Friday, January 25, 2013

All About Middle Grade Interview: Darby Karchut (author of Finn Finnegan)

I am very excited to welcome Darby Karchut, author of Finn Finnegan, to the blog for this week's All About Middle Grade Challenge. Hope y'all will give her a very warm welcome.

About the author:

All her life, the archetypal hero and his journey have enthralled Darby Karchut. A native of New Mexico, Darby grew up in a family that venerated books and she spent her childhood devouring one fantasy novel after another. Fascinated by mythologies from around the world, she attended the University of New Mexico, graduating with a degree in anthropology. After moving to Colorado, she then earned a Master’s in education and became a social studies teacher.
Drawing from her extensive knowledge of world cultures, she blends ancient myths with modern urban life to write stories that relate to young teens today.
Darby is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Pikes Peak Writers Guild. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado with her husband, where she still teaches at a local junior high school. She enjoys running, biking, and skiing the Rocky Mountains in all types of weather.
Griffin Rising is her first novel. She is currently working on the next books in the series, Griffin's Fire (April 2012) and Griffin's Storm (December 2012). Her middle grade novel, Finn Finnegan, will be released March 2013 from Spencer Hill Press. The next book in the Finnegan series, Gideon's Spear, will be released from Spencer Hill Press in February 2014.

You can haunt Darby Karchut at-
Goodreads | Website |


Interview 

1. Could you tell us a little about your book, Finn Finnegan, and what readers can look forward to seeing in the book?

Finn (not bleedin' Finnegan) MacCullen is eager to begin his apprenticeship. He soon discovers the ups and downs of hunting monsters in a suburban neighborhood under the demanding tutelage of the Knight, Gideon Lir. Both master and apprentice are descendents of the Tuatha De Danaan, a magical race of warriors from Ireland. Scattered long ago to the four corners of the world, the De Danaan wage a two thousand year old clandestine battle with their ancient enemy, the Amandán, a breed of goblin-like creatures.

Now with the beasts concentrating their attacks on Finn, he and his master must race to locate the lost Spear of the Tuatha De Danaan, the only weapon that can destroy the Amandán, all the while hiding his true identity from his new friends, Rafe and Savannah, twins whose South African roots may hold a key to Finn's survival.

Armed with a bronze dagger, some ancient Celtic magic, and a hair-trigger temper, Finn is about to show his enemies the true meaning of "fighting Irish."

2. Finn and Gideon, definitely make quite the pairing as master and apprentice in this modern set mythological adventure. What did you enjoy most when it came to creating the relationship between the two of them?

I decided early on that these two were going to have a rough-and-tumble relationship, with lots of head butting and arguing (Finn is a thirteen year old boy, after all). And with both of them being blessed with a generous share of the Irish temper, sparks fly, often with humorous results. But underlying everything is a growing bond of affection and respect and mutual dependence. Sometimes, they are as much father and son as they are master and apprentice.

3. So, what made you want to write a middle grade book based upon Irish mythology with some amazing Celtic warriors?

Middle grade is magic. Pure magic. I teach middle school (students the same age as Finn) and I love watching as my students, especially the boys, take their first steps from childhood to manhood. I wanted to give boys heroes they can believe in: a hero their own age they can measure their growth against, as well as an adult hero they can emulate.

And why Irish mythology? Because the dual nature of the Celts make for some dynamic character development. Finn and Gideon are both warrior bards in the ancient sense of the term. They are hunters and fighters, but they also love to sing and the written word.

4. How much research did you have to do in regards to the Celtic language that you sprinkled throughout the book? Any favorite phrases?

Thank goodness for the Internet! I am constantly looking for translations and pronunciation guides for the various phrases I use. My foreign language is limited to six years of Latin (classical, not medieval), so I’m learning Gaelic right along with the boyo. While I did research for Finn Finnegan, I began a list of phrases I will use in the other books of the series. My favorite phrase in book one is codladh sumh. It means “sleep well.” A nice touch by this blue collar, no-nonsense master to wish his headstrong apprentice a good night.  

5. If you could have any, and I mean any, mythological story in the world be 100% truth, which would you choose? Why?

Well, I hope I don’t offend anyone, but the “mythological story” I would love to be 100% true is the Christian “myth” which is not a myth at all, but True.

6. It's always nice to meet a fellow lover of fantasy books. What three fantasy book would you say have made the biggest impression on you as a reader? Why?

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, the Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander, and The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan.

7. The world has fallen to a robot invasion and only one heroine/hero can possibly save the day, who do you choose?

Hmm, that would be a toss up between Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings or Gwydion from the Prydain Chronicles. Or Lassie. Lassie would be cool.

8. Care to tell us about your writing cave?

This question made me grin. Writing cave – I wish! I write on a laptop. It travels with me all over the house, to school, and so on. I write whenever I have a fifteen minute window. I am always writing. Or thinking about writing.

9. Any upcoming projects that you can share with us?

Book two, Gideon’s Spear, is with my editors (hi Trish and Vikki!!) and will be released February 2014. I am wrapping up the first draft of book three, tentatively entitled The Hunting. Book four, The Burnt Bones, is outlined and patiently waiting for me to get going on it.

DK: Thank you so much for letting me visit with you and your followers today. I had a blast answering these questions!

Darby, thank you, for stopping by and answering some questions. Definitely looking forward to next next book in this incredible series.

Y'all can read my review of Finn Finnegan.

Finn Finnegan (The Adventures of Finn MacCullen, 1) by Darby Karchut, March 12, 2013. Published by Spencer Hill Press.
Finn (not bleedin' Finnegan) MacCullen is eager to begin his apprenticeship. He soon discovers the ups and downs of hunting monsters in a suburban neighborhood under the demanding tutelage of the Knight, Gideon Lir. Both master and apprentice are descendents of the Tuatha De Danaan, a magical race of warriors from Ireland. Scattered long ago to the four corners of the world, the De Danaan wage a two thousand year old clandestine battle with their ancient enemy, the Amandán, a breed of goblin-like creatures.
Now with the beasts concentrating their attacks on Finn, he and his master must race to locate the lost Spear of the Tuatha De Danaan, the only weapon that can destroy the Amandán, all the while hiding his true identity from his new friends, Rafe and Savannah, twins whose South African roots may hold a key to Finn's survival. Armed with a bronze dagger, some ancient Celtic magic, and a hair-trigger temper, Finn is about to show his enemies the true meaning of "fighting Irish."
You can read my review of Finn Finnegan

2 comments:

  1. Orchid, thank you so much for having me here today and letting me talk about Finnegan. Loved your questions!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awe, I am so excited that you enjoyed the questions, Darby!!

      Thank you so much for being a guest on my blog. It so much fun to have you and to talk about your book.

      Delete

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