Interview with Clinton Festa and Giveaway

Ancient Canada by Clinton Festa

Ancient Canada is a story of mythology for an alternate Canada. Two sisters, Lavender and Marigold, are exiled into a journey of their known world. Using Lavender's unique ability to see life and death, they survive in the wild. Along their travels they meet a giant stone creature, a bog man, Prince Oslo of Svalbard, a race of Feathermen, and many others. Each chapter is a different narrator who shares their story, philosophy, and encounter with the two sisters.

At the end of their journey, Marigold assembles the chapters of these various narrators. Ancient Canada is that story. What you read is what was gathered by Marigold and published for her contemporaries. The world of Ancient Canada may be unlike anything you've read in 1,000 years.


1) Hello Clint, thank you for joining us today. Could you please introduce yourself?  

Originally Rockland County, New York.  I first started writing for the Cornell Lunatic, our campus humor magazine.  Ancient Canada is my first novel, and has its humorous moments, but is not a comedy.  It’s fantasy fiction, specifically mythology.

2) Can you shortly describe what is your book Ancient Canada about?

Ancient Canada is a mythological Odyssey for an alternate Canada.  It focuses on two sisters, Lavender and Marigold.  Lavender has the ability to see life and death.  Marigold's gift is poorly timed humor.  The two survive in the wild using both these gifts, but mostly Lavender's.  Marigold is the older sister, and at times has to be just as important in her role, which is to support Lavender.  After they are exiled because of Lavender's gift, they encounter various characters and creatures, who narrate linking chapters to form the overall story.  These narrators include Feathermen, a Bog Man, a prince, an orphan child, and many others.

3) I love the names Marigold and Lavender. Are their names important for the story? Or do you just like herbs? :)

The names don't really intertwine with the plot; they were just what I thought their mother, Heather, would have named them (Marigold and Lavender are sisters).  I read a few blogs on naming characters prior to picking those names.  All of the ones I read failed to mention that maybe their parents would pick the names, and the author should try to figure out what the parent would do.  If you have a dragon-fighting character, they still start off as a baby, even if we don't have a birth story.  So why would their parents name him Drake Dragonslayer?  That sounds more like the name of somebody from a dragon-fighting family who grows up wanting to be a wandering minstrel instead.  (The paradox here is that I still had to name Heather.)  I thought of Heather as someone who would name her girls somewhat after herself.  Heather, being the name of a plant, started a tradition of naming her girls after flowers. Marigold gets her name by being blonde and Lavender because of her eye color.

4) Are you working on other books?

I always say I like the idea of "The Trans-Saharan Railway."  This was a real thing, a seriously considered project back in the early 1900's.  It would have been Cairo to Dakar, but it never happened.  I think a fictional world where it did happen, and the making of it, would make a great epic.  There would be different political forces involved, many cultures clashing, a lot of intrigue, and probably a love story.  But I haven't started it.  The idea is still fermenting.

5) Who are your favourite writers and what are your favourite books?

If you want a smart comedy, I would recommend My Sweet Saga by Brett Sills.  I like epics and comedies. Not exactly side by side on the shelf, but they are two of my favorite genres.

6) What are you reading now?

Mostly children's books.  Having two little ones to take care of will really cut into your personal reading time.  And your gym time.  And your football time.  And your sleep time.  And occasionally your toilet time.  I think I'm not alone when I say I've sat down on the potty many times now, had a child barge in with a book, and found myself a moment later reading to them while still on the toilet.  Then I wonder, 'How did this happen?'

7) What's your favourite myth and/or folktale/fairytale?

I like a lot of the stories based on Camelot, particularly as interpreted in a Monty Python fashion. 

8) Your favourite place in the world?

My couch.

9) Anything you'd like to add?

Ancient Canada has just become available in print. Thanks for reading! Please check out  Here are a few purchase links:

Web Publisher Amazon UK Amazon US

Quick questions:

Tea or coffee?  Tea. 
Autumn or Spring?  Autumn, only because of the pollen in spring. 
City or country?  Country but near a city (within half-hour's drive). 
Game of Thrones or LOTR?  LOTR. 
Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff or Slytherin?  Knights of the Round Table. 
Beer or wine?  Ice cream.


There are two giveaways. One international (e-copy) and one US only (print copy). They both end on September 21. Good luck everyone! :)

US Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
INT Giveaway: a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

Book Attict said...

Right now I'm really into Celtic lore.

Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
elizabeth @ bookattict . com

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