AN INTERVIEW WITH LESLEY M. M. BLUME
Author of Modern Fairies, Dwarves, Goblins, and Other Nasties: A Practical Guide by Miss Edythe McFate
Today I am so excited to welcome Lesley M.M. Blume to the blog! One of my favorite authors, I was lucky enough to hear her speak at a publisher’s preview a few years ago. Her Tennyson is one of my top five favorite books (ever)! When I was given the opportunity to join her blog tour for Modern Fairies, Dwarves, Goblins, and Other Nasties: A Practical Guide by Miss Edythe McFate, I jumped at the chance to pick her brain.
Modern Fairies, Dwarves, Goblins, and Other Nasties: A Practical Guide by Miss Edythe McFate is different from your other books for children as it is a collection of short stories, rather than a novel. How was your writing process different for this book?
It actually wasn’t hugely different. With novels, I handwrite the elements of each chapter while sitting at my favorite neighborhood café – always with my special fountain pen in a red leather notebook — and then I go home and write it up on my laptop. In the case of MODERN FAIRIES, I’d map out each short story and follow the same process. What was different was being able to create and concentrate on a different setting and set of characters each time around – it was very liberating and fresh.
Short stories seem to be a dying genre for children, outside of textbooks and the occasional children’s magazine. What inspired you to publish this collection?
Well, if you think about it, short stories should be more relevant than ever. Much has been written about the so-called waning of attention spans of the digital generation, so short stories should be more in demand than ever. I personally loved short stories as a kid; one of my favorite children’s books – The Devil’s Storybook by Natalie Babbitt – was a short story collection, and as a writer, I was simply ready to throw my hat into that ring as well.
Were you well-versed in fairy stories as a child? Were you one of those children who was able to see magic in life- fairies in the flowers, hobgoblins guarding the George Washington Bridge , etc?
Yes – absolutely. I read everything on the topic, and it was a great joy to revisit these tales years later while I researched MODERN FAIRIES. I spent hours in our backyard, looking for fairies, “ringing” lily of the valley buds to lure the creatures out of hiding. We had a dark circle of grass in the yard; my mother told me that it was a fairy ring and as a result had to spend many midnight hours chasing me out of the “ring” and back up into my bedroom.
Do you have the same writing routine whether you are writing for children or adults?
You know – I just realized that I have a different approach for the respective age groups. For adult non-fiction especially, I rarely handwrite the elements first. It just goes straight into laptop. So funny. I wonder why.
What do we have to look forward to next? Are you currently working on anything for children or teens?
I’m currently working on another collection of very short stories about the ancient animal world: another fantasy- and mythology-oriented work. It’s quite delightful and bizarre – my illustrator David Foote and I are sort of inventing a new genre and format as we go along. It’s not *quite* a short story collection; nor it is a literal guidebook. It’s novel-like, in that it follows the adventure of a single protagonist over many years. I’ll be curious to see what everyone thinks of it when it hits shelves in 2012.
Wow! I can’t wait to read what you have coming up. I always look forward to your writing and I am so glad you could stop by today.
Modern Fairies, Dwarves, Goblins, and Other Nasties: A Practical Guide by Miss Edythe McFate is the perfect holiday gift for that middle grade reader in your life. Pick up a copy today!
Be sure to check out the rest of the tour:
LESLEY M. M. BLUME’S MODERN FAIRIES BLOG TOUR
Monday, December 13th – Random Acts of Reading
Tuesday, December 14th – Library Lounge Lizard
Wednesday, December 15th – Through the Looking Glass Book Review Blog
Thursday, December 16th – Book Divas
Friday, December 17th – The Children’s Book Review
Saturday, December 18th – The Book Faerie
Sunday, December 19th – The Reading Zone
Monday, December 20th – SUVUDU