Please welcome Victoria Simcox back to Dab of Darkness. You may remember her earlier interview where we talked about C. S. Lewis, talking animals, and cover art. Here she has returned to talk further about the second book in her juvenile fantasy series, The Black Shard. Also, we have a giveaway of winner’s choice of her two books, so make sure to check that out at the bottom of this post.
Goodreads blurb on The Magic Warble:
Twelve-year-old Kristina Kingsly feels like the most unpopular girl in her school. The kids all tease her, and she never seems to fit in. But when Kristina receives an unusual Christmas gift, she suddenly finds herself magically transported to the land of Bernovem, home of dwarfs, gnomes, fairies, talking animals and the evil Queen Sentiz. In Bernovem, Kristina not only fits in, she’s honored as “the chosen one,” the only one who can release the land from Queen Sentiz’s control. But it’s not as simple as it seems. To save Bernovem, she must place the gift she was given, the famous “Magic Warble,” in its final resting place. She must travel through the deep forest, climb a treacherous mountain, and risk capture by the queen’s “zelbocks” before she reaches her destination. Guided by her new fairy friends, Clover and Looper and by Prince Werrien, a teenage boy, and an assortment of other characters, Kristina sets off on a perilous journey that not only tests her strength but her heart.
Kristina’s stay at summer horse camp is horrible to say the least, and it’s all because Hester and Davina are there as well, making her life miserable. When Hester’s cruel prank goes terribly wrong, it’s actually what sends the three girls back to the magical land of Bernovem. In Bernovem, Kristina is very excited to see her former friend, Prince Werrien. When he invites her to sail with him on his ship to his homeland Tezerel, putting it simply, Kristina can’t refuse. Reunited with her gnome, dwarf, animal, fairy friends … and best of all, Werrien, things seem like they couldn’t get any better for Kristina. But when Werrien becomes fascinated with an unusual seeing stone, the “Black Shard,” Kristina is haunted by a ghostlike old hag. Struggling against suspicion, guilt, illness, and ultimately the one who wants to possess her soul, Kristina will see it’s in her weakest moment that she will encounter more strength than she has ever known.
Both questions and answers were provided by Victoria Simcox.
On your blog you state that your teenage daughter inspired Kristina, but who inspired some of the other characters, like Werrien and Hector? (Hopefully, no one real inspired Davina or Hester ;D)
Yes, Kristina, in the book was inspired by my daughter, and even though I named Kristina my character after my daughter, the two are different personalities. Werrien came from different personality traits of people I know. I have a teenage son, and I took some traits from him, as well as his friends and other teenagers I have encountered. Hector, I created from my imagination, at least I can’t pinpoint where I got him from. Davina’s and Hester’s personalities came from kids I knew when I was in grade school—bully type peers. Even though they were annoying, hurtful and even scary when I was young, now that I’m an adult I find it quite fun to use their character traits in my writing.
This book has some beautiful illustrations. I know you teach art, so I was curious as to whether the cover or any of the images inside were your drawings?
Yes, I teach art and have been doing so for 11 years, but the illustration and cover were not done by me. I have a different style of drawing and painting than what is in my book. An artist by the name of Amanda Swanson did all the art work inside the book as well as the cover. She specializes in fantasy art and I am very happy with what she has created.
Bernovem seems to be such a beautiful place. Is there any place that you’ve been to or read about that inspired it?
I was inspired to create Bernovem from different places that I have been, like the Hoh Rain Forest in WA. I love hiking through its densely green, moss laden trails. There is definitely something magical about it. Hemlock Valley Mountain, in BC Canada, is a place I have been skiing at since I was a youth. It is a majestic yet peaceful place. I was in Tahiti and Hawaii some years back and enjoyed the beaches, aqua-blue waters, and tropical forests. I created Finimus Island from my experience at these two paradises. My mother and father are immigrants from Europe and throughout my lifetime I have had the opportunity to visit Austria, Germany and other places, like the beautiful city of Prague. These places have influenced me in creating the city Ezeree as well as Salas.
What inspired you to be a writer and to write the Magic Warble series?
I remember I was sitting in the movie theater watching the first Harry Potter movie when I envisioned my main character Kristina walking down a snowy sidewalk. At the time that was all of the story I had. I went home that night and wrote my first page not knowing where the story would go.
So the ending of The Black Shard often leaves readers in total, utter suspense – can you tell us when to expect the third installment of this amazing series?
I was hoping Book 2 would leave readers wanting to read more and I’m so glad it did. I am in the process of writing the 3rd book and when it is finished (I don’t have a set date yet) I will definitely let all my Magic Warble fans know.
Victoria lurks in various fantastical and common Earthly places on the web:
Now for the giveaway. To enter, simply leave a comment on this guest post – and an email or twitter handle. For additional chances to win, fill out the rafflecopter below. Good luck!
Giveaway of 3 ebooks – winner chooses Book 1 or Book 2 (International)