Monday, April 14, 2014

MMGM: Ondelle of Grioth, by Danika Dinsmore

I'm excited today to announce a book launch that's happening tomorrow: local author Danika Dinsmore is launching the third book in her Faerie Tales from the White Forest series.

I reviewed the first two books here and here. Ondelle of Grioth continues the story of Brigitta, young faerie of the White Forest who has a large destiny on her small shoulders. The fate of the White Forest is at stake, but no one believes Brigitta is carrying Elder Ondelle's memories and knowledge. Brigitta is sure she knows how to prevent the coming crisis, but if no one will listen to her she'll have to take matters into her own hands. Again.

Danika has created a complex, believable world full of fun, tangible details. Her faerie society and mythology are entirely original, giving surprising depth and texture to sparkly little people with wings. (I've never been much of a faerie fan, but I can get behind the White Forest faeries!) Ondelle of Grioth adds to our understanding of the mythology and sees Brigitta struggling more as she realizes the extent of the burden laid on her by Ondelle.

In celebration of Ondelle's imminent launch, Danika agreed to answer a bunch of random questions, in which we discover her rabid Dr. Who fandom, her deep and wide-ranging love of poetry, and her eclectic desk decorating scheme:

1. Brigitta carries the memories of Ondelle with her, and they surface whenever she needs to learn a piece of knowledge. If you could choose someone's memories and knowledge to carry with you, who would it be? (Fictional or real)

Hands down, Doctor Who! (although that might completely blow my puny human mind)

2. Brigitta travels through a lot of inhospitable wilderness on her adventures. What sorts of wilderness have you travelled through? Are you more of a city girl or an outdoor adventurer? 

I like adventures of all shapes and sizes, although I used to spend a lot more time in the actual wilderness and traveling to offbeat places. I’m game for a live transmedia experience or a day in snow shoes. My husband and I like to bike-camp whenever we can.

3. What's on your desk right now?

Ummmm…. stuff? I actually have a very large desk. “L” shaped. It’s probably never moving from my office because it weighs a ton. 

I have an IN box, which I’ve realized I should change to an OUT box, because nothing ever leaves it. 

I also have an obsession with file folders. It gives the illusion that I’m organized. I’ve got 3 file folder holders on my desk stuffed with files on everything from writing projects to conference workshops to tax information.

Also: a dictionary I rarely open anymore thanks to my computer, a hat sporting the word PURE, desktop Cranium game, photo of my parents, caricature of my husband and me, basket of scratch paper, crystal faerie, faerie clock, stuffed monkey, stuffed gecko, Pillsbury Doughboy timer (for timed writing exercises), pens in holders, stapler, fasteners, reminders, binders, set of runes, box of business cards, small painting of orchids that I bought for my Dad when I was 12, massive notebook for current WIP, some journals, some exquisite corpses I drew with the kids, my Geek Girl Con panel name plate, and a bit of orgonite (mysteriously left for me on my book table at FaerieWorlds last year).

Yeah, it’s a big desk.

4. Dark chocolate or milk? 

Dark! (but I won’t turn away milk chocolate if you’re offering)

5. Is there a fictional character you wish were real so you could be best friends? 

See #1. 
(Or any of the Doctor’s companions. They’d all be fun. And I think River Song and I would get along splendidly)

From my own series, I’m drawn to Ondelle. She’s both tragic and wise. I think we would have been good friends. 

6. It's National Poetry Month! Do you have a favourite poem, or favourite poet? 

I actually have an MFA in poetry, and used to produce the Seattle Poetry Festival, but to pick a favourite poem or poet would be impossible. I will tell you it was due to an interest in Allen Ginsberg and the Beats that I ended up at Naropa University. I wrote my thesis on the experimental work of Bernadette Mayer. Studied under Anne Waldman, Andrew Schelling, and Anselm Hollo. And I have a soft spot for Neruda, Frank O’Hara, Toi Derricotte, Rumi, Joanne Kyger… and now I am feeling quite GUILTY because of all the neglected books of poetry on my shelf. Oh, poetry, how I have abandoned you… 

(Ginsberg’s “Father Death Blues” gets me every time. I have a framed and signed hand written print of it on my wall. He used to sing it and play his harmonium.) 

7. How many more books in the White Forest Chronicles (can you tell us?) Do you know how it all ends?

There are meant to be six, but several fans have asked for a book about Brigitta’s little sister Himalette. They really like her and she doesn’t really have much page time in the rest of the series. So, I’m thinking about adding her story. 

I DO know how it all ends. And although that has changed over the past few years, I’m pretty satisfied with the current version. And nobody, not even my publisher, knows what that is yet!

Thanks, Danika! Here's Allen Ginsberg, (and here's the lyrics):

For more Marvelous Middle-Grade books, go see what's up at Shannon Messenger's blog!


  1. Fun interview. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Oh my gosh, Kim! I hadn't even realized you had posted this. Thanks once again for your fabulous questions. :-)

  3. Oh, and thank you so much for posting the Ginsberg reading/singing of Father Death Blues. It still chokes me up when I hear it.

    1. I'd never heard it before, so thanks for pointing it out in the first place!

  4. Oh my gosh, Danika's book is out! I had no idea. I'm definitely picking this one up!

  5. Hey, I went to this book launch and bought the book! I now have the trilogy. Congratulations again, Danika.