Happy Saturday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for THE WOLF’S CURSE! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Jessica Vitalis to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so excited to for you to find out more about it!
The Wolf's Curse by Jessica Vitalis
Published on September 21, 2021 by Greenwillow Books
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade
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"The path ahead isn't easy. It will be filled with darkness and despair, and you will almost certainly regret your decision, just as I regret mine."~Narrator, The Wolf's Curse
Twelve-year-old Gauge’s life has been cursed since the day he witnessed a Great White Wolf steal his grandpapá’s soul, preventing it from reaching the Sea-in-the-Sky and sailing into eternity. When the superstitious residents of Bouge-by-the-Sea accuse the boy of crying wolf, he joins forces with another orphan to prove his innocence. They navigate their shared grief in a journey that ultimately reveals life-changing truths about the wolf––and death. Narrated in a voice reminiscent of The Book Thief and Lemony Snicket, this fast-paced adventure is perfect for fans of literary fiction fantasy such as A Wish in the Dark and The Girl Who Drank the Moon.
What would you do if you spent the day with Gauge and The Narrator? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
We’d probably spend the day at the beach; the Wolf would chase crabs, and Gauge and I would collect feathers for Roux. In the evening, we’d enjoy a bit of smoked eel, followed by a delicious rhubarb crisp, and then we’d perch on the cliffs, letting our legs dangle as we enjoyed the gulls swooping and the sun setting on the far-off edge of the sky.
If Gauge and The Narrator were to hang out with characters from other books, who would they be and why?
Gauge would likely hang out with Beau from The Verdigris Pawn by Alysa Wishingrad; both boys know what it is to experience loss and oppression. I think he’d also connect with Pong from Christina Soontornvat’s A Wish in the Dark for this same reason. My narrator would undoubtedly hang out with the narrator from Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief so they could compare notes (or whatever it is Grim Reapers do in their spare time).
If there was one fictional place you could travel to for a day, where would it be and why?
Hmmm, maybe Laurel Snyder’s Orphan Island? It sounds tropical and heavenly and honestly, those kids need hugs! On the other hand, the graveyard in Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book would also be tempting; imagine spending the day among ghosts! But the magical and historical New York City Alyssa Colman explores in The Gilded Girl would be incredible, too. Can I have three days, pretty please?
If you buried a time capsule with three items inside, what three items would you choose and why?
I’d for sure include a recipe for chocolate, because what if the capsule got opened in some sort of dystopian future in which chocolate no longer existed? I might also include a DVD with every episode of Schitt’s Creek or Ted Lasso (we’re just going to have to assume someone in the future will have the technology to watch it)! And I think I’d probably include a copy of my book, because the themes of death and grief, hope and healing are universal and timeless and will be as appreciated in the future as they are now.
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
I did a fair amount of research on death and grief rituals around the world; while I didn’t end up incorporating any of it into my story (which would have felt like appropriation), the research was extremely important in helping open my mind to the possibility that there isn’t any one “right” way to honor the dead and grapple with the afterlife; this understanding allowed me to turn to my seaside setting to create a set of death and grief rituals unique to my story world. For example, the villagers believe that stars are actually lanterns lit by their loved ones as they travel to the Sea in the Sky and sail into eternity, and they bury their loved ones in “vessels” rather than in coffins.
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from The Wolf’s Curse?
I love pretty much everything that comes out of the sly, witty Wolf’s mouth! But I also love the sweet relationship that develops between Gauge and Roux. For example, there’s a moment when she’s about to cut his hair and he tells her to watch his ears––she responds that it’s his tongue he needs to worry about. If I had to pick my favorite quote, it would probably be this:
Follow your heart. It’s as true as any compass out there.
What do you think about The Wolf’s Curse? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!