Published by Skyscape on June 20th 2017
All sixteen-year-old Tommin wants is to make beautiful shoes and care for his beloved granny, but his insatiable need to steal threatens to destroy everything. Driven by a curse that demands more and more gold, he’s sure to get caught eventually.
When mysterious Lorcan Reilly arrives in town with his “niece,” Eve, Tommin believes the fellow wants to help him. Instead, Lorcan whisks him off to the underground realm of the Leprechauns, where, alongside Eve, he’s forced to prepare to become one of them.
As Lorcan’s plans for his “gold-children” are slowly revealed, Tommin and Eve plan their escape. But with Tommin’s humanity slipping away, the fate-crossed pair has everything to lose unless they can find a way to outsmart a magical curse centuries in the making.
Ali: Hi Carrie, Welcome to Dazzled by Books. We are so excited to have you stop by today. I wanted to start off today’s interview with something fun, so what is your favorite book of 2017 so far?
Carrie Anne: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. It’s a beautifully written fairy tale that blends characters from Russian folklore with Arden’s own artfully created cast.
A: I have not read that one yet but it is definitely on my list. Did you always want to be a writer?
CA: Yes! I started making up plays and little newspapers at a very early age. I attempted my first novel in sixth grade (science fiction featuring nitrogen-breathing aliens), and went on to write a lot of sappy poetry in high school. It was all good practice.
A: What inspires your writing?
CA: Usually it’s a “what if” moment. For my novel The Mermaid’s Sister, it was, “What if a girl was slowly changing into a mermaid instead of withering away from cancer?” For The Gold-Son, it was, “What if that old guy walking his dog past my house was really a leprechaun looking for a place to bury his gold?” We writers are keen observers, always collecting sensory details, random bits of conversations, and parts of other people’s real lives so we can toss them into our bubbly mind-cauldrons and cook up new magical worlds of our own.
A: What was the hardest part writing “The Gold-Son”?
CA: The leprechaun and I “broke up” for a while up because we were making each other miserable. I had somehow gotten it into my head that the story needed to be more like other people’s YA books, and it took all the fun out of writing. Once I decided I was just going to finish it for the joy of writing and to entertain myself, it came together much more easily. After about five years of rewrite after rewrite, the leprechaun and I got our happy ending.
A: What is your favorite thing about writing “The Gold-Son”?
CA: I liked learning about the traditional leprechaun lore and then adding my own ideas about their habits and way of life. For example, before the 1800’s, people believed leprechauns wore red coats instead of the green we usually see them depicted wearing. So, I decided to make my student leprechauns wear green jackets until they became full-fledged leprechauns and earned a “sacred red coat.” Forcing them to eat a mostly-mushroom diet was my dastardly idea—since folklore said they lived underground (and what grows without sunlight? Mmm…mushrooms!).
A: Do you have any habits while writing? For example: a specific snack food you have to have or maybe music playing in the background.
CA: Typically I develop a playlist for whatever I’m working on, made up of some music from the book’s time period and songs that remind me of specific characters. While I wrote The Gold-Son, Tommin’s theme song was “Mess of Me” by Switchfoot. Sometimes, though, I work best in complete silence.
And of course chocolate and tea always help the creative process!
A: What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing?
CA: Spending time with my kids. They’re pretty amazing!
A: Awww. That is always the best answer. Who is your favorite character to write?
CA: That’s a tough question! My favorite character to write in The Gold-Son was probably Copper, the servant boy who’s sometimes a bat. He’s one of the few characters that survived from the earliest version of the story. Copper was fun to write because he’s kind of like a feisty, red-haired, little boy version of Eeyore (the depressed donkey from Winnie the Pooh). I loved how he just couldn’t shut up about having to keep quiet, and how he was funny and a little heartbreaking at the same time. Also, I love bats, so his being part faerie-bat endeared him to me all the more.
A: Thank you so much Carrie Anne for coming by today. We really appreciate you stopping by. We are very excited for your book release.