With Jupiter Gardens closing its doors, I’ve decided to re-release INTO THE LAND OF SNOWS. I’ve had an amazing time working with Anna Spies of EerilyFair (https://www.facebook.com/eerilyfairdesign/). She is a talented and imaginative cover designer and here’s a peek at the new cover design. Freakin’ awesome job!
This has been called David Almond’s most confusing book. While I loved Kit’s Wilderness and Clay, this one left me unsatisfied.
Joe Maloney is a different sort of kid. He doesn’t fit in. He’s a dreamer who can’t concentrate in school and doesn’t make friends easily. Joe’s mother recognizes some of his uniqueness and his sensitive ways but as a single parent, is largely unable to guide her son. When an all but defunct circus comes to town, Joe is called into the night by a mysterious tiger. Eventually he befriends many of the circus performers and gets caught up in the dream-like tale of the circus closing down. Questions of man’s relationship to nature, reincarnation, and the line between reality and illusion abound.
There is some beautiful imagery and prose here. Almond’s book is a challenging read for the middle grade or young adult audience. And just like in life, there is no easy, nicely-tied up ending. This is a good book to pick up when you think books for children are all alike. It may also shake a few adults out of their stupor.
Abigail Borders is a fellow children’s writer. She has a brand new fantasy available from MuseItUp. Abigail grew up in Asia and is fluent in three languages. There’s no doubt her experiences abroad fuel her writing from her home in Southern California. She has one son she refers to as “El Kiddo”. I’m excited to host her here to talk about her new book entitled, Cyrion.
The blurb: Jon and Saul come home to find their village torched, and everyone they know kidnapped by evil goblin troopers. Armed with little more than rotten eggs and help from their new friend Anya, they take the goblins on and rescue their parents. Only, they somehow end up trying to save one race from slavery, and another from complete annihilation.
Thank you, Ellis. I am honored to be here.
What was your inspiration for Cyrion and can you tell us a little about it?
I started writing Cyrion roundabout July of 2012. El Kiddo was bored out of his skull and driving me up the wall. I needed to come up with something fun to do with him (like write a story) or lose what few marbles I had left.
I hope “desperation” counts as “inspiration”?
As for the rest, well, I suppose I’m a bit of a magpie. I drew inspiration from my life experiences, people I’ve been lucky enough to befriend and/or am related to, and conversations with my Kiddo.
As a teen, were you the cheerleader, nerd, geek, or something else?
Honestly, I’m unsure how “geek” differs from “nerd”, but I was definitely not a cheerleader. I did my own thing in school, and I performed well enough academically to encourage my grumps (grown-ups) to continue letting me do my own thing.
I do have small groups of close friends – much like my characters in Cyrion. I was going to say “MCs”, but most of my characters have a close group of friends. Even a secondary character like Naeem has Greta.
I can’t imagine going through life without my friends. People I can count on to laugh, cry, and celebrate life’s crazy moments with me. People who are on my side no matter what or when or why, but never hesitate to call me on my bullsh!t. When my notes went missing a week before finals, my friends came through by lending copies of their notes to help me prepare. When I was sick, lonely and far from my family in college, my friends came through with phone calls, emails, packets of Lemsip and cups of soup. When faced with tough decisions, my friends came through with support and prayers.
My friends talked me out of deleting my WIPs when I felt down about my writing ability. I almost chucked Cyrion into my recycle bin at least five times when it was still a WIP. They challenge me to move out of my comfort zone, and write in new genres like romance and science fiction. Although my foray into science fiction resulted in the Burned Bridges Protocol, my attempt at romance is definitely a dead duck.
I don’t think we ever had a label, my friends and I. I know I always thought of labels as irrelevant.
What impact would you like to see your books have on the world?
I’ve written two books thus far, The Burned Bridges Protocol, a young adult science fiction novella published by Giant Squid Books in December 2014, and Cyrion, a middle grade fantasy published by MuseItUp in June 2015.
This is a tough question for me because I never actually expect to be a published author. I only started Cyrion because Kiddo was bored, and the Burned Bridges Protocol started out as a dare. That being said:
- From Cyrion – Cultivate and cherish your friends. Good friends will help you become a better person, and you, in turn, can help them become better people. Friendship is a two-way street, never take your friends for granted.
- From The Burned Bridges Protocol – You are the author of your own destiny. Lilliane was chosen to be expendable. Her actions made her indispensable. Lemon was chosen to be a machine. His actions made him more human than a few of the human characters in the book. God gave us free will for a reason.
What’s your next project?
I am currently working on two projects. One is a short story I co-wrote with Kiddo that involves a minotaur, blueberry pie, and the properties of a circle. The other is a middle grade (for now anyway, who knows what it will morph into in the future) fantasy that involves a New-Yorker and two snarky fairies.
For more about Abigail and her books, please visit: