Today, we are thrilled to host the final stop on the official blog tour for The Diviners by Libba Bray — a truly spectacular new book that’s in stores now. If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, do yourself a favor and hit up your local bookstore pronto!
In the meantime, today we have an exclusive interview with Uncle Will — one of the characters in The Diviners. Check out what he had to say below, then keep reading for more goodies & a really cool contest!
Hey, Uncle Will. Thanks for stopping by! Why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself?
WILL: If you insist. May I smoke? Thank you. I’m unaccustomed to talking about myself. I’m afraid you’ll find me rather dull. My name is Dr. William Fitzgerald. I’m the curator of the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult on 68th Street in New York City. It is my job to chronicle and catalog America’s rich, forgotten history of the supernatural and occult, from superstitions brought to our shores by immigrants and native lore to ghostly sightings, stories of unusual, unexplained phenomena, and visions translated from mystics, mediums, and prophets. The museum’s hours are daily from ten until six, except for Sundays when we open only from noon until five. Hours are subject to change on a whim. I hope that isn’t a problem. There. Now you know all you need to know about me, it would seem. Am I free to go? I’m late for a lecture.
So, here in the future, kids don’t know too much about the folklore of days gone by. Tell us … what are some of your favorite folklore from your era, in the 1920s?
WILL: I’m afraid I wouldn’t know. As I said, I concern myself largely with the past. However, I do know quite a bit of lore on superstitions. For instance, do you know why it’s considered bad luck to walk under a ladder? After criminals were hung from the gallows, some poor fellow would have to climb a ladder to cut the corpse down. If you happened to be walking underneath, you might be hit by a dead body. That’s a very practical superstition, isn’t it? In Salem during the 1600’s, there were people called “cunning folk”: clairvoyants and mediums, healers—what we at the museum call “Diviners”—who lived among the religious Puritan folk with no trouble at all for a while. Some believed you could see your future or clues about a future husband hiding in the white of an egg which had been suspended in a glass of water, and they taught this trick to some of the young girls of Salem. Tragically, this bit of innocent folklore and fortune-telling was one of the incidents that led to the hysteria and horror of the Salem witch trials. Such tragedy from a simple egg.
That’s one of the reasons I’ve kept the museum—to educate the citizenry about our supernatural past, and to try to prevent future witch hunts.
For readers time-traveling back to the ’20s (using the new-fangled time travel devise called Reading A Book) … what are some superstitions we should watch out for? Do you think there’s any credence to them?
WILL: I think you should watch out for any superstition or lucky charm that you believe will save you from a night in jail if the police happen to raid the speakeasy where you’re cavorting. You might tell my niece that, while you’re at it.
We’re told the Occult can be a real problem, too. What have you heard?
WILL: These occult murders taking place in the city just now are very unsettling. The bodies are attacked in a most gruesome way but with thought behind it—as if they’re part of some sacred ritual. And the pentagrams and sigils attached to the murders, well, I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I do hope I can help the police solve this case before there’s another murder. I have this terrible feeling that…well, I suppose I’ve said enough.
And one last question … what’s up with this dame Libba Bray writing a book called THE DIVINERS?
WILL: Yes, I’ve seen her loitering about the museum. I must say, she’s more unsettling than the ghosts. What an odd woman. As for this tome, THE DIVINERS, which purports to reveal the untold story of America’s supernatural history—ghosts, demonic entities, mediums, prophets, magical powers and what-not—and of a coming storm which will require the services of Diviners… believe what you will, considering the source. I’m sure it’s a most fantastical tale conjured from a disturbed woman’s fevered imagination—if you care for that sort of thing.
Thank you, Uncle Will, for chatting with us!
Want to win a Diviners prize pack?
Here’s your chance! We’re giving away a signed copy of The Diviners, plus a Diviners necklace, a 1920s headband, and some Bit O’Honeys.
Just comment below, then fill out the Novel Novice & The Diviners Contest Entry Form for your chance to win.
Remember the rules:
- U.S. only
- One entry per person
- You must comment below & use the entry form to enter
- Deadline: Tuesday, September 25th by midnight (PT).
For the comments: Tell us what you think of The Diviners below! Remember, you must comment AND use the entry form to enter the contest!