Thursday, May 7, 2009

Darby Interviews Kendra Kandlestar -- and a new contest is born!

Okay -- here we go! Welcome to the first in a series of interviews I will be doing with characters from some of my favourite books.

Today, I have the pleasure of talking to someone who has the most amazing adventures (not to mention the coolest hair I know)

...Kendra Kandlestar.

Darby C: Yo, Kendra --welcome! I know you come from the land of Een. Do they have skateboards there -- and if they do, have you ever ridden one?

Kendra Kandlestar: Er...well I've never heard of a skateBOARD, but my friend Ratchet (he's a famous inventor in the land of Een) once built something called a skateBORED. It was this sort of plank that you stood on when you went ice skating, but because Ratchet didn't actually like ice skating, the skatebored let you doze off or daydream while it carried you about. But Ratchet's inventions sometimes, problems-and the skateboreds always ended up getting so bored themselves that they would whirl around in circles and crazy figure eights at top speed, trying to find a little excitement. So lots of Eens were mad at Ratchet. He said he just needed to work the kinks out of the skatebored-but he ALWAYS says that.

DC: Ha! That sounds like a pretty cool contraption, all the same. Now my story, A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW, is all about how different people came to live in Canada. Tell me a little about Een -- the land you come from.

KK: The land of Een is a quiet, secret place tucked between the cracks of here and there. Professor Bumblebean says lots of folks from the outside world have tried to find it-but you can't because of the great, invisible magic curtain that seals us off. You can only pass through the magic curtain if you're an Een or Een animal. Of course, that was before Burdock Brown, the leader of our Elders, sealed the curtain altogether and now NO one can get through. We're having some interesting times these days in Een. But otherwise Een is a marvelous place with all sorts of sights. There's the Elder Stone (where the council meets), the Een library (where books grow on trees) and the Rainmaker's Rhapsody (a magic garden filled with songbells that chant limericks and other types of music).

DC: Bummer about nobody being able to get in! I would love to go to Een. Tell me, what is your family like? Do you have any siblings?

KK: It's just me and Uncle Griffinskitch. My parents and my brother disappeared when I was a baby, but no one-not even Uncle Griffinskitch-likes to talk about that. I guess they disappeared while traveling outside the magic curtain and it's all a big mystery. Of course, on my last adventure I did manage to discover what happened to my brother, but...well, I'm not supposed to talk about it. We could get in a lot of trouble from Burdock.
DC: Yeah -- we don't want that. Now, I've read your story and there's a lot going on around you. What has been the scariest thing you have ever faced so far?

KK: Well so far I have faced Rumor the Red Dragon and the Wizard Greeve (he was ghost behind the Door to Unger). You can't leave the land of Een without running into all sorts of creatures. I've met skarm and skerpent, Ungers, Goojuns, Izzards, and Krakes. And Dwarves are a pesky lot, especially Pugglemud. But I have to tell you that the most frightening thing I've ever had to face was myself.

DC: Really? I guess to understand, our blog-readers will have to take a look at your books! So what has been your greatest adventure?

KK: There was something special about first leaving the land of Een to go and search for the Box of Whispers. I was only eleven and it was my first time away from home. But when I went to seek the door to Unger, I ended up all by myself, and that was pretty high adventure. As for my greatest adventure of all, it was probably when I journeyed to the Rumble Pit.

DC: Ahh. Yeah, that was a cool adventure! Kendra, do you have a special skill or talent you'd like to share?

KK: Uncle Griffinskitch has decided to take me on as an apprentice, so now I'm going to learn the art of Een magic. But I had to wait until I turned twelve-that's the age in the land of Een when you are apprenticed to a master.
DC: An apprentice, eh? That sounds amazing! If you had to pick, who would be your favourite fictional character?

KK: I like mostly Een legends and myths, my favourite these days being the story of Anoora and Kojo, two young Eens who fell in love and wanted to marry. Anoora's father, an important Elder of Een, forbid their union, so Kojo and Anoora deciped to elope. They agreed to meet in a secret place across the River Wink in the middle of the night. But Anoora's father discovered their arrangement, and locked the girl in her chambers. Kojo waited all night for his love, but of course she did not come. Kojo was never seen again. Some say he died in the woods as he awaited Anoora, while others say that he left Een, his heart broken and his hope shattered. The place where he waited for Anoora is now known as Kojo's Hope.

DC: Eep. That's pretty sad, Kendra.

KK: Yeah. BUT, if I had to pick a book from your world, I would pick any book that discusses the land of Oz.

DC: I like those characters, too -- Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion, the Wizard and the Tin Man. I've heard all of your books are written and illustrated by Lee Edward Fodi. Can you tell me something about him?

KK: He's a bit of a wizard himself because he writes and illustrates stories that involve characters, well-me! I heard that most kids call him Mr. Wiz and that when's he not busy talking about my story, he helps kids make up their own through workshops.

DC: Yeah, I've seen a picture of him in his wizard hat. I'll try and find it to add to this post. So, Kendra, I know you've explored the Box of Whispers and the Door to Unger. Can you tell me a bit about your newest adventure?

KK: I need to go find the Rumble Pit. It's this arena where that nasty Queen Krake makes all of her prisoners-different mythical creatures she's captured-fight for her amusement. Effryn Hagglehorn the Faun told me that my brother has been forced to fight there. I need to find him! I need to get him back. But I'm going to need some powerful magic to help me I think. I'm not sure my Eenwand will be enough.

DC: Oh, that sounds awesome! I can't wait to read it. If I want to learn more about you on-line, where can I look?

KK: If you want to know more about Mr. Wiz, look at

Thanks so much for talking to me today, Kendra. And to celebrate your visit, we're going to have a special contest.

Check it out: I happen to have signed copies of the first two books in Kendra's series -- Kendra Kandlestar and the Box of Whispers and Kendra Kandlestar and the Door to Unger. Now, to win these books, you need to do a little bit of work. Hie yourself off to and click on the 'between the cracks of here and there' section. Find the list of creatures from Een -- and bring back the name of your favourite creature. Post it in the comment section, and Maurice and I will do a draw for the signed copies of the first two Kendra Kandlestar chronicles.

We'll do the draw on Friday, May 15th, so get your choices in before 8 pm and you could win! (And, as with all our contests, if you blog or tweet about this post, we'll enter your name TWICE in the draw.) What have you got to lose?

While you're leaving your comments, be sure to let me know any other fictional characters you might like me to interview. I'll do what I can to make a connection!



  1. Chloe Saunders would make for an interesting interview!

  2. I love the fawns!! And I think Nobody Owens from Neil Gaiman's Graveyard Book would be a fascinating subject!

  3. Oh, this series looks fantastic. I'm going to have to keep it in mind when next I need to find a kiddie present! Don't enter me since I was fortunate enough to win the last giveaway!

    Hey Darby, I think it'd be super fun if you could interview Percy Jackson from Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson & the Olympians series!

  4. It's Juniper Jinx for me!

    I haven't read the stories, but if they're even half as good as the illustrations, I'm sure I'll love them.

    Nice meeting you, Kendra K.!

  5. I don't know Chloe, Cupcake. What book is she in?


  6. Oh, I loved Nobody! He would be amazing! I'll see what I can do...


  7. Percy, check. Juniper, check. They're on the list!


  8. I like Crumpit the dwarf! All those keys ... oooooo ... shiny!

    If you could get hold of Bartimaeus from Amulet of Samarkind, I'm sure he'll be very entertaining! Oh, you might want to brush up on your summoning spells first!

  9. Crumpit and Bartimaeus -- on our wish list! Thanks, babygirlg.


  10. Darby, Chloe Saunders is from Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers series.

    If Percy's busy, you could see if his best friend, Grover's available. ;)

  11. Contest closed -- check out the winners!