Beginner's Pluck: Eowyn Ivey

An award-winning journalist in Alaska, Eowyn enjoyed her varied job, but being a reporter was never her passion. So she left, and worked in an independent bookshop; and it was there that she gained the energy and creative spirit to experiment with fiction. She spent five years working on a novel.

“Then I came across a children’s book; a retelling of a Russian fairy tale, and I got a tingly sensation. I abandoned the first novel, and within a year I had the first draft of The Snow Child. The fairy tale gave me a way into the magical element I’d always wanted.”

Who is Eowyn Ivey?

Date/place of birth: Feb 7, 1973/Denver, Colorado. “My parents moved to Alaska when I was three or four.”

Education: Western Washington University: BA in Journalism with Creative Writing. Some Graduate workshops in Creative Writing.

Home: Alaska.

Family: “I started dating my husband when I was fourteen. We have two daughters, Grace,12, and Aurora, five.”

The Day Job: “I work part time in the bookshop.”

Hobbies: “I love the outdoors.”We do lots of hunting, sledding, and skiing. And we camp and hike.”

Favourite Writers: Louise Erdrich, Annie Proulx and Toni Morrison. “They really inspire me.”

Second Novel: “I’m working on one. It’s set in Alaska, and has some fantastical elements.”

Top Writing Tip: “Do it for the love of it, and write the kind of book you love reading.”

Web: www.eowynivey.com

Twitter: @eowynivey

THE DEBUT

The Snow Child. Headline Review: €14.99. Kindle: Not yet available in Ireland.

Living in Alaska, Jack and Mabel face loneliness and despair. Then they build a snow child, and a little girl enters their lives. They love her, but who is she, and what will she do to their lives?

“I wanted to portray Alaska without romanticising it too much. And to share the Alaska I know, and better understand my love of it.”

The Verdict: A debut to savour; a seamless blend of the everyday and the magical.


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