Saturday, May 12, 2012

Danika Dinsmore and the Ruins of Noe Blog Tour

First off, doesn't Danika Dinsmore have an awesome name? She could totally be a character in her own novels. And you'll soon see she's every bit as beautiful and interesting as her name sounds, because she's my very first ever Blog Tour Author!

Danika is blog touring to promote the second book of her Fairies of the White Forest series. I reviewed Brigitta of the White Forest on Monday, and now it's time to look at Ruins of Noe.

Faweh is an imaginary world (on a completely different planet: I know 'cause there are two moons!) populated by fairies and tree people and earth people and sprites and giant carnivourous caterpillars and horned Huggabeasts and . . . there's a Lexicon to help you keep them all straight.

The White Forest is a protected realm on Faweh where fairies live out their destinies guided by the Ancients. It's peaceful, idyllic--and threatened. Brigitta has already had to leave the Forest once to undo a terrible curse; now her experience makes her the best fairy to travel even further away from her comfortable home, to seek an ancient artifact in the Ruins of Noe.

The Ruins of Noe is deeper and more satisfying than Brigitta of the White Forest. Brigitta loses her innocence in the first book; in this book she loses much more. Everything she believes is called into question. But Brigitta is resourceful and determined, and she gains interesting new allies. I liked the society of warring fairies she encounters, with all its opportunities for complications and complexities. I liked Queen Maab: very evil! Loved the Nhords (otherwise known as Huggabeasts, for good reason). I liked that the ending isn't all neatly wrapped up: there's definitely room for a sequel. (Don't worry, it's not a cliffhanger!)

But you don't really want to hear what I have to say. I asked Danika to do a quickie interview, and she responded with way more than I was expecting! Turns out she's intelligent and well-read and watches movies I've never heard of! (But she's a Dr. Who fan, so we must be soul-mates anyway.) (Sorry about the funny fonts: it's what happens when you cut and paste from Microsoft Word into Blogger.)

Is there a book you read as a child that made such an impact on you that you remember the circumstances of reading it?
This is an odd memory, actually. I had found a lost dog. A little old chihuahua. His side teeth were missing, so his tongue stuck out on one side, and he was always shaking. He wouldn’t leave my side. I called him Mr. Dingleberry. And NO, I didn’t know what dingleberry meant.
It was the summer after 6th grade. My brother’s 8th grade social studies teacher had given him the book Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody to read over the summer. He gave the book to me. I sat in a chair outside in front of the garage in the sun with Mr. Dingleberry and read the book from cover-to-cover. I loved the book, but it disturbed me at the same time. It made me think about the cruelty of humans and also the courage. I remember feeling grown-up for reading such a serious and important book.
Oh, yes, then Mr. Dingleberry’s owners came and got him.

What's a recent book you read that made you go "Hmmm" (in a good way!)?
semi-recent:  Libba Bray’s Going Bovine
most-recent: Spiritwalk by Charles de Lint

Favourite recent-ish movie? (Or favourite all-time movie)
How about I just show you my tastes by listing 10 of my favourite films as fast as I can think of them. Ready, set . . .

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (one of the few films I like better than the book its based on) 
The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai Across the 8th Dimension
Donnie Darko
Wings of Desire
The Ice Storm
Lost in Translation
The Sweet Hereafter (loved both book and movie)
Dead Poet’s Society
(Hal Hartley’s)

Oh, wait, I think that’s 11.
Strangely my favourite movies are not generally speculative fiction. I mostly like character-driven and quirky dark dramedy.

[I'm guessing Danika would like Meg Rosoff's books]

Literary crush (Mr. Darcy? Aragon? Chrestomanci?)(Those may or may not be some of my literary crushes!)
I’m such a geek. I have both an author crush on John Green and a literary crush on Colin Singleton. It’s the anagram thing. Yeah, I know, not even on the map. Smart and funny do it for me every time, though.
If I had to pick someone in the fantasy realm it would be, hands down, Brashen Trell from Robin Hobb’s Liveship Trader’s series.

Favourite heroine (could be book, movie, comic book . . .)
Right now it’s Amelia Pond from the Dr. Who TV series. She’s awesome. Matt Smith as Dr. Who is awesome. Together they are the inside of an awesome pie and Rory is the flakey crust (in a good way).

[Yes! Go Rory and Amy! Woot!]

Would you rather go to the moon or travel up the Amazon?
To the mooooon!!!

Do you like to cook or bake? If so, what's a favourite go-to comfort food you like to make? 
For an I-need-dessert-right-now thing, the 5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake is perfect. I use ½ the sugar, btw, and it tastes just fine. And rice flour. And sometimes soy or almond milk. Just google 5 Minute Chocolate Mug cake and you’ll find fifty recipes for it.
I’m warning you, though. Chocolate cake in 5 minutes is a dangerous thing.
(I bet you thought that was going to be a one word answer, huh?)

You say you're currently working on a pop space opera (which sounds fabulous, by the way!). It's pretty much at the opposite end of the speculative fiction spectrum from the White Forest: would you say you read more sci fi than fantasy, or vice versa, or is it about the same?
I’d say it’s about the same, but it depends upon a person’s definition of sci-fi. I’m not a purist and I don’t read a lot of hard sci-fi. I like everything from steam-punk to dystopian and most of the sub-genres in between. The only things I don’t generally pick up are splatterpunk or urban/gothic fantasy involving vampires or warewolves. I just haven’t found that many that I can get excited about (except the original Interview with a Vampire and I’m actually reading Dracula right now). Zombies don’t do it for me either. [Ah, but what about zombie unicorns by John Green?] Here's a great sub-genre list.

Thank you Danika! I've gotta go get me a John Green novel, and 5 Minute Chocolate Cake? Why did I not know about this!

Get to know Danika even better on her blog, The Accidental Novelist.


  1. Thank you, Kim, for having me on your blog for my tour and for asking such great questions. I'm a little tired of "So, tell us a little about yourself and how you became and author."


  2. What a fascinating interview. I love the unique questions and answers. I would like to go to the moon, too. Recently I have heard so much about this book. Great to learn more about Danika. Thanks for sharing.