Welcome back, Darby!
The Hound at the Gate is the third Finn Finnegan book.
Kelly, thank you so much for inviting me here today. *Waves at the audience.* I loved answering your questions!
1) If you could spend time in this world, would you?
Well, I kind of do already, Kelly. The setting for the entire Adventures of Finn MacCullen is my neighborhood here in Colorado. So, when I am running the trails in the foothills behind my house, I am literally on Finn’s stomping grounds. And how cool would it be to share a pint with Gideon Lir at our local Irish pub. We would talk about the trials and joys of working with teens. So, in spite of the dangers from goblins and witches and long-legged beasties, and things that go bump in the night, I would certinaly spend time in Finn’s world. In a heartbeat.
Unless I could go to Middle-earth. Then I would go to Middle-earth.
2) I know you go to schools and talk about Finn. What’s that like and how did it come about?
I’ve had the good fortune, due to being a local junior high school teacher, to be invited to numerous elementary and middle schools to talk with students about the writing process. The students are always surprised when I reiterate what their teachers have been teaching them: that writing is a process. That good writing means re-writing. That strong verbs and nouns make the story. That literary devices are like spices in cooking – use them sparingly, and in just the right amounts.
And the students always ask me the same three questions: 1) Are your books going to be made into a movie? 2) Do I know J.K. Rowling? 3) Do I make a lot of money from my books? I either answer “yes” to all three or “no” to all three. Depending on my mood.
3) What is the best part about writing this series?
The moments between Finn and Gideon, especially the humorous ones. I’m always surprised that Finn’s escapades haven’t driven Gideon to drink. And when I can slip in some cool obscure bits of Celtic mythology, I have to dance around the room. I am a total geek that way.
4) Who are your five favorite authors?
J.R.R Tolkien, Lloyd Alexander, John Flanagan, Kevin Hearne and Cassandra Clare (for their respective fantasies), M.M. Kaye (for her historical novels), David McCullough (for his biographies of famous Americans), and C.S. Lewis (for his Christian apologetics books)
5) If you could make one book mandatory reading, what would it be?
You mean like in the whole wide world since time began? Sheesh, no pressure there. Um…The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.
6) What books are you looking forward to in 2015?
The next books in the Brotherband Chronicles by John Flanagan. He is the middle grade author I wish I was. I am a total Ranger’s Apprentice geek.