Monday, 16 June 2014

The Feral Child by Che Golden Q&A and Giveaway

QUERCUS PUBLISHING
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
“The dark side of faerie for a younger crowd. …Enjoyable.” –Kirkus Reviews

Neil Gaiman’s Coraline meets C.S. Lewis’s Narnia in:
THE FERAL CHILD
by CHE GOLDEN


 


      
(NEW YORK—Fall 2013) – Inspired by Stephen King, as well the Irish Tuatha de Dannan tales of her youth, Che Golden’s created a suspenseful reality-based mythology in THE FERAL CHILD (6/3/14) that will have readers cowering under their covers (like King did to her) and captivated by local folklore. Set in the shadows of a castle redolent with stories of magic and mysteries, this middle-grade novel also pays homage to C.S. Lewis’ Narnia and Neil Gaimen’s Coraline as 10-year-old Maddy, determined to get away from her annoying cousins steps through its grounds and into the world of faerie where eerie creatures live, evil lurks and the willful orphan is forced to play well with others if she’s to come out alive.

“I was always fascinated by the stories of the origins of the Tuatha de Dannan,” said Che, a student of mythology and folklore. “The monks in Christian Ireland tried to make them look like people gifted with supernatural powers and the pagan Irish worshipped them as gods and goddesses. There have even been stories that the Tautha de Dannan came to Ireland in what modern people would call a space ship! That made me tweak their physical features in the stories - I couldn't resist a nod to Roswell.”

As the festival of Samhain Fesh approaches, a time of year when the faerie and human worlds are said to overlap, strange things begin to happen in Maddy’s village and she starts to wonder if her trespass onto the castle grounds has anything to do with the turn of events, and if her grandfather’s stories of faerie are more than the yammerings of an old man.


Che has created an adventure that interweaves Maddy’s modern Irish experience with the vivid fantasy of the region’s ancient folklore. Readers will enjoy the frank and bold heroine of Maddy, and will be dazzled by The Feral Child’s evocative rendering of Irish folklore and richly imagined alternate worlds.

I love Maddy because no matter what happens to her, she keeps going,” responded Che, a mother of two, when asked what she hopes readers will take away from her story. “Just as importantly, as the stories develop she learns that as you get bigger and stronger, all the monsters in your life will get smaller. Maddy was written as an arm around their shoulders in the dark and the voice whispering comfort when it seems there is no light.”

Originally published to great acclaim in the U.K., The Feral Child is Che’s debut novel and the first in a series; it’s sequel, The Unicorn Hunter, is schedule to come out in North American in January 2015.

MORE ABOUT THE FERAL CHILD
:
Maddy, an orphan, is sick of her town, and sick of her cousin Danny, one of the nastiest people you could meet. Mad as hell one evening, she crawls inside the grounds of the castle, the one place she has always been forbidden to go. Once inside, a strange feral boy chases her, whom she suspects is one of the faerie: cruel, fantastical people who live among humans and exchange local children for their own. When the boy returns to steal her neighbor Stephen into his world, Maddy and her cousins set off on a terrifying journey into a magical wilderness, determined to bring him back home. But to do so, they must face an evil as old as the earth itself.


PRAISE FOR THE FERAL CHILD:

“Gripping, mystical and adventurous, young readers will be as hooked as Maddy was the minute she set foot inside that creepy as hell old castle,” –Irish World



“An exciting adventure story. . .combining contemporary life and fantasy,” –Irish Examiner



“Inventive,” –Sunday Independent


“Full of tension and suspense but with no shortage of humor,” –Children’s Books Ireland



MORE ABOUT CHE GOLDEN: Che Golden spent most of her childhood in Blarney Village in the shade of Blarney Castle, an ideal spot for a child with an overactive imagination who was inclined to spy unicorns in the woods and fairies in the fuchsia bushes. As a young girl, she also read Stephen King's novels under the duvet by flashlight, they still give her nightmares, but they also proved to be a great influence on her writing, as has C.S. Lewis's Narnia books and Holly Black's Modern Faierie Tales. Before turning to novel writing full-time, Che was a journalist, ran her own e-zine, and earned a graduate degree in creative writing. When she's not writing, she enjoys tending to her  horses, taking her manic terrier for walks, finding a good excuse to get dressed up, and snuggling up on the couch with her family watching movies. She lives in Bath, England.

For more information on Che and her books, visit: http://chegolden.wordpress.com 



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For more information, please contact Deb Shapiro at deb@debshapiroandcompany.com;



THE FERAL CHILD
by Che Golden
ISBN: 978-1-62365-120-6
June 3rd, 2014

A Conversation with Che Golden

Author of The Feral Child
ISBN: 9781623651206
(Quercus: 6/3/14)
 
Is there a particular bit of folklore that inspired you to write The Feral Child?
I love all the tales of the Tuatha de Dannan, particularly Queen Meabh. She was such a strong woman, a politician, a ruler and a warrior. She didn't allow anyone to challenge her power and she wasn't afraid to lead her troops into battle. It was great to be able to write her as a character in The Feral Child books. I was always fascinated about the stories of the origins of the Tuatha de Dannan - the monks in Christian Ireland tried to make them look like people gifted with supernatural powers, when the pagan Irish worshipped them as gods and goddesses. There have even been stories that the Tautha de Dannan came to Ireland in what modern people would call a space ship! That made me tweak their physical features in the stories - I couldn't resist a nod to Roswell.

Is there a particular castle and/or town that inspired the setting of the novel?
I spent a large part of my childhood in Blarney Village, which is dominated by the Blarney Castle, It is so atmospheric, as a writer the place is a gift! It was very easy for a child with an overactive imagination to see unicorns in the woods and faeries hiding under fuchsia bushes.

You say you're a compulsive liar and that's why you're a good storyteller, why should we believe you?
As a compulsive liar, I'm afraid you are just going to have to take my word for it. It's very hard to know when I am telling the truth!

What story most scared you as a child?
Anything by Stephen King and James Herbert used to scare the living daylights out of me - especially when you consider I was reading them under the duvet, by the light of a torch, when I meant to be asleep. The Rats and It still give me nightmares and a little bit of Salem's Lot sneaked into The Feral child.

Do you make up stories for your daughters? If so, what kinds of stories appeal to them?
My two girls have ambitions to be writers themselves so they prefer to write their own stuff! Besides, at the ages of nine and 12 they are beyond five minutes stories at bed time. They love being part of the books that I write (my eldest is the heroine of a series of pony books I have written for younger readers and my youngest is the heroine of a fantasy book currently looking for a publisher) but they want an entire novel written out for them these days. Like me, they love fantasy, and are huge Lord of the Rings and Hobbit fans. We've watched the films many, many times, they have an impressive collection of action figures and I am about to start them on the Shannara books.

Did you base of any of your characters in The Feral Child after anyone you know? If so, care to share whom and why?
Um, yes! I'd rather not name all of them but some of them are very, very obvious. It was good to bring my grandparents back to life and put them back in the cottage they had spent their married lives in. Stephen and his family were based on a boy in the village I was good friends with and George was my pet dog growing up. Some influenced less pleasant characters though!

What were your favorite things to do when you were Maddy's age?
I loved movies and going to the cinema as well as reading and drawing. I also like being outside and still do - it was lovely living in Blarney because I was allowed to have the run of the place. As long as I turned up at mealtimes, no one was too worried. It was a lot of fun, being able to play in a ruined castle!

What's been your favorite experience since becoming a published author for children?
It has to be meeting people who have read the book and LIKED it! Writing is a very lonely experience and I do feel like I am just hurling words into a void. When you meet people who love the book and really think about the characters, it makes it all worthwhile. And readers to have an influence. They made me look at Fachtna with fresh eyes and as a result, she became a much more complicated character than I originally thought she would be.

Aside from horses, what else do you enjoy when you're not writing?
I have a really manic terrier and I enjoy taking him for a walk across some fields and woods near my house in Bath. I love getting dressed up and eating out, going to the theatre and the cinema. I love clothes and fashion and not working in an office means I get to treat my closet like a big dressing-up box. But my favourite thing to do in the winter is to snuggle up with my family and the dog under a throw on our squishy sofa and watch movies while the rain lashes the windows. If we are eating an Indian takeaway at the same time, that's just heaven!

What's your favorite sweet?
Chocolate eclairs! Those lovely sticky toffee sweets with the runny chocolate filling. I love the way the chocolate just floods my taste buds when I crack the toffee casing open with my teeth. A close second would be Cadbury's creme eggs. And New York cheesecake - I could just put my face in one of those and inhale!

What's the best piece of advice you've ever being given? The worse?
The best piece of advice was "Ride it like you stole it" and the worst was "Don't bother applying to do A Levels - you're too stupid to go to university and you don't work hard enough to make it as a journalist." Wrong, on both counts!

What do you hope kids will take away from their reading of The Feral Child?
That no matter how bad things may seem, it will pass. Sometimes all you can do is bow your head against the storm and endure, but that too, is strength. I love Maddy because no matter what happens to her, she keeps going. Just as importantly, as the stories develop she learns that as you get bigger and stronger, all the monsters in your life will get smaller. I think that is an important message to get across to children who are having a hard time, who long to leave childhood behind and feel less helpless. Maddy was written to an arm around their shoulders in the dark and the voice whispering comfort when it seems there is no light.

What is your favorite folk tale?
Anything to do with selkies! I really, really want to write a selkie novel one day but I am waiting for my muse to come back from holiday and do some work.






The Feral ChildThe Feral Child by Che Golden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ARC provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Feral Child is a quick, action-packed, nightmarishly, good read that weaves old Irish folklore with a modern day twist.

After Maddy's parents died, she has come to live with her grandparents in a small Irish town. Maddy wants to get her old life back, her parents and London, but most of all she wants to get away from some of her cruel family members who think she is a burden. The old castle grounds seems like a good escape until Maddy meets a creepy, wild boy who she thinks may be one of the fae. When Maddy refuses to go with the boy, he takes the neighbor's young child, Stephen. She is determined to get Stephen back. Maddy and her two cousins will embark on a dangerous adventure to retrieve him back from the fae.

I will admit Maddy was a hard character to like. She had serious anger issues, but she was willing to risk her life to get Stephen back. Her tenacity was her redeeming quality, and it was definitely put to the test dealing with the fae. I enjoyed this read and would definitely recommend it.

View all my reviews


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