Hi guys! For today, we are featuring one of the nicest authors that I know and one of the first authors that I ever contacted for Celebrating Debutantes 2016. It was a bit of a mistake - I thought her book was coming out from January to June, so emailed her way back. Anyway, stick around for a swag pack giveaway later on.
What or who inspired you to write Fear the Drowning Deep? The inspiration for Fear the Drowning Deep came from something I read in the news: an article about a rare shark that had been spotted by fishermen (near Japan, if I recall) and it got me thinking about all the strange creatures in the ocean. It seems to me that people spend more time wondering about space, looking up, than they do wondering about what’s in the waters below us--way deep down, in the darkest places we can't see or reach...and the idea for Fear was born!
What kind of historical research did you do for the book? My research process was a bit unusual. For one thing, I found some great books first published in the 1800s on Manx mythology (mainly dealing with fairies and the Islanders’ customs and lore surrounding them), and read those/took notes! I also ordered some Manx history books directly from the Isle–I don’t recommend this though, unless you want to spend a TON on shipping!
I also went to YouTube to look up videos of the Isle of Man TT. This is a famous motorcycle race (for those who aren’t as enthralled by motorcycles as I am!) and my awesome biker dad had mentioned it to me several times growing up. Anyway, bikers from around the world flock to the Isle of Man for this big race around the island each year; it’s actually been happening since the early 1900s! Anyway, I watched videos of the TT to get a sense for the Manx landscape and the accents of the Manx people reporting on the race!
Could you tell us a bit about the historical period wherein Fear the Drowning Deep is set? What made you decide on this specific time period? Fear the Drowning Deep is set in the early 1900s--to be specific, 1913. This particular year felt right to me for Bridey’s story for a number of reasons. First, it was a year after the sinking of the Titanic, an event which confirmed Bridey's worst fears about the ocean. Second, this was a time in which there was very little technology on the Isle (relative to other places in the UK, which were quicker to adopt new tech as it became available). This was also a time when many on the Isle still upheld rich old traditions, and some still believed in the existence of fairies. All these things combined made 1913 on the Isle of Man feel like a distinctly magical time in which to set my story!
Could you tell us about the tasks, responsibilities and competencies of a witch's apprentice? Bridey herself would tell you that being a witch's apprentice is dirty work; her employer, Morag, hasn't swept her hearth in at least a decade. Sometimes, her duties involve going to the beach, even though that brings her much closer to the sea than she can stand. She's also always on the lookout for things that might please Morag--sea glass, driftwood, a piece of string; the witch's moods shift as swiftly as the wind. On the best days, being a witch's apprentice involves drinking tea and talking about the moon and mythical krakens.
What were the difficulties that you encountered while writing Fear the Drowning Deep, if any? How did you deal with them? Without getting too spoiler-y, writing the Big Bad in this book freaked me out! Also, Bridey’s so scared of the ocean that I often felt terrible about the things I was subjecting her to! In fact, I'd say that was the most difficult part of writing the book overall; I came to love all the characters (okay, okay, maybe not Mr. Gill...), and I often felt bad about ruining their lives (something I've since gotten over in my subsequent books...consider yourselves warned ;)). I dealt with it by writing an ending that was satisfying to me, and that I hope will be the same for readers!
What is your favorite part about writing your debut? Researching the mythology, definitely. I had a great time learning about and shaping what Bridey would be up against in her fight to save her town!
Have you been to Isle of Man? Could you share with us some of the places there that are highlighted in your book? I wish! I haven't been to the Isle of Man yet, though it's absolutely a goal of mine.
As for places that are highlighted in my book, certainly: while Port Coire, Bridey's hometown, is purely fictional, I situated it about five miles from the very real town of Peel. One of the awesome things about the town is Peel Castle, which was built in the 11th century by the Vikings. There's a supposed spectral black dog (known in Manx Gaelic, the language of the Isle of Man, as the "Moddey Dhoo") roaming the ruined castle, which is open to tour in the summers!
To the south of Peel town, there's the Calf of Man, an island that's home to a large colony of seals!
Another special place on the Isle is the Fairy Bridge, a stretch of road where it's customary to stop and greet the fairies (or "Mooinjer Veggey" as they're known in Manx!); it's considered unlucky not to greet them! Oh, and did I mention that Manx fairies aren't sweet like their English counterparts? Instead, they're quite tricky and fearsome!
When she's not writing, she's often painting, or engaged in nerdy pursuits from video games to tabletop adventures.
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Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: October 4th 2016 by Sky Pony Press
Witch’s apprentice Bridey Corkill has hated the ocean ever since she watched her granddad dive in and drown with a smile on his face. So when a dead girl rolls in with the tide in the summer of 1913, sixteen-year-old Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her granddad to leap into the sea has made its return to the Isle of Man.
Soon, villagers are vanishing in the night, but no one shares Bridey’s suspicions about the sea. No one but the island’s witch, who isn’t as frightening as she first appears, and the handsome dark-haired lad Bridey rescues from a grim and watery fate. The cause of the deep gashes in Fynn’s stomach and his lost memories are, like the recent disappearances, a mystery well-guarded by the sea. In exchange for saving his life, Fynn teaches Bridey to master her fear of the water — stealing her heart in the process.
Now, Bridey must work with the Isle’s eccentric witch and the boy she isn’t sure she can trust — because if she can’t uncover the truth about the ancient evil in the water, everyone she loves will walk into the sea, never to return.
What's up for grabs: Swag Pack including signed bookmarks, postcards, stickers, and a book-inspired necklace
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2016 experience. Click the image below for the full schedule and links to the posts!