by Aoife Lennon-Ritchie
Publication Date: Oct 11, 2016
Publisher: Tantrum Books
This winter, siblings Ruairi and Dani Miller visit their ancestral homeland: the legendary Viking island of Yondersaay. Even with Granny Miller's storytelling to pass the time, the pair manage to find trouble. In less than twenty-four hours of their arrival, Ruairi is mistaken for the lost Boy King of Denmark, kidnapped by Vikings, and scheduled to be sacrificed at sundown. Granny isn’t very pleased.But when everyone except them goes Viking, the three turn to Granny’s epic tales of the legends of Yondersaay, The Gifts of Odin, and King Dudo the Mightily Impressive for clues. But not all stories end happily, and Ruari, Dani, and Granny will have to write their own happy ending.
The Princess Bride meets Vikings in this enchanted tale of high adventure, buried treasure, villainous treachery, violent ends, and – of course – true love. Aoife Lennon-Ritchie's debut middle grade novel, THE EXTREMELY EPIC VIKING TALE OF YONDERSAAY, is a humorous and heartwarming story for readers ages 9+.
If your book was optioned as a movie, and you could have any actors, who do you see playing the main roles.
This is such a lovely question. Of course, I wrote the book so that people would read it, get lost in the world of the book and not be able to put it down for hours and hours. I’m a huge movie fan, but when you watch a movie everything’s laid out for you, there are very few blanks for your imagination to fill in. You know what colour the secret box under the bed is, and what the toad is going to look like when it turns into the prince (movie posters ruins everything!), and the wicked baddie has actual features, so it’s harder to imagine it’s that teacher you loathed when you were eight.
Having said all of that, I’m an actress as well as a writer, so it’s lovely to imagine what my words might look like when they’re adapted into something that can transport not just you, but all your friends and everyone in your family, to exactly the same place at exactly the same time.
When I think about my characters however, I don’t see movie stars, or even those quirky character actors that you love to watch, but maybe don’t know their name - I see a range of people for each character. What I’d love to be able to do is chop a few movie stars into bits, pick out what I want for my characters, and then glue those bits together. I can’t think of many who’d go for that. But you never know, so here’s a run-down:
Hamish Sinclair is a hairy-looking, scary-looking butcher who turns into a Viking on Christmas Eve. He wants nothing more than to do battle with axes and hammers and to heave someone, anyone, in two. I would put the hugely tall and extremely funny Irish comedian Dara O’Briain and the equally big and funny New Zealander Jemaine Clement into a blender with Ralph Fiennes. I’d throw in a truck load of arm hair, and a grumbling scowl, and see what came out.
The family in my book, The Extremely Epic Viking Tale of Yondersaay, are all sort of Scottishy-Irishy, and they all have red hair. I’d put a wig on Euan McGregor blend him with James Marsden, Ethan Hawke, Michael Fassbender, and Ralph Fiennes and have him play both the Dad and the Viking King Dudo the Mightily Impressive. And I’d cross myself with Amy Adams, Samantha Morton, Julianne Moore and Ralph Fiennes to play both the Mum and Ursula Swan White of Yondersaay Island.
The Granny in the book is a compulsive eater who abseils down chimney breasts and shimmies up underground tunnels. I’d squish Judy Dench into Emma Thompson (she has a perfect Scottish accent) along with splashes of Helena Bonham-Carter and Diane Keaton. They’re all about a hundred years too young, so I’d add in a few decades. And Ralph Fiennes.
I’d love to know who you’d cast in the film of Extremely Epic. Please write to me and let me know!
Irish actor and writer Aoife Lennon-Ritchie studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, the Universita di Catania in Italy, University College Dublin in Ireland, and the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Aoife holds diplomas, degrees and a Masters in the multiple fields of business and information technology, English and classic literature, theatre and creative writing; she looks forward to doing her PhD in Film and Media. Always searching for new adventures, Aoife has lived in the UK, France, Greece, Italy, and several US cities, including Chicago, New York and Pittsburgh. She speaks three (and a half) languages. Although she was once an investment banker, she much prefers acting, fencing, writing, and being a mum. She currently lives in Cape Town with her handsome husband and two small children.
Giveaway Information: Contest ends October 28, 2016
- One (1) winner will receive a scrabble tile book cover charm (US ONLY)
- Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of The Extremely Epic Viking Tale of Yondersaay by Aoife Lennon-Ritche (INT)
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