Welcome to Beauty and the Bookshelf! Today I get the honor of interviewing the wonderful H.B. Bolton as part of The Serpent's Ring blog tour! Check out the information below to learn more about Bolton and The Serpent's Ring!
Using the letters of SERPENT, please describe yourself.
In the form of a haiku, what is The Serpent’s Ring about?
I haven’t written a haiku in many moons, but here it goes:
Relic is stolen—
journey to another realm
to help turn the tides.
Where did you get the idea for The Serpent’s Ring, and why did you decide to write a Middle Grade novel?
As a child, I would dive into fantasy stories such as Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit and so many others. As an adult, I still feel the thrill and enchantment of such stories. C.S. Lewis once said, “Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” My love for adventure inspired me to create my own story, my idea of what a hero should be, and my vision of other realms.
I wanted to include a quest where an average kid could encounter supernatural creatures, trinkets and foods. I considered how to tie multiple books and multiple adventures together. That was when the idea of visiting a land where all of the great myths existed came to me. My characters would be able to visit multiple realms of mythology where they would be able to have many exciting escapades.
In The Serpent’s Ring, Evan and Claire travel — via the “rainbow bridge” — to Asgard and encounter their first goddess, Vor (she knows literally everything). I chose Norse mythology because of my family’s heritage — my father’s name is Thor (short for Torval). I have always felt connected with Norway and needed to start there.
The synopsis mentions terms like “Serpent’s Ring,” “Mysticus Orb,” and “Sagaas.” These are terms—for me, at least—that are unfamiliar. Could you possibly tell us about them and what they mean, or what we can expect the terms to bring in the book?
Excellent question, since I did make up many of the terms in the story.
“Serpent’s Ring”: In Norse mythology a mighty sea serpent, Jormundgand, circles the world and then bites his own tail. If he were to let go, then the entire planet would flood. This is predicted to happen at the end of the world, Ragnarok. The serpent’s ring describes the shape of Jormundgand. The title for each book in the series will describe the relic of which Evan and Claire are searching for.
“Mysticus Orb”: Mysticus means enigma or puzzle in Latin, and an orb is a sphere or globe. The Mysticus Orb was a powerful object that all of the gods and goddesses once looked to for guidance … that was before it shattered into many different relics and each one was hidden around the world. *I doubt there is any truth to this, since I made it up*
“Sagaas”: This is the station between mythological realms. Saga is a story or legend. After making it plural, I added an “a” and — voilà! — Sagaas was created.
You’re a Tribute in the Reader Games! Three fictional characters are your allies, and three are your enemies. Who are they?
Allies: Katniss, Hermione and Aslan
Enemies: Sauron, Queen of Hearts and Jaws
Now that The Serpent’s Ring is a real thing, what do you see in your future? What can be expected in The Relics of Mysticus series?
The audio book will be available in October, read by the fabulous Maxwell Glick. The first chapter is available for free through my website http://www.hbbolton.com.
I have already named the next couple of books in the Relics of Mysticus series and have big plans for more thrilling adventures to come. I have been busy outlining the The Trickster’s Totem (book two), where Evan and Claire must travel into Native American mythology and save another relic from the clutches of Alamaz (immortal troublemaker).
What are five random facts about yourself that readers may not know?
- I taught eight years of AP art at Oviedo High School.
- I graduated from the same school where I taught.
- One of my graduated AP drawing students designed and illustrated the cover for The Serpent’s Ring. I’ve already chosen an image of hers that I’d like to use for The Trickster’s Totem.
- I live in Orlando, FL, and love, love, love going to theme parks.
- I almost majored in humanities and would still like to finish my Masters of Liberal Studies, just so I can learn more about art, literature, philosophy, drama and music.
If you could collaborate with any writer to ever exist, who would he or she be? Why?
It would be an honor to collaborate with J.K. Rowling. She has spun a world full of magic, mystery, likable characters and enchanted food. I, like many authors, aspire to write in her charming and witty way.
What’s your writing process?
I dream up ideas for my story and let it brew in my head for a bit. Then, I research, research, research about the place, the people/creatures and objects my characters will encounter. I outline the major plot points and always leave room for “extras.” Once I am ready, I set the scene and allow the characters to come to life.
When I am stuck, I enjoy drawing the chapter headers and creating character boards on Pinterest.
Someone's unsure of whether or not they should read The Serpent’s Ring. What do you tell them to convince them to read it?
Here comes another fantastic quote by C.S. Lewis: “A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.”
The truth is that we are never too old to go on a fantastical quest. In fact, I still enjoy watching Goonies with my kids. And although the reading age for The Serpent’s Ring starts at 4th grade, I’ve known many adults who have shared in the adventure and had a moment when he/she felt like a kid again.
Anything else you'd like to share?
I love quotes and I adore Walt Disney, so I had to share a few of his words of wisdom:
“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island and at the bottom of the Spanish Main ... and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.”
- Walt Disney
Evan and Claire Jones are typical teenagers, forced to go with their parents to yet another boring museum ... that is, until something extraordinary happens to make their day a little more than interesting. After following a strange little creature into a closed exhibit, Evan and his older sister, Claire, discover the Serpent’s Ring, one of the magical relics formed from the shattered Mysticus Orb. Purely by accident, they have awakened its powers and opened a portal to Sagaas, land of ancient gods.
Before the siblings can comprehend what has happened, the Serpent’s Ring is wrenched from Evan’s hand by an enormous bird and flown back to Aegir, the Norse god of the sea. Evan and Claire, accompanied by a band of unlikely heroes, must retrieve the Serpent’s Ring before Aegir uses its immense powers to flood all the lands on Earth.
For more information on H.B. Bolton and her novels, please visit her website, Twitter, Facebook, or Goodreads!
One more thing before you go--a giveaway!
Fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter to win:
1 Paperback of The Serpent's Ring
1 Rune Treasure Box
1 Signed Bookmark
-Neither Beauty and the Bookshelf nor H.B. Bolton are responsible for stolen or damaged prizes.
-One entry form per person.
Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for the interview, H.B.!