Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Ellie Cypher.
Ellie Cypher grew up in Northern California, received her B.S. in Neuroscience and Behavior from UC Santa Cruz and got her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of California Davis. She has lived and worked all over the world from New Zealand to Tasmania to the United Kingdom.
When she is not writing, you can find her spending her time caring for all manner of creatures great and small, dreaming about traveling, drinking too much coffee or generally wandering about the beautiful Smoky Mountains with her husband and eleven-year-old black lab.
Today we’ll be discussing her debut novel, a YA fantasy titled The Girl from Shadow Springs.
In this episode Ellie and I discuss:
- How the first line is usually what pops into her head first and inspires her to write the book.
- Why the arctic wilderness was the perfect backdrop for her novel as it has “a sense of being alone in a void…massive expanse and insular isolation”.
- What part language, vernacular, and modulation of voice play in stretching the boundaries of the speech characters use and building the world around them.
Plus, her #1 tip for writers.
About Ellie Cypher
Ellie Cypher grew up in Northern California, received her B.S. in Neuroscience and Behavior from University of California Santa Cruz graduating with Highest Honors in the major and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of California Davis. She has lived and worked all over the world from New Zealand to Tasmania to the United Kingdom. When not writing, she can be found spending her time caring for all manner of creatures great and small, dreaming about traveling, drinking too much coffee or generally wandering about the beautiful Smokey Mountains with her husband and eleven-year-old black lab.
The Girl from Shadow Springs
The Revenant meets True Grit with a magical twist in this thrilling and atmospheric debut fantasy about two teens who must brave a frozen wasteland and the foes within it to save their loved ones and uncover a deadly secret.
Everyone in Shadow Springs knows that no one survives crossing the Flats. But the threat of a frozen death has never deterred the steady stream of treasure hunters searching for a legendary prize hidden somewhere in the vast expanse of ice. Jorie thinks they’re all fools, which makes scavenging their possessions easier. It’s how she and her sister, Brenna, survive.
Then Jorie scavenges off the wrong body. When the dead man’s enemy believes Jorie took something valuable from the body, he kidnaps Brenna as collateral. He tells Jorie that if she wants her sister back, she’ll have to trade her for the item he thinks she stole. But how can Jorie make a trade when she doesn’t even know what she’s looking for?
Her only source of information is Cody, the dead man’s nephew and a scholar from the South who’s never been hardened by the harsh conditions of the North. Though Jorie’s reluctant to bring a city boy out onto the Flats with her, she’ll do whatever it takes to save her sister. But anything can happen out on the ice, and soon Jorie and Cody find they need one another more than they ever imagined—and they’ll have to trust each other to survive threats beyond their darkest nightmares.
If you decide to check out the book, we hope you’ll do so via this Amazon affiliate link, where if you choose to purchase via the link DIY MFA gets a referral fee at no cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting DIY MFA!
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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome!