|Juliet Marillier with Harry
Juliet Marillier was born and brought up in Dunedin, New Zealand, and now lives in Western Australia. Her historical fantasy novels for adults and young adults have been translated into many languages and have won a number of awards. Among her 17 published novels are the Sevenwaters series and, more recently, the Shadowfell series. Her lifelong love of folklore, fairy tales and mythology is a major influence on her writing. Dreamer's Pool (Roc, November 4, 2014), the first novel in the Blackthorn & Grim series, adds a mystery element to her usual blend of history, folklore, romance and adventure. When not busy writing, Marillier tends to a small pack of waifs and strays.
On your nightstand now:
My e-reader, loaded with reading matter for my upcoming long-haul trip between Australia and Europe. Titles include Almost Invincible: A Biographical Novel of Mary Shelley by Suzanne Burdon, The Visitors by Sally Beauman, Nest by Inga Simpson and Diana Gabaldon's Written in My Own Heart's Blood.
Favorite book when you were a child:
Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild. I loved novels about music, dance and theatre, especially when they featured protagonists of around my own age. The adventures of adopted sisters Pauline, Petrova and Posy continued to enthrall me even on ninth or tenth reading. I wanted to go to Madame Fidolia's Children's Academy of Dancing and Stage Training--why wasn't there a school like that where I lived?
Your top five authors:
Jane Austen, Dorothy L. Sayers, Daphne du Maurier, Joe Abercrombie, Iain Banks. To cut it down to five, I have to leave out a lot of beloved writers.
Book you've faked reading:
Probably a maths textbook.
Book you're an evangelist for:
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I can't tell you how much I love this novel of wartime Guernsey, which is all about the power of books and reading to bring people together and help them through difficult times. It's heartwarming, tragic, funny, romantic and altogether a great epistolary novel.
Book you've bought for the cover:
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. A gorgeous cover of white trees embossed on wintry blue. Inside is a beautifully crafted novel set in backwoods Alaska. It's loosely based on the Russian fairy tale Snegurochka.
Book that changed your life:
Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés--a remarkable study of women's roles in traditional storytelling. I read it at a pivotal point in my life and it affected me profoundly, in a good way. The author is a Jungian therapist and traditional storyteller. I dip into this book frequently.
Which character you most relate to:
Jo March in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women.
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
Among Others by Jo Walton, a gorgeous fantasy novel, which won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards. It's a coming-of-age story and, like the Guernsey novel mentioned above, it celebrates the power of books and reading. A gorgeous, highly original novel well deserving of its success.