Hey friends of Caffeinated Fiction! Today I’m super excited to have a visit from author Carrie Anne Noble to discuss her new release, “The Gold Son.” Read on to see what inspired a story about leprechauns and how you can get your hands on this highly-anticipated YA novel!
Thank you for being here with us, Carrie Anne. Tell us three interesting (possibly little known?) facts about yourself!
- I am currently the foster mother of a grumpy but adorable hedgehog called Chuff, while her owner is studying abroad.
- If you keep me up past nine at night and give me Coke and chocolate, I will become quite silly and prone to fits of giggling. This may or may not be a good idea.
- While riding the school bus to middle school, my best friend and I used to make up fan fiction about Han Solo, in which he’d always fall madly in love with one of us.
Can you share with us a little about your “writing path?” Have you always enjoyed writing? Do you prefer to write YA or are there other genres that peak your interest, as well?
From an early age, I enjoyed making up stories, plays, fictional newspapers, and comics. At 11 or so, I attempted my first novel, and I also wrote numerous, ridiculous short stories about a pair of rabbits called Mildred and George around that time. (They had a terrible marriage, let me tell you!) In high school, I moved on to poetry. After a bit of a break (during which I got married and then had babies to attend to), I took a writing course—which gave me the confidence to pursue writing again. A few “practice” novels later, I wrote The Mermaid’s Sister–and the rest is history!
I really like the YA genre and plan to stick with it for the foreseeable future. The teen years are so much about becoming who we are, discovering what we really feel and want and believe. I think there’s a lot of beauty in that confusing mess of a time, and endless story potential.
That said, I do have an idea for a Middle Grade science fiction book (about a dachshund) I’d like to write eventually.
Before we jump in with your newest creation, let’s take a look at your previous novel, “The Mermaid’s Sister,” which has won multiple awards. What inspired this tale and how long did it take to come to its final state? (To date, this is still one of my favorite books I’ve read! Check out my review, here.)
I came up with the idea for The Mermaid’s Sister when my own sister was dying of cancer. The disease was transforming her before my eyes, and one day I thought, “What if she was becoming something else? What if she was becoming a mermaid?” I wrote the first draft the month after she died, and it was published a little over two years later. The book isn’t about my real sister and me, but tucked into the story, there are echoes of my relationship with her and my journey through grief to a new kind of life.
What a beautiful inspiration for your story, Carrie Anne! I’m a big fan of mermaids. Is there a particular reason you chose this mythological character to be the center of your debut work?
I really don’t know why I chose a mermaid as the being the character Maren was becoming. The idea just fell into my mind somehow. Maybe it was because my sister and I used to pretend to be mermaids when we were happily swimming children. Maybe it was because mermaids are beautiful, mysterious, alluring and yet strong—much like my sister Kate was.
Okay, let’s talk about “The Gold Son.” Can you share with my readers what this new release is about, and any details that won’t spoil too much?
The Gold-Son is about 16-year-old shoemaker’s apprentice Tommin, a good Irish lad who secretly can’t keep himself from stealing. When a mysterious stranger comes to town, Tommin thinks he’s going to help cure him of his addiction to thievery, but instead, the fellow takes Tommin captive and forces him to train to become what he was cursed to be at birth: a leprechaun. Tommin makes friends with a similarly cursed girl called Eve, and together they must try to escape the leprechauns and their dark magic—or lose their humanity forever.
Again, where did the idea for this book come from? And leprechauns? This is one legendary character not often seen in the YA market. Any reason why this little guy drew your attention for his very own story?
I first thought of writing about leprechauns in 2011. This bearded gentleman walks his dog past my house every morning, walking stick in hand. One day as I saw him passing, I asked myself, “What if he’s really a leprechaun looking for somewhere to bury his gold?” And then I started thinking about the whole “cash-for-gold” thing that was popular in shopping malls and on TV ads at the time, and I thought it would be funny to write about a leprechaun who ran one of those schemes in the mall, collecting old jewelry from senior citizens and burying it for kicks. The idea developed into the tale of a teenage leprechaun afflicted with gold fever and first love—and I was hooked! Mixing traditional folk beliefs about the wee fairy shoemakers with my own ideas about leprechauns was great fun.
I ended up writing the first draft as my 2011 National Novel Writing Month project. I worked on various versions of the story for the next five years off and on. Leprechauns can be difficult to wrangle, believe me!
I have to ask—both of the covers for your books are gorgeous! Who designed them and what was the process you had for creating them? Did you have say in the matter?
Both covers were designed by M.S. Corley. The publisher chose him for The Mermaid’s Sister, and I was so thrilled with that cover that I specifically asked to have him design The Gold-Son’s. The publisher uses a detailed questionnaire for authors, in which you get to give the artist an idea of your vision for the cover. Mike then made several different concepts, and I got to choose from the ones the publisher liked best. Together, we tweaked things until we were all happy with the result. I couldn’t be more delighted with what Mike did. He’s a genius!
“The Gold Son” releases on June 20th. Where can readers find you if they want your official John Hancock for their book? Will you be available for book signings? And will you present your books for special events upon request?
I’m having a book launch party at J.V. Brown Library in Williamsport, PA, on June 30th. July 15th, I’ll be selling and signing at the Central PA Festival of the Arts Book Fest in State College, PA. In September, I plan to be at Beaver County Bookfest (near Pittsburgh). I try to keep my signings posted on my Amazon Author Page, so be sure to check for updates there.
I’m happy to speak at book clubs and events when I can. I can be contacted through my FaceBook author page if you want to set something up.
Before we go, can you give us any inside info on your next novel? Have you begun writing your next book and if so, can you share what might be in store for your readers?
I’ve started working on another YA fantasy which blends elements of The Three Bears, Cinderella, and the Selkie legend. That sounds extremely strange…but I’m having a splendid time with it!
Thank you, Carrie Anne for joining us today and telling us a little bit about “The Gold Son.” We celebrate with you and look forward to learning about Tommin, Eve and the world of leprechauns!
In the wake of her checkered past as a theatre student, restaurant hostess, certified nurse aide, and newspaper writer, Carrie Anne now writes novels and short stories–mostly for a Young Adult audience. She lives in the mountains of Pennsylvania with her tolerant husband, four charming children, two naughty cats, a not-so-bright dog, and some really-not-so-bright chickens. The chickens do not live in the house.
Her favorite authors include Mervyn Peake, Neil Gaiman, Maggie Stiefvater, Ardyth Kennelly, Catherine Cookson, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien.
When not reading or writing, Carrie Anne enjoys sewing, attempting to garden, and having tea parties with friends (preferably Mad Hatter style!).