Showing posts with label Eowyn Ivey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eowyn Ivey. Show all posts

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Interview with Eowyn Ivey - February 2, 2012

Please welcome Eowyn Ivey to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Snow Child, Eowyn's debut, was published yesterday, February 1, 2012. 

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Eowyn:  I have very good hearing – my family jokes that I have the ears of a bat. But it’s actually kind of a curse. When I first sit down to write, the littlest noise irritates me to the point that I can’t focus. I’ll be begging everyone, please stop walking around, please turn down the TV, in fact, just turn it off. But once I’m swallowed up in the story and writing away, it’s like I go deaf. Loud music, daughters arguing -- I can’t hear a thing.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Eowyn:  This is a difficult question for me, because I’m such an avid reader – I have many favorite writers, and I keep finding more. Louise Erdrich’s Love Medicine was probably the first book that really stunned me, that made me want to be a better writer. Wallace Stegner, Jonathan Safran Foer, Annie Proulx, Cormac McCarthy, Toni Morrison, Ernest Hemingway, Marilynne Robinson, Larry McMurtry … I could keep going on and on. I also find poetry incredibly inspiring to the writing process. Some of my favorite poets: Olena Kalytiak Davis, Seamus Heaney, John Haines, Mary Oliver. See, you’re going to have a hard time shutting me up.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Eowyn:  I hate to be wishy-washy, but I would have to say a bit of both. I like to have a rough outline in my head, but it constantly changes. I like to have some idea of the narrative arc, but I’m not afraid to let the story take its own path – in fact, I love it when that happens. It’s the same with characters – I’ll try to sketch them out some, but I want them to surprise me. Writing is the most thrilling to me when it’s about discovery.

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Eowyn:  Making time for it. Like everyone else, I have the normal daily demands of work, family schedules, etc. We have a rural lifestyle with its own demands, and we’re building our own house out-of-pocket as we live in it. But it’s more than all that. I enjoy a lot of different pastimes. I like to read, and go to the opera, and sled, and hike, and hunt and fish and make wildberry jam, and visit with friends and family, and sometimes knit. And did I mention, I love to read. I am easily sidetracked by all these other fun things. But once I’m absorbed in my story, it’s so exciting that I wonder why I don’t spend more time doing it.

TQ:  Describe The Snow Child in 140 characters or less.

Eowyn:  Ah, a bookish tweet! “1920 Alaska. Jack & Mabel isolated and sad. Until they build a child of snow, then catch sight of a little girl running through the forest.”

TQ:  What inspired you to write The Snow Child?

Eowyn:  I work as a bookseller at Fireside Books here in Alaska, and one night I was shelving when I came across a children’s illustrated version of the classic Russian fairy tale of the snow maiden. I read it standing there in the store, and I knew this was it. This was the plot line I had always been looking for. It was a magical story set in a landscape that could be my own backyard. I ended up abandoning an entirely different novel I had been working on for five years, and in less than a year I had a first draft of The Snow Child.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for The Snow Child?

Eowyn:  It’s funny, because it never felt like research. I was just following my own fascination. After I stumbled on that children’s book of Snegurochka, I discovered many different versions told over hundreds of years in Russian lacquer paintings, opera and ballet. All of it fueled my imagination. In terms of Jack and Mabel’s life on their homestead, it was informed by my own. My husband and I grew up in Alaska. We have a vegetable garden, hunt moose and caribou for our own meat, gather wild berries, heat our home with a woodstove, and try to live a somewhat self-sufficient lifestyle. When I wrote about Jack field dressing a moose, I didn’t have to do any research – we do that every autumn.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Eowyn:  Esther, although she came to me late in the process, was the easiest character to write. I loved her from the beginning, and she was a wonderful relief from the sort of sad, somber mood in Jack and Mabel’s house. I’ve known a lot of Alaskan women like her, so she was like an old friend. Perhaps predictably, the snow child Faina was the most challenging character. She was a great lesson to me as a writer – the information you withhold from your reader is as important as what you share. I have pages and pages about her from earlier drafts that I ultimately discarded because I knew I needed to trust my readers and allow their imaginations to work.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in The Snow Child?

Eowyn:  The scenes in the wilderness -- Jack’s moose, Faina leading Mabel into the mountains. These are the places I know and love, so it was a joy to me to be able to write about them. I like novels that sweep me away to a faraway place, and I wanted to be able to do that for other people. I wanted to bring readers to Alaska and show them what I admire and fear about it.

TQ:  What's next?

Eowyn:  My next novel shares some similarities with The Snow Child. It’s set in historic Alaska and has some fantastical elements. But I’m imagining this next one as something a bit more epic and adventurous. In the meantime, I’m still having a lot of fun with The Snow Child. I’ve been doing some traveling far from Alaska – Winter Institute in New Orleans, an event in Denver at the fabulous Tattered Cover, and a visit to the England and Scotland to promote the book there.

TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Read Eowyn's guest blog about The Snow Child here.

About The Snow Child

The Snow Child
Reagan Arthur Books/Little, Brown (February 1, 2012)
Hardcover, 400 pages

Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart--he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone--but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees.

This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.

About Eowyn

Eowyn LeMay Ivey grew up in Alaska and continues to live there with her husband and two daughters. Her debut novel, The Snow Child, will be published Feb. 1 by Reagan Arthur Books/Little, Brown & Co. It is a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection for 2012, and The Christian Science Monitor named it one of six must-read books for 2012. The Snow Child will be released in more than a dozen countries. Eowyn works part-time as a bookseller at Fireside Books in Palmer, Alaska.

Eowyn's Links:

Letters from Alaska (blog)

Some Foreign Covers

Monday, January 30, 2012

The View From Monday - January 30, 2012

It's the last Monday in January! January has been incredibly busy here and has flown by. February will be jam-packed as well. The Qwillery is ending January and will start February with a lot of 2012 Debut Author goodness!

Monday - 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interview with Myke Cole. Control Point (Shadow Ops 1) will be published on January 31, 2012. The Control Point cover by Michael Komarck is devastating the competition in the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars for January! Go vote.

Tuesday - 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interview with David Tallerman. Giant Thief (Tales of Easie Damasco 1), David's debut, will be published on January 31, 2012.

Wednesday - 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interview with Elisabeth Staab. Elisabeth's debut, King of Darkness (Chronicles of Yavn 1), will be published on February 7, 2012.

Thursday - 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interview with Eowyn Ivey. The Snow Child, Eowyn's debut, will be published on February 1, 2012.

Friday - Guest post by Laura Kaye. In the Service of the King (Vampire Warrior Kings 1), an e-novella,  will be published on February 1, 2012. North of Need (Hearts of the Anemoi 1) was published in November 2011.

Saturday - 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interview with Tes Hilaire. Tes' debut, Deliver Me From Darkness (Paladin Warriors 1), will be published on February 7, 2012.

Sunday - 2012 Debut Author Challenge Guest Post by David Constantine. The Pillars of Hercules, David's debut, will be published in March 2012.

Here's the book list for this week. There are a lot of books to choose from. And to help you shop, you can find a printable PDF of this week's book by clicking here. Click "File" on the left and then "Print (PDF)."

January 31, 2012
The Faceless
Simon Bestwick H
The Witch's Daughter (h2tp)
Paula Brackston F
River Marked (h2mm)
Patricia Briggs UF - Mercy Thompson 6
Control Point (d)
Myke Cole MSF - Shadow Ops 1
All Things Wicked
Karina Cooper PNR - Dark Mission 3
William C. Dietz SF - Mass Effect 4
The Sacred Band (h2mm)
David Anthony Durham EF - Acacia Trilogy 3
The Plain Man (h2mm)
Steve Englehart F - Max August 3
High Bloods
John Farris UF
Lair of the Lion (ri)
Christine Feehan PNR
The Crucible of Empire
Eric Flint
K.D. Wentworth
SF - Jao 2
Undone Deeds
Mark Del Franco UF - Connor Grey 6
A Devil Named Desire
Terri Garey PNR - Devil's Bargain 2
Darkest Highlander
Donna Grant PNR - Dark Sword 6
Third Grave Dead Ahead
Darynda Jones UF - Charley Davidson 3
Intensity (ri)
Dean Koontz H
Shadows West
Joe R. Lansdale
John L. Lansdale
H - Story Collection
Earthblood & Other Stories
Keith Laumer
Rosel George Brown
Eric Flint (ed)
Carousel Tides (ri)
Sharon Lee UF
J. F. Lewis UF - Void City 4
A Little Night Magic
Lucy March PNR
His Dark Bond
Anne Marsh PNR - Fallen Angel 2
James Maxey EF - Dragon Apocalypse 1
The Questing Road (h2mm)
Lyn McConchie EF - Questing Road 1
When We Were Executioners
J.M. McDermott F - Dogland Trilogy 2
Wrong Side of Dead
Kelly Meding UF - Dreg City 4
Embassytown (h2tp)
China Mieville SF
Kings of the North (h2mm)
Elizabeth Moon EF - Paladin's Legacy 2
The Unremembered (h2mm)
Peter Orullian F - Vault of Heaven 1
The Quantum Thief (h2mm)
Hannu Rajaniemi SF - Quantum Thief 1
Sadie Walker Is Stranded
Madeleine Roux H
Heir of Novron
Michael J. Sullivan EF - Riyria Revelations
Giant Thief (d)
David Tallerman EF - Tales of Easie Damasco 1
The Great Game
Lavie Tidhar SPTh - Bookman Histories 3
After the Golden Age (h2mm)
Carrie Vaughn UF
In Fire Forged
David Weber SF - Worlds of Honor 5

February 1, 2011
Dream Space
Julie Armstrong F
Firelight (d)
Kristen Callihan PNR - Darkest London 1
Ember (e)
Kristen Callihan PNR - Firelight Prequel
Mainak Dhar H
The Thing on the Shore
Tom Fletcher H
Frank Reade: Adventures in the Age of Invention (ri)
Paul Guinan
Anina Bennett
The Snow Child (d)
Eowyn Ivey F
In the Service of the King (e)
Laura Kaye PER - Vampire Warrior Kings 1
Sun of Apollo
Darab Lawyer
Clinton Libbey
SF - Revelation 911
Eyes Like Leaves
Charles de Lint F
The Dread
Gail Z. Martin EF - Fallen Kings Cycle 2
Nocturnal Whispers (e)
Caridad Pineiro PER - novella

February 2, 2012
The Lost Goddess
Tom Knox Th w/ PE

d - Debut
e - Ebook
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - Reissue
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback

EF - Epic Fantasy
F - Fantasy
H - Horror
MSF - Military Science Fiction
PE - Paranormal Elements
PER - Paranormal Erotic Romance
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SP - Steampunk
SPTh - Steampunk Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
UFN - Urban Fantasy Noir