This has been a great week for my blog. Earlier in the week, I got to write about Desiree William’s new book Illusionary, and today I get to share another awesome new release: Kara Swanson’s YA urban fantasy, The Girl Who Could See.
I think I say this every time. But seriously. Look at this cover. I mean. Really. Perfection.
It sums up everything bold and beautiful about this novella.
I got to chat with the author and ask her a few questions to get to know her better.
Jeb: I’d love to know about your experiences growing up in Papua New Guinea.
Kara: Where do I even start? I spent my childhood in an exotic place that only a handful of eyes had ever seen. I ran barefoot through glistening jungles, learned to swim in the river that ran past our house, climbed trees like a monkey, and raised all kind of unique pets. From wallabies (mini kangaroos) to Cockatoos, Hornbills (like a Toucan without the colorful beak), and singing Dingo dogs.
Jeb: Sounds amazing! What’s it like being a third-culture kid? How does that contribute to your storytelling?
Kara: Growing up in a third world country, I learned how to make do without a lot. My imagination became my greatest plaything. And that definitely impacted my writing. I also knew what it was like to live in two very different worlds. I related to characters who didn’t quite fit in anywhere, and had a perspective on life that was hard for anyone else to grasp. I felt like the Pevensie children, returning from Narnia, trying to find a way to have England be home again. Writing soon became a place to expel all the pent up emotion and the many worlds swirling in my mind!
Jeb: Well, all that emotion and all the worlds combined into something beautiful in The Girl Who Could See. Give me some background on this story. What was your inspiration for it?
Kara: I’ve always had imaginary friends. As a child, I played with them. As I got older, they became the characters of my stories. So when the idea popped into my head of a girl who’s imaginary friend never left—and isn’t imaginary—I just had to explore the possibilities.
Jeb: I love that! an imaginary friend who never left! Did you have a favourite character?
Kara: Tristan was my favorite character to write, as he was this snarky, strong character! ❤ His perspective was so unique, and how he messed with Fern.
Jeb: Haha, yup, Tristan was a lot of fun. If you were going to sit down with him at a cafe, what hot drink would you order?
Kara: Mmmmm a good mocha Frappuccino!
Jeb: Good choice! What you do to overcome writer’s block.
Kara: I don’t actually get writer’s block. I have so many ideas. If I do slow down, generally I can just sit on the idea for a while and it works it’s way out…
Jeb: Well, that’s completely not fair! 😉 But I do appreciate you answering all my questions and best of luck with your new book baby.
Kara: Thanks so much for having me, Jebraun! I so enjoyed it ❤
In case I haven’t convinced you yet, here’s a summary of TGWCS:
All her life Fern has been told she is blind to reality—but, what if she is the only one who can truly see?
Fern Johnson is crazy. At least, that’s what the doctors have claimed since her childhood. Now nineteen, and one step away from a psych ward, Fern struggles to survive in bustling Los Angeles. Desperate to appear normal, she represses the young man flickering at the edge of her awareness—a blond warrior only she can see.
Tristan was Fern’s childhood imaginary hero, saving her from monsters under her bed and outside her walls. As she grew up and his secret world continued to bleed into hers, however, it only caused catastrophe. But, when the city is rocked by the unexplainable, Fern is forced to consider the possibility that this young man is not a hallucination after all—and that the creature who decimated his world may be coming for hers.
Are you ready for your next clue? Yeah? Here it is!
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour from The Girl Who Could See to find all the clues for the scavenger hunt!
(Release Day/Blog Tour Kick Off Post)
When you’ve collected every clue, go to –> –> –> TGWCS ~ Release day scavenger hunt
As the daughter of missionaries, Kara Swanson spent sixteen years of her young life in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped suddenly into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the speculative genre. At seventeen, she released a fantasy novel, Pearl of Merlydia. Her short story is included in Kathy Ide’s 21 Days of Joy: Stories that Celebrate Mom. She has published many articles, including one in the Encounter magazine, and she received the Mount Hermon Most Promising Teen Writer award in 2015.
Jebraun Clifford always wanted to step through a door into an imaginary kingdom, so it’s no surprise she now calls Middle Earth home. Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, she lives in a gorgeous town smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island filled with thermal activity,
stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and the 2016 Genesis contest. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.