I have the pleasure of interviewing Young Adult author, Aviva Orr today where she talks about her novel, The Mist on Bronte Moor.
When fifteen-year-old Heather Jane Bell is diagnosed with alopecia and her hair starts falling out in clumps, she wants nothing more than to escape her home in London and disappear off the face of the earth.
Heather gets her wish when her concerned parents send her to stay with her great-aunt in West Yorkshire. But shortly after she arrives, she becomes lost on the moors and is swept through the mist back to the year 1833. There she encounters fifteen-year-old Emily Brontë and is given refuge in the Brontë Parsonage.
Unaware of her host family’s genius and future fame, Heather struggles to cope with alopecia amongst strangers in a world completely foreign to her. While Heather finds comfort and strength in her growing friendship with Emily and in the embrace of the close-knit Brontë family, her emotions are stretched to the limit when she falls for Emily’s brilliant but troubled brother, Branwell.
Will Heather return to the comforts and conveniences of the twenty-first century? Or will she choose love and remain in the harsh world of nineteenth-century Haworth?
Welcome to Obsession with Books Aviva, Are you able to tell us a little about your book The Mist on Bronte Moor and yourself?
Thanks, Sharon! I’m excited to be a guest on your blog.
The Mist on Brontë Moor is literary fantasy in which a modern teen (fifteen-year-old Heather Jane Bell) is swept through the mist back to the year 1833. There she encounters a young Emily Brontë and is given refuge in the Brontë parsonage. During her stay with the Brontës, Heather falls for Emily’s brilliant, but troubled brother, Branwell. The Mist on Brontë Moor incorporates both fact and fiction and also alludes to Wuthering Heights. But it is not a retelling of Wuthering Heights or any other Brontë novel.
I’ve always been intrigued the Brontës, and I have a strong interest in early British literature, so this was a fun book for me to write. Other than reading and writing, I enjoy travelling and experiencing different cultures. I’m originally from South Africa, and I currently live in Southern California with my family.
When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing as a teenager. I never thought about why I wrote, but I suppose I did it because I loved reading and I wanted to create stories of my own.
What is your ideal day as an author?
Rain is ideal. I love staying in bed and writing on my laptop while listening to the rain. But I live in sunny California, so that doesn’t happen too often.
Is there anything about you that would surprise your readers? Any quirks, habits, routines etc.
I dislike talking on the phone. I rarely answer my phone. It really annoys my friends. But I think they are used to it now.
Are you able to tell us about your research and writing process?
My research for this book involved a lot of reading. I read several biographies on the Brontës. I also spent a lot of time on the Internet, studying photos of the parsonage, Haworth, the moors, and walking the streets on Google Earth.
Most importantly, I visited the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth. As wonderful and informative as the Internet is, I don’t think it would have been possible for me to write the book without having visited Haworth.
As for the writing, it involved a lot of rewriting. I belong to a critique group consisting of eight members, so I receive plenty of feedback on my work.
Are there certain influences that inspire you when writing? (literary and non-literary)
Of course, Wuthering Heights and the Brontës inspired me a lot. But, I think the influences will be different for each book.
Is there are book you are reading at the moment? And do you tend to favor a particular genre?
I am currently reading The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling. I really admire Rowling; she is a brilliant storyteller.
I mostly read young adult, and I tend to prefer historical fiction and contemporary novels over sci-fi and dystopian.
If The Mist on Bronte Moor were to be made into a movie, who would you chose to play the roles of your main characters?
Who should play the Brontës as teenagers? Now that’s a difficult question. The only thing I can say for certain is that the actors would have to be British or maybe Irish.
What is up next for you?
At the moment, I am working on another young-adult novel. This one is contemporary.
Fave band / television series / movie?
Band: Maroon 5
Television Series: Dexter and Homeland
Movie: All the Harry Potter movies (I adore Harry Potter)
Coffee or tea?
E-reader or hardcopy?
E-reader, but I always keep hard copies of the books I cherish.
Cats or Dogs
Dogs, particularly Yorkies.
Ideal travel destination?
England. I never get tired of it, no matter how many times I visit.
Thank-you so much Aviva for taking time to talk to us today!
Thank you for having me!
Aviva Orr was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. She currently lives in Southern California with her husband, two daughters, and two Yorkie terriers (Lucy and Branwell). Aviva holds a master's degree in English and has a keen interest in early British literature. The Mist on Brontë Moor is her first novel and will be released by WiDo Publishing on January 8, 2013