Hi guys! The Midnight Swan is the third book in an awesome middle grade series, and it’s out on the first of October! I was lucky enough to get to interview the author, Catherine Fisher! Enjoy, and don’t forget to add The Midnight Swan on Goodreads!
Hi Catherine, so great to talk to you about your upcoming novel, The Midnight Swan. For those who haven’t heard of it, could you tell us a little about the book?
The Midnight Swan is the third book in the Clockwork Crow series. In this one, Seren and the Crow have to journey to the Garden of the Midnight Swan. They want to break the spell that keeps the Crow a moth eaten bird, and to return him to his human shape. Lots of summer heat, talking animals, a parliament of birds and a Midsummer Ball!
What was your biggest inspiration behind The Clockwork Crow series?
It started with Christmas and snowy, cold winteriness. Then the Crow himself, with his tetchy personality. Also I wanted to bring in a Welsh setting, language and folklore, so the books are very firmly rooted in Wales.
Are any of the characters in your series based on or inspired by real people?
No, not really, they are all inventions.
What was your inspiration for the country house of Plas-y-Fran that features in your series? Is it based on a real place?
I was lucky enough to go to a school that was based in an old Jacobean house. It’s called Tredegar House and was owned by the Morgan family. it’s now open to the public but then we had the place to ourselves. I wandered all over it and in the grounds where there are woods and a lake. That house emerges in lots of stories and books that I have written.
When did you know you wanted to write books? Have you always wanted to be an author?
I started writing poetry when I was about 11 and stories a bit later. I always knew I wanted to be a writer but didn’t have any idea how you became one, It took me a long time to find that out.
What made you want to write middle grade and books for children?
It was just what happened. When I started writing my first novel it was a fantasy for children and that’s what I feel most comfortable writing.
What was your favourite story as a child?
Alice in Wonderland without a doubt.
What did you most enjoy about writing The Midnight Swan, and what was the most difficult part? The bits I enjoyed writing most were the parliament of owls and the Crow’s tale of how the spell was put on him. Both are humorous parts of the story. I also like the journey that Seren Tomos and the Crow make into the Otherworld and the strange creatures they meet on the way. The difficult thing with a third book is that everything has to end well and happily and I have to make sure every reader will feel satisfied with the end.
When you’re not writing, what do you like to do with your spare time?
Walking in woods, fencing, reading, drawing, going to the opera.
Last but not least, give us some book recommendations! What are three books you’ve loved this year? The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham- a sf classic which I re read and is amazing.
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle- like Seren I can never get enough of Sherlock Holmes.
Norse Myths by Kevin Crossley-Holland, illus by Jeffrey Love. Superb retellings of the strange old stories..