Kathie: Hi Kalyn! Congratulations on your upcoming book, Ravenfall, which will be released on August 30th from Delacorte. Can you tell us a bit about it, please?
Kalyn: Thank you! RAVENFALL is about a girl from a family of psychics who run a sentient inn at the crossroads of the human world and Otherworld, and the boy who comes to them for help solving a magical mystery. It’s full of Irish mythology, autumn vibes, and whimsical magic.
Kathie: Where did the spark for the story come from?
Kalyn: The story was born from my love of Irish mythology and funnily enough, The Addams Family. I loved the idea of a magical family who’s a little too comfortable with the darker side of things, which is why the story came to focus on grief, found family, outcasts, and most importantly, a cat. As a kid, every story had a dog that was the good guy, and a cat that was the bad guy, and I always wanted to write a story with a cat sidekick who steals the show.
Kathie: This is your first middle-grade book, although you have two young adult novels published. What was it like to write for a younger audience, and does your writing style change?
Kalyn: I really enjoyed it! I feel like I got to be so much more creative. If I wanted to do something with the magic, I did it, and the result is so whimsical and fun. I also got to focus a little more on humor, and the tone is much lighter even as the story deals with some heavy topics, like grief. So while my style itself didn’t change much, the things I got to do with it did.
Kathie: Your story is also written from dual POVs. Was this how you originally wrote the story, and which character’s voice came most naturally to you?
Kalyn: It is. RAVENFALL always felt like two people’s stories that were meant to come together, and I couldn’t imagine telling it without both perspectives. Though I definitely struggled more with Anna’s perspective than Colin’s, just because her character comes from a background so different to my own, that I spent a lot of time thinking about how being raised in a magical inn would affect the things she said and the way she thought.
Kathie: Can you tell us a bit about your research process and an interesting tidbit you knew needed to be part of the story?
Kalyn: Most of my research was into mythology. While the book focuses on Irish mythology, all types exist in the world, so I learned a lot of fascinating things about magical creatures across the world. Unfortunately, I can’t share the tidbit I found the most interesting, because its discovery is a big spoiler!
Kathie: Can you tell us a bit about the cover, who illustrated it, and what elements stand out for you?
Kalyn: I am in love with the cover. The illustrator is Ramona Kaulitzki, who did such a fantastic job of capturing the spooky autumnal vibes of the story. In particular, I love all the little creatures she depicted, especially the little black cat on Anna’s shoulder, Max, who as far as he’s concerned, is the most important character.
Kathie: If you were a librarian and had a young reader standing in front of you with your book in their hand, what would you say to them to convince them to try it?
Kalyn: I’d tell them that it’s a story full of magic that feels like putting on a cozy sweater and drinking a cup of hot chocolate on a cold day, complete with adventure, laughter, and a very curious cat.
Kathie: Where can we go to find out more about you and your writing?
Here are some pre-order links for Ravenfall:
– Signed Copies from Kepler’s Books: https://www.keplers.com/josephson-ravenfall
– Indiebound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780593483589
Kathie: Thanks so much for chatting with me today, Kalyn, and good luck with your book’s release. I look forward to reading it.
Kalyn: Thank you so much for having me! I hope you enjoy it.
Kalyn Josephson is a fantasy author living in the California Bay Area. She loves books, cats, books with cats, and making up other worlds to live in for a while. She is also the author of THE STORM CROW duology.