Interview with Kailin Gow: ‘Bitter Frost is chock full of learning moments’
Kailin Gow and her daughter playing in the snow
All her life, Breena had always dreamed about fairies as though she lived among them…beautiful fairies living among mortals and living in Feyland. In her dreams, he was always there the breathtakingly handsome but dangerous Winter Prince, Kian, who is her intended. When Breena turns sixteen, she begins seeing fairies and other creatures mortals don t see. Her best friend Logan, suddenly acts very protective. Then she sees Kian, who seems intent on finding her and carrying her off to Feyland. That’s fine and all, but for the fact that humans rarely survive a trip to Feyland, a kiss from a fairy generally means death to the human unless that human has fairy blood in them or is very strong, and although Kian seemed to be her intended, he seems to hate her and wants her dead.
This is the exciting premise of Kailin Gow’s new YA novel, Bitter Frost (The EDGE).
We had the privilege of asking Kailin a few questions about her book!
Thank you for this interview, Kailin. Can we begin by having you tell us why you chose young adult fiction to write?
The teen and young adult years are interesting to write about because there are so many issues connected to society and the human experience which appear – first kiss, first love, family issues, friendship issues, becoming independent, and so many decisions on life and so many choices. These onslaught of issues can be overwhelming for a teen, yet, they are also the time for great growth. I spent a lot of time counseling teens and young adults starting from when I was a peer counselor to being a college mentor and now an informal mentor to young women. I tend to bring some of my real life experience with my guidance to teens and young adults on relationships and self-esteem into all my young adult books. For instance, one real-life teen issue that was brought up in Bitter Frost was the issue of bullying at school. How that was handled made you love and admire the main characters even more. Also, the issue of standing up for friends and what is right is explored in Bitter Frost. Bitter Frost is chock full of learning moments about real-life issues if you go beyond the story and examine the characters and situation. If you visit the site, theEDGEbooks.com, you can also find a list of discussion questions on Bitter Frost, which would be great for groups or even get-to-know-you get-togethers.
Who was your favorite character in Bitter Frost and why?
I have a hard time choosing between Kian, Logan, and Breena. Kian is everything a dream guy would be…and Logan is not only a loyal friend of Breena’s, but he is caring and so noble. Both men have qualities which would make them keepers.
Breena would be a strong role model for young adult women and girls. She’s an individual, thinks through situations, and acts like a real teenager with real problems…such as being bullied by a more popular girl in school, living with a single mother and not knowing much about her own father, and learning how to make the best decisions in life. I also like her because when she’s positive even when facing the most direst of circumstances.
Who was your least favorite character?
Delano – the Pixie King. He’s evil, ruthless, powerful, and cruel. However, he does have a bit of humanity in him, which makes you wonder if he can be redeemed.
Can you tell us about the setting and why you chose it?
Breena and her mother lives in Gregory, Oregon and goes to school with Logan, but it is Feyland, where the action takes place, where Breena was born, and has been returned. Feyland is a magical, beautiful place where all your senses come alive. Trees shimmer and whisper with music, the sky is lit up with two suns. This is the land ruled by fairies of the Winter Kingdom and the Summer Kingdom, and they are at war. I chose Feyland because it is a sharp contrast to Gregory, Oregon. While the beauty is there, it is also a dangerous place.
What was the hardest part to write?
Out of all my books, the structure and direction of Bitter Frost was most clear. Even the characters were three-dimensional for me. The hardest part of writing books for me is the last few chapters because sometimes an entire story can change due to a new development and growth with a character. In Bitter Frost, I pretty much stuck to my original storyline, but there were times when it couldn’t gone another way. For instance, who would’ve ended up with Breena – Kian or Logan.
What was the inspiration behind the story? Where were you when you came up with the idea?
The idea of Bitter Frost started with a vivid vision of a Prince who was “pale, pale like snow. His eyes were icy blue, with just a hint of silver flecked around the irises; his hair was so black that ink itself would drown in it.” He appeared in a dream looking for the girl he was once childhood friends with – a love that began out of innocence, friendship, and peace.
Do you have other young adult fiction novels you’d like to tell us about?
I write a variety of teen and young adult novels for girls and boys. It depends on what inspires me and also how I can get into the characters’ mindset and storytelling style. Writing is like acting for me. Taking on an actor approach, I become my character (at least in mindset) when I write. So, my books are all different. For instance the books releasing this summer are all different:
Rise of the Fire Tamer: The Wordwick Games Book 1 – the first book in an epic fantasy romance.
Here’s a trailer for it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COc3-8c_hnM
Shy Girls Social Club – a novel about friendship and how four girls stood up to the bullies and mean girls at school.
Harold the Kung Fu Kid: Date with a Vampire Book 1 – is a comic-book style novel about a chess club nerd name Harold who becomes an overnight kung fu master.
The AlchemistsAcademy: Stones to Ashes Book 1 – a fantastical new series about a school established by Merlin the Magician.
Thank you for this interview, Kailin. We wish you much success!
Thank you so much for having me. I truly appreciate this opportunity to talk you and your readers about Bitter Frost.