The May issue of readergirlz is here! This month's spotlighted title is The Phoenix Dance by Dia Calhoun, which was chosen in honor of National Mental Health Month.
Do you love dragons, princesses, mystery, and magic? Are you a creative person? Do you admire a girl who can conquer her own demons? Have you ever felt sad one moment and happy the next? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this is the book for you!
Now let's find out the story behind the story. Dia Calhoun has graciously spoken to me at length about her novels and the inspiration behind them. Here now is the exclusive Bildungsroman interview.
Your experiences have provided the inspiration for many of your books, the majority of which are connected: ARIA OF THE SEA to THE PHOENIX DANCE, WHITE MIDNIGHT to FIREGOLD. Were they born out of necessity or inspiration or both? Had you planned on writing sequels and prequels?
I never envisioned writing sequels or prequels to FIREGOLD and ARIA OF THE SEA when I first began them. However, when I was nearly finished with FIREGOLD -- it took me five years to write as it was my first novel, and I was still learning how to write -- Jonathon's grandmother, Sephonie, had a vision in the firelight. She saw a girl scrubbing the floor, who looked up, frightened by something. That vision never made it into FIREGOLD, but it was the seed for the prequel, WHITE MIDNIGHT. That girl turned out to be Rose Chandler, and one of the chapters opens with her scrubbing the floor and being startled by Mr. Brae, the cruel master of Greengarden for whom Rose works.
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If you would like to chat with Dia, talk about The Phoenix Dance, or discuss mental illness and awareness, please drop by the readergirlz forum. Recent topics include Creative Fire, Highs and Lows, and Treated Badly. You may feel free to start new topics or comment within existing threads. Dia will respond to questions and comments at the forum until the end of May.