Friday, May 6, 2022

Storyteller's Journey

An Author Interview with Deb Cushman

It's been a long time since I've interviewed a visiting author about her own storyteller's journey. So, today I have a very special guest with me: one of my critique partners, Deb Cushman!
Deb's middle grade novel Frigg's Journey to Anasgar will release in September.
Welcome to Writ of Whimsy, Deb! 

Deb: Thank you so much for having me, Victoria. I'm excited to be here.
WW: So, Deb, before we discuss your exciting new fantasy middle grade novel, I thought I'd ask you about your own journey as a writer. When did you first begin writing stories for kids? 
Deb: I've been writing stories since 2nd grade when we stapled together small journals and filled them with our tales. When I was in the 3rd grade, I wrote a historical play which was performed by my classmates for our parents. In 6th grade I wrote stories with my spelling words, that often included original songs and commercials. I guess you could say I've always enjoyed writing and was lucky to have teachers who fostered creativity.
WW: That's amazing! You're definitely a born writer. Since you've been writing for so long what one piece of advice would you give aspiring authors?
Deb: Never give up. That's rather cliché but it has been true for me. I've worked hard at my craft, found supporting writers, joined writing organizations, and kept writing. I've had success having short stories published in magazines, but the competition is strong, and you have to keep going when you feel the urge to give up.
WW: That's great advice, for sure. Deb, would share one or two obstacles you've encountered on your path to publication?
Deb: I've had many agents and editors tell me, "Your writing is good, but your story is not quite what the market is looking for right now." The "market" is a tough obstacle to get past. No matter how creative your story, if the gatekeepers feel it is too much like something else or is something that isn't the most popular trend right now, they don't think they can sell it. I do understand. Writing is a business, and they must look at the bottom line, but often my debut book is compared to The Hobbit because it is a quest and has dwarves and elves. People love The Hobbit and I think they will love Frigg's Journey to Anasgar as well.
WW: So, what inspired you to write Frigg's Journey to Anasgar?
Deb: I'm a great lover of adventure fantasy and I noticed that in most stories with dwarf main characters, the heroes are always male. I began to wonder what a female dwarf hero would be like. In Frigg's Journey to Anasgar, a young dwarf named after Frigg, the Norse goddess of all things domestic, dreams of adventure and wants to be able to do all the wonderful, active things that the boys do in her patriarchal society. I was a lot like Frigg when I was younger, so it wasn't a hard choice to imagine her story!
WW: I didn't even know about all that. Thanks so much for the interview, Deb!
Deb: You're very welcome. I appreciate the opportunity to share story.

Below is the cover and a short summary of Frigg's Journey to Anasgar, as well as the social media sites where you can connect with the author, Deb Cushman. I know she has some special activities and events planned for her book's release, so you won't want to miss following Deb's author sites. Enjoy!

Is there such a thing as too much adventure?
Captured by ogres! Exhibited in a freak show! When Frigg dreamed of adventure, this is NOT what she expected. After trolls attack Frigg's colony, the young dwarf and her friends escape and embark on a perilous journey to locate the legendary dwarf colony Anasgar for help. Blundering Bloodstones!
Can a dwarf, a faery, an elf, and a unicorn convince the defiant dwarves of Anasgar to help fight the trolls, or will her friends and family be enslaved forever?

Frigg's Journey to Anasgar is the first book of an exciting new middle-grade fantasy series, Chronicles of Nadavir, that will follow a group of magical friends on journeys of adventures and discovery. It will be released in September 2022.

I've created a set of FREE activities for children aged 8-12 to enjoy when you join my Nadavir Kids Club on my website. There are games, puzzles, crafts, stories, and other fun activities. Each month I will add a new activity and announce it in my newsletter!

Congratulations, Deb Cushman!