As you know, I recently read (and loved) The Book of Kindly Deaths by Eldritch Black.
As a disclaimer, I work for this publishing company, although I had no connection to this book.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF THE MONSTERS IN A BOOK BECAME REAL?
When twelve-year old Eliza Winter finds a secret room in her missing grandfather’s sprawling, Gothic house, her safe, sheltered life is blown apart. Inside, below a stained glass window where moonlight shines no matter the time of day, sits The Book of Kindly Deaths.
In defiance of her controlling mother, who has always forbidden her to read anything strange or imaginary, Eliza takes the book. As night sets in, Eliza reads one haunting story after another. And the further she journeys inside the book, the more the boundaries between our world and a shadowy land of monsters and forbidden places begin to blur.
When the strange, crooked man from the book arrives on the doorstep claiming to be a rare book collector and demanding entry into the house, Eliza’s world is turned upside down. To escape him she must dive all the way into the spine-tingling world of The Book of Kindly Deaths to save her grandfather-and write an end to the nightmare she’s caught inside.
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AND NOW THE INTERVIEW:
1) What was the inspiration for this novel?
I’ve wondered where monsters go when they’re not lurking under beds, ever since childhood. Or where they slither off to after the sun comes up.
This thought was going round and round in my mind whilst sitting on a train when I lived in England. As the train shunted through a tunnel, I noticed an old door in the murk. This inspired a short story that ended up becoming a part of The Book of Kindly Deaths. I also wanted to write a book that incorporated short stories that were all interlinked, in order to build a whole world out of them.
2) Which book would you most like to become real? And least?
I’d love “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell” to become real, to be transported into the faerie realms. As terrifying and as strange as they are.
The book I’d least like to become real is probably “The Stand” by Stephen King, or perhaps for the hotel in The Shining to open up for business. That would definitely be a place I’d avoid.
3) What are you reading now?
I’m working my way through the series “A Song of Fire and Ice” at a fittingly glacial pace. In-between I’m reading short stories and a lot of non-fiction, including books on writing craft and a fascinating book about England’s myths and legends.
4) if you could make one book mandatory, which would it be and why?
Would it be wrong to say The Book of Kindly Deaths? I imagine it would, so how about Alice’s adventures in Wonderland. Because despite being well over a hundred years old, it still holds plenty of magic, imagination and scares.
5) What are your five favorite books? You can do authors, if that’s easier.
It would be hard to choose only five books, so I’ll go with authors, which is a little bit easier. My top five authors are below, but this could change on an almost weekly basis. So for now, in no particular order:
1. Susanna Clarke
2. Lewis Caroll
3. Roald Dahl
4. Neil Gaiman
5. The Brothers Grimm
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Eldritch Black was born in London, England and now lives in the middle of a forest on a small island in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Eldritch writes books for children, young adults, and adults with childlike hearts.
When he isn’t writing, Eldritch likes to collect shadows and discarded dreams.
AND FINALLY, AN EXCERPT:
On a desk in the room with the stained glass window sat a book.
It was a thick volume with a worn and cracked black cover showing a gold symbol, a rectangle within two circles that sparkled and flickered as if teased by ghostly fingers. Voices whispered from inside the book, growing in volume, a few human, a few not. As their distant howls and cries grew, the book rocked with such force that it flew into the air and hovered.
When it thumped back onto the desk, the thick fountain pen next to it leapt into the air like a small brass salmon. As it clattered down upon the desk, a spark shot from the pen’s nib, playing over the book and sending its pages flying open.
One by one, the pages flipped, faster and faster, an animated blur of neat blue writing seeming to jump with the book as its dusty pages turned.
Beyond the room with the book and the stained glass window, the room that had no business being there, the dark, sprawling house was silent.
Like a cat, tensed and still and waiting for its prey to make a move.