E.M. Greville is an award-winning short fiction writer with a new fantasy middle grade novel, Raine in the Underlands. It’s a colourful and fun filled fantasy of growing and learning what the world is about.
Hi, Emma! Thanks for coming on the blog! I read from your website that you love dragons. What do you most love about dragons? Who is your all-time favourite dragon and why?
Emma: Thanks for having me here! The thing that I find really fascinating about dragons is that virtually all cultures across the globe have their own dragon mythology. From Mesopotamia to medieval Europe and across Asia, why did all our ancestors conjure the same mythic beast?
And as for my favourite dragon – is it cheating to say my own dragon? The cursed baby dragon Raine finds is funny, brave and ridiculously cute. Plus, he can do a special (smelly!) trick, which I can’t give away, but readers love it!
What is Raine in the Underlands about?
Without giving too much away, tell us a bit about your new book, Raine in the Underlands and what you love most about the main character, Raine.
Raine in the Underlands is a funny, fast-paced fantasy adventure full of magic and mayhem, culminating in an epic battle. There are farting dragons, rainbow spews, eccentric wizards, sly fairies, hidden royals and sassy dwarves. It’s got everything!
My favourite thing about Raine is that even though she’s part of a prophecy and thrust into a magical world, in her own mind she’s just an ordinary kid. She doesn’t feel like she’s special, and she struggles with the self-esteem and self-belief issues that we all face sometimes. All she wants to do is find her dad and help her friends. So, she feels like a very real person to me.
Who is Raine in the Underlands for?
Who do you think will enjoy Raine in the Underlands the most? Describe someone who would be a perfect fit to enjoy it.
Raine in the Underlands is perfect for fans of Nevermoor, Percy Jackson and Harry Potter. Anyone who loves adventure, magic and funny characters will love it. I’ve been told it’s as if Terry Pratchett had written The Chronicles of Narnia – which is a huge compliment!
That’s awesome! What is the major theme of Raine in the Underlands? And what impact can you envision it having on its readers.
Raine is a story about learning to believe in yourself. Middle and upper primary can be a difficult time as friendships change and children start to think about their self-identity and where they belong in the world. Raine in the Underlands reflects these concerns, as well as complicated family relationships. I hope that, despite it’s fantastical setting, children will see themselves and their own worries reflected in Raine’s journey and realise that no one, even heroes and parents, are perfect.
What are some key things you learned in your MA in Literary Criticism and how do you apply that to your own writing?
I learnt that not everyone likes the same book. It doesn’t matter how well you write, there are a million reasons why a reader may not like your book. I had to study some amazing texts that as a reader I simply didn’t enjoy. And that’s really important to remember as an author. You cannot please everyone, so I envision my ideal reader and write the perfect book for them.
Can we expect a sequel or are you working on other stories you hope to publish next?
Raine is a planned trilogy. I’m about halfway through book 2- Raine in the Dark. And I’m also working on another middle-grade book and a couple of picture book manuscripts as well. Busy!
How can people find you online?
You can find me on my website E.M. Greville.
Thanks for coming on the blog, Emma!
E.M. Greville Bio:
E.M. Greville is an award-winning short fiction writer. An ex-English teacher from England with an MA in Literary Criticism, she trotted around the globe before settling in Victoria. She can usually be found herding children, chooks and cats, and scribbling brilliant story ideas on scraps of paper, which she promptly loses and blames on the badly herded children, chooks and cats.
She is passionate about helping kids discover a love of reading and writing, and explores the world of words through school visits, presentations and writing workshops. She promises to leave the wild creatures at home.
More interviews and reviews from the kids’ book blog