I'm very excited today to welcome McCormick Templeman to the Sophomore Spotlight for her new novel, The Glass Casket.
First, a bit about the book:
The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman.
Published: Febraury 11, 2014.
Published by: Delacorte Press.
Death hasn't visited Rowan Rose since it took her mother when Rowan was only a little girl. But that changes one bleak morning, when five horses and their riders thunder into her village and through the forest, disappearing into the hills. Days later, the riders' bodies are found, and though no one can say for certain what happened in their final hours, their remains prove that whatever it was must have been brutal.
Rowan's village was once a tranquil place, but now things have changed. Something has followed the path those riders made and has come down from the hills, through the forest, and into the village. Beast or man, it has brought death to Rowan's door once again.
Only this time, its appetite is insatiable.
And now, welcome McCormick!
Jess: Describe your sophomore novel, The Glass Casket, in 5 words or less.
McCormick: After dark, the evil comes.
J: Ooh. That's rather menacing. I'm intrigued already!
Which of the characters from the novel (besides Rowan) are you most excited for readers to meet?
M: Definitely Fiona. Fiona is a trip.
J: Say I wake up in the middle of Rowan's village. What do I experience when I first awaken?
M: You’re warm inside a cozy stone cottage with a thatched roof. Outside, a gentle snow is falling, adding to the blanket of white that covers the ground. If you step out into the crisp morning air, the scent of pine hangs heavy, and as you look up at the mountains, and at the surrounding forest, you feel at peace. But you totally shouldn’t. Something really scary is about to happen.
J: Ah, lulling me into a false sense of security, are you? That does sound very peaceful but I'll have to keep an eye out. How did the journey for The Glass Casket differ from that for your debut, The Little Woods?
M: I didn’t write The Little Woods with publication in mind really. I was just kind of messing around for fun, so I toyed with it over many years and it lived through many incarnations. But The Glass Casket came to me in a flash one day. I waited a few months and let it sink in, and then when I sat down to draft it, it came out in a deluge in only three weeks. It was like I couldn’t stop. Then I worked with my amazing editor, Krista Marino, for almost a year of revisions to really tease out and polish the story that was hidden inside my crazy three-week binge of drafting.
J: Both of your novels so far seem to have dark elements at play. What draws you to telling stories with that darkness?
M: That’s what I’m drawn to as a reader. I love scary books and movies, and anything with an element of mystery to it. When I sit down to write, the impetus is really to tell myself a story I haven’t heard yet. The impulse always comes from a place of being a reader. I have a stirring in my psyche and I want to follow it, and if I can easily find a book that fits the bill, then I’ll be a happy camper, but if I can’t, then I sit down and write.
J: I would think that would be hugely important as a writer, to write something that you'd want to read. You'd be spending so much time with it that you'd have to enjoy what you're writing to some extent!
Do you listen to music while you write/edit? If so, can you share one song you listened to a lot while working on this novel?
M: I do. It’s a fairly recent development for me, one that originally stemmed from necessity, but now I love writing to music. It helps me lose myself in the story and keeps me from self-censoring as I draft. The song I listened to the most during The Glass Casket is “It’s A Fine Day” by Opus III. Even now if I listen to that song, I’m instantly back in Nag’s End. I kind of love it.
J: Can you share a favourite quote from The Glass Casket?
M: I don’t think I have a favorite one, but here’s one that gives kind of a fun description of the different kinds of witches in the book:
“There were Redwitches, who drew their power from passion, and Woodwitches, who lived like sprites in small forest colonies, and of course, Greenwitches were the healers. The Greenwitches often lived in the forest just outside a village, limning the space between the tame and the wild, always a short trip from the birthing women and the quietly dying but far enough from prying eyes. Bluewitches were diviners, and water was their natural medium. Like water, they tended to ramble, wandering as the water beneath the ground did, ever flowing, ever moving.”
J: In keeping with our theme here, are there any other sophomore releases you've either loved recently or are looking forward to?
M: I’ve recently loved Jay Kristoff’s gorgeous Kinslayer. I absolutely adore that series. Camille DeAngelis’s Petty Magic is another favorite. It’s about witches and spies and WWII and is beautifully written. If I could steal her prose, I would. Nova Ren Suma’s 17&Gone was absolutely brilliant. Right now I’m reading Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries, which is fantastic, and so different from her debut. As far as what I’m looking forward to, I can’t wait for Stephanie Kuehn’s Complicit – I think she’s a genius, and April Tucholke’s Between the Spark and the Burn. I have no idea what’s going to happen in that book, and I’m pretty scared and excited to return to that world. And then in the middle grade realm, I got to read some early draft stuff of Kristen Kittscher’s forthcoming book, The Tiara on the Terrace, and it’s just crazy awesome and totally hilarious. I can’t wait to read it in its final form.
J: So many amazing choices! I haven't heard of Petty Magic, but after that description you can bet I'll be checking it out! I'm also really interesting in what Complicit will be like because Charm & Strange really blew me away.
Can you share anything about your next project?
M: Just that it’ll be fun and scary.
J: Sounds great! I'm looking forward to hearing more! Thank you very much, McCormick, for stopping by!
McCormick and her publicist have graciously offered up a copy of The Glass Casket for a giveaway.
Some Rules (aka the not so fun but important part):
~ This giveaway is open to US residents only.
~ Must be 13 or older to enter.
~ Winners will be chosen randomly and contacted via email. The winners have 48 hours to respond to my email, otherwise they forfeit their prize and I will choose another winner, who must abide by the same rules.
~ Neither Mindee nor I are responsible for lost or damaged packages.
~ No cheating! I have the right to disqualify entries as I see fit.
~ By entering the giveaway, you are agreeing to these rules.
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