Carpinello's Writing Pages welcome Swedish-born Middle Grade author A. J. York and The Delilah Dusticle series.
First, a bit about A. J.:
A. J. York is the author of the middle grade fantasy series called The Delilah Dusticle Adventures. Born in Gothenburg, Sweden and raised in the UK, her first love was telling stories through drama.
"I have always enjoyed making up characters and their life stories, therefore I jumped at the chance to study theatre at the University of Brighton. I later trained as a drama teacher, and I have a Master's degree from Goldsmiths. I have gone back to my roots and now live in Gothenburg. People have told me they love reading my stories, and I hope you have fun reading them too!"
Why did you pick to write books for MG?
I do not recall choosing to write MG books. It just happened that way. The idea for Delilah Dusticle manifested itself over time, and I felt compelled to write her story. I am considering writing in a different genre, but middle grade fantasy really allows your imagination to soar. It brings me a great amount joy.
What types of books do you like to read?
I like to mix and match my genres, depending on my mood and where I am. I love MG, but I also love to read adult books. I am currently reading a self- help book Feel the Fear and do it Anyway. Later this month, I will be visiting a town in Sweden called Ystad, where author Henning Mankell’s series about Kurt Wallander is set. I will of course be taking one of his novels with me.
When you are not writing, what do you like to do?
I live in Scandinavia, and the winter can be really dark. In summer I try to spend as much time as possible outdoors, preferably by the beach or in the park. I am an avid tea drinker, and I love to hang out in cafes. At other times I can be found trying to get into a pose in a yoga class.
Tell us about The Delilah Dusticle series and how the story came to be.
The Delilah Dusticle Series is about a girl with a special power over dust. It is just after the war, and Delilah is working as a maid. She makes the house sparkle, and the lady of the house is the envy of her friends.
There are two stories available, Delilah Dusticle and Delilah Dusticle's Transylvanian Adventure. The third, Delilah Dusticle and the Cursed Tempest, will be released this year.
I have also written a bonus story that can be read as a stand-alone called Eliza Bluebell. She and her shadow travel from town to town changing the lives of the locals forever. Eliza Bluebell may make an appearance in a future Delilah Dusticle story. All stories have been described as whimsical, enchanting and magical. They have also been likened to Mary Poppins and Peter Pan.
Here's a peek at Delilah Dusticle:
Delilah Dusticle has special powers. She can completely eradicate dust.
With her quiver pouch of special dusters, Delilah can run up walls,
reaching places others just can’t. As a maid in the
Fenchurch-Whittington house, Delilah’s unusual skills soon lead to her
being promoted to Chief Dust Eradicator and Remover. Until one day, when
a broken heart leads to her powers taking an expected turn.
Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them.
So far, I have only written middle grade books. However, I do have an idea for a murder mystery, set in my home town in England. I am currently writing notes for it.
What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?
I am writing two other stories at the moment, Delilah Dusticle’s Mission Impossible and Tallulah the Christmas Fairy. The latter I hope to have ready by Christmas, the fourth in The Delilah Dusticle Series will be ready next year.
What advice do you have for other authors?
There is a wealth of information for authors online. I often scour the internet looking for answers to my questions. I read an article recently about JK Rowling and her speech at Harvard University. She talked about how failure played its part in her life. The thing that stood out the most was even in the darkest time in her life, while living in poverty, she listened to her desire to complete what mattered most to her. This was inspiring, and I intend to work on not being afraid to fail, that whatever happens, I will complete the things that matter to me.
Anything else you want readers to know?
All my stories are illustrated by Gavin Childs. Here is an illustration of Doris from Delilah Dusticle’s Transylvanian Adventure.
Where can readers find you and your books?
A. J.'s website
Barnes and Noble