Today we're excited to chat with Catherynne Valente, author of The Glass Town Game.
Read on for more about Catherynne and her book, plus a giveaway!
Meet Catherynne Valente!
Catherynne M. Valente is a New York Times bestselling author of fantasy and science fiction novels, short stories, and poetry. She has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards, and has won the Locus and Andre Norton award. She lives on a small island off the coast of Maine with her partner, two dogs, one enormous cat, a less enormous cat, six chickens, a red accordion, an uncompleted master’s degree, a roomful of yarn, a spinning wheel with ulterior motives, a cupboard of jam and pickles, a bookshelf full of folktales, an industrial torch, and an Oxford English Dictionary.
Meet The Glass Town Game!
Charlotte and Emily must enter a fantasy world that they invented in order to rescue their siblings in this adventurous and fiercely intelligent novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.
Inside a small Yorkshire parsonage, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne Brontë have invented a game called Glass Town, where their toy soldiers fight Napoleon and no one dies. This make-believe land helps the four escape from a harsh reality: Charlotte and Emily are being sent away to a dangerous boarding school, a school they might not return from. But on this Beastliest Day, the day Anne and Branwell walk their sisters to the train station, something incredible happens: the train whisks them all away to a real Glass Town, and the children trade the moors for a wonderland all their own.
This is their Glass Town, exactly like they envisioned it…almost. They certainly never gave Napoleon a fire-breathing porcelain rooster instead of a horse. And their soldiers can die; wars are fought over the potion that raises the dead, a potion Anne would very much like to bring back to England. But when Anne and Branwell are kidnapped, Charlotte and Emily must find a way to save their siblings. Can two English girls stand against Napoleon’s armies, especially now that he has a new weapon from the real world? And if he escapes Glass Town, will England ever be safe again?
Together the Brontë siblings must battle with a world of their own creation if they are to make it back to England alive in this magical celebration of authorship, creativity, and classic literature from award-winning author Catherynne M. Valente.
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
I was asked to write a short story for an anthology. The story had to be set in the 19th century, but the rule was no steampunk. My mind immediately went to the Bronte children’s fantasy world, and the idea that it could be a real place they really traveled to and had adventures there. From the moment I put a single word down, I knew the story was going to end up something much bigger. The idea wouldn’t let me go.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
Actually, telling you would be a bit of a spoiler! Let’s just say there’s a little girl in a tall tower with far too many dolls in her room who comes in much later in the story and who I’m just terribly fond of. She was so much fun to write, I never wanted to let her go!
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel. The original title was The Lords of Glass Town, but we ended up settling on The Glass Town Game quite late in the scheme of things.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
The whole thing is just so beautiful. I love the motion of it, and the way it looks both vintage and new. The stained glass hot air balloon is probably my favorite single thing!
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2017?
I was so looking forward to Jeff Vandermeer’s Borne. It came out of one of my favorite short stories of all time, and was totally worth the wait. Surreal and heartfelt and thrilling.
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2016?
I quite liked Charlie Jane Anders’ All the Birds in the Sky. I read the whole thing in one sitting!
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I’m hard at work on my next adult and middle grade books, as well as a tie-in novel for the Mass Effect video games. I’ll also be running a Kickstarter for the final book in my Prester John trilogy soon.
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
The very end. I won’t lie—I cried. The Brontes had a rather melancholy adulthood in many ways, and all of them died too young. I wanted to honor that without making it the most depressing thing of all time, to give full weight to all they’d been through and all there was to come, both in actual history and in the fictional world of the novel, while tying everything else in together and subtly referencing the ends of the most famous Bronte novels. It was a lot to carry for one scene!
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Drafting. My favorite part is the feeling of being completely in the novel, not analytically, as when you’re revising, but experientially, feeling through the briars of the next chapter.
The Glass Town Game
Author: Catherynne Valente
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: September 5th, 2017