Today I have a special guest here to answer a few questions. Please welcome Kate O'Hegarty, the author of Mieradome for an interview as part of the Mieradome Blog Tour!
Kate has a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts from Goddard College. She has been an international traveler since she was 7 years old which has helped shape Kate's active imagination and writing style. She currently lives in the Central Valley of California. Mieradome is her debut novel.
Describe Mieradome in 10 words or less.
Faeries. Good & evil with a twist. Dragons. Adventure. Mystery.
What kind of reader do you want to target with your book (age group/preferred genre/etc.)?
I’d like to target young teens 11+ who love fantasy books, but I think the book can also be interesting to older teens too. I think this story really does well in that younger market.
There's a start of a love triangle between Amavia, Garin, and Caiden. Could you tell us the differences between the two and possible who you prefer?
The differences between the two love interests is simple, one guy she is drawn to but doesn’t know much about (Caiden); the other guy she is also drawn to and knows much more about him, but possibly more than she really wants to know about him, as it may not all be good (Garin). Regarding my preference for Amavia, I haven’t one actually. I think things will fall in place for Amavia based on fate, and luck.
I'll add that I'm rooting for Caiden in this scenario! I thought they had a real connection at the beginning and would love to see them end up together.
It's mentioned in the book description, but how did "Alice in Wonderland" influence or relate to your story?
I’ve always been inspired by Lewis Carroll’s story and I like that idea of a young girl going to a strange land and trying to make sense of it all. For Amavia it is about acceptance, ultimately, acceptance of who she really is, whether that is good or evil in the end.
How did you come up with all the interesting and unique names used in the book?
Most of the names are actually surnames that are in use today (people living currently use those names.) Some examples of surnames used in Mieradome are: Amavia (after actress Daniella Amavia), Thewlis (after actor David Thewlis.) Other surnames are Feig and Inocian. Some names I made up, like Naidrau, Ditto (which is based on an inside joke between my sister and I.) My sister is actually the dogsledder Shannon Moana Whetu Hine in my book.
In most "faery tales", there is an underlying message. What do you want your readers to take away from reading Mieradome?
I’d like people to take away from Mieradome a sense of mystery and how we perceive people. The essence of Mieradome is Amavia slowly seeing who she really is, and if it’s possible for her to change that. I want people to look closely and contemplate what they would do if they were in Amavia’s or Aselin’s shoes.
Do you have a favorite character, or one whose scenes are just a lot of fun to write about?
Ditto was one of my favorite characters to write because he’s very much a satire of myself. I grumble a lot when I don’t like something or don’t want to participate in something, and I’m very sarcastic. The scene where Ditto flies from the Twirling Twisted Tower to save Amavia and he’s talking to himself, yep…that’s me all right!
What was the best part of the whole process of getting your book published?
The best part is hearing that people really enjoyed my book. I worked very hard on it for myself, but also that everyone out there got swept away in the story. I hope the book takes people on a grand adventure.
Why did you choose to write about faeries in a fantasy type of setting? (They're one of my favorite mythical creatures!)
I actually didn’t set out to write about faeries. I honestly have never thought about faeries before. But one day I had a dream about an oak tree and a raven, a bright light disappears into the tree and a girl is watching the whole scenario play out in front of her. Ironically, ravens and an oak tree is on my family’s, The Hegarty’s, coat of arms. I thought about what the light was that disappeared into the tree, and being Irish I guessed it was a faerie, and the story just took off from there. It just felt right that faeries were the main characters.
How long approximately did it take to write Mieradome?
It took me about a year to get the bare bones of the story down. I actually started writing on Halloween of 2002. I spent the next years editing & writing more of the story (I have a sequel, The Saskatoon Balloon, planned.) And then ultimately it took 8 years until the book was finally published.
Did you have to do a lot of research on faery myths to incorporate into the story?
I’m Irish and I grew up with the faery myths, it’s part of my cultural tapestry, so I didn’t have to look far to be inspired. My parents actually have a gold horseshoe over our front door and it’s the first thing that goes up in the house when we move. We’re kinda superstitious, so things like the ravens come from the old myths, but also from real life.
At the end of the book there are some very loose ends. Do you have plans for (or have you already written) a sequel? Or is it going to be a series?
Yes, I do have plans for a sequel, which I am trying to finish as we speak! It is called The Saskatoon Balloon, and it will be an even darker book than the first one. The sequel will delve more into Amavia’s true inner self and show how her friends deal with that info once they know. I’m hoping to get it out in the fall of 2011.
Just for fun: If you could spend a day in any place at any time in the past, where would you go and why?
If I could go to any place for a day at any time, I would go to the 1920’s and visit my grandmother and her 3 sisters. I never knew any of them, so it would be cool to hang out with family and see myself through them.
Thanks for the interview! If you haven't read my review of Mieradome, check it out! Also, over at Kate's website, you can find a cool video where she explains how she came up with the idea for the book in detail. (I didn't ask her because I'd seen the video!)
Find Kate Online: