Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Jessica Vitalis. We’ll be talking about voice, perspective, pacing and her books The Wolf’s Curse and The Rabbit’s Gift.
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In this episode Jessica Vitalis and I discuss:
- Balancing multiple perspectives on the same events without boring your reader
- Weaving folklore, tradition, science, and spirituality into a middle grade story
- How to use footnotes and parentheticals without slowing your story’s pace
Plus, her #1 tip for writers.
About Jessica Vitalis
Jessica Vitalis is a Columbia MBA-wielding writer on a mission to write entertaining and thought-provoking literature. As an active volunteer in the kidlit community, she’s also passionate about using her privilege to lift up other voices. She founded Magic in the Middle, a series of free monthly recorded book talks, to help educators introduce young readers to new fantasy books. She was recently named a 2021 Canada Council of the Arts Grant Recipient and featured on CBCs Here and Now. Her first novel, The Wolf’s Curse, published in 2021, and a standalone companion novel, The Rabbit’s Gift, is out now.
The Wolf’s Curse
Shunned by his fearful village, a twelve-year-old apprentice embarks on a surprising quest to clear his name with a mythic—and dangerous—wolf following closely at his heels. Jessica Vitalis’s debut is a gorgeous, voice-driven literary fantasy about family, fate, and long-held traditions. The Wolf’s Curse will engross readers of The Girl Who Drank the Moon and A Wish in the Dark.
Gauge’s life has been cursed since the day he cried Wolf. The superstitious villagers believe the invisible Great White Wolf brings death. If Gauge can see the Wolf, then he must be in league with it. So instead of playing with friends in the streets or becoming his grandpapa’s partner in the carpentry shop, Gauge must go into hiding. He helps his grandpapa in secret and is allowed out of the house only under the cover of night. Then the Wolf comes for his grandpapa, and for the first time, Gauge is left all alone, with a bounty on his head and the Wolf at his heels.
When a young feather collector named Roux offers Gauge assistance, he is eager for the help. But soon, the two orphans are forced to question everything they have ever believed about their town, about the Wolf, and about death itself.
Narrated by the sly, crafty Wolf, Jessica Vitalis’s debut novel is a vivid and literary tale about family, friendship, belonging, and grief. The Wolf’s Curse will captivate readers of Laurel Snyder’s Orphan Island and Molly Knox Ostertag’s The Witch Boy.
The Rabbit’s Gift
Told in dual points of view, The Rabbit’s Gift blends STEM with magic to craft a unique and thought-provoking story about responsibility, traditions, family, and friendship.
Fleurine, a twelve-year-old aspiring botanist and daughter of the Grand Lumière, secretly tries to grow the elusive purple carrots that humans trade for Chou––cabbage-like plants that grow human babies. She longs for a sibling, but Maman doesn’t want another child. What’s more, she believes science will upset the natural order and insists that Fleurine follow in her political footsteps.
Meanwhile, the human demand for babies has dropped, and the rabbits are starving. A runt named Quincy decides to take matters into his own paws and sets out for the city, determined to prove that you don’t have to be big to be a hero.
When he inadvertently leads Fleurine back to the top-secret Warren, he sets off a string of events that pits them against each other and jeopardizes the future of the entire country––for rabbits and humans alike.
If you decide to check out the book, we hope you’ll do so via these Amazon affiliate links: The Wolf’s Curse, The Rabbit’s Gift where, if you choose to purchase via the links, DIY MFA gets a referral fee at no cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting DIY MFA!
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