Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Release day celebration and author interview with Aviva Orr

First and foremost, I want to extend a *huge* congratulations, good luck, and SQUEE!! to my fellow WiDo Publishing author, Aviva Orr, on today's release of her novel, "The Mist on Bronte Moor." (Side note, Aviva might be one of the coolest names I have ever heard. But I digress...)

The concept of Aviva's book is also sublimely original. Here's the blurb (provided by www.widopublishing.com:) When fifteen-year-old Heather Jane Bell is diagnosed with alopecia and her hair starts falling out in clumps, she wants nothing more than to escape her home in London and disappear off the face of the earth. Heather gets her wish when her concerned parents send her to stay with a great-aunt in West Yorkshire. But shortly after she arrives, Heather becomes lost on the moors and is swept through the mist back to the year 1833. There she encounters fifteen-year-old Emily Bronte and is given refuge in the Bronte Parsonage. Unaware of her host family’s genius and future fame, Heather struggles to cope with alopecia amongst strangers in a world foreign to her. While Heather finds comfort and strength in her growing friendship with Emily and in the embrace of the close-knit Bronte family, her emotions are stretched to the limit when she falls for Emily’s brilliant but troubled brother, Branwell. Will Heather find her way back to the comforts and conveniences of the twenty-first century? Or will destiny keep her in the harsh world of nineteenth-century Haworth?

The cover: (LOVE. I see something new every time I look at it.)

The Mist on Bronte Moor

I had to know how Aviva came up with this enchanting idea, so it was the first question I asked her when she agreed to an interview.

How did you come up with the idea for The Mist on Brontë Moor?
I visited the Brontë Parsonage Museum several years ago and came up with the idea shortly afterwards. It’s not hard to imagine the Brontës at home in the parsonage when visiting Haworth, as I’m sure many tourists have done. After my visit, I started reading biographies about the Brontës, and the more I read, the more interested I became in their lives. The idea grew from there.

What made you decide to give Heather alopecia?
My niece suffers from alopecia. Her hair started falling out at age fifteen—the same age as Heather. I had never heard of alopecia before my niece developed it, but I quickly became aware of how much distress it can cause a person, especially a teenager.

Heather’s alopecia also gave me the opportunity to relay some important messages. I have a teenage daughter, and I am constantly surprised at how heavily teens are influenced by their peers, ranging from what they wear to how they feel about themselves. Heather is extra vulnerable because of her condition. At the beginning of the novel, Heather is tormented by her peers and focuses heavily on her alopecia. When she goes back in time, she is gradually able to relax because the Brontë family is non-judgmental. Branwell is somewhat curious about her hair, but he finds her beautiful regardless. Basically, I’m illustrating that if you accept others as they are without fixating on their differences, they will, in turn, be more accepting of themselves.

Did your characters have any surprises in store for you as the writer?
The Mist on Brontë Moor started as a mid-grade book, so all the characters were initially much younger. I loved watching them mature into young adults. It really helped with the character development because I got to know them so well. Branwell was a mischievous kid and he played some nasty tricks on his sisters and Heather, so I was pleased by how his charm and sensitivity shone through as a young man, despite all his troubled moments. As for Heather, she handled her problems much better as a teen. She turned out to be quite strong, and I am delighted with that. 

I love your cover. Are there any little plot secrets in the design?
The cover sets the tone for the novel. I wanted the graveyard and a lot of mist with the parsonage in the background.  The subplot also comes into play, so the cover reflects much of what the novel has to offer.

When you think of your book, is there one line that stands out to you?
The last line in the book is my favorite; it is derived from a line in one of Emily’s poems, which is quoted at the beginning of the last chapter. Of course, I can’t quote the line here or it will give away too much! 

How will you celebrate on the day of your release?
There will be an international giveaway on Goodreads, starting January 8, to celebrate the release of the book’s print edition. The winner will receive a signed paperback copy of The Mist on Brontë Moor. 

What's next for you?
I’m working on another young-adult novel. This one is contemporary with a literary theme as well. 

Thank you so much for your time, Aviva. And I hope you have an incredible release day. I have to admit that I've been stalking this book of yours online. A couple of days ago, a review for The Mist on Bronte Moor hit Goodreads, and prompted me to click over to Wido Publishing's website and pre-order a print copy of the book immediately. Click here to see the review that made me jump to action.

I am eagerly awaiting my pre-ordered copy of The Mist on Bronte Moor, and will read and review it as soon as possible!


  1. Wow, I can't wait to read this. Very interesting concept all around! Congrats Aviva, and you do have an awesome name.

  2. Thanks! You both have permission to use my name in your next novels:D

  3. I loved the Brontë Parsonage Museum! And the graveyard next to it is very icky, perfect for nocturnal strangeness. I stayed in the Old White Lion in their famous haunted room 7. Didn't see any ghosts, though. I did a whole series on Yorkshire here:
    (Hope you don't mind the link, but I figured it was relevant)

    1. Fantastic comment! You are speaking to this gypsy's wandering soul and making me want to travel. Please leave links! As long as they don't go to anywhere illegal or naked. :)


Ramble on, y'all.