About the book:
What happens when a fairy crosses the forbidden divide into Earth?
In Feyland, all fairies are born with unique magical abilities. Zaria spent her childhood yearning to be like other fairies, but at twelve, she became one of the most powerful fairies ever. Sneaking through a secret doorway to the human world, Zaria is Earth-struck; she wants to understand and experience everything about humans. But when she is seen, her exposure puts all of Feyland at risk. With only her own judgment to guide her, Zaria must try to fix the mess she's made on Earth. Will she use her new power wisely and make the right choices?
About the author:
She can be found online at her website, victoriahanley.com, and her blog, V Horizons.
Victoria answers some questions:
drey: Did you consciously want to write something for a slightly younger audience --based on the reading level information I found on your website-- than your other books?
Victoria: I didn’t know at the outset that my book would end up in the tween category this time. But then, the whole idea of “target markets” can seem strange to a writer, because a good story is a good story, right. . and each age group that reads Violet Wings, from tweens to adults, will get something different out of it. Sometimes categories based on age seem meaningless, ya know? For me, writing is all about listening to the characters—and yes, in Violet Wings, the main characters are a bit younger than the ones in my other books.
d: Where did you get the idea for Zaria's story?
V: Characters tend to visit me before I begin a book; when they appear, they seem wonderfully alive. So I’d have to say it was Zaria who prompted me to get going on Violet Wings. :)
d: Why do the fairies live in segregated communities based on age? Even if the younger set haven't come into their magic, what downside does that have on the general fairy community?
V: Oh, you’re right, there’s quite a downside—both to the community of grown fairies and genies, and to the younger ones who are so sheltered from the larger world of Feyland. The older community doesn’t have a chance to interact with youngsters unless they are formally appointed teachers, while the young ones can learn only what their guardians and teachers allow.
d: Are you going to continue Zaria's story? After all, you did leave some things hanging... =)
V: Yes, her story continues in Indigo Bottle, the book I’m writing now. :)
And a mini-Proust:
- What is your idea of earthly happiness? Love, which is the reason to live. Peace, which creates a place to thrive. Creativity, which makes things interesting and new. Health, which adds energy and enjoyment. Prosperity, enough to give abundantly.
- What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? A loveless life trapped in a war where creativity is throttled, disease is rampant, and poverty controls.
- Who is/are your favorite heroine(s) in fiction? One of the reasons I started writing was because I didn’t find very many heroines to appreciate. Well, I do love Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, because she’s just so. . .herself, which is always appealing. And Sabriel in Sabriel by Garth Nix, who’s so willing to venture into the scary unknown. And of course I love my own brave heroines, especially Zaria Tourmaline from Violet Wings, who faces powerful darkness and heaps of trouble.
- Who is/are your favorite heroine(s) in real life? I don’t tend to see famous people as heroines so much; it’s my friends who inspire me, the people I know closely. They don’t want the limelight; in fact, they’d be upset if I named them; they just want to live fully and give of themselves. I admire compassionate people who create laughter and goodwill and find a way to keep caring even during times full of pain and sorrow.
- What sound do you love? The sound of happy wildlife out in the country, the sound of the perfect song to set the mood for whatever scene I’m writing, the sound of out-of-control laughter.
- What sound do you hate? Jackhammers, loud traffic, and those especially obnoxious alarm clocks.
- The quality you admire most in a man? Courage combined with kindness.
- The quality you admire most in a woman? Compassion combined with spunk.
- If not a writer, you would be a songwriter.
- What is your favorite swear word? Jeeminy crapola.
Violet Wings is one of the rare tween books I've picked up, and I certainly don't regret it. It is fast-paced, well-written, and entertaining. Zaria is a lovely--all around!--twelve-year-old orphan fairy. She's not a trouble-maker, but can be spunky at times. She misses her family, is ambivalent about her guardian, and has no trouble keeping a level head.
In this world the young fairies are segregated from the world-at-large--in a gated community, if you will--until they come into their magic. The ceremony where their magic's measured and cataloged reminds me of the Sorting Hat in the Harry Potter books, and the segregated young are kinda ala Scott Westerfeld's Uglies, but instead of getting prettified, they get power! Some have more than others, and all of their powers are noted and catalogued.
Zaria turns out to have lots and lots of magic--and she starts getting into trouble with the authorities. Is she just getting picked on (because she doesn't have family to protect her), or is something more sinister afoot? And who can she turn to for help?
My thanks to Egmont USA for my review copy!
For another interview with Victoria Hanley, AND a giveaway of Violet Wings, visit The Eclectic Book Lover...