Today at The Mixed-Up Files we have a bonus post! We are lucky enough to be included in the blog tour for Claire Caterer’s The Key and the Flame which just released on April 2nd!
Me: So where did you get the idea for this awesome book?
Claire: The idea of trees as sentries and guardians has always resonated with me. Trees are strong, and they inspire a reverence that is central to The Key & the Flame. I was walking in the woods one day and felt that awe wash over me. The story of a great tree serving as the passage to a simpler, less industrialized world came to me quite suddenly out of that experience.
Me: That’s awesome! Kind of reminds me of the Ents in Lord of the Rings. What is your writing day like? Do you have a routine?
Claire: My ideal writing routine is to write first thing in the morning, before I check email or social media, when my mind is still a little fuzzy with dreams. Coffee is essential, though. It’s my crutch. But failing that, I have written at any time of day in many settings. Sometimes it’s good to get out of my office and go to a coffee shop or the library. Breaking the routine can spark something new on the page.
Me: As a mom of three, I can vouch for how much easier it is to write in a cafe! Speaking of cafes….do you prefer vanilla or chocolate? Cupcakes or Twizzlers? Unicorns and glitter or aliens and slime? Okay, that one was a little unrelated 😉
Claire: If it’s ice cream, vanilla. I adore vanilla in all its complexity. But I love candy bars and especially melted chocolate. I’d take cupcakes over Twizzlers, but I do love all kinds of sweets. I’d steal a Twizzler on my way out the door after eating the cupcake. I confess, I tend to favor unicorns over aliens, though I go back and forth. But unicorns need some darkness, and aliens need something redemptive, or both get boring.
Me: With the exception of the vanilla ice cream, my sentiments exactly! So why middle grade? Why write for 8-12 year olds?
Claire: I love middle grade because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Even in the darkest Harry Potter books, there’s a lot of humor. Middle grade is the time of life when you’re reaching, discovering, and becoming, and despite all of that, you’re still hanging on to your ideals—and sometimes, your teddy bear.
Me: I couldn’t agree more. Thanks Claire!
Or….you can win a copy right here on The Mixed-Up Files!
Just enter here:
Amie Borst writes twisted middle-grade fairy tales with her very own middle-grader. Their first book, Cinderskella, releases October 2013.