Author Ebony McKenna is at The Hiding Spot today to answer a few questions regarding her novel ONDINE. The novel isn’t out in the US yet, but it is available from BookDepository!
Ebony McKenna lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and young son.
She has worked as an award winning journalist, market researcher, waitress, website contributor, accounts manager and company director.
In high school McKenna excelled in English and Literature, earning herself a place in the journalism course at Melbourne’s RMIT University.
In the 1990s she worked as a journalist on many leading Melbourne newspapers. She won many awards – including scooping first and second place in the one night for best news report. By day she wrote other people’s stories, but by night she plotted epic adventures.
Now she writes novels for a living.
Give a short statement describing ONDINE.
ONDINE is about a teenage girl whose pet ferret, Shambles, starts talking with a Scottish accent. Mayhem ensues. She lives in the Eastern European country of Brugel, where everyday life with her family is crazy. Ondine discovers Shambles is really a man trapped in a witch’s spell – she’ll do whatever she can to break that spell to see the real man inside.
Was there a specific source of inspiration behind ONDINE?
How did you choose name for your characters? Do you find it difficult to pick names?
I wanted names that gave a sense of something old-fashioned yet modern. Ondine was there right from the start. Many years ago I used to get my nails done (what a luxury!) and the woman who did my nails was called Ondi. I’d always loved her name. It sounded so exotic and other worldly. So maybe I was just waiting for the right book to come along to name after her? I grew up with a friend called Cybelle, so her name was perfect for the clever and very private middle sister. I needed a movie-star name for the eldest, because she’s the showy one, the singer. One of my favourite movies of all time (aside from The Princess Bride) is The Scarlett Pimpernell. The heroine in that is Marguerite. Such a gorgeous name, and very European, to my mind. The name Shambles turned up pretty quickly in the process as well. I often say ‘this place is a shambles’ so it was a name ready to leap out of my mind and onto the page. Once I had his name, his personality really grew to the point where he could get away with so much! Cheeky imp!
My blog is dedicated to my personal hiding spot, books. Who, what, or where can be credited as your personal escape from reality?
These are such awesome questions. Love it!
Books are my escape too – they’re a pressure-valve to let off a bit of steam. They help me forget all about everything else for a while. I lose myself in books. Perhaps that’s why I put so much comedy into my writing – because there’s enough bad news out there I want to give people a good laugh and a diversion from the pressures of the real world.
As a kid, I used to hide in wardrobes looking for Narnia! After-school playtimes with friends were the classic, ‘Mum’s here, quick, hide!’ But she’d always find me in a wardrobe! I never did find Narnia.
Now I’m older, I’m supposed to grow up, but I still love hiding away in small spaces. Luckily my young son does too. So we hide in wardrobes together. In a year or so, I’ll let him read my Narnia books.
Thank you so much for the great questions and for being part of the blog tour. I’m having a fantastic time.