Hello my booksicles!
I’m so excited to share the interview I did with Kathryn Purdie a while back about her latest novel, Bone Crier’s Moon, which came out earlier in the year. I’m really appreciate the time she took to answer my questions!
Here’s a bit about the book:
Bone Criers have a sacred duty. They alone can keep the dead from preying on the living. But their power to ferry the spirits of the dead into goddess Elara’s Night Heavens or Tyrus’s Underworld comes from sacrifice. The gods demand a promise of dedication. And that promise comes at the cost of the Bone Criers’ one true love.
Ailesse has been prepared since birth to become the matriarch of the Bone Criers, a mysterious famille of women who use strengths drawn from animal bones to ferry dead souls. But first she must complete her rite of passage and kill the boy she’s also destined to love.
Bastien’s father was slain by a Bone Crier and he’s been seeking revenge ever since. Yet when he finally captures one, his vengeance will have to wait. Ailesse’s ritual has begun and now their fates are entwined—in life and in death.
Sabine has never had the stomach for the Bone Criers’ work. But when her best friend Ailesse is taken captive, Sabine will do whatever it takes to save her, even if it means defying their traditions—and their matriarch—to break the bond between Ailesse and Bastien. Before they all die.
The spark of my book idea came from “Les Dames Blanches” in French folklore, women in white who kill men who refuse to dance with them on bridges. But the bone magic was my own creation. I wanted the Bone Criers’ power to come from the gods. They receive their life force from the moon goddess, but their bone magic is a darker magic that comes from animal blood rituals made to the god of the Underworld. It’s supposed to be something the reader morally questions, and the character Sabine does that as well. I’m not sure where the idea of bone magic came from originally. It was just part of my brainstorming all possibilities for magic when I first conceived this book idea.
The catacombs in the story were inspired by the catacombs below Paris. My fascination from them started when I watched a movie adaptation of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA years ago. I have a good friend who has toured illegal sections of the Paris catacombs twice, and I consulted her extensively to try to portray them accurately.
Describe the three main characters- Sabine, Ailesse and Bastien- in three haikus!
The phases of the moon were very important to the Bone Criers- particularly the full moon and new moon. Why did you give the moon such significance?
A natural by-product for me of writing a story about a matriarchal society was featuring the moon. Most cultures’ moon deities are female, and the moon often carries a female connotation and is connected with feminine power. The new moon is the night the Bone Crier’s have been restrained to ferry on for generations, but they were meant to ferry on the full moon, too, when their goddess’s strength is at its full power. That’s all I can say without spoiling too much, but you’ll see how this idea comes into play in the book if you read it carefully. 🙂
I let a book idea percolate for a while, and then the main characters tend to land in my head. I didn’t want BONE CRIER’S MOON to just be about a star-crossed romance between Ailesse and Bastien, and so I quickly formed the character of Sabine. Female friendship, or “sisterhood,” is really at the core of this story for me. Sabine is also an important character in that she is the one Bone Crier who questions their way of life. She really balances out the story and gives the reader constant eyes on the villain, as well.
I spend a lot of time thinking about names. They’re a critical part in developing each character for me. It takes me several days to find the perfect name for each one. In BONE CRIER’S MOON, most of the names are French, and if they’re not French, they’re very ancient, like “Odiva.” For me, that was an important way to give the story a mythological feel. I make sure that the character’s name meaning also goes hand-in-hand with who they are. For example, “Ailesse” means “supernatural victory.”
I would choose to be Sabine. Her graces aren’t as overwhelming as Ailesse’s–I really wouldn’t like to have a sixth sense pricking at me all the time–and Sabine is also with Odiva often. I think Odiva is fascinating, and I’d love to study her for a day.
I researched many animals and their awesome abilities extensively. Several animals I didn’t include in the book because they either don’t have bones (I’m looking at you, amazing sea creatures like jellyfish) or they wouldn’t live in a geographical area like southern France (the region that inspired my world).
In the sequel, BONE CRIER’S DAWN, you’ll get to know a new character really well, one of the Bone Criers will obtain two new grace bones, and another one will travel to a very exciting and dangerous supernatural place. You’ll also come to understand the two major gods in the story better, their motives, more.
About the author:
Kathryn is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the BURNING GLASS series. Her love of storytelling began as a young girl when her dad told her about someone named Boo Radley while they listened to the film score of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Kathryn is a trained classical actress who studied at the Oxford School of Drama. She also writes songs on her guitar for each of her stories and shares them on her website. Kathryn lives in the Rocky Mountains with her husband and three children.