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Monday, August 5, 2013

First Friday-Five Favorite Things: The Flame in the Mist

by Kit Grindstaff

Kit Grindstaff 

This past Friday, August 2, Marcy and I posted our answers to Kit's debut novel, The Flame in the Mist. Today, you get to read Kit's favorite's. It's always fun to see how different and similar our answers are with that of the authors. Kit has given great answers that will make the reader longing to read more.

1) What is your favorite line or paragraph from the novel as it relates to the main character's development and/or growth?
Ooh, this is hard to choose without spoilers! One I love relates to Jemma’s change of heart toward Drudge, the decrepit servant at Agromond Castle. Blinded by appearances, Jemma, 13, has always found him revolting. But as she’s about to escape, she discovers he has wonderful qualities and is not as she believed. Mortified by her prejudice, and how rude and careless she’s always been toward him, she has to say goodbye to him only moments later. (Noodle and Pie, for readers who don’t know, are her two magical golden-pelted rat friends.)
Jemma turned and squeezed through the gap, arms first, then head, shoulders, and torso. Noodle and Pie hopped in after her. She took one last look across the tiny dungeon. Drudge waved, then was gone. A fragment of her heart tore off and followed the old man up the dark corridor as he shuffled back to his lonely alcove.

Like Jemma, I hated leaving him at that point. But what I knew, and she didn’t, is that she will in fact see him again…

2) What is your favorite chapter ending or cliffhanger?
One that I found really exciting to write is at the end of Chapter 29. Jemma has been through a grueling escape from Nox and Nocturna Agromond, who abducted her as a baby, and a harrowing journey to find her real parents (with plenty of cliffhangers on the way). She’s just met her mother for the first time. Emotions are running high. They’re in the town square, with the townsfolk gathered to cheer her return—and now she’s about to meet her father.
Their cheers dulled in Jemma’s head. The prospect of meeting her father suddenly seized her with the strangest mix of emotions: excitement, curiosity . . . and then a sense of foreboding, creeping up from her toes. She pulled up the hood of her cloak, as if it could hide her. The minutes ticked by: six thirty-seven, thirty-eight, thirty-nine, and still the cheers droned on, thick and distant, as if through a lake of syrupwater.

Every face, every tree, and every building in the square was still crystal clear. As crystal clear as the electric sense of someone approaching from behind her. Crystal clear as she turned around. And crystal clear as she saw the unmistakable dark hair and determined stride of Nox Agromond, exiting the inn and heading straight toward her.

3) Who is your favorite secondary character and why?

I’m going to cheat here and say two characters, because it has to be Jemma’s telepathic golden rats, Noodle and Pie, and you can’t have one without the other. They provide light relief, and I love their loyalty to her, their calm levity, and their simple wisdom. But I also love the fact that they’re still rats, and do ratty things like eating dead bugs, squeezing into small spaces, gnawing through ropes, and generally scampering around (including all over Jemma).
4) What is your favorite line or paragraph of description?
En route to finding her real parents, Jemma performs her first healing on a woman, Alyss, who is gravely ill. Jemma realizes Alyss has been cursed. She places two magical crystals in Alyss’s hands, begins her work. In Alyss’s aura, she sees images of a series of tragedies that Alyss has suffered, which are released in the healing process. At the end,
Each image burst like a bubble, scattering fragments that turned into gold light and drifted back into Alyss as though she were transparent, filling the spaces that the darkness had occupied. And all the while, the crystals sparkled with luminous blue, like lightning across two miniature night skies.

5) What is your favorite line of dialogue?

Since there’s a lot of darkness in The Flame in the Mist, I’m going to choose something more lighthearted. While still at Agromond Castle, Jemma and her erstwhile nurse, Marsh, realize they’re being overheard, so slip into a banter they’ve developed to fool the Agromonds into thinking they despise one another. Marsh has just told Jemma, “Be off with you. Or did a harpy eat your legs?” Jemma retorts:
What makes you think I’d want to stay around you, anyway? You’re fat, and barely bigger than a troll!”
There’s several things I like about it. First, it tells the reader more of Marsh’s appearance; second, the fact that Jemma could say this to Marsh at all demonstrates Marsh’s toughness (Jemma knows it won’t hurt her); and third, it shows the warmth and trust between them. (Later in the same conversation Jemma calls her “Lard-woman”, which I also particularly liked.)
So there are my Five Favorites, Dave! Thanks so much to you and Marcy for hosting me.

We appreciate you sharing your current favorites for The Flame in the Mist and encourage our readers to pick up a copy!

You can find Kit at:
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/kitgrindstaff (@kitgrindstaff)

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