Author Of The Week: Chat with Peternelle van Arsdale (The Cold Is In Her Bones), Plus Giveaway!
Welcome to our weekly special feature post, Author Of The Week!!
Each week we will be interviewing a different YA author and highlighting their upcoming release!
We will also be hosting a giveaway of the book we are highlighting!!
Introducing Peternelle van Arsdale, YABC's Author of the Week!!
Peternelle van Arsdale is a book editor, essay and short story writer, and the author of The Beast Is an Animal. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she is at work on her third novel. Visit her at PeternellevanArsdale.com.
Milla’s whole world is her family’s farm. She is never allowed to travel to the village and her only friend is her beloved older brother, Niklas. When a bright-eyed girl named Iris comes to stay, Milla hopes her loneliness might finally be coming to an end. But Iris has a secret she’s forbidden to share: The village is cursed by a demon who possesses girls at random, and the townspeople live in terror of who it will come for next.
Now, it seems, the demon has come for Iris. When Iris is captured and imprisoned with other possessed girls, Milla leaves home to rescue her and break the curse forever. Her only company on the journey is a terrible new secret of her own: Milla is changing, too, and may soon be a demon herself.
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: Is there anything that you would like to add?
I’m working on a novel now that I’m very excited about. It’s both similar to and different from what I’ve done before and that’s all I’m going to say about that, because it’s at that airy, bubbly stage when I need to let it keep inflating and not manhandle it too much by talking about it.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
This is difficult! I had a few, and I enjoyed them for very different reasons. I’ll start with a classic: I finally read A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA by Ursula LeGuin and it was fun to see where so many other YA authors got their inspiration. I also very much enjoyed two novels that aren’t YA but I think teens would love and would highly recommend to them: THE POWER by Naomi Alderman and CIRCE by MADELINE MILLER. Both feature teen characters and I would have eaten them up as a teen. I certainly loved them as an adult.
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2018?
I’m really excited to read Gita Trelease’s ENCHANTÉE. It sounds wonderful.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2019?
The whole cover is absolutely gorgeous and I could not feel more lucky, but I am a subversive sort so I have to say: her dirty fingernails. I specifically asked that the girl on the cover not look perfect, because no human is and my characters certainly aren’t. So I’m grateful that my publisher was willing to mess up her fingernails for me.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
That it takes me multiple drafts to figure out my novels, and that’s just the kind of writer I am. I know no other way to be. And luckily I have help along the way—people who read my drafts and tell me what’s not working so that I can go at it again…and again…until it’s singing. At the beginning, and probably because I’m an editor myself, I thought every draft I wrote should be perfect. And of course they never were, so I was crushed each time. I still get disappointed when I don’t nail a draft, but I think/hope/pray that I’m not quite so devastated as I once was. I dust myself off more quickly each time.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
The climactic scene was so devilishly difficult to write that I still shudder at how terrified I was that it wasn’t going to come together at all. There was one dark, scary night when I sat on my sofa with my computer in my lap, genuinely worried that I’d utterly lost the plot. I simply *willed* myself to figure it out. Because I am who I am, I have to confess that I’m less proud that I finally managed it than I am relieved.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
The title came to me when the novel was still a seedling. So I guess I’d have to say the title because the novel wasn’t anything close to a novel yet.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
I have to say Milla because any other answer would feel disloyal—I put her through so much. But as far as the character that was the most fun to write, it was Hel, the witch who makes a command performance later in the book. I don’t want to give anything away, but she was so much fun to write that I’d be tempted to give her her own book.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
I was inspired by a few things: 1) The Medusa myth, which has actually inspired my fiction all along, but was an even more specific bolt of lightning this time around. I’m continually fascinated by how we create our own monsters based upon what we’re afraid and of. 2) THE MILL ON THE FLOSS by George Eliot. That’s the first novel that made me cry. I have a brother, and that’s one of the very few novels I’ve ever read that really captures how you can simultaneously love and utterly misunderstand your sibling.
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
I wouldn’t say there is one particular scene, rather there’s an emotion that I find difficult but rewarding to get right: ambivalence. We all want to be certain of our feelings, and I think we often expect characters to be certain of theirs and to be consistent—because consistency is comfortable. But people are terribly inconsistent, and relationships are messy, and we can love someone one moment and resent them the next. So it’s tricky to do justice to that while not frustrating the reader, who naturally wants things to be clear. But I hope that by making my characters real people with whom the reader can empathize, I succeed in making them believable and relatable in all their ambivalence and confusion.
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
The protagonist, Milla, gave me the most trouble simply because she has to carry so much of the story. I need her to be so many things—strong but also weak, brave but also terrified, sympathetic but also confused and angry and resentful.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Well, it all depends on which is going better! There’s nothing more magical than having one of those out-of-body drafting experiences when I sit down and the story just flows and I wonder where the heck it came from. That’s dreamy. But those times are rare and precious. It’s certainly less terrifying to have a draft done, even if it’s highly imperfect, and know that no matter how much of a mess it is, I don’t have to invent it out of thin air anymore. The thin air stage is pretty scary.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
Bumping into things.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
Planned Parenthood is an organization I support, both for the health care they offer and the sex education they provide. We can’t have control over our lives if we don’t have control over our bodies, and knowledge is power.
The Cold Is In Her Bones
By: Peternelle van Arsdale
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry
Release Date: January 22nd, 2019
Two winners will receive a signed copy of The Cold Is In Her Bones (Peternelle van Arsdale) ~ US Only
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
I saw this book on a different blog a few days ago, and could not remember the title afterward. So glad to find it again. I'm going to pin it so I don't forget! The cover caught my eye, and the summary makes me want to read it.
The cover is fantastic. I like the elements you have used to create your story and it sounds intriguing. Good luck with the novel.
The synopsis is not at all what I was expecting when I saw this cover. But in saying that... I rather enjoyed being surprised as to what the book is about! If I would have gone strictly off the cover I may not hve picked it up... but after reading the blurb... holy moly am I ever ready to read this book!! I am so anxious to find out about this demon and see what happens to both of the girls!! Sounds fantastic!