Friday 11 July 2014

The Flame In The Mist by Kit Grindstaff Spotlight and Interview!

Hi guys. Today I have a wonderful book spotlight and interview with Kit Grindstaff. She is the author of The Flame In the Mist, a book Ive been wanting to get since I first saw the cover!! Anyway before we get to the interview heres the book and blurb!!


WINNER of the 2014 SCBWI Atlantic Region CRYSTAL KITE AWARD

Set in an imagined past, this dark fantasy-adventure is for fans of Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass. Features  Jemma, a fiery-headed heroine held captive in Agromond Castle, yet destined to save mist-shrouded Anglavia.
Fiery-headed Jemma Agromond is not who she thinks she is, and when the secrets and lies behind her life at mist-shrouded Agromond Castle begin to unravel, she finds herself in a chilling race for her life. Ghosts and misfits, a stone and crystals, a mysterious book, an ancient prophecy—all these reveal the truth about Jemma's past and a destiny far greater and more dangerous than she could have imagined in her wildest fantasies. With her telepathic golden rats, Noodle and Pie, and her trusted friend, Digby, Jemma navigates increasingly dark forces, as helpers both seen and unseen, gather. But in the end, it is her own powers that she must bring to light, for only she has the key to defeating the evil ones and fulfilling the prophecy that will bring back the sun and restore peace in Anglavia. 

Goodreads :
Amazon :

Interview : 

Firstly, welcome to Book Lovers Life and thank you so much for agreeing to an interview and for taking the time to answer the questions.

You’re welcome, Natalie! Thank you for inviting me.

1) Can you tell us a little about The Flame in the Mist?

The Flame In The Mist is a spooky adventure set in a medieval Mist-shrouded version of England called Anglavia. It’s the story of fiery-headed Jemma, who, with the help of two telepathic golden rats, Noodle and Pie, and her loyal friend (and crush) Digby, has a dangerous destiny to fulfill: to defeat the evil Agromond family and the mist and misery they create—if they don’t defeat her first.

Want to know more? I’ll give you a more of a summary at the end!

2) Where did the idea come from?

Years ago I took a workshop where we were asked to write about our childhood as if it was a fairy tale. Well, fairy tales have castles, right? So the house I grew up in a few miles from the nearest village became an imposing castle miles from anywhere, and my whacky family became its even whackier inhabitants, the youngest of whom (which I was) feels like the oddity (I used to wonder, What if I was born into the wrong family?) and was destined to leave (like adult me, coming to America).

A few years later, jotting down synopsis ideas for a novel, that fairy story leapt onto the page – only this time, a lot darker. The family was outright evil; the heroine really was in the wrong place; the castle was even more remote and foreboding, and came complete with mist. I was intrigued. Why had she been abducted? Who was she, really? The rest of the story developed out of those questions, and my fascination with shamanism went into main character Jemma’s having magical powers and being a healer.

3) Personally I love a good middle grade book, do you read a lot of Middle Grade books?

I do, yes, though I probably read more YA than anything. Some of my favorite books read in the past year were YA, across all genres: historical (In the Shadow of Blackbirds, Belle Epoque, Gilt), contemporary (If You Find Me, Infinite Sky, Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets, Ask The Passengers), and dystopian (Acid).

4) How did you feel when you saw The Flame In the Mist, in print, for the very first time?

Ecstatic! A box of finished hardcover copies arrived (part of my contract) a week or so before release date, and here it was – My actual book! In my hands! Even more thrilling, though, was my first sighting in the wild. That’s when it became more of a reality: My book was out in bookstores! In the big wide world! When friends from different states started tweeting pictures of it at their local stores, that really brought it home.

5) I love the cover! I love how she stands out and I love the creepy feel. Did you get much say in the final cover?

I’m thrilled you love it! Me too; the artist captured the mood of the book beautifully.

I had quite a bit of input, which I feel very fortunate about—apparently, that doesn’t always happen. My editor asked me early on what elements I thought should be on it, and sent me roughs along the way. There were a few things I thought weren’t quite right, and they had Chris Rahn, the artist, make the changes.

The ultimate say on a cover, though, is the publisher’s. The design and choice of artist, fonts, etc was all the Random House art dept.. Thankfully, they did a great job!

6) Do you have any writing rituals or quirks?

I sometimes burn sage before I start writing; it helps get me into the right head space for ideas to flow. I often keep a candle lit too.

7) What are you working on at the moment?

Lots of songs! During the busy year leading up to The Flame in the Mist’s release, and all the promo following, I let music fall by the wayside. It being my main income, it’s time to dive in again! I also have 2 fiction ideas in the works, one a Middle Grade fantasy (boy protagonist this time), the other a YA, involving music as well…

8) What’s the last book you read?

I always have 2-3 books on the go, but the last I finished was The Dead Father’s Club by Matt Haig, an adult book with an 11 year old boy protagonist. Loved it! So darkly quirky, comical, and sad. The voice was great, and unique, with no commas or apostrophes used at all.
9) Have you any Middle Grade recommendations?

Absolutely! In Middle Grade, I tend to go for quirky with dark edges. Recent ones I’ve loved are The Peculiar, by Stefan Bachman (only 16 when he began writing it….How can someone so young be that good?!!), The Year of Shadows, by Claire Legrand, and The Night Gardener, by Jonathan Auxier.

In less quirky fantasy, I really enjoyed Morgan Keyes’s Darkbeast, and also like Sarah Prineas’s books a lot. And I adore Kate DiCamillo’s writing. My favourites of hers are The Magician’s Elephant and The Tale of Despereaux. She has such a humourous and affectionate voice, and can make me laugh and cry within pages.

Daddy of them all is Roald Dahl. You can’t go wrong with his books, IMO.

10) Finally, describe your book in 5 words.

Gripping, spooky, magical, mystery adventure!

And here’s that longer summary. At the outset, Jemma, the family misfit at gloomy Agromond Castle, believes she’s the youngest member of the Agromond family. Then she makes a terrible discovery: she’s not who she thinks she is. The Agromonds abducted her as a baby to steal her emerging powers when she turns thirteen the following day. She escapes, with the Agromonds in hot pursuit. But that’s just the beginning of her ordeal. Ghosts and misfits, a mysterious book, two magical crystals and an ancient prophecy reveal the terrible task ahead, and of course, just as Jemma thinks the worst is over, the Agromonds ramp up their evil . . .

I hope it anyone goes on to read the book, they’ll love it as much as I loved writing it!

Thanks again for hosting me, Natalie!

About the author

Kit Grindstaff was born near London, and grew up in the rolling countryside of England. After a brush with pop stardom (under her maiden name, Hain) she moved to New York and embarked on her career as a pop song writer.

Kit now lives with her husband in the rolling countryside of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the SCBWI. The Flame In The Mist is her first novel. You can also find her at and on Twitter: @kitgrindstaff


  1. Ok, I'll comment! Thanks again for posting this, Nat. Now going to link it on social media. Have a Great w/e - and anyone reading this, too :)

  2. And fun questions they were too! I loved talking about the MG and YA books I've enjoyed reading. Just Not Enough Time for them all!