Today, Eve Marie Mont, author of A Breath of Eyre, has stopped by Treasured Tales for Young Adults as part of the blogoversary celebration. I’m so excited to share with you my interview with Eve.
Hi Eve, Thank you for visiting Treasured Tales For Young Adults to help celebrate its one year blogoversary.
Would you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m an English teacher and writer who loves shelter dogs, Doctor Who, nineteenth century novels, good manners, and grass or sand between my toes.
Do you have a favourite time of day when you prefer to write?
Since I teach full-time, I usually write on weekends and during the summer. My most productive hours are between 11 and 3. I like to write when the sun’s out.
What was your favourite novel as a child, and has it inspired or influenced the way your write?
The Secret Garden. I adore everything about this book, from the vivid settings to the dynamic characters to the positive messages about love, nature, and friendship. There is no lovelier sentiment than Mary’s at the end of the novel: “The secret garden is always open now. Open, and awake, and alive. If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”
How important is it to you that classics such as Jane Eyre, are not forgotten?
As an English teacher, I’d love for each generation to experience the classics and to interpret them anew from their unique viewpoint. But it’s tough to entice kids to read book over a century old in which the writing may be denser, the pacing slower, and the messages altogether more subtle. But literature reflects both its immediate context and what came before; by reading great literature, children can study humanity’s evolution and understand where the thoughts and ideas of their own age stem from. And there is so much joy and insight to be gained from digging into this treasure trove; the universal pleasures of good storytelling don’t ever change.
What do you think it was about Mr Rochester that attracted Jane Eyre to him, and is it those same characteristics that draw Emma (the main character in A Breath of Eyre) to him?
I think girls are always drawn to the mysterious bad boy who hides a vulnerable side. When Jane first meets Rochester, she finds him gruff and dismissive and a bit condescending. But as she digs beneath the surface, she uncovers his humor and his compassion, and also the wounds he tries to hide beneath a sheen of bravado. With her kind heart, Jane wants to tend to these wounds. At first, Emma is attracted to those same qualities, but as she gets to know Rochester and his secrets, she begins to give up her desire for an unattainable hero and open her eyes to the real love that may be standing right in front of her.
What qualities does Mr Rochester bring out in Emma, and how do these differ from the qualities that Gray Newman (a friend of Emma’s) brings out in her?
With Rochester, Emma sometimes finds herself mimicking Jane’s actions and leading a rather passive existence. But as the novel progresses, she slowly finds her own voice and realizes that Gray may be a better choice for her. While Gray shares Rochester’s brooding hero status, he helps Emma clarify what she wants and who she is going to be. Once Emma starts believing in her own strength, she takes more decisive action to help her friends and to bring about her own happiness.
How would you describe Emma and Gray, each in one sentence?
Emma is a shy but strong, kind-hearted dreamer who seeks solace on books. Gray is a former party boy turned loner, haunted by his past and striving to become a better man.
Is there anything you can share with us about A Touch of Scarlet, the sequel to A Breath of Eyre?
In A Touch of Scarlet, Emma finds herself drawn to the woods behind her campus, where the 17th century is alive and well. Moved by the tragic plight of a woman scorned by society, Emma tries to help Hester Prynne and her daughter, only to find that secrets and scandal follow her back to her own time as well. Each time Emma returns from Hester’s world, she is increasingly torn between remaining the good girl she’s always been and becoming the rebellious woman she longs to be.
Thank you for the interview Eve.
Have you read A Breath of Eyre? Isn’t the cover just gorgeous?
Are you looking forward to the sequel, A Touch of Scarlet?
More information about A Breath of Eyre and Eve Marie Mont: