I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on blog tour for EVERLAND by Wendy Spinale! I freaking LOVED this book it was such an interesting take on Peter Pan!!!! I have an interview with Wendy to share with you today! And make sure to enter the awesome giveaway for a finished copy of the book!
Haven't heard of EVERLAND? Check it out!
Forget the story of Peter Pan you know. Because in Everland, the only way to grow up is to survive.
London has been destroyed in a blitz of bombs and disease. The only ones who have survived are children, among them Gwen Darling and her siblings, Joanna and Mikey. They spend their nights scavenging and their days avoiding the ruthless Marauders -- the German Army led by Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer.
Unsure if the virus has spread past England's borders but desperate to leave, Captain Hook hunts for a cure, which he thinks can be found in one of the survivors. He and his Marauders stalk the streets snatching children for experimentation. None ever return. Until the day they grab Joanna. As Gwen sets out to save her, she meets a mysterious boy named Pete. Pete offers the assistance of his gang of Lost Boys and the fierce sharpshooter Bella, who have all been living in a city hidden underground. But in a place where help has a steep price and every promise is bound by blood, it will cost Gwen. And are she, Pete, the Lost Boys, and Bella enough to outsmart Captain Hook?
Now on to the interview!
Hi Wendy! First I want to say welcome to Two Chicks on Books! Everland was absolutely fantastic and I can’t wait for everyone to read it! And am so happy that you could stop by for a visit!
Thanks for having me! I appreciate your time and am excited to share some EVERLAND tidbits with you.
For the readers: can you tell us a little bit about Everland and the characters?
Everland is Peter Pan and Wendy cast with a steampunk twist. Captain Hook and his army of Marauders have bombed London exposing a deadly virus. Only London’s kids have survived. Hook is seeking the cure with the help of the Professor, a biological lab technician; both believe one of the surviving children carries the antibodies for the cure. Gwen Darling, the eldest of three, fights to protect her siblings, but when her sister is taken she must journey to Everland with the help of Pete and a gang of Lost boys to save her sister and find out the truth about the virus.
Why make a post-apocalyptic/steampunk Peter Pan with no magic?
Creating a Peter Pan world without magic is easily solved with pixie dust, faith and trust, and happy thoughts. I wanted to create a grittier Peter Pan where problems aren’t so easily solved with a poof of magic. I think Everland delves into a conflict we all confront: growing up amidst a world that isn’t exactly a fairy tale. Peter Pan is never going to come and whisk us away from the responsibilities that come with being an adult. Tinkerbell isn’t going to shower us with pixie dust so that we can reach that far off goal we want. Life is tough and Everland addresses the hard knocks that it takes to grow up in a world that isn’t always bent on happy thoughts.
Do you have a title for book 2 yet?
Still in the works. Yes!
Were any of the characters in the book inspired by people from your real life?
YES! YES! YES! First off, Gabs, the quirky little Lost Boy was inspired by my nine-year-old son who is autistic. That boy has stories that never end. As I was creating characters, I immediately knew I had to have one Lost Boy that was like my little Riley. Also, Pete was inspired by my dear Disney friend Guy De La Cruz, and Hook was inspired by my Disney friend Phil Hill. Although Phil isn’t nearly as jaded, he has a heart of gold. I wanted Hook to be a bad guy, but not for the sake of being a bad guy, but because he genuinely has a good heart, but is misunderstood.
Who was your favorite character to write? What about your least favorite?
Gabs by far is my favorite because I can relate to him so closely. His voice, as crazy as this sounds, was the voice that dominated in creating the story and I had to scale him back. He’s funny, sweet, and encompasses all that is innocent. I didn’t have a least favorite although I will say that Jack is complicated and I’m still trying to figure him out.
What is your favorite passage/scene in Everland?
My favorite passage is the scene when Gwen tells Pete not to die and Pete responds, “To die would be an awfully big adventure.”
What kind of research did you have to do for the story?
Aside from reading the original Peter Pan and Wendy story, I did have to do a lot of research on steampunk and what that meant, from clothes, to weapons, to ideals, and politics. I used a lot of maps to understand the routes of the Underground and iconic buildings in London. Book two is requiring far more research because it is set outside of London and although there is some information available, it is far less than researching London.
Who is your ultimate book boyfriend?
I do love Jace in Cassandra Clare’s Immortal Instruments series.
What inspired you to write YA?
Honestly, I really connect with the YA voice. I’ve dabbled with adult, but there’s something inside of me that just can’t quite get the adult voice quite right. Middle grade resonates with me as well, but not to the extent that YA does.
Lightening Round Questions
What are you reading right now? Or what do you have on your TBR that you’re dying to read? Currently, I am rereading something for book three. Since I don’t want to give away any spoilers, I won’t tell you what I’m reading. As far as my TBR list, I have to say my stack of YA 2016 debuts is taller than my kid. Symptoms of Being Human, Underwater, Into the Dim, The Girl From Everywhere, Beyond the Red, Abyss Surrounds Us, Summer Sloane, Ivory and Bone, Future Shock, and Firsts are currently in my ordered or pre-order lists.
What Hogwarts House would the Sorting Hat place you in?
Interesting enough I average fairly equal between Hufflepuff and Gryffindor but am higher in Hufflepuff.
Twitter or Facebook? Twitter all the way!!
Favorite Superhero? Elektra. I love strong female heroines.
Favorite TV show? The Big Bang Theory. Humor is the best medicine.
Sweet or Salty? Salty
Any Phobias? I have no real phobias, meaning I can endure anything. Flying in airplanes is not my favorite thing, but I do fly when I need to.
Song you can’t get enough of right now? Ha ha! This is an easy question. “Lost Boy” by Ruth B.
Spring Movie you’re most looking forward to? Movies? I have no idea what is even in the theater right now. One thing about being an author is that sometimes you lose track on new release films and get behind on your television episodes. Right now my only entertainment is watching my dogs chase the tennis balls.
Thanks so much Wendy for answering my questions! I can’t wait for everyone to read EVERLAND!
I must admit, I have lived an extraordinary life and will forever be grateful for the opportunities I have had.
I was the middle of three kids, my older brother being deaf for as far back as I can remember. At the time, I didn't realize how much that would later impact my life. I was a sign language interpreter for a short time (although I'm extremely rusty now), taught my kids to sign as infants, and now am using that experience in my current manuscript.
During college I was living in southern California working for Disneyland as a Cast Member in the Entertainment Department. I met my husband there who was also a performer. After four incredible years working with the Mouse, we moved to his hometown in the Bay Area.
I eventually got my Bachelor's in Kinesiology and worked in the fitness industry for ten years before a knee injury ended my career. Not sure what to do with my time, I applied to job posting to be an online journalist. I loved writing, but had no experience. I didn't hear back so I wrote up a review about a local restaurant and sent it to them to prove I could do the job. Twenty-four hours later, I was a journalist with AOL Media/Pleasanton Patch.
I spent three great years with them before cut backs forced me without a job again. That's when I started writing my first novel, which went nowhere. Dozens of rejection letters later. I started a second book. A year later I was offered representation by Thao Le from Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency and within another six months I was offered a book deal. EVERLAND (Scholastic) is scheduled to debut Summer of 2016!
Today I live in the Bay Area with my husband and three sons who are my biggest fans. While they're off at work and school, I bounce ideas off my four-legged, furry family members, Odie and Sammy.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of EVERLAND, US Only.
5/2/2016- Brittany's Book Rambles- Interview
5/3/2016- BookHounds YA- Review
5/4/2016- Novel Novice- Guest Post
5/5/2016- A Glass Of Wine- Review
5/6/2016- Two Chicks on Books- Interview
5/9/2016- Beauty and the Bookshelf- Review
5/10/2016- Pandora's Books- Excerpt
5/11/2016- Please Feed the Bookworm- Review
5/12/2016- Once Upon a Twilight- Excerpt
5/13/2016- 5 Girls Book Reviews- Review