When I originally signed on to host this particular tour, I was so excited about reading another genre-bender spilt between Historical Fiction & Magical Realism. It’s a cross of genres I particularly appreciate – however, this pre-dates what happened in my family last Friday & Saturday – which is why instead of a review of this novel, I’m posting my interview with the author instead.
For those of you who are following the tour and are not followers of my blog, my Dad had a stroke over the holiday weekend, whilst being hospitalised this week for tests and surgery. You can read about the first 24 hours of this family emergency – however, I wanted to say, I’m still looking forward to reading the novel which this conversation is talking about as it’s such a curious premise! I’ve pushed my review date further into the blog tour to allow for ‘breathing space’ and a time to simply decompress from everything going on in my life.
I composed these questions ahead of reading the story itself – which is why I think I might have missed a few things – I am simply thankful I could stay on the tour and share this conversation. I look forward to reading your responses and seeing how everyone else responded to the book itself, too.
Absolute obedience, servitude, neutrality.
These were the laws that once governed Bartholomew, an immortal soulcatcher, until one ill-fated night when he was forced to make a choice: rebel against his masters or reveal an ancient, dangerous secret.He chose defiance.
Imprisoned for centuries as punishment for his decision, Bartholomew wastes away—until he creates an opportunity to escape. By a stroke of chance, Bartholomew finds himself in the human world and soon learns that breaking his bonds does not come without a price. Cut off from the grace that once ruled him, he must discover a new magic in 1930s Chicago.
Armed with only a cryptic message to give him direction, Bartholomew desperately tries to resume the mission he had started so long ago. Relying on the unlikely guidance of the streetwise orphan Charlie Reese, Bartholomew must navigate the depressed streets of the City in the Garden. But in order to solve this riddle, he must first discover if choice and fate are one in the same.
As your story has origins in an Irish Folk story, how much were you able to ferret out about the original origin story to fuse into your own imaginative world or did you just take the original on face value from what you initially found and wrote what you felt would ‘come next’?
Bastian responds: The Legend of Stingy Jack is about three good sized paragraphs long, so it wasn’t much to go on. I tried to learn more about him, but they are no other stories written about him, nor could I find the true origins of his Irish folktale. It fascinated me, the lack of information about this ill-fated character, confused why no one would have written a more stories about his wanderings, although one might claim Tim Burton already did in A Nightmare Before Christmas. But I wasn’t looking for the Pumpkin King. I wanted to know what a mortal soul would do with its eternity. Could Stingy Jack fall in love? Would the Devil still be trying to beat his now immortal foe? Could Stingy Jack change his ways? Could he be granted a reprieve and be allowed into heaven? I wanted to know! And in order to know, I had to write his story, which has turned into something much grander than expected. Read More