The Wolf Mirror
by Caroline Healy
Publication date: February 14th, 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult
Changing places doesn’t always help you see things differently.
Cassie throws the first punch in a brawl at Winchester Abbey Girl’s School. Her subsequent suspension is a glitch in Cassie’s master plan; Finish School/Get Job/Leave Home (and never come back). As punishment, her mother banishes her to Ludlow Park, their creepy ancestral home. In the dark of a stormy night Cassie finds herself transported to 1714, the beginning of the Georgian period.
With the help of a lady’s maid and an obnoxious gentleman, Mr Charles Stafford, Cassie must unravel the mysterious illness afflicting Lord Miller. If Lord Miller kicks the bucket, the house goes to Reginald Huxley, the brainless cousin from London.
Cassie’s task is to figure out who is poisoning the Lord of Ludlow without exposing herself to the ridicule of her peers, getting herself committed to the asylum or worse, married off to the first man who will have her.
Cassie must learn to hold her tongue, keep her pride in check and reign in her rebellious nature – because the fate of her entire family, for generations, rests on her shoulders.
Meanwhile, Lady Cassandra Miller frantically searches for her smelling salts or her trusted governess Miss. Blythe, whose soothing advice she would dearly love. Instead Cassandra finds some woman and a boy squatting in the Ludlow mansion; her father, her lady’s maid and all the servants have magically disappeared.
Tell-a-vision, the In-her-net, horseless carriages and women wearing pantaloons; Cassandra is afraid that she might have inhaled fowl air causing her to temporarily lose her senses.
Only when both girls can get over their pride, societal prejudices and self-importance will they be able to return to their rightful century. Until then, they are free to wreak maximum damage on their respective centuries.
~AUTHOR INTERVIEW with Liz Gavin~
1) What gave you the inspiration for the storyline?
Every time I visit my sister, who lives in England, we have this daft unspoken ritual that we watch Pride and Prejudice, the BBC version with Colin Firth in it. The tradition has extended now to my nieces, who enjoying watching all thing Austen. I watch teenagers growing up, (I have several nieces and nephews in the throws of teenage years) and I marvel at how they navigate society today. It is definitely more complicated with technology and social media than when I was growing up. And I began to wonder at the skills that modern teenagers have and the skills that teenagers, say in the 1700’s would have had and I began to think about the similarities and differences and there in sprang the idea for two characters swopping places.
2) Are there any hidden themes in the book that you hope readers will discover?
Well, I don’t know how hidden they are but I wanted to highlight the inner strength of people, particularly young women and also how lucky we are today, some of us, not all young women the world over have this privilege but to be living in a period of time where there is opportunity to be equals in terms of men and women. (I am reading a very interesting book called The Power at the minute by Naomi Alderman and it is a story about an alternative earth where women discover they have the power of electicity at their fingertips and the responsibility that brings with it.) I am a equalist (not necessarily a feminist) so I wanted to introduce this topic to Y.A. readers.
3) Are any of the characters based on real people you know?
No, I tend to let my imagination range in all my books and try to build characters from scratch. There might be the odd characteristic borrowed from situations or people I have vague associations with. I try not to model characters I write about on people who are close to me because I hope they will read the book and it might be a bit weird if you find yourself in one of my books. Almost like I am stealing snippets of your personality every time we meet up for my next writing project. No, that would be way too weird and a sure way for me to lose friends fast J.
4) Who has influenced you most as a writer?
The answer to that question changes with time and also when you think about the areas of influence. So for example when I was a teenager we had a great substitute English teacher who loved books and introduced me to Austen. So when I was first discovering Austen and all the characters at that stage of my life she was a major influence. Then when I went to university and began to study American writers and European and Irish writers, they had major influence on me.
Now I struggle to find books that are impactful. I loved Eimear McBride’s work and Edna O’Brien as classic Irish novelists. For Y.A. I am in the middle of reading Sarah J. Maas Queen of Shadows and it is brilliant because I can see the progress of the writer through each of her novels, so that is a major influence on me to keep going, and hope that with each project I learn something and get better.
5) If you could have any three literary characters over to your place for game night, who would you invite, what would you play, what would you serve, and why?
Gosh, that is a difficult question. I would have Margaret Atwood (because the Handmaid’s Tale is amazing), J.K Rowling (to pick her brains about story planning) and John Boyne (His characters are always to well developed). I would play a card game called 25 (45 in some places), you have to be good at reading the game and other players so it would be interesting to see how competitive the other authors are. I would serve nibble and vino (trying to look posh for the guests and because I love vino!)
Caroline Healy is a writer and community arts facilitator. She recently completed her M.A. in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen’s University. She alternates her time between procrastination and making art.
In 2012 her award winning short story collection A Stitch in Time was published by Doire Press. Fiction and commentary has been featured in publications across Ireland, the U.K. and more recently in the U.S. Caroline’s work can be found in journals such as Wordlegs,The Bohemyth, Short Story Ireland, Short Stop U.K., Five Stop Story, Prole, Literary Orphans and the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice.
Her debut Y.A. novel, Blood Entwines was published by Bloomsbury Spark in August 2014 and she is in the process of writing the second book in the series, Blood Betrayal, as well as a short story collection, The House of Water.
She has a fondness for dark chocolate, cups of tea and winter woollies. (More details can be found on her website www.carolinehealy.com)
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