Ronwyn Allen, coordinator of Botany Library Writers Group, interviewed author Kay Mills on her latest book, Young Adult Fantasy, “The Moonstone.”
RONWYN: YA Fantasy is a change of direction for you. What prompted you to write this book?
KAY: Originally I wrote it as a short story. Then writing colleagues urged me to expand on the theme and turn it into a novel.
RONWYN: What inspired you to write of a stone that has magical powers?
KAY: Because a moonstone is a fascinating stone, formed from the magic of the moon and believed to hold other-worldly and celestial elements. I was intrigued to learn that moonstones can possess healing qualities as well as power to protect the wearer.
RONWYN: Your main character Avrin, is a teenage girl. Is this a ‘coming of age’ story?
KAY: Yes. Although teenage Avrin longs to be a warrior, she is unsure of herself until she inherits the moonstone. Once she realizes her part in unleashing its powers she grows in confidence and self-awareness and becomes a strong, self-assured young woman.
RONWYN: You have set The Moonstone in early-Medieval England. Is this a favourite time period of yours?
KAY: Only in that I like all historical time periods and love reading and writing historical fiction. I find it easy to imagine my characters living in any time period and early-medieval people were so wonderfully full of superstitions. They believed in the evil eye and did all sorts of things to ward off bad luck. They also believed in spells and sorcery.
RONWYN: Did you do much research for the book.
KAY: Yes, a lot, although I took care to let the characters be in their natural surroundings without too much historical data interfering with the story. Part of my research was reading books of a similar nature and I quickly found myself a fan of this type of fantasy.
RONWYN: Who will enjoy reading The Moonstone?
KAY: Girls fourteen years and up, as well as adult readers of fantasy.
RONWYN: Did you enjoy writing The Moonstone?
KAY: Very much. It was fantastic to develop a whole group of imaginary characters and make up medieval names to suit each one.
RONWYN: How would you describe your style of writing? KAY: Fast-paced and easy to read.