Everyone, please welcome Ilana Waters, author of The Adventures of Stanley Delacourt, who is joining us today for an interview and a giveaway. If you have frequented this blog recently, then you probably saw my review of The Adventures of Stanley Delacourt earlier this week.
First, a little bit about the book, and where Ms. Waters can be found hanging out, goofing off, or skulking under a candle with a good book.
Ilana Waters’ first book, The Adventures of Stanley Delacourt: Book I of Hartlandia, is a middle-grade fantasy. It’s available at Amazon, Amazon.com/uk, Barnesandnoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Look for the release of Book II of the Hartlandia trilogy in 2013.
Ten-year-old Stanley Delacourt loves his quiet life in the peaceful village of Meadowwood. At least, he does until his best friend is killed. Then the town library—where Stanley lives and works—is burned to the ground. The individuals responsible for both tragedies are a nasty group of soldiers. They work for the kingdom’s new leader: Christopher Siren.
No one understands the rules Siren’s creating. They don’t know why breaking them means death, or why the leader is so keen to destroy books. And no one can figure out where the former queen and king disappeared to—or if they’ll ever return.
With the grown-ups too fearful to take action, Stanley vows to confront Siren. He plans to get answers and demand justice. Little does he know that his journey will involve sword-wielding knights, kidnapper fairies, and dark magic.
Stanley has only two allies back home. One is an intimidated witch named Meredith. The other is a young apothecary called Sophie—who may have enchantment problems of her own. Can they help him discover the reason behind Siren’s crimes and end this terrible reign? Or is Stanley set to become the next victim in the tyrant’s evil plot?
If you enjoy the fantasy works of Rick Riordan, Lemony Snicket, or Philip Pullman, then explore the world of Stanley Delacourt today!
If you care to stalk Ms. Waters, she can be found frolicking at these fine locations:
What were some of your favorite books growing up and what were their influences on your own writing career?
Strangely enough, I read a lot of what are considered “contemporary” kids’ books (i.e., ones that reflect real life). Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, and Ann M. Martin were some of my favorite authors. Now that I am “grown-up” (ha!), I deal almost exclusively in fantasy. I’m not sure what caused the switch. What I did learn was a) kids need their concerns taken seriously, even in literature, b) no one likes to be talked down to, and c) keep your language simple.
In choosing the lead character for The Adventures of Stanley Delacourt, did you know straight away that Stanley was the one, or did you think maybe it might be The Adventures of Sophie?
Funny you should ask. I would say that, in the beginning, Stanley chose me. His story was first and foremost in my brain. It wasn’t till I got about two-thirds of the way through the first book that I realized I was telling it from two points of view: Stanley’s and Sophie’s. Sophie just kept popping up in her persistent way and would not be silenced! If you’re a fan of hers, definitely stay tuned for books II and III. You haven’t seen the last of Sophie Delphi!
The mix of feudal-type kingdom and modern items such as plastic is unusual. How did you choose what small modern bits to pull into your book The Adventures of Stanley Delacourt?
Ha-ha—I sort of cheated on this one. I just never really took the modern bits out. You see, I’m kind of crummy when it comes to research. I don’t think I could ever do a purely historical work because I’d get too much wrong. Hence my mish-mash world. If I don’t know enough about something . . . I make it up! 😉
In The Adventures of Stanley Delacourt, you make use of several small poems as spells. How do you see poetry being used in future Hartlandia novels?
I have a few plans to use it in characters’ dreams and of course, more of Sophie’s spells. Poetry, to me, is its own sort of magic. To my surprise, many young readers agree!
I want to hear the electric eel pet sitting story. Every. Little. Detail.
Well, pet-sitting was a short-term college gig. I honestly don’t remember much about the eel one, except that it was probably the strangest job I ever had. At least with an eel, there’s no poop to pick up. But it was really creepy watching that thing slide through the water in its tank. I think I had to feed it live, tiny worms. I’d just dump them in there and run! Don’t get me started on the cat who cornered me on the couch. Or the golden lab who nearly dragged me into traffic. Or the Rottweiler who wouldn’t let me leave unless I gave him treats. Lots of treats.
What new and upcoming writing projects are you at liberty to tell us about?
I could tell you, but then . . . I’d have to kill you. KIDDING! I am fully at liberty to tell you about “Paying Piper,” a short story based on the classic fairy tale. I have no problem divulging the details of Castles in the Air and The House that Wouldn’t Behave—both adventurous Hartlandian novellas. I am triple-authorized to discuss House of Cards (a Parisian, YA paranormal romance—with vampires!). And although I may get in trouble with my superiors, I’m also letting you know that I’ll soon have a short story/Greek-myth out: “How the Lizard Got Back Her Legs.”
All these should be published in the next two or three months. Book II of Stanley Delacourt, however, will be out later this year.
Thank you so much, Dab of Darkness, for having me on your blog!
Now for the giveaway!
This giveaway will have 3 winners, each to receive 1 ebook copy of The Adventures of Stanley Delacourt. The giveaway will run for 2 weeks and you must enter the rafflecopter. All three winners will be selected randomly. All winners will be verified to have played by the rules. Yes, I do check. Because I care. Each winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond. If someone doesn’t respond, a new one will be drawn and contacted. Have fun everyone!