[Interview + Giveaway] Delfy Hall on The Warlock and The Wolf
In February 2016, I received an email from Delfy Hall, author of The Warlock and The Wolf in request of my book review on her debut novel. I have to say that I was immediately attracted by the title of the book. After doing some small search on it, I’ve decided to accept the request.
After finished reading the book, only I realized that the book has won the 2015 Nautilus Gold Award in YA fiction! Then, I contacted Delfy for an interview and she’s very generous to even agreed to giveaway a copy of the book! So, I’ve decided to use one of her answers as a key to win the giveaway.
If you haven’t read my review on this book, here’s the link.
About Delfy Hall
Delfy Hall received her master’s degree in writing from UT Austin, where she was awarded the Michener Scholarship. She lives in her home state of Kentucky with several geriatric dogs, who help her write fantasy fiction.
Visit her website at http://delfyhall.com to subscribe to her blog or connect to her on social media.
1) Congratulations on winning the 2015 Nautilus Gold Award in the Young Adult Fiction for The Warlock and The Wolf! Share us a bit on your journey in writing this book. Who or what inspired you to write it?
I was inspired by all the things I love: animals, natural history, the
biographies of scientists, especially Charles Darwin, herbology, and, of
course, magic. I essentially wrote the book that I wanted to read but
couldn’t find in the bookstore.
2) I’m not familiar with the Dutch history but I love the setting in your book. Any special reason for choosing the Dutch Golden Age as setting of The Warlock and The Wolf? If you’re to rewrite the book, would you consider choosing another time/location?
I was researching the history of witches in Europe, and I was struck by
the fact that the Dutch stopped persecuting witches much earlier than
other countries. I liked the idea of witches and warlocks doing magic
among people who don’t believe in them. Also, I wanted to set the story in a country whose royal head of state was failing. I was tempted to set the book in 17th-century England . . . so one of the next books in the series might go there.
3) In the book, Mina talks to animals and some of the conversations are quite hilarious. Do you always picture the animals as what they were described in your book (asks for food every time they see humans)?
Before writing the book I didn’t attribute many thoughts to animals—mainly just emotions and desires. But when I started to write conversations between Mina and animals, I tried to put myself in the animals’ shoes. I didn’t want to romanticize them, or make them into cartoon characters. The natural world is a fight for survival, and one of its imperatives is finding food. So I thought that would be a likely thing for animals to talk about. And as their size increases, their intelligence does too, so they would be able to talk about a wider range of subjects.
4) From your bio, we can see that you’re a dog lover. Did any of them inspire you on Basa’s personalities?
A couple of my dogs inspired the character of Basa: my black Lab, Bubba, and my husky mix, Meeka, who looks like a cross between a wolf and a fox, plus a little bit of grizzly bear. Bubba is protective and sweet, and Meeka is a ruthless hunter. She is the only one of my dogs who could survive in the wild.
5) Do you start writing when you’re very young? Tell us the first story you’ve written.
I started writing poetry at an early age because in my family we gave each other poems for birthdays and Valentine’s Day. It wasn’t until my college years that I started writing fiction. The first story I wrote was a twist on a fairy tale, called “Cobblerella.” It starred a female cobbler who refused to marry the prince.
6) We’re a bit curious on a writer’s life. What do you usually do when you’re not writing?
My life is very quiet—I’d say it appears quite boring to someone on the
outside looking in. I used to travel a lot and be quite a social
butterfly. But in my old age I have calmed down. I spend most of my time alone, although it doesn’t feel lonely because I have such an active mind (sometimes a hindrance when I’m trying to go to sleep). I work as a freelance copyeditor, so I read at home all day with my dogs sleeping near me, taking a break to talk to my neighbors, have coffee with a friend, or go for a walk. Right now my big project (other than writing) is a duck who is nesting under a bush near my front door. She is sitting on 13 eggs, but the neighbor’s cat keeps scaring her off the nest. So I have been implementing various schemes to deter the cat. You might see a duck in one of my next books!
7) I’m very eager to read the second book of The Naturalist series – The Jaguar and the Witch. Will it be published soon? What is the current stage of the book?
I am about halfway through the second book. I hope to have it published by the end of this summer. It takes place in Dutch Brazil, a historical setting that is not well studied, so I have had to work very hard on the research. I think I will be an expert on this topic by the time the book is done.
8) I love Mina’s character. She’s strong-willed and determined. Tell us what do you love and hate about Mina.
I love Mina too! Especially her curiosity, passion, confidence, and
respect for animals and the natural world. Sometimes I wish that she were a little more diplomatic or easygoing—it might make her life easier. But her flaws also make her more interesting, and relatable for readers. I can always count on her to do something that will get her into trouble!
Thanks Delfy for her time in answering my interview questions. I can’t wait for the publication day of her second book – The Jaguar and the Witch!
Now, the giveaway. Good luck everyone!