As mentioned on my Waiting on Wednesday last week, I would be featuring those two upcoming Parisian YA books in this year’s Paris Month. So today, I’ve love to welcome debut author Page Morgan, whose book The Beautiful and the Cursed comes out on May 14.
If you want to win a copy for yourself, the awesome people at Random House Canada is offering one up for me to give away during Paris Month. So scroll down after the interview for your chance to win!
PAGE MORGAN has been fascinated with les grotesques ever since she came across an old black-and-white photograph of a Notre Dame gargoyle keeping watch over the city of Paris. The gargoyle legends she went on to research fed her imagination, and she was inspired to piece together her own story and mythology for these remarkably complex stone figures. Page lives in New Hampshire with her husband and their three children. The author lives in New Hampshire.
Author bio courtesy of RandomHouse.ca
Photo courtesy of PageMorganBooks.com
1. Congratulations on your first novel! As a debut author, what was your journey to becoming published like?
Thank you! I’ve been writing for what feels like forever, and being a published author has always been my dream job. I definitely didn’t know how long it would take for me to write this book (from concept to finished product about 4 years!) or whether or not it would be published in the end, but nothing was going to stop me from writing it. Once I get an idea that I love, especially once the characters come to life for me, I’m hooked! Writing isn’t easy and neither is getting published, but it’s not impossible. I only had to stop looking at publishing as just a dream, and treat it more like a goal and career—a really awesome career!
2. What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?
I have a lot of different interests, but history and archaeology rank high up there. I love reading and researching anything historical. Maybe I’d hire myself out as a research assistant. Or I could definitely see myself working in a museum.
3. The Beautiful and the Cursed revolves around gargoyles – which is such a unique, fairly-untapped concept. Paris is famous for all their gargoyles, so I’m curious as to what inspired the idea? Which came first: the setting or the subject?
The subject came first, quickly followed by the setting. The idea came to me when I saw an old photograph of a Notre Dame gargoyle. It just looked as if that gargoyle had a huge burden on its shoulders. It seemed to be watching over the city of Paris as a protector of sorts. When I found out that gargoyle statues were in fact symbols of protection, meant to scare off evil spirits and demons, I had the urge to tell this gargoyle’s story.
4. There is a lot of focus on the sense of smell in your story. What led you to explore that idea over any other heightened senses?
My husband doesn’t have a sense of smell—he had one too many concussions as a boy, I suppose! I’ve always thought of how much he’s missed by not being able to smell. A specific scent can drag up all sorts of memories and feelings. So when my gargoyles needed a way to connect themselves to the humans they are supposed to protect, I knew the sense of smell could do this. Each human has their own scent, and all a gargoyle has to do is surface the memory of that scent in order to connect with their human.
5. What is your favourite Parisian landmark? What was your favourite/best discovery while in the city?
Oh, there are so many to choose from! My visit to the Notre Dame and climbing to the Galerie des Chimères was probably the best part of the trip. I was able to reach out and touch the very gargoyle that inspired the story and Luc’s character. The best discovery in Paris was realizing just how close everything is. You can walk everywhere (if you have comfortable shoes!) and see so much on foot. I also loved the Cluny Museum, which is housed in an ancient monastery and has all six Lady and the Unicorn tapestries on permanent display.
6. Lastly, what has surprised you most about the whole writing process?
There are surprises everywhere when writing, like secondary characters who jump out and demand a bigger role in the story. But I think the thing that surprised me the most was how complex the world I was creating turned out to be. I started with one point of view (Ingrid’s) and ended up needing three more in order to tell the story the right way. I’m excited that I get three additional short e-book originals to explore even more POV characters!
As mentioned above, awesome Lindsey @ Random House Canada has offered one finished copy of The Beautiful and the Cursed for me to give away!
- Open to residents of Canada
- Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email to confirm address
- Prize will be mailed out by Random House Canada.