THE SINGULAR & EXTRAORDINARY TALE OF MIRROR & GOLIATH Blog Tour & Giveaway: Interview with Ishbelle Bee

Today I'm thrilled to welcome author Ishbelle Bee to the blog to answer a few questions about her debut release of The Singular & Extraordinary Tale of Mirror & Goliath. I recently had the chance to read this fantastic book and jumped at the opportunity to ask Ishbelle a few questions. Delightfully dark, filled with magic & the macabre, Ishbelle creates a fantasy fairy tale just perfect for adults. Enjoy!

First, I must say the cover for your book, The Singular & Extraordinary Tale of Mirror & Goliath, is one of the most gorgeous pieces of art I've seen grace a book recently. How did you feel when you first saw it? How does it capture the essence of the story?

The cover is by the brilliant John Coultart. I was gobsmacked when I first saw it, it’s so beautiful. It perfectly captures the mood of the book as it’s haunting, lush and vivid and quirky. 

For those not yet familiar, can you please tell us a little about The Singular & Extraordinary Tale of Mirror & Goliath and what inspired you to write a dark fairy tale for adults? 

It is a fairytale set in Victorian England mainly during the Jack the Ripper killings of 1888. It’s about a little girl called Mirror whose is being pursued by the demon Lord of the Underworld, who wants to eat her to absorb her powers.

I initially wanted to write a story focusing on exorcisms and demonic possession, but the story started to develop into something I hadn’t expected as soon as Mr. Loveheart appeared. 

Can you tell us a little about Mirror and Goliath and their adventure together? 

Mirror is the little girl of the tale, whose was stuffed in a clock by her deranged grandfather and rescued by Goliath Honeyflower, a detective with Scotland Yard. Goliath is now her protector and is able to shapeshift. The story begins with their arrival at the Liverpool docks and then moves across England to Whitby, London, and Kent. 

Throughout the book, you use several motifs including clocks, ladybirds, and death masks along with a few fairy tales and Egyptian Mythology. Where did your ideas come 
from and what inspired you?

I am lucky to have a vivid imagination and ideas come quickly to me. I am massively inspired by mythology and fairy tales and I have a love of the Victorian period, Egyptian and Aztec history & mythology. I am also fascinated by insects and all the books of the peculiar adventures of John Loveheart feature an insect motif. 

Did you have any fun research moments?

While researching this book I enjoyed reading up on Victorian Spiritualism and death rituals especially a strange practice of ‘ watching the corpse’ so it doesn’t wander off. 

What was the hardest part about writing The Singular & Extraordinary Tale of Mirror & Goliath? What was your favorite part?

The hardest part was keeping my attention as I need to set tight deadlines for myself or my mind starts to wander to another story in my head. The most fun part was Mr. Loveheart’s chapters as he is my favorite character and keeps me on my toes. 

What can you tell us about upcoming books in The Singular & Extraordinary Tale of Mirror & Goliath series, or something new you're working on?

The sequel The Contrary Tale of The Butterfly Girl is being published in August this year and I am currently writing a book about the Scottish witch trials which involves historical research and fairytales. 

What's the best advice you can give to aspiring writers?

Keep going, don’t give up and don’t compare yourself with other writers and get jealous. Focus on your own work and don’t worry about rejection because Publishers and Agents can’t predict what will be a success. 


What books are on your must-read list at the moment?

I am really looking forward to reading  Kameron Hurley’s Empire Ascendant (due October 2015)

If you could have a super/paranormal power what would it be?

Time travel ( I’d be a female Doctor Who, but I’d boot the ‘companions’ out the door into space!) 

What fairy tale world would you love to jump into?

BLUEBEARD with a bazooka!  - I’d go Ellen Ripley on him. 

Thank you, Ishbelle for visiting Book Swoon today!

THANK YOU SO MUCH for the lovely interview

About The Singular & Extraordinary Tale of Mirror & Goliath:

1888. A little girl called Mirror and her shape-shifting guardian Goliath Honeyflower are washed up on the shores of Victorian England. Something has been wrong with Mirror since the day her grandfather locked her inside a mysterious clock that was painted all over with ladybirds. Mirror does not know what she is, but she knows she is no longer human. 

John Loveheart, meanwhile, was not born wicked. But after the sinister death of his parents, he was taken by Mr. Fingers, the demon lord of the underworld. Some say he is mad. John would be inclined to agree. 

Now Mr. Fingers is determined to find the little girl called Mirror, whose flesh he intends to eat, and whose soul is the key to his eternal reign. And John Loveheart has been called by his otherworldly father to help him track Mirror down. | | |

About Ishbelle Bee:

Ishbelle Bee writes horror and loves fairy-tales, the Victorian period (especially top hats!) and cake tents at village fêtes (she believes serial killers usually opt for the Victoria Sponge).

She currently lives in Edinburgh. She doesn’t own a rescue cat, but if she did his name would be Mr Pickles.


Thanks to the fabulous folks at ANGRY ROBOT BOOKS, we have 5 copies of The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath to give away. (Yay! It's International, too).