It is always a pleasure for me to host Seattle based author Molly Ringle on the occasion of a new release. Regular readers of my blog will be well acquainted with Molly’s work. When I began with Central Avenue Publishing in 2009, Molly was one of the first authors to reach out to me and offer her support and guidance in the world of writing and we have become good friends as well as colleagues.
As an author, Molly Ringle is a scribe whose example I have endeavored to follow. She is quick witted, masterful with dialogue, visionary with scenery, place and time and soulful with character and emotion. What’s more impressive is Molly’s adaptability in crossing genres and melding genres together – particular romance and fantasy – while grounding them in a real and contemporary station.
I want to say that Lava Red Feather Blue is a departure of sorts for Molly – but only in the sense that it is couched in an completely fantastical setting, but her signature style remains unmistakably Ringle-esque.
From the jacket notes;
Awakening the handsome prince is supposed to end the fairy tale, not begin it. But the Highvalley witches have rarely done things the way they’re supposed to. On the north Pacific island of Eidolonia, hidden from the world by enchantments, Prince Larkin has lain in a magical sleep since 1799 as one side of a truce between humans and fae. That is, until Merrick Highvalley, a modern-day witch, discovers an old box of magic charms and cryptic notes hidden inside a garden statue.
Experimenting with the charms, Merrick finds himself inside the bower where Larkin lies, and accidentally awakens him. Worse still, releasing Larkin from the spell also releases Ula Kana, a faery bent on eradicating humans from the island. With the truce collapsing and hostilities escalating throughout the country, Merrick and Larkin form an unlikely alliance and become even unlikelier heroes as they flee into the perilous fae realm on a quest to stop Ula Kana and restore harmony to their island.
Molly Ringle recently took part in an on-line panel in which she shared some behind the scenes insights about the conception and writing of Lava Red Feather Blue.
“Though I’ve written books with fantasy elements before, Lava Red Feather Blue is my first one where I’ve invented a whole fictional country—an island in the north Pacific, in our world, but hidden by enchantments that the native fae (faery folk) have created. There are also humans there who can do magic, and the humans are fully aware of the fae, so it’s a country with a lot of issues that we don’t have, along with some that we do.
I started writing it in early 2017, and you may recall what the U.S. was feeling like around then. I had finished my previous novel, and had to decide what to write next, and remembered that I’d always sort of wanted to invent a country—a big island country off the Pacific coast of North America. And I thought, “I don’t really want to set anything in the modern U.S., so…inventing a new country it is!” So it did have to do with escaping current events, somewhat. But in addition to that, I’ve always liked the notion of getting to make up new metaphysical rules and magical places. Is that because our own world is unsatisfying in a lot of ways? Sure, probably. I get tired of our repetitive problems and our limitations, and I want to break free of them into something strange and wondrous.
Working on this book introduced me to the term “noblebright”—which, when I looked it up, turned out to be basically what I write! That is, even though the circumstances do get dark and the characters have flaws, there’s a sense of hope and goodness throughout. Not to mention I hardly ever write unhappy endings. I think I’m drawn to the noblebright mood because the “sense of wonder” is what I love best about fantasy, and for me the wonder involves a fair amount of fun and whimsy and positive possibilities, along with the potential for great danger. And I do prefer writing (and reading) characters I’d like to hang out with, to put it in a basic way!”
Having garnered a stack of critical acclaim in the pre-release phase of the book’s journey, Lava Red Feather Blue has wowed readers and reviewers with its bold story telling and sense of wonderment. It is a testament to Molly Ringle’s talent and appeal as a storyteller. I remain a proud and loyal fan and I am always happy to cheer Molly from the bleachers (is that the right term for it Mol?!) as she continues to flourish in the world of words and stories.
Molly Ringle was one of the quiet, weird kids in school, and is now one of the quiet, weird writers of the world. She likes thinking up innovative romantic obstacles and mixing them with topics like Greek mythology, ghost stories, fairy tales, or regular-world scandalous gossip. She’s into mild rainy climates, gardens, androgyny, chocolate, tea, and perfume (or really anything that smells good). She has lived in the Pacific Northwest most of her life, aside from grad school in California and one work-abroad season in Edinburgh in the 1990s. (She’s also really into the U.K., though has a love/stress relationship with travel.) She currently lives in Seattle with her husband, kids, dog, guinea pigs, and a lot of moss.
Lava Red Feather Blue is available now wherever good books are sold.