{Character Interview/Book Excerpt/Giveaway} Digby from THE FLAME IN THE MIST by Kit Grindstaff

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Kit grew up in the rolling countryside of England.  After a brush with pop stardom (under her maiden name, Hain), she moved to New York and embarked on her career as a pop song writer.  Kit now lives with her husband in the rolling countryside of Pennsylvania.  THE FLAME IN THE MIST is her first novel.

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An interview with Digby!

Today I’m interviewing Digby Goodfellow, Jemma’s friend and companion in THE FLAME IN THE MIST! 

Hello, Digby. Make yourself comfortable, and tell us a bit about yourself.

About me? I don’t know as there’s much to tell. I’m goin’ on sixteen, live with my fam’ly in Hazebury, my pa delivers groceries, my ma bakes, an’ I got two younger brothers an’ a sister. Triplets, they are. 

(He runs one hand through his hair to push it off his forehead.) 

That’s enough about me, I reckon. I’ll talk about Jemma all you want, though.

Okay. How did you first meet her? And what did you think of her, seeing as she was one of the Agromonds, as far as you knew?

Y’know, that never crossed my mind. Far as I was concerned, she was jus’ this girl up at the Castle that Pa had talked about for years. He’d go up there every week makin’ deliveries, an’ see her workin’ in the kitchens like she was some kind of slave—been doin’ it since she was about seven, he said, without so much as a grumble. Pa tol’ me about how she had this hair that looked like flames, it was that red an’ that wild, an’ how she was always up to tricks, silly little things that made him laugh, practicin’ her magic. She’d try an’ make spoons fly, things like that, but never could.

Then somethin’ happened that upset her. Pa didn’t know what. But Marsh—she was Jemma’s nurse when she was younger, an’ a real good egg—she told him about the Ceremonies them Agromonds did every Mord-day, an’ how they’d suddenly turned nasty—

Sorry to interrupt, Digby, but I just want to explain to the readers about Mord-days, in case they don’t know. Mord-day is the Agromonds’ name for what we call Sunday.

That so? Sunday. Sun, instead of Mord. I like that.

Anyways, back to Jemma. 

There was this one Ceremony where some bats flew in, an’ someone—the ma, I think it was—had killed one of ’em. Jemma, she can’t stand anythin’ bein’ killed, an’ it rattled her to her bones. Well, my Pa was real cut up by seein’ her dispirited like that, so he said, Why don’t I bring my boy up next week to keep you comp’ny for a bit? Jem lit up ’bout the idea, an’ so it was decided.

Were you frightened about going up to the Castle?

Frightened? Naaa! 

Should’ve been, I s’pose, but I was mostly excited ’bout meetin’ Jemma. I jus’ had a feelin’, you know? An’ it was s’posed to be a secret from them, the Agromonds, who wouldn’t want her mixin’ with the likes of us Goodfellows. So that made it extra excitin’, like an adventure.

And what was it like, meeting her for the first time?

(Digby smiles, and I see what Jemma sees in him, despite his youth.) 

It was amazin’! She had this mischief about her—bit like our triplets, only older of course; she was eleven at the time—an’ her eyes! That bluey green color—aqua, Marsh called it, which is s’posed to mean water, like somewhere called the Sea. I’ll never forget the way she looked at me, like she was seein’ clear into me. Rotten rhubarb, gets me shiverin’ now, jus’ thinkin’ about it! Well, her an’ me, we took to each other like maggots to a corpse…Oh, that in’t very nice is it? (He laughs, his own very blue eyes lighting up.) We took to each other like, like, offal to a stock pot. Well, Pa reckoned I was old enough to be helpin’ him all the time, bein’ as I was thirteen, an’ so I started goin’ with him every week after that.

What did you and Jemma talk about?

Oh, everythin’! How she hated the Ceremonies. How weird the fam’ly was. How she longed to get away an’ see the sun. She loved me talkin’ ’bout my fam’ly, too, though to be honest it made me feel bad, seein’ as mine was so close, an’ hers…well, you know ’bout how all that turned out.

But as much as anythin’, we liked to play games, her an’ me. I figured it’d take her mind off how bad the rest of the week was. Pa left us to it, an’ we’d hide in the dungeons or sneak up to the rooves. The view would’ve been grand from up there if it weren’t for the Mist, but all you could see was tree-tops stickin’ out of it. Still, it was like a taste of freedom for Jem, who wasn’t allowed outside. You know about that, right? How some doctor said she was weak, an’ the Mist could make her really sick? Sick, my foot. I never saw her sick a day in her life.

And did you ever see the twins, or the parents?

Only once or twice, from a distance—till that Mord-day when I took the Wolfsbane to the castle, that is. Poor Jem. There she was, stuck at breakfast with that lot, lookin’ like a hunted fawn. I knew somethin’ was up right then, the way Shade Agromond was glarin’ at her like she was muck. Her an’ the others, they all looked like they’d stepped right out of the nursery rhyme all the children sing about ’em.

Can you sing  it for us?

Who, me? Naaa, I can’t sing! Anyways, folks in’t goin’ to hear a tune if they’re readin’, is they? I’ll tell you the words, though. They goes like this:

All little children had better beware
Hide in the attic or under a chair—some folks say “stair”, y’know, which I think is better
—There’s evil a-comin’ from up on the hill
If the Mist doesn’t get you, the Agromonds will.

That sounds very ominous.


Dark and scary. Is there more to it?

There is, actually, though most folks don’t know it.

Watch in the morning and watch in the night
They sneak up upon you, so stay out of sight
They’re out for the taking, they’re out for the kill
If the Mist doesn’t get you, the Agromonds will.

Ugh, that sounds evil! Well, Digby, thank you so much for coming by—

You tryin’ to get rid of me? 

(He grins, his smile slightly lopsided.) 

Well, I should be goin’ anyways. Promised Pa I’d help him deliver half a dozen pigs to Dingleb’ro. Pigs, you know, they can get a bit hog-wild for anyone to manage on their own. Hog-wild! I din’t realize I was sayin’ that. Jem would’ve teased me ’bout it if she was here.

‘Bye, then.

Goodbye. Please say Hello to Jemma for me!

I will, Bonnie. It is Bonnie, right? It’s been nice. I like talkin’ about Jem. Even if she is annoyin’ at times.  

(He grins again, and again I see why Jemma likes him. His hair flops over one eye as he ambles out of the room.)
Thank you so much for stopping by, Digby!
I'm glad you were able to introduce Jemma and yourself to everyone
before tomorrow's big anniversary!

Excerpt from
by Kit Grindstaff

     Thunder roared, and lightning speared down. In its brief flashes, Jemma could see more shadows gathering. 
     They looked like pale Mordsprites, small, bedraggled, skeletal. She lengthened her stride, but the ground was slick and she slipped, slamming face down in black mud. Hauling herself to her feet yet again, she came face to face with one of the shadows. 
     It was not a Mordsprite at all, but the gray silhouette of a child, a sunken-cheeked, hollow-eyed boy of no more than five, his ragged arms reaching out to her through the Mist. 
     Jemma stood petrified, her heart pounding as he swayed closer, oblivious to the chaos raining down around him. Others closed in behind him, a straggling band of waifs, all moving in the same direction. 
     Toward her.

PRAISE "Fast, creepy fun. A bit of The Addams Family, a bit of dark fantasy, and a boatload of monsters and magic make this read a ghoulish delight." - Stefan Bachmann, author of The Peculiar
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Kit Grindstaff
Release Date: April 9, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Press / Random House
Received: For Review

Set in an imagined past, this dark fantasy-adventure is for fans of Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass. Features  Jemma, a fiery-headed heroine held captive in Agromond Castle, yet destined to save mist-shrouded Anglavia.

Fiery-headed Jemma Agromond is not who she thinks she is, and when the secrets and lies behind her life at mist-shrouded Agromond Castle begin to unravel, she finds herself in a chilling race for her life. Ghosts and misfits, a stone and crystals, a mysterious book, an ancient prophecy—all these reveal the truth about Jemma's past and a destiny far greater and more dangerous than she could have imagined in her wildest fantasies. With her telepathic golden rats, Noodle and Pie, and her trusted friend, Digby, Jemma navigates increasingly dark forces, as helpers both seen and unseen, gather. But in the end, it is her own powers that she must bring to light, for only she has the key to defeating the evil ones and fulfilling the prophecy that will bring back the sun and restore peace in Anglavia.


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  1. My question is... What was the hardest part in having to write this book and why?

    Thanks for thanks for the giveaway! :)

  2. This one just sounds so adorable! I can't wait to pick it up!


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