Welcome to my tour stop for The Halcyon Bird by Kat Beyer! This is the second book in the Dream Catchers of Milan series. I had the wonderful opportunity to interview the author, and you are going to love her answers to my questions! Read on for more details on Kat and to enter to win a SIGNED copy of The Halcyon Bird!
Interview with Kat Beyer:
1. If you could only read 3 books for the rest of your life, what would they be?
—Persuasion (Austen), Animal Dreams (Kingsolver), and The Other Wind (Le Guin). But let’s hope that never, ever, ever happens.
2. Do you have a favorite TV show?
—I don’t watch a lot of TV. Friends & I used to get together and cook a giant dinner and watch “West Wing.” It’s a social event when it does happen, really. I loved Firefly but am afraid to go back and watch it, because I’ve learned a lot as a feminist in the last five years, and almost everything I see available is really anti-woman, or anti-man, or anti-age, or anti-people of color, or anti-something. I’d like to see more that’s pro-human. But mostly I want to be outside, or playing with my kid, or listening/dancing to live music, or hanging out with my people.
3. Where do you get your inspiration from?
—Everywhere. Just stepping out into my everyday life, and letting everything I’ve learned, or read, or experienced coalesce into scenes and moments in my stories. Sometimes a really interesting little cultural note will inspire me. A good example was learning that a traditional Japanese tea house will have a door so low that you have to remove your weapons to enter. I wrote a flash fiction piece based on that idea, about a women’s martial arts class taught by a war veteran who teaches her students about the roots of peace.
4. Why did you decide to write young adult fiction?
—I didn’t. My agent decided for me. She said, “Your heroine is sixteen, so this is YA.” She was right, of course. I said, “Do I have to dumb it down?” “No,” she said. “Good,” I said. That was that.
5. Is there anything about writing or illustrating that you find particularly challenging?
—I don’t illustrate a great deal right now, though I would love to pick up a brush again. I found deadlines difficult when I made my living as a painter and illustrator. Novel deadlines I find much easier. I find defending my work time difficult. I’ve got nearly all my friends, family etc trained but there are still people who ask, “How serious are you about this work day? Is there any flexibility?” And I have to say, “No” while trying not to lose my temper. Then I explain that I have exactly three kid-free workdays a week, 8:30 to 4:30, and that’s all I get—and that has to include some martial arts training and physical therapy, and all my business correspondence, and blog tours like this one, and writing entire novels. That’s it.
6. When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
—It was always out there, once I got over being utterly bored by learning how to read and write. I couldn’t see the point, originally. But the moment I knew I wanted to be a professional writer is crystal clear in my memory: a clear, bright California morning, me sitting at a table looking out at my garden, having just received an email from a publisher rescinding my contract. I felt like I’d been socked in the stomach. But five minutes later I was wondering if Dell would take my book. That’s when I thought, “Wow. I’m in for the duration. I want to do this for forty years.”
7. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
8. Any hidden talents?
—I can sing the entire “Philosophers Song” from Monty Python and I am good at finding things (once found a friend’s contact lens on the floor of a packed night club).
9. Do you like milk chocolate or dark chocolate?
—Dark chocolate. Equal Exchange Panama 80% cacao to be precise.
10. Other than your own, what is you favorite book of 2014 so far?
—The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View From the Future. It is a dispassionate look back at climate change from the far future that lays out what we need to do right now without making me feel like a deer in headlights. It does one of the great things fiction can do, which is stir me to action.
About Kat Beyer:
Kat Beyer has an M.A. in medieval history and has loved all things Italian for as long as she can remember. Her first novel was The Demon Catchers of Milan. She lives with her daughter in Madison, Wisconsin. Visit her online at http://www.katspaw.com/blog/.
About the Book:
The Halcyon Bird (The Dream Catchers of Milan #2) by Kat Beyer
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 and up
Series: The Demon Catchers of Milan #2
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: EgmontUSA (November 11, 2014)
For fans of Lauren Kate and Cassandra Clare, a romance with a paranormal streak.
Mia has settled into her life with the Della Torres — Milan’s premier demon-catching family, accompanying them to exorcisms and even learning some way to be useful in the family trade. Then Bernardo comes into her life, handsome, well-mannered, someone who makes her forget her impossible crush on Emilio, her cousin. But always lurking in the background is the demon who possessed Mia once before, and who has not given up on possessing her again–this time for good.
*”Mia has a strong gift for the family trade, which, like the novel’s other elements…are portrayed in exquisite, affectionate detail. This one goes to the head of the class.” – Kirkus, starred review
“Sets the stage for a thrilling sequel. By the book’s close, Mia is armed and ready–she whispers to the demon lurking beyond, ‘You’ll have to wait. But I’m coming. Believe me, I’m coming.’ Readers will be ready, too.” – Booklist
“A supernatural novel with a fresh promise, worthy of note.” – School Library Journal
Win a signed copy of The Halcyon Bird!
Open to the US and Canada
Ends Nov 30, 2014
Use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Entrants must be 13 or older or have their parent/guardian enter for them. Winner must respond to my email within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. Winner is picked randomly. Contest is void where prohibited. Good luck!
Next Tour Stop:
Kat will be stopping by Fandom Monthly tomorrow with another Q&A and another chance for you to win a signed copy of the book! Make sure you stop by!