Today, it's a pleasure to welcome Catherynne Valente to the blog as part of the blog tour for her wonderful book, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. You're in for a treat because I'm sharing an interview with the main character, September, AND Cat herself! Plus there's also a giveaway at the end... I really enjoyed reading the book and found it to be a lovely, whimsical read. Click HERE to see my review :) I hope you enjoy this stop of the blog tour <3
~Interview with September~
Fairy News at Midnight: We’re reporting LIVE from Fairyland and have been granted an exclusive interview with none other than Fairyland’s most famous visitor, September.
You've had many adventures in Fairyland, where’s your favourite place on the island?
Oh, goodness! Everything always happens so fast in Fairyland I hardly have time to see everything, but Pandemonium was just the most extraordinary place. I had to leave so quickly and I’m terribly sorry, I wish I could have wandered the woven streets and seen a fairy parade! I do find cities so marvelous--I’ve only been to Omaha twice, and Pandemonium is ever so much grander and more colorful! Perhaps one day I shall get to go back.
What was it like meeting The Marquess for the first time?
Dreadful! I’ve met unkind girls before, but she was so awfully frightening and strong. I wanted to be brave and good but you just can’t say no to her. She’s like one of those snake charmer’s I’ve seen in picture books. She plays her flute and you sway along. I suppose she is pretty, and I did like her panther, but she made me want to cry and hide and kick her and laugh at her all at once. I suppose that’s what Queens are like. I’ve never met one before! Oh, I know she calls herself a Marquess but that’s what she really is. I wonder if we might have been friends, if things were different and she weren’t Queen of anyplace. She did have such a fancy way of talking.
A-through-L was your most faithful and close companion, any secrets that you can divulge about him for our audience?
Good gracious! Poor Ell wouldn’t like me spilling his secrets all about! Even if secrets DO begin with S and he’s really wretched at keeping them. It’s not much of a secret to say he’s a big, lovely soul who means well even when he breaks things. But I will say that he feels terribly guilty that he’s held up his mother’s side of his heart, being big and lovely and a great thumping Wyvern with fiery breath, but hasn’t carried on his father’s line much. His father was a library, you know, and he hasn’t studied Library Magic even a bit. I think he hopes that once he finds a library that loves him and wants to take him in it’ll all come naturally! I’ve heard from the Green Wind that he’s taken a journey to the outer isles in order to take up an internship with a card catalogue imp, and I do hope it doesn’t take so long that he’s away when I return to Fairyland!
We hear that a new book, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making was released this month chronicling your adventures. Do you think the narrator tells the story accurately and what do you think of Ana Juan’s likeness of you?
Didn’t Miss Juan draw such nice pictures of me? It was awfully kind of her to make me and Ell and Saturday look so fetching. I do especially like how she drew the Key! The Key is off having its own adventures now, but I hope it peeks into a bookstore’s lock and sees how sharp it’s looking on the cover.
The narrator is funny, isn’t she? She says all sorts of things that I think about, but can never quite manage to find the words for. Sometimes she stops the story to have her say, but that’s all right, sometimes you need to stop and contemplate everything that’s happened! I think if the narrator and I ever met, we’d have the most interesting time together!
What’s the one useful thing a young ravished child could pack before entering Fairyland?
Food or a compass! A good hunk of bread and dried meat would do her quite well, and a compass would help her to get her bearings--not that the directions in Fairyland are an obedient lot! But when you first arrive, everything is so confusing, and it’s nice to know one thing surely, which is to say North, because if you know one thing, other things will come to join it, by and by!
And tell us, what is the best tasting Fairy food?
Oh, just everything in the Autumn Provinces was delicious! I had no idea you could make so many things out of pumpkins!
Isn't September just the cutest? I don't know about you, but I've had great fun 'getting to know' her! And now over to Cat herself, who will be answering some of my questions...
~Interview with the Author~
Hi! Well, I’m originally from Seattle on the west coast of America, but I live in Maine now, which is the very topmost tip of the east coast. I actually live on an island off the coast of Portland, Maine, and I have one husband, two dogs, two cats, and six chickens. I like to knit and play the accordion as well as write. I’ve been writing professionally for about eight years now. Fairyland was my tenth novel, but my first for kids.
When did you decide you wanted to become an author?
I always wanted to write, but that’s not the same as always wanting to be a writer. Originally, I meant to be a teacher, but it turned out I was pretty good at writing books. I decided to try to write fiction (I’d mainly been writing poetry before that) when I was 22 and working in a seaside village as a fortune teller. I just wanted to see if I could--I don’t think I intended to be an author until my fourth book came out.
Fairyland started out its life as a book within a book in my adult novel Palimpsest. It was the protagonist’s favorite childhood novel. When I toured for Palimpsest, people kept asking if it was real, where they could get a copy, could they find it online--and when I said no, they begged me to write it.
The spark of idea came from my old inability to understand Dorothy when I first say the Wizard of Oz film. I didn’t understand why, when faced with magic and witches and adventure, she wanted to go home to a miserable place where her parents were dead and the Depression was on. I would have wanted to stay--so I wrote a book about a girl who wanted to stay.
What was your reaction when you discovered it was going to be published?
I was over the moon. I could never have imagined that a book which began as a crowdfunded online serial would be picked up by a major press and made into such a beautiful physical book. I’m not going to lie, I cried.
I imagine it might be animated, but I think Amandla Stenberg (Rue from The Hunger Games) or Kiernan Shipka (Sally Draper on Mad Men) would be wonderful as September, though I might prefer an unknown. For the voice of Ell, perhaps Stephen Fry or John Rhys-Davies? For Saturday, I think it’s important to find a middle eastern actor, and that probably means an unknown, as child actors of Arabic descent don’t often get much work in the western media. Abigail Breslin would be an amazing Marquess and I would love to see David Tennant as The Green Wind.
The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There is about September’s shadow, who has become Queen of the mysterious underworld known as Fairyland-Below, and is causing a good deal of trouble for topsiders. September has to go underground to fight herself and face the consequences of her choices in the first novel
What is your favourite childhood fairytale?
Snow White. My parents divorced early and I had a stepmother who didn’t much care for me, especially as I have dark hair like my mother and my siblings are all blonde. The story always seemed to be about me somehow. Without the dwarves.
If you could meet any fairytale character, who would it be and why?
The witch from Hansel and Gretel. A candy house is a strange idea--I always thought there was more going on with her than she let on. I’d like to sit down for tea. Witches are always the most interesting women
And finally, do you like to daydream?
Daydreaming is, quite literally, my job. I love it.
Thank you to Cat! I hope you all enjoyed finding more about the author and September and if you haven't read the book, I hope it's encouraged you to check it out soon.
Here's the chance to get your hands on a copy...
The publisher is kindly giving away a paperback copy of the book to FIVE lucky readers! Read on to see how you have a chance of winning...
Terms and Conditions:
- Fill in the Rafflecopter below - please don't leave your personal details in the comments
-You must live in the UK as the publisher will be sending the books out
- You must be 13 years or older, if you're under 13 please ask a parent/guardian for permission
- Neither I or the publisher are responsible for prizes lost or damaged in the post
- Giveaway ends at 12:01AM EST on 1st July 2012
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Have a great weekend,