up next, possibly Bel Canto, also by Patchett.
Andrea: What is your favorite bird?
Wendy: The stork, of course. But hummingbirds are lovely, too.
Thanks so much for having me. Fun questions!
Family secrets. Lost memories. And the arrival of an ancient magical ability that will reveal everything.
Sixteen-year-old Katla LeBlanc has just moved from Los Angeles to Minnesota. As if it weren’t enough that her trendy fashion sense draws stares, Katla soon finds out that she’s a Stork, a member of a mysterious order of women tasked with a very unique duty. But Katla’s biggest challenge may be finding her flock at a new school. Between being ignored by Wade, the arrogant jock she stupidly fooled around with, and constantly arguing with gorgeous farm boy and editor-in-chief Jack, Katla is relieved when her assignment as the school paper’s fashion columnist brings with it some much-needed friendship. But as Homecoming approaches, Katla uncovers a shocking secret about her past — a secret that binds her fate to Jack’s in a way neither could have ever anticipated. With a nod to Hans Christian Andersen and inspired by Norse lore, Wendy Delsol’s debut novel introduces a hip and witty heroine who finds herself tail-feathers deep in small-town life.
In this sequel to STORK, Katla Leblanc has to employ her grit, spirit, and special gifts to rescue the boy she loves.
After the drama of finding out that she’s a Stork, a member of an ancient and mystical order of women, and that her boyfriend, Jack, is a descendent of the Winter People able to control the weather, Katla Leblanc is delighted when all signs point to a busy and peaceful Christmas. That is, until the snowstorm Jack summons as a gift to Katla turns into the storm of the century, attracting Brigid, a gorgeous scientist who, in turn, attracts Jack. Between the school play, a bedridden, pregnant mother’s to-do lists, and keeping an eye on her aging grandfather, Katla doesn’t have time to question Brigid’s motives or deal with Jack’s increasingly cold behavior. But Katla’s suspicions mount when Jack joins Brigid on a research expedition to Greenland, and when the two of them go missing, it becomes clear that Katla is the only one who can save her beloved Jack from the Snow Queen who holds him prisoner. Adventure, romance, and myth combine in this winter escapade for teens who like a bit of fire with their ice.
Giveaway Time! One lucky Reading Lark reader will win a copy of Stork AND Frost.
* You must be a Reading Lark follower
* You must be 13+ years old
* You must be a US Resident - No PO Boxes
* You must fill out the Stork & Frost Giveaway form!
* Leaving a comment on this post will earn you +3 entries into the giveaway.
One winner will be chosen using random.org. The contest runs from December 16-20.