A luglio ho avuto il piacere di presentarvi il cover reveal di questo romanzo, molto particolare e intrigante a partire dal worldbuilding: un paranormal-horror ben strutturato con personaggi originali e una storia intrigante. Sto parlando di The Other Land (disponibile in lingua inglese) dell’autrice britannica Katie Young. Capirete bene che quando mi è stato proposto di far parte del Blog Tour non ho potuto far altro che accettare! Così ho avuto modo di
interrogare intervistare l’autrice e chiederle tutte le curiosità che mi erano sorte su di lei e sul libro. Ecco quindi trama, intervista e note sull’autrice.
Incarcerated on Earth as punishment for breeding with humans, the Watchers found a way to escape. Zach is living proof of that…even though someone has cut out his heart.
When Zach turns eighteen he develops an insatiable thirst for blood, but he tries to bury his fears and go on enjoying his birthday. His best friend Kim has scored them tickets to the hottest gig in town. But a charged encounter with his idol, the enigmatic rock star known as Grigory, leads to a revelation that shatters everything Zach thinks he knows about himself and the world, and places everyone dear to him in grave danger.
Zach is a Naphil, the forbidden offspring of a mortal woman and a Watcher. When those who seek to destroy him snatch Kim, Zach is forced to embark on a journey of discovery spanning continents and ages. With the help of a mysterious stranger named Sam, Zach must unearth the truth about his parentage, find Kim, and discover who has stolen his heart…before he triggers the apocalypse.
1. Hi Katie, thank you for this interview! First, tell us something about you.
Thanks so much for having me, Erika! Well, I’m a writer and I also work in production for a kids’ TV channel. I have a degree in English and Drama, and a masters degree in Victorian Media and Culture. I always wanted to be a singer or an actress when I was a teenager, but it turns out so do lots of other people, and you actually need to work hard at those things and not just sit in the pub fantasizing about them, so that didn’t quite pan out…
I live and work in London, in the UK, but I’m originally from just outside of the city. I was born in Hampshire and lived in Surrey as well. I am in my mid thirties, which comes as a shock to me every day, and have been with my partner for over a decade now. I am passionate about books, film, music and TV. I have an obsessive streak, which is useful for the writing, but can also be distracting! When I’m not writing or in the office, I can be found reviewing TV for an online magazine, at the theatre, seeing bands, having dinner with friends or watching movies.
2. Let’s talk about The Other Lamb: what’s the genesis of this story?
I started dabbling with short stories and screenplays when I was at university, and The Other Lamb actually sprung from a short I wrote about earthbound angels who cut out hearts and swapped them around to make people fall in love. It was more of a little fairy tale really. But while I was reading up on angelic lore, I realized that I wanted to delve deeper into that mythology. I put the project on ice, not really knowing where I was going with it, and didn’t really take up writing again in earnest until almost ten years later, despite being advised by my tutor to take a year out after graduation to write a book. I got a job instead, and real life kind of took over. But about six months before my thirtieth birthday, I was thinking what have I actually done with my life? I decided I wanted to do something that would give me a creative outlet again, and I dug out my old WIPs. That story finally became the book.
3. In your book there is a very original world-building: may you tell us something more?
Well, thank you! I’m so glad you think so. The story takes place in various locations around Europe in our modern world, but also in a biblical setting, in what we now think of as the Middle East, in the time before the great flood. That world is based on an apocryphal text called The Book of Enoch, which recounts how fallen angels actually brought about the destruction of mankind. There is a theory that one of Noah’s sons was actually the child of a Watcher (fallen angel) so there could still be angelic blood in some humans today. I liked the idea that these creatures could still be walking about, changing their identity every few decades. I wanted the angels to be fearsome and warrior-like as they are described in these ancient texts, nothing like the kindly, harp-playing image people may have of them today. I didn’t want to just regurgitate Bible stories either, so I have put a slightly scientific spin on the creation story!
4. The main character is Zach: please introduce him to our reader.
Zach is a shy, unusually tall boy who is obsessed with music – especially Grigory and his band, The Bad Sons. He doesn’t have many friends because people find him a little disturbing for reasons they can’t articulate, but his best friend, Kim, loves him very much. He is on the cusp of adulthood when we meet him, and unbeknownst to him, this means big changes are afoot because he’s not entirely human. He starts to crave raw meat and blood and heals at a supernatural rate. He also realizes a rather important part of his anatomy is missing! He is confused and frightened by events at first, but he is driven by a desire to protect his family and find his best friend, and prepared to sacrifice himself if that’s what it takes.
5. Would you tell something to your readers to be ready to read this book? There is something they must know?
It’s not for the faint of heart! It has some dark themes, religious imagery, taboos, sex and violence. Kind of like a Lady Gaga video!
6. Finally, I’m writing from Italy: have you ever been to our country? What do you think about it?
I have indeed! I have been to Rome the last three years running to attend a convention and I always stay on longer with some girlfriends to enjoy the city. I would say it’s one of my favourite places in the world. I just adore the fact that everything is so old. The sense of history is palpable. You can literally stumble upon something fascinating around every corner! When I was there in May this year, we went to the Capitoline Museums and saw some Michelangelo sculpture which was magical. It was a really sensual experience. Even the reproduction pieces in those collections can be hundreds or even thousands of years old. I found so much inspiration for my new book in the basement there, I could hardly contain myself. Also walking over the Ponte Sant’Angelo with its imposing angel statues was incredible, and wandering around the Pantheon and the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. I just associate being in Rome with being blissfully happy, and I would love to see more of Italy in the very near future. I imagine there is so much beauty to be found.
7. Thank you for your time, hoping your book will soon be translated also in Italy!
I really hope so too – that would be amazing. Grazie mille! That was so much fun!
Katie Young is a writer and occasional zombie movie ‘supporting artiste’. She also works in kids’ TV but wishes she were a rock star. She has various shorts available for download from Ether Books, and features in anthologies from Collaboration of the Dead Press, Angelic Knight Press, Indigo Mosaic, Song Stories Press, Static Movement and Fox Spirit Books. Her story, Atelic, was shortlisted for the 2010 Writers’ & Artists’ Year Book short fiction prize, and she is a regular contributor to the Are You Sitting Comfortably? story-telling events run by White Rabbit. Katie also writes TV reviews for The Cult Den. The Other Lamb is her first novel. She lives in South East London with her partner and a second-hand cat. She is not a natural redhead.