Catherine Fisher is a poet and outstanding author for children. Her books include The Snow-Walker trilogy, the Oracle trilogy, the Incarceron series and the Chronoptika series. Catherine was Wales’ first Young People’s Laureate (2011-2013).
Her new book The Clockwork Crow is out now, a magical story set in a wintery Wales. You can read the review here, and Catherine answered our questions about the book.
The Clockwork Crow is set in Wales, how important is Wales as a setting for you?
Wales is an important place in many, though not all, of my stories. It has wonderful landscapes and a vibrant mythology. Both those play a part in The Clockwork Crow.
The characters in The Clockwork Crow have a proper respect for myth. What myths inspired the book? How seriously should we take myth today?
The book is perhaps more influenced by folklore and fairy tale than myth, but all the old traditional stories are important sources for me. Stories about the Tylwyth Teg lie behind the Clockwork Crow, as well as motifs such as the animal helper, the ice palace and the resourceful heroine. Myth is vitally important as it’s one of the ways in which humanity tries to explain itself and the world.
Snow and ice often provide the backdrop for your stories as they do here. What do you like about setting stories in the snow?
I love snow! I like the beauty and deadliness of ice, which are in many ways the characteristics of the faery beings. Winter weather also provides great scenes of peril for Seren and Tomos.
You write poetry as well as prose, and each chapter in The Clockwork Crow begins with a couple of lines of verse. Does your poetry influence your prose style?
In poetry every word counts. Writing poetry teaches you the importance of the sound of language, as well as its meaning, and I try to bring that across to prose as well.Sometimes poetry and prose overlap, and the same subjects recur in different formats.
Will there be more adventures for Seren and the Crow?
I am certainly planning another book for Seren and the Crow. They are great fun to write about, and after all, he is still a Crow, and needs to regain his human form, somehow….
The Clockwork Crow is published by Firefly Press. Find out more about Catherine Fisher in our Authorgraph interview.