This week I have an interview with Melissa Jensen, author of The Toymaker, a middle-grade fantasy novel. Take it away, Melissa!
So first of all, tell us about The Toymaker. What’s it about?
The Toymaker is the story of Ashima, a ten year old girl bound and determined to find her parents. And the man who helps her, Ren, who has an amazing ability in which he can bring inanimate objects to life.
Ashima’s world has nearly modern technology — cars, electricity — but it also has magic (of a sort) and fantastic creatures like goblins and intelligent wild beasts. What made you decide to do something a little different than a typical fantasy world? What are your favorite aspects of the world you’ve created, or perhaps the parts you would most like to tell readers about?
One thing I love about fantasy in general is that it offers so many possibilities to explore so much. I love the challenge of coming up with ideas that at first may seem strange and ridiculous, but after some mental tinkering end up being a ton of fun to create. The Toymaker, for example, was inspired by the movie 9 and the idea of living beings made of bits and pieces of everyday objects, which I really adored. I began tinkering with the concept of living toys, as well as various myths and legends of inanimate objects brought to life (specifically the story of the golem), and from there The Toymaker eventually evolved. Continue reading