When Petunia, the youngest of King Gregor's twelve dancing daughters, is invited to visit an elderly friend in the neighboring country of Westfalin, she welcomes the change of scenery. But in order to reach Westfalin, Petunia must pass through a forest where strange two-legged wolves are rumored to exist. Wolves intent on redistributing the wealth of the noble citizens who have entered their territory. But the bandit-wolves prove more rakishly handsome than truly dangerous, and it's not until Petunia reaches her destination that she realizes the kindly grandmother she has been summoned to visit is really an enemy bent on restoring an age-old curse. The stories of Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood get a twist as Petunia and her many sisters take on bandits, grannies, and the new King Under Stone to end their family curse once and for all.
Tell us a little about yourself and your latest/upcoming release.
I grew up in Idaho, went to college in Utah, and lived in Delaware and New Jersey before coming back to Utah. I have a husband and three young children, and a house full of books and yarn! My latest book is PRINCESS OF THE SILVER WOODS, and it’s the third (and probably final) story about my twelve dancing princesses, told from the point of view of the youngest, Petunia.
When did you realize that you wanted to become a writer? What was the very first thing you ever wrote?
I was eleven years old and in fifth grade when I read THE HERO AND THE CROWN by Robin McKinley and found out that writing books about princesses and dragons was a real job! And I knew: I had to have that job too! Technically, the first story I ever wrote was in kindergarten. It was about my family, and I did a lovely illustration of my sister in her favorite red bathrobe to accompany it.
What's the one piece of technology you can't live without?
I’m one of those people who seem to have an iPhone glued to her hand. And think about how handy it is: It’s a phone, camera, calendar, game device, movie and music player . . . I love it so much!
Who is your literary hero?
I have SO MANY. But really, it all goes back to Robin McKinley. She has been my idol for many years.
If you could choose one book cover to put on your wall as a poster, what would it be?
I bought the painting of the original (hardcover) DRAGON SLIPPERS cover from the artist, and it’s hanging in my great room!
Do you find it hard to kill off your characters?
Nope. If somebody needs to die, then THEY WILL DIE!
Describe yourself in 3 words:
Redheaded bookworm biblioholic.
Do you have a book in your house that's just destroyed because you've read it so much?
I have a couple of books I’ve had to buy new copies of because the original fell apart: TAM LIN by Pamela Dean, GOOD OMENS by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, and BEAUTY by Robin McKinley.
What is your favorite holiday?
I am a Christmas girl. I love Christmas food. I love decorating and shopping. I listen to Christmas music all year long. I have literally dozens of Christmas picture books for my kids, and any Christmas-themed novel, Regency romance, mystery, YA book that I find, I buy!
What scene was your favorite to write? What scene was the hardest for you to write?
These are the same! The grand finale, which takes place . . . well . . . in the silver woods was both the most difficult part of the book and the most fun. I laughed and cried and was stressed out in equal measures. I like to think it’s one of the best things I’ve ever written, but if I had to go over it one more time with my editor, I would have been in the corner, rocking and muttering to myself.
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About Jessica Day George...
Jessica Day George likes chocolate, knitting, books, travel, movies, dragons, horses, dogs, and her family. These are all things to keep in mind if you ever meet her. For instance, you could bring her chocolate to make the meeting go more smoothly. You could also talk about how adorable her children are, even if you have never seen them. You could discuss dog breeds (she has a Maltese named Pippin, and grew up with a poodle mix and a Brittany Spaniel). You could talk about Norway, and how it's the Greatest Place On Earth, and Germany, The Second Greatest Place On Earth. You could ask her about yarn, and indicate a willingness to learn to knit your own socks, if you can't already do so.
And, well, you could talk about books. Jessica's books, other people's books. It's really all about the books. To paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld, Friends, family, school, they were just obstacles in the way of getting more books.
She would like it if books came with chocolate to eat while reading them.