Author Q&A with Kalyn Josephson
Spooky Season is almost here, and today I’m hosting a Q&A with Kalyn Josephson, author of the deliciously spooky middle grade fantasy, RAVENFALL which comes out today! Read on for some behind-the-scenes discussion of Max, the cat-who-isn’t-a-cat and the sentient inn where the main characters of RAVENFALL live and work. First, here’s a little bit about the story in case you aren’t familiar…
Published September 6, 2022
One magical inn, two kids with supernatural powers, and an ancient Celtic creature trying to destroy their world by Halloween night…
Halloweentown meets Supernatural in this spooky middle-grade series from the acclaimed author of the Storm Crow duology!
Thirteen-year-old Annabella Ballinkay has never been normal, even by her psychic family’s standards. Every generation uses their abilities to help run the Ravenfall Inn, a sprawling, magical B&B at the crossroads of the human world and the Otherworld. But it’s hard to contribute when your only power is foreseeing death.
So when fourteen-year-old Colin Pierce arrives at Ravenfall searching for his missing older brother and the supernatural creature who killed their parents, Anna jumps at the chance to help. But the mysteries tied to Colin go much deeper than either of them expects. . . .
As the two team up to find answers, they unearth Colin’s family’s secret past and discover that Colin has powers beyond his imagination. And now the supernatural creature, one with eerie origins in Celtic mythology, is coming after him. If Anna and Colin can’t stop the creature by Halloween night, the veil to the Otherworld could be ripped open—which would spell destruction for their world as they know it.
Author Q&A with Kalyn Josephson
Q: I find that a story was often inspired by a question. Was there a question that inspired you to write RAVENFALL?
A: I know exactly what you mean, and while my first series, THE STORM CROW, was inspired by a traditional ‘what if X’ question, RAVENFALL’s inspiration wasn’t quite as concrete. I had just watched the Addams Family movie and adored the crossover of creepy and humorous set amongst a sprawling, quirky family. I wanted to know what that family would look like in my world, and how a character who didn’t quite fit in would be, and so came Anna. So I guess you could say the question was, “what would it be like to feel like you don’t belong in such a magical world?”
Q: I’m a big fan of cats in books, so naturally I loved Max’s character. What inspired you to create him as a cat-but-not-a-cat?
A: This is my favorite question I’ve ever been asked because I get to talk about this. As a kid, it bummed me out that the cat in everything was always the bad guy. I’d grown up with cats that I loved and were nothing like those characters. Then my sister told me that one of her favorite authors without fail had a dog in every book, which I thought was really cute, and I decided that if ever I became an author, every book would have a cat, and that cat would be a good guy. For my own added twist, I thought it’d be fun if the cat was never actually a cat. So you’ll find a cat-not-a-cat in all of my books, including THE STORM CROW (check out the bonus stories in the sequel) and my upcoming YA, THIS DARK DESCENT. We’ll see if I can keep it up!
Q: Who is your favorite character in RAVENFALL? Were there things about them which couldn’t be included in the novel?
A: Oh this is tough. My go to answer is Max, shocking no one, but my close second place is actually the inn! I think of Ravenfall as a grumpy old man who just wants some peace and quiet but can’t get it because it’s a literal inn with people coming and going all the time, and it has this tiny little terror masquerading as a cat ruining its life every day. We actually learn more about both the inn and Max in the sequel, as they both had more history I wanted to share that didn’t make it into book 1!
Q: Setting a story in a magical inn is a really clever idea. What made you choose this particular setting for RAVENFALL? What’s your favorite part of the inn’s magic?
A: I came up with the idea so long ago (2015!) and didn’t think this book would ever be published, that I honestly can’t remember the exact inspiration. All I know is that I’ve always loved when the setting in a fantasy book is so visceral, it feels like you’re there, and I wanted to recreate that in RAVENFALL. But my favorite part of the inn’s magic would definitely have to be that it cooks!
What’s in it for readers…
Q: What do you most hope that readers take away from RAVENFALL?
A: There are definitely some heavier themes in RAVENFALL, the foremost of which I hope readers come away with is that it’s okay to ask for help. But I also just really wanted this book to be a fun magical adventure that my fellow spooky seasoners could disappear into for a while.
Q: What is one question about your novel you are often asked by readers?
A: A lot of people have been asking if the Supernatural references are intentional, and yes, yes they are.
About Kalyn Josephson
Kalyn Josephson is the author of THE STORM CROW duology and the upcoming RAVENFALL (8.30.22) and THIS DARK DESCENT (2023). By day, she’s a Technical Writer in Silicon Valley, which leaves room for too many bad puns about technically being a writer. She grew up in San Luis Obispo, CA, but now lives in the Bay Area with two black cats (who are more like a tiny dragon and an even tinier owl).