|Posted by Matt Posner on December 11, 2012 at 5:25 PM|
by Wendy D. Walter
Of Walking Houses and Fairy Tales
There are some fantasy characters who fascinate me. Witches for instance, they whip up potions and take care of angry mobs by snapping their fingers and turning them all into toads. As a kid, I longed for magical powers. Who hasn’t fantasized about hocus-pocusing their least favorite teacher into a troglodyte?
Forget the Broomsticks, Let’s All Eat Chocolate
But for smart, savvy women, witches lead lousy lives. Baba Yaga, for instance, lives in a chicken legged house in the loneliest of forests and flies around in a stone mortar (as in mortar and pestle) to hunt down kids to boil for supper. What is she thinking? If I were a witch, I’d conjure up a mansion and a chef who really understands chocolate. Forget broomsticks and mortars, I’d fly around on my bed. No, the whole I’m mad at the world, so I’m going to eat you mentality has never made any sense to me.
So, when I sat down to write Ambril’s Tale, I knew that my witches were going to enjoy life. I made Hendoeth, a witch in Ambril’s Tale, Baba Yaga’s younger, and much happier sister. Hendoeth also lives in a chicken legged house, named Fowlclun. But unlike her sister, Hendoeth is buckets of fun. She drinks hot cocoa, befriends Ambril, and tangles with as many of the bad guys as Fowlclun can stomp. Plus, she gave up boiling kids for supper centuries ago.
Ambril is understandably relieved.
I enjoy giving my characters fairy tale pedigrees. Baba Yaga’s sister, the Cerberus, and the three sister seers called the Aunties gleefully galumph through Ambril’s Tale. They lend their rich heritage to the story and give it depth.
But there are a few special characters, such as Hendoeth, who write themselves. Hendoeth shows up for her scenes, knowing exactly what to say and how to say it. I told my daughter this once. She cocked her head at me and smirked. “Of course, Mom, because you are Hendoeth.” I took that as a huge compliment! Except for the fact that Hendoeth is a million years old…
Sigh, I guess I need a better moisturizer.
Thanks Matt! This was fun to write. It’s been such a pleasure, this whole experience.
I love hearing from everyone!
Wendy’s blog: WendyDWalter.com
The book's website: ambrils-tale.com
Ambril’s Tale, Return of the Dullaith on Amazon
Ambril’s Tale, Return of the Dullaith at Barnes and Noble
Some of the Illustrations for Book One are available here:
Also these links:
About Ambril's Tale, The Return of the Dullaith
Fourteen-year-old, Ambril struggles with the mystery surrounding her father’s death when she moves back to the mysterious town where she was born. When she accidentally uncovers a secret which threatens to destroy her entire family, she continues her quest, against all odds, to clear her father’s name. But will she be able to claim her magic and and heal the rifts in her family?
Ambril’s Tale, The Return of the Dullaith has received great 4-5-star reviews. Readers are impatiently demanding Book Two, which will be out early Spring 2013.
At each blog stop on her tour, Wendy is giving away a prize, a copy of one of her books (paperback or e-book). You can also enter her 12-12-12 Grand Prize Giveaway of a sterling silver pendant of the Tree of Life, and an End-of-Tour Grand Prize Giveaway of a hand-painted gnome, hand-painted by Wendy herself! There will also be some surprise giveaways along the way! Stay tuned!
1) To win a book: leave a comment on this blog post about who is your favorite witch to be entered to win a copy of Ambril's Tale: The Return of the Dullaith in paperback or e-book format. Be sure to leave your email address in the comments so we can contact you if you’re the lucky winner. This giveaway ends five days after the post goes live.
2) To win one of the Grand Prizes: Click the link to go to Wendy's website and enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of the page. A winner will be selected on Dec. 12th for the 12-12-12 for the sterling silver pendant of the Tree of Life. Here's Wendy's site: http://wendydwalter.com/blog-tour/.
About The Author: Wendy D. Walter
Writing was an early passion for Wendy. As a kid, she wrote lots of stories, but being shy, they usually ended up under the mattress. When she finally set out to tell Ambril’s Tale, she decided not to write a story but a world, full with her own marvelous illustrations. She considers The Return of the Dullaith as just the curly tip of the fairy boot. Wendy lives near San Francisco with her husband, daughters, cat and border collie. More information about Wendy's book and art, check her site: http://wendydwalter.com.
REVIEW: AMBRIL'S TALE: RETURN OF THE DULLAITH
by Matt Posner
Take Oz. Take C.S. Lewis. Take Lewis Carroll. Take Beauty and the Beast. Take Brothers Grimm's fairy tails. Take a little mythology here and there, ranging from Russian to Welsh to Greek. And add Ambril, a spunky little girl who isn't afraid to break the rules and some friends who are so nerdy they're cool. And bullies. And wizards. And an obnoxious older brother. And a spunky but oddly lost mother. And a revolting stepfather. And a disobedient toy robot. And talking garden gnomes. And a mysterious underground library. And absolutely atrocious enemies. The Dullaith -- yikes. Cinematic scares to be had with that one. Take all of these adventurous elements.
And then double them.
No, triple them, and end on a supreme cliffhanger.
That's Ambril's Tale: Return of the Dullaith.
This is a very fast and well-written read that is absolutely packed with quirky and odd characters: so many, in fact, that I expected some of them to spill out of this book and start invading the other books on my Kindle. In scant pages, Wendy D. Walter has given us a hugely complex town full of odd people, dark mysteries, and really unlimited plot possibilities in a series worth making a commitment to. Some readers are reluctant to buy the first book of a series in case no more come out. Don't worry about that. Fowlclun is pacing outside Wendy's door waiting to see the manuscript. And a giant house on chicken's legs is not easy to ignore. And if she delays too long, I'll send Yakov Mermelstein along as well.
I was happy to meet Wendy D. Walter and assist with her blog tour to promote this book. Five stars. highly recommended.