Happy Monday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for THE EDGE OF STRANGE HOLLOW! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Gabrielle K. Byrne to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so so excited to for you to find out more about it, PLUS enter for a chance to win a print copy!
The Edge of Strange Hollow by Gabrielle K. Byrne
Published on May 18, 2021 by Imprint
Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy
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Welcome to Strange Hollow. Beware the Grimwood.
Poppy Sunshine isn’t like everyone else in Strange Hollow. She’s not afraid of the Grimwood, home to magical creatures like shape-shifters, fairies, witches, and even a three-headed dog.
Banned from the wood by her parents, Poppy longs to learn everything about it and imagines joining her mother and father as they hunt the forest’s cursed magical objects. So when her only family disappears on a routine expedition, she and her friends must break every rule to save them. But Poppy soon discovers that things in the Grimwood are rarely what they seem...
And the monsters who took her parents may not be monsters at all.
What would you do if you spent the day with poppy? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
I love this question! I’d want to see the inside of Poppy’s house first, and meet Jute and Dog. Then I’d go for a walk with Poppy in the Grimwood. I’m dying to touch (and also taste) a tentacular, and see all their colors up close. I’d want to meet the boatman too–though I’m not sure “meeting” him is exactly what goes on there. It would be so exciting to ride the river up to the Holly Oak island and see the Alcyon sea, then watch the boatman and his boat sink beneath the surface. Next we’d hang out in the pavilions and check out all the creatures while they’re not allowed to kill or eat us. Heaven!
If poppy were to hang out with characters from other books, who would they be and why?
Ha! I can totally picture this. She would love Toli from my first book, Rise of the Dragon Moon. They’re both stubborn though, so hopefully they wouldn’t knock heads. I think Poppy would also get along really well with Enola Holmes. They both can’t abide an unanswered question, and will charge headlong into adventure. Poppy would love gentle, persistent Rooney from The Plentiful Darkness…and she’d definitely appreciate Milton (Sea Hawk) P. Greene’s penchant for exploration (The Adventure is Now). She and the Sisters Grimm would have plenty to talk about too!
Would you rather be a superhero or a supervillain? And what would your powers and name be?
Villains can be so interesting, and so much fun to write! If I had to choose to be one or the other though, I think I’d be a hero. Villains are often so lonely and misunderstood. It’s only their flaws and circumstances together that make them grow so twisted. We can hate them, but they’re also pitiable creatures. As a superhero, I’d love to be able to bring light to people’s hearts, maybe by sharing images of the world’s beautiful potential–flashes of hopeful futures. Call me Illuminator! This works geeky double time since I love medieval illuminated manuscripts.
If you buried a time capsule with three items inside, what three items would you choose and why?
So many choices! I often think about how we connect to our pasts, to our ancestors and their choices. I’m struck by how much we have in common, regardless of how far back we go, and how different we might have been as individuals. Such unpredictable things are handed down. I know I have gestures that my Grandmother often made. My daughters say things that I have said, but not for years and years. That’s why I think the items in my time capsule could only be immensely personal, and that’s how they’d reflect the world at large. I’d put in two pictures; one of my family when I was a child, and one of my family now…as many of us as I could pull together. The third thing I would put in would be some beautiful dried wildflowers. I want anyone who opens the capsule—however far in the future—to know that there was love and beauty in the world; that there are some things that don’t change.
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
Almost all of the creatures (excepting the ones I totally made up out of whole cloth), have a rich and varied collection of stories, and often they vary tremendously from teller to teller, and across time. It was really fun to take a creature from legend or fairy tale–like the endless variety of witch stories for example, and add something new or unexpected. I loved making witches unpredictable old women. They might help or harm, but either way are likely to bite. The Valkyrie are another example. They have a huge lexicon of stories in which sometimes they’re saviors and sometimes demons. In lots of cases I had to pick what qualities and pieces to use, but in Poppy’s world, as in all fairy tales, nothing is as it seems.
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from the edge of strange hollow?
I had so much fun writing this book. It’s tough to pick just one moment! I love the Kelpie scene, mostly because it freaks me right out. I love the scene where Jute talks to Mack’s parents via penny whistle. I love introducing the Valkyrie (so vain!), and the big battle scene at the end. Maybe most of all, I love the sweet epilogue, when Poppy is finally feeling whole and ready to take her next steps.
What do you think about The Edge of Strange Hollow? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!