George is just a regular teenager living in a small, quaint town except he’s broke, nearly homeless and his mom took off with her loser boyfriend. It takes a village to raise a child but not so much when you have to keep it a secret and the bully quarterback hates your guts.
Today I’m catching up for the second time with the author Maggie Spence. Today we’re discussing her novel the ‘Vardin Village’ and we’re also going to have a quick fire round of questions that we didn’t get to in our last catch-up.
Maggie, let’s start looking at today’s discussion at the start of ‘Vardin Village’. What seeded this novel?
I think every small town owns some random mansion left to the people by a well-meaning philanthropist. My town has three. Some are museums, some get turned into community centers or wedding venues and there’s always history left by the family who once lived there. I started wondering what would happen if surviving descendants had any rights or dug up some claim to the property. I also wanted to tell a story about how many kids are brought up by a village. Hence, Vardin Village.
That’s an intriguing combination of ideas. How did you go about melding them together? Did you focus your research on these mansions in your town?
Oh, yes. I learned so much about my village and the many people who made it the great place it is today.
Did you also try and incorporate your experiences with your local mansions into the chain of events?
How can you not?
When you were researching these local landmarks, you must have found out a copious amount of information about the people who built, own and donated these properties. Did you use these people from history as the basis for any of the characters, or did you develop the roles develop in other ways?
They are people that we all know.
Did you feel a strong connection with any of your characters?
I really related to Maria.
Would you socialise with Maria or another one of your characters like going out on a date or beer with them if they came to life?
I’d go out with the new family but it would be for coffee or ice-cream.
For you personally, what felt like the most worthwhile facet of writing this book?
It was a good feeling when I thought of all the people who raised me.
Did it take long to complete?
Now we didn’t do my favourite part of the interview, the Quick Fire Round last time we met, so I’d like to see your fast firing opinions this time around.
What is your favourite quote?
“Dread fifty above more than fifty below…”
How do you feel about the future of reading/ writing and publishing?
Great! So many options and channels.
Do you have any philosophies that you live by?
If you could breed two animals together to defy the laws of nature what new animal would you create?
I don’t mess with nature!
Can you stand on your hands unassisted?
If you could steal one thing without consequence what would it be?
Cancer from everyone who has it.
Can you curl your tongue?
Which are cooler? Dinosaurs or Dragons?
Dinosaurs for sure.
What’s the most unusual name you’ve ever come across?
What is your favourite word?
Good pick for a final word. Maggie, I’d like to thank you for being so generous with your time yet again and allowing me to pick your brains about your books and writing. Good luck with your promotion of ‘Vardin Village’, and I hope to catch up with you again in the future.
Want to connect with Maggie? You can find her here: