Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Blog Tour Interview: David Almond

Today on WinterHaven Books we have David Almond with us!  His latest novel A Song for Ella Grey releases tomorrow and he has graciously stopped by to answer a few questions!

1. Describe your book in five words or less.
Ancient magic, modern teenage love.

2. I am a huge fan of Greek Mythology so I am very excited to read A Song for Ella Grey. Have you always been a fan as well?
Yes, I've always been entranced by the Greek myths. They say so much about the nature and mystery of the world. Orpheus and Eurydice have haunted me ever since I was young. It explores all the great themes - love, death, light, darkness, beauty, music, song. It is both tragic and filled with yearning and joy. It asks the great unanswerable questions that have troubled us all - where do we come from? Are we destined or are we free? Why do we love? Why do we die and what happens when we die? Is it possible to live a life that is filled with hope and joy? Is it possible to transcend death? It's an ancient tale that has resonated through the centuries, and has inspired a host of retellings in music, poetry, drama, fiction. It was time to make my own version and to set it among ordinary modern teenagers in an ordinary modern world.

3. What scene was your favorite to write?
I loved writing the scene where Ella hears Orpheus' voice for the very first time - through her best friend's cell phone on a beach in the north of England. I knew it was coming, but as I wrote it I felt a sudden charge of energy. This is the moment when the whole story steps up onto another level. Ella falls cataclysmically in love with this strange young singer. He too falls in love with her, but for him the moment is charged with a sense of danger/destiny. Somehow he knows how this will all turn out. They are lost in each other. Their lives and fates are joined. The modern world of young people, their technology, becomes infused with ancient forces.

4. What do you hope your readers take from A Song for Ella Grey?
Enjoyment, of course. But I also hope that they will be moved, troubled, entranced, that they will share the joys and pains and yearnings of Claire, Ella and Orpheus. I hope that they will know more about this great story of ancient lovers, and how it still has significance for we who live in the 21st century.

5. Can you share what you are currently working on?
I'm writing a stage adaptation of my story The Savage. I love working in the theatre, turning words on the page into dialogue, action, movement, song. Next year, I will be writing a stage version of A Song for Ella Grey! I'm also writing a new novel, which I can't say much about yet!

Thanks David for stopping by!

About David
DAVID ALMOND grew up in a large family in northeastern England and says, “The place and the people have given me many of my stories.” His first novel for children, Skellig, was a Michael L. Printz Honor Book and an ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book and appeared on many Best Book of the Year lists. He wrote My Name Is Mina, the prequel to Skellig. His novel Kit’s Wilderness won the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. David Almond is a recipient of the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award. He lives in England.
Visit him online at and on Facebook and follow @davidjalmond on Twitter.

A Song for Ella Grey
A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 15, 2015
Purchase: Amazon 
David Almond, recipient of the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award, a Printz Honor for Skellig, and the Printz Award for Kit’s Wilderness, has crafted an enchanting modern take on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.

Written in lyrical prose, this novel for fans of epic romances and mythology retellings explores themes of love, loss, fate, and destiny set against the dramatic and diverse backdrop of Northern England.

Claire and Ella and their friends are bound by ties so strong they seem unbreakable. Then the strange and handsome Orpheus strolls onto the beach, and he sings them all into an astonishing new understanding of themselves. Ella is caught the hardest, fastest, deepest—and Claire feels the pain of looking on.

Raw, emotional, lyrical, funny, and true, A Song for Ella Grey is a tale of modern teenagers and their joys, troubles, and desires. It’s a story of first love, a love that draws on ancient mythic forces. A love that leads Ella, Orpheus, and Claire to the gates of Death and beyond.

Praise for A Song for Ella Grey
“Almond’s lyrical narrative will sweep readers on a journey to unearthly, mysterious realms and back.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred

“An innovative and dreamlike retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, set in modern-day Tyneside and Northumberland and told in Almond’s

lyrical, distinctive prose.” —School Library Journal, Starred

“[A] rhapsodic modern retelling of a classic tragedy.” —Booklist

“Almond brings his hypnotic lyricism to this darkly romantic tale that sings of the madness of youth, the ache of love, and the near-impossibility of grasping death.” —Kirkus Reviews


  1. This book sounds beautiful and tragic at the same time. I love Greek Mythology and I'm adding this to my wish list because I truly want to read this one. Great interview!

    1. I love Greek Myth too! It's one of my favorites to read ever!! Thanks!