Today I'm thrilled to welcome author Kendall Kulper to the blog as part of the promotional tour for her YA historical fantasy novel, Salt & Storm. Kendall was nice enough to answer a few questions for me about all sorts of interesting things like whaling, tattoos, dreams and magic, so I hope you enjoy the interview! Be sure and check the bottom of the post as well for the full list of participating blogs and all the details on a fantastic giveaway.
Many of the inhabitants of Prince Island make their living as whalers. Can you give us one or two interesting tidbits or factoids you learned about whaling that you didn’t know prior to writing this book?
Oh man, I learned so much about whaling, but probably my favorite was how whale men would take out these personal ads in the back of the whaling newspapers and basically badmouth sailors and captains who they thought slacked on the job. They are so catty—it’s fantastic. One crew took out an ad against their officers and called the second officer “an excellent DO-NOTHING… Too ignorant to catch a bow-head, and afraid as death of a right whale. Would make a good deck walloper.” They’re like whaling burn books. Love them.
If you were to live in a paranormal world rich with magic, what gift or magical ability would you most want to possess?
I would love to be able to instantly transport myself somewhere. I’m not a fan of traveling, and my friends and family are increasingly far-flung. It would be amazing to just be able to wink away to see them whenever I wanted. And on a lazier note, it would also be amazing to skip the muggy subway ride home after a long day working in the library…
Avery dreams of her own murder, something that would be absolutely terrifying to experience. Aside from your death or the death/injury of anyone you love, what’s one other thing that would turn a dream of yours into a nightmare?
Well, I once had a dream where a book I wrote was named something like the worst debut novel ever written, and I had to stand up at a podium while the judges talked about all the things they hated. That was not a fun one. It’s just the reality of creative life that you pour your heart into something and then it has to go out in the world, and there’s always that crazy-terrifying moment of wondering if people will like it(!).
There’s just something inexplicably attractive to me about a guy with tattoos, and I personally am a big fan of Celtic designs or knot work. What might a tattoo design you’d find absurdly attractive on the right guy look like?
Haha! Well, I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of tattoos, mostly because I’m so indecisive about things when it comes to style and change my mind all the time—I think about the things I thought were sooooo cool when I was a teenager, and I am so grateful I didn’t have access to a tattoo parlor. The idea of having something on your body forever kind of freaks me out.
Plus, the guy I find absurdly attractive is my husband, and I can’t even imagine him ever getting a tattoo (he did say once, in what I think was an attempt to be sweet, that if I died he would get my name tattooed somewhere. Ooookay…).
I did once see a graphic designer who got a ruler tattooed to the inside of his arm. That’s just the kind of boring practicality that I can appreciate.
The world of Salt & Storm seems like a darkly fascinating one in which to live. If you could spend a few days in the world of any other fantasy novel, which one would you choose and what’s the first thing you’d do when you got there?
I think I’d want to go to the Shire, from the Lord of the Rings books, and eat some really good food, take some really good naps, stroll through the countryside, and finish it up with a night dancing and singing at the neighborhood tavern. Why no one has made a real-life Shire resort is one of life’s great mysteries.
If Avery was aware she was the heroine of a book detailing her journey to prevent her own murder and change her future, what’s one thing she would most want readers of that story to remember about her after they set her book aside?
I think (without giving too much of the book away) she would want people to understand that things like fate and destiny are far more fragile and changeable than they might seem. Choice counts for a lot.
Thanks so much for stopping by Kendall!
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SALT & STORM
A sweeping historical romance about a witch who foresees her own murder--and the one boy who can help change her future.
Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island's whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery dreams she's to be murdered, she knows time is running out to unlock her magic and save herself.
Avery finds an unexpected ally in a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane--a sailor with magic of his own, who moves Avery in ways she never expected. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers her magic requires a sacrifice she never prepared for.
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Kendall Kulper writes historical fiction with a fantasy twist for teen readers and knows more about nineteenth century whaling than she ever imagined. Her debut YA novel, SALT & STORM will be published by Little, Brown September 23, 2014. She graduated from Harvard University with a degree in history and literature in 2008 and spent several years as a journalist before deciding to write full-time. She grew up in the wilds of New Jersey and now lives in Boston with her husband and chronically-anxious Australian Shepherd mix, Abby.
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Up for grabs to 2 lucky winners are hardcover copies of Salt & Storm. Please enter via the Rafflectopter form below. Giveaway is open to US addresses only.
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