Q: What kind of research did you do for The Hazel Wood? In particular, what legends and myths did you draw from to create the enchanting fae world?
A: Though I didn’t do research explicitly for The Hazel Wood, it’s definitely a product of my lifetime of reading. As a kid I devoured the Grimm Brothers’ tales, Andrew Lang’s colored fairy books, the Thousand and One Nights, all the fairy stories I could get my hands on, as well as wonderful fantasy novels like Ellen Kushner’s Thomas the Rhymer and Monica Furlong’s Wise Child. All of these books gave me the grounding in fantasy literature from which I worked in creating my own first book, a mashup of contemporary and second world fantasy. Some of my personal favorite fairy tales include the very creepy “The Juniper Tree” and “The Twelve Dancing Princesses,” which, for me, remains the most visually evocative of the classic canon. Though The Hazel Wood isn’t a retelling of anything, it’s definitely informed by all the stories and books I’ve loved since I was a kid.
Hardcover, 477 pages Published October 3rd 2017 by Viking Books for Young Readers Source: Publisher The sequel to the much lauded Akata Witch increases the stakes, jams up the actions, and pushes the group dynamics to breaking points. We pick up with Sunny Nwazu and her friends a few weeks after we left them in the […]
“You know what I liked about your aunt?” Kiran said. “She always seemed like she knew exactly what she was going to do next. She made you feel like that it was possible, to know the right choice.” (p. 11) At the opening of Kristin Cashore’s Jane, Unlimited, Jane is grieving for her aunt, Magnolia, […]
Hardcover, 368 pages Published August 8th 2017 by Kathy Dawson Books Source: Publisher Spellbook of the Lost and Found is Moïra Fowley-Doyle’s sophomore novel and like its predecessor, contains the easy charm of the Irish. The novel centres on two sets of adolescents, both of whom have cast spells to find things they have lost. These spells […]
Hardcover, 320 pages Published April 25th 2017 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers Source: Publisher The official synopsis: Featuring a mysterious society, a secretive past, and a pig in a teeny hat, “The Explorers: The Door in the Alley” is the first book in a new series for fans of “The Name of This Book […]
Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world . . . Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue […]
Hardcover, 176 pages Expected publication: February 14th 2017 by HMH Books for Young Readers Source: ARC from Raincoast Books Rule #9 Don’t let others run over you. Always stand your ground. Defend your position. Kwame Alexander is one of my favourite poets/writers because his words are always so dynamic, so filled with movement and passion. […]
I write stories that seem to me to be quite true enough for all practical purposes. Among them are VASSA IN THE NIGHT, THE LOST VOICES TRILOGY, and the forthcoming WHEN I CAST YOUR SHADOW and TENTACLE AND WING. Realism makes little sense to me and I experience more truth in the fantastic. I always […]
Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives. Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation … and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone […]
David Neilsen is a classically trained actor/storyteller, a journalist, and a theater/improvisation teacher for children and adults. During the Halloween season, David can be found telling spooky tales to audiences of all ages, or performing one of his one-man shows based on the stories of horror author H.P. Lovecraft. David lives in New York with […]