Corinne Duyvis: OTHERBOUND

We have a lot of fantastic debut authors at OneFour KidLit and are excited to introduce them all to you. Today, we’re talking to Corinne Duyvis. One author, Four questions. Here we go!

Corinne Duyvis What’s your debut book about? Can you share any cool details with us?

Let me dig up the PM announcement, first:

Corinne Duyvis’s debut OTHERBOUND, where a seventeen-year-old boy finds that every time he closes his eyes, he is drawn into the body of a mute servant girl from another world — a world that is growing increasingly more dangerous, and where many things are not as they seem, to Maggie Lehrman at Amulet, by Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency (World English).

It’s a dual point of view, which means you spend an equal amount of chapters in the boy’s (Nolan’s) mind versus the girl’s (Amara’s), but due to the way the book is set up, Amara’s chapters tend to be longer. For one, more things go on there. (Increasingly more dangerous things. Oooooo.) For another, it’s a secondary fantasy world, which means that it requires far more world-building than Nolan’s contemporary American setting.

In my case, I cheated: Amara’s world is partially inspired by The Netherlands, where I’ve lived my whole life. I’d never built a secondary world before, so I wanted to start gently. At the same time, a lot of fantasy is medieval Europe-inspired, and I wanted to do something different. I’m thrilled to see more diversity in historical/fantasy settings crop up, like Ellen Oh and PROPHECY, but I think we can also encourage variety within Europe-inspired settings that do exist. What we see is usually either German, French, or British-inspired. Even though The Netherlands are smack-dab in the middle of those countries, we’re often glossed over.

Hence: dunes, islands, floods, stealth!liquorice, merchants, dikes (and dykes! /bad joke), Dutch-influenced names, ships, Dutch foods, windmills… It’s not a fantasy version of the Netherlands by any means, but I sure had fun sneaking in bits and pieces.

Hey, you’re getting published! How’d that happen?

Sheer, awesome, dumb luck.

Even though I’ve had two agents, OTHERBOUND never went on submission the regular way.

Instead, my editor reached out to my former agent after she saw a short story of mine at an online magazine called Strange Horizons. She requested an R&R on the submitted book, but also mentioned she’d be interested in seeing more of my work. I passed along my new novel OTHERBOUND–then known as BLINK–a couple of months after parting ways with my former agent.

Cue an offer out of the blue a couple of months after that. I scrambled to find a new agent to negotiate the deal, hooked up with the delightful Ammi-Joan Paquette, and am now eagerly awaiting the next steps. Is it 2014 yet?

What are you most excited about in the debut process?

So far, I’m still giddy just having a Goodreads page!

Honestly, I have a hard time deciding. I’m delirious at the thought of having a cover, especially since the design team at Amulet is beyond spectacular. I’m eager to see what kind of edits my editor wants, and how the book will improve these next few months. I’m even squeeing at the thought of getting my first pass pages, or having to send out the book for blurbs, or imagining how I’ll react to my first bad review.

… yeah, we’re still in the honeymoon stage. 😉

Most of all, I’m proud of this book, and I look forward to having it out in the world.

What cool facts might readers not know about you?

English is my second language; I learned it without the benefit of having English family or living in an English-speaking country. Regretfully, between spending lots much time online, writing and reading English books, and watching English TV, my Dutch is suffering.

It’s, um, really embarrassing.

Thankfully, the rest of me is still super super Dutch. I eat salty liquorice like it’s going out of style. Fair warning: if you meet me in real life, I may invite you to eat some. Don’t be alarmed. Trying salty liquorice has not ever resulted in people grabbing napkins and spitting it out. No. Not once.

This camera I’m holding is merely to document the sheer delight on your face.

Corinne Duyvis lives in Amsterdam, where she writes speculative YA novels and gets her geek on whenever possible. She also sleeps an inordinate amount. Her debut YA fantasy novel OTHERBOUND is forthcoming in 2014 from Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams Books. (Corinne is very excited, and hopes this development won’t impede her sleeping schedule too much.)
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23 thoughts on “Corinne Duyvis: OTHERBOUND

  1. Pingback: Links Galore « Annie Cardi

  2. Love the idea of dual worlds, dual perspectives, and the fact that it will appeal to girls and boys! As an English tutor, my students are now all boys, and this sounds like a book I will definitely be recommending to them!

    • That sounds mind-bogglingly… well, weird, to be honest, and I thrive on this stuff. I think I saw liquorice ice cream when I was in the US this summer, but I never tried it. Clearly, I should when I’m back there.

      • Salty liquorice ice cream is quite popular in Finland, though not as popular as normal liquorice ice cream. There are salty liquorice popsicles too, which are wonderful when it’s very hot. But Finnish salty liquorice is way better than the Dutch stuff anyway, because Dutch people haven’t yet realized that salty liquorice without anise sucks. 😛

  3. Oh, wow. I love psychic links and I love collisions between our world and a fantasy world, so this sounds right up my alley! The Dutch stuff sounds cool too. Though I have a friend who’s friends with a Dutch family, so I’ve already been warned away from the salted licorice. 😛

    • Oh, excellent! I look forward to seeing what you think! … in 2014. Oh man.

      Why would your friend warn you? There is nothing to be warned about. There is only salty, salty glory.

    • Ha! I am happy to convince you. All it takes is a tiiiiny bite… 😉

      And thanks! I ended up really enjoying the world-building, which I didn’t expect, so I can’t wait to see people’s reactions.

  4. The book sounds awesome, Corinne! I love dual narration, and I’m a sucker for fantasy that breaks the typical mold. Can’t wait to read it!

  5. Pingback: More from the Class of 2014 YA Debut Novelists | JLG’s Booktalks to Go Teen | School Library Journal

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