In follow up to last week’s High Five interview with the great Mark Charan Newton, this week we bring you one of the hottest debut authors of the year, Amy McCulloch.
Amy is the author of the forthcoming YA novel The Oathbreaker’s Shadow and she’s also one of the coolest people we’ve met in a long time. We know you’re going to love reading this.
For those of you who don’t know, the High Five interview is where we ask someone cool, five fun questions that they hopefully haven’t been asked before.
Now, on with the show!
Hey Amy. Let’s start with the obligatory ‘serious’ question. Your debut novel The Oathbreaker’s Shadow comes out this June 6. What can you tell us about it and why should people make it their summer read?
Well, The Oathbreaker’s Shadow is a bit like the perfect summer holiday: sunshine, sand… sword-fights, evil shadows and brutal exile into the desert. Okay, fine, it’s not at all like a summer holiday, but it will still be worth tossing in the suitcase with the sun-cream.
It’s an action-adventure fantasy novel inspired by Genghis Khan-era Mongolia, and I’d wager there’s been no reign on earth more epic than the Mongol Empire; it’s ripe for fantasy fodder. It’s aimed at a YA audience, but I think (or hope!) it will have even broader appeal, both older and younger.
We recently tried poutine and got a taste for Canadian cooking. So, as you grew up in Canada we’ve decided that you’re going to throw us a dinner party. What’s on the menu?
After trying the poutine did you decide that you never wanted to eat any other food ever again? Because if you didn’t then you didn’t have good poutine… someone please pass the cheese curds!
You’ve actually touched on something here because I love cooking. And because of my multi-cultural background (born in UK, raised in Canada, to a Chinese mum and English dad), any dinner party of mine would probably most aptly be described as ‘fusion’.
We’d start with homemade spring rolls and jiaozi (Chinese dumplings). Then I’d make a roast dinner (probably slow-cooked lamb), but along with everything traditional, there’d be rice (I seriously cannot have a meal without rice. Except maybe poutine.) Then we’d have to fly back to Canada for Beavertails for dessert, because you need to try more Canadian delicacies
Okay, here’s your adventure question. This is where we set you a scenario and you’ve got to tell us how it would play out. Here goes:
You’ve got to hunt and catch a vicious Wendigo in the frozen wilds of northern Canada. You’re allowed to take three others with you and they can be anyone from people you know to fictional characters. Who do you take and how do you snare that Wendigo?
Okay, so the first person I would take along with me would be you, Paul, because you set me this suicidal mission and there would need to be some Wendigo-bait, uh, I mean, someone with extreme Wendigo expertise to come along with us. I’m going to assume that’s you. And if it’s not, by gum get researching because we’ve got a Wendigo to catch!
My second choice would be Iorek Byrnison, the exiled panserbjørne prince from Northern Lights, because he’s a badass armoured bear and if you’re going on a mission in the frozen wilds of northern Canada, wouldn’t you want a polar bear along with you?
Then my third choice would be China Mieville. Why? Well, no Wendigo would dare eat someone as dashing as China, right?
You’ve just woken up to find that you’ve been transformed in to a Pokemon. What would your Pokemon name be and what amazing power would you have?
Oh man, how do you guys know me so well? Pokemon was maybe the only game I ever played on my Gameboy.
I already know that my nemesis would be Charizard (because I always started with the grass-type pokemon, and Shiny Charizard was the last card my sister & I collected to complete the set, because we were cool like that).
My favourite Pokemon were always electric-type, so I’d have to be one of them. This fits too, because I don’t think there are many hours a day that I’m not plugged in to something – seriously, I think my phone might be surgically attached to my palm. So I’d be… Powzabat. Because if I’m going to be a Pokemon, I’m going to give myself wings too. Bat wings.
These are strange interview questions.
And finally, we say “J for Jetpack”, you say “J for…?”
Jumper. Because when I first moved to Canada, I used to annoy my friends by insisting on using English words because sounding English makes you seem approximately 113% more intelligent when you’re in North America.