Elias: Welcome, Della.
Della: I'm honoured you're interviewing me. And your moustache is the greatest.
Elias: As a child you grew up on a farm in Montana. Did you grow cabbages there?
Della: I only remember one time we grew cabbage and my mom tried to make sauerkraut. She had this HUGE stoneware crock that she mixed the most vile smelling stuff imaginable. We put the crock outside around by the side of the house as far from the windows as we could and it still smelled like something died. My brother and I would circle the crock, holding our fingers tightly over our noses and dare each other to take in a deep breath as we hung our heads over the crock. I never won the bet and to this day I don't like sauerkraut. My father must have felt the same way because we never grew cabbages again!
Elias: How has living on a farm, riding on horses, breeding slugs and throwing cabbages helped you in shaping and creating your stories?
Della: I guess the sheer isolation of growing up and living in the boonies, made me a very imaginative person. I spent a lot of time as a child at the creek telling stories to the turtles. They weren't very appreciative of my story-telling skills. When the turtles bored of storytelling, I would make up songs for them. I didn't get to breed slugs on the farm, but we had plenty of prairie dogs. Does that count?
Elias: When you longed to live the big city life you chose to go to Texas. Why didn't you choose to go to New York City or Camberwell or even, Maputo?
Della: I grew up in one of the least populated states in the union. I couldn't even imagine living in huge city like NYC, although now it is one of my fave places to visit. Texas seemed like a logical step up without being a continent away. Also, my grandparents were snowbirds and wintered in South Texas and summered in Minnesota. Anything my grandparents did was super awesome to me. In fact, two of the characters in my book are named after them. When you see the name Archie in my book, that was my grandfather's name, and Irene was my grandmother's.
I had to look up Maputo and Camberwell on google. I only wish I knew of those places when I made my decision to move. I might have lived somewhere else. :)
Elias: In your book Spirit Warriors: The Concealing, the four main characters can move their spirits into the bodies of various animals. None of them move their spirits into the bodies of slugs. Why not? Are you a sluggist? Why did you choose those particular animals?
Della: LOL, This is how racism rumors get started! I am not racist towards slugs. I don't particularly like them, but I don't wish them dead. Well maybe just a little dead. Maybe I better stop, before I get in trouble. :)
Each animal was picked for the power they wield in the Native American world and to match the personality of the character. Ollie is one of the characters. He is fun-loving, mischievous, smart, and crafty. His animal the coyote, Zephyr, is believed by the Native Americans to have these same attributes. By the end of the series, you will see the powers of each animal.
Elias: What can you tell us about Native American magic? Any spells that you can teach me that I can use on my neighbour, Dieter?
Della: No spells, but you could make a fetish. The Native Americans would carve an animal form out of wood or stone. They believed the fetish had a spirit of its own that would protect the owner. I'm thinking a slug fetish might do the job. Let me know how it goes.
Elias: Will there be a sequel to Spirit Warriors: The Concealing? Perhaps Spirit Warriors: The Furry Moustache?
Della: Actually there is a sequel and it is due out late June 2014. The name is Spirit Warriors: The Scarring. There will be a total of 5 books and can I say maybe possibly someday on the furry mustache?
Elias: Would you consider writing a novel about the Wild West featuring Billy the Slug as a notorious outlaw?
Della: Possibly, maybe we could work together on that one. I'll bring the Wild West experience and you bring the slugs!
Elias: When you go biking across places like the Golden Gate Bridge, do you go by push-bike?
Della: Actually I rode the traditional bike, but my friends had one with a motor. I'm not sure it helped because you still had to push the @#*&^ thing up the hill to get to the bridge.
Elias: If you need help with your coffee addiction my slugs can contaminate your coffee granules. After which, you'll never go near it again! Would you like their assistance?
Della: Can I pass on the slugs contaminating my coffee grounds? People don't seem to like me when I go without my coffee!
Elias: Which other books do you plan to write about Elias Zapple?
Della: How about Cabbage Killer: Making sauerkraut with Elias? Or Slugs Unite, a Story of Elias's Revenge. Feel free to use either one. :)
Thank you, Della.
Spirit Warriors: The Concealing
Sixteen-year-old Emme Belrose has it all: four best friends, a horse of her own, a hidden tepee hangout, and a blossoming romance with tall and handsome Charlie. These friends also have a secret. They can move their spirits into animal bodies: an osprey, a mustang, a grizzly, a mountain lion and a coyote. But when Charlie, who has a gift for seeing the future, has a vision of Emme drowning in the icy Yellowstone River, the Spirit Warriors must train their animal bodies to kill an enemy they know is coming… but know nothing about. Suspenseful, romantic, and awash in Native American magic, Spirit Warriors captures the tragic enchantment of the American West—and confirms the power of friendship.
My moustache is great, my slugs are great, my cabbages are great and Elias Zapple is meh.