Today we have a fun interview with “Avery” — the narrator and main character in Kendall Kulper’s Salt & Storm, our September Book of the Month title, which hits stores September 23rd. You can also check out our Q&A with Kendall here.
It’s what I was born to be. Everyone on this island knows it and expects it. I am a Roe, and I will become the witch—it is just that simple.
What is one of the first spells you’d like to learn how to do?
My grandmother has a handy trick for getting rid of sailors who annoy her too much—a simple spell and they’re right out the door! It would be worth it to become the witch if only to perform that trick on all those tongue-flapping sailors who think I care to hear their endless fish tales.
We know you hang out at the docks a lot. Have you learned anything useful from the sailors down there?
The sailors sometimes offer to trade skills in exchange for my interpreting their dreams, and while I don’t much need to know how to keep a harpoon sharp or the best way to strip out a whale, I do like when they show me their scrimshaw. I’m terrible at it, but it’s a lovely thing done properly.
A sailor once came to me jumping near out of his britches because he was convinced his dream promised riches and wealth beyond imagination. “I’m swimming in a pot of gold as big as the ocean!” he said, and the poor thing was so bright-eyed and happy that I actually felt quite bad for him when I interpreted the dream. No gold: sometime in the next week he’d have a pot of barley soup dumped over his head.
What’s the best part of living on Prince Island? The worst part?
My little island is the most beautiful place in the world. It’s my home, and I can feel it inside of me—a part of me as surely as my stomach and lungs and heart.
But I could do without the endless gossip from the islanders, their narrowed eyes and sharp tongues. It would be nice to walk the streets of my island without hearing my name whispered in a hiss as I pass.