What would happen if words disappeared forever?
Set in a whimsical town called Inkwell, a place with an ancient secret history, this fairytale-like adventure will uncover the key to the power hidden within words.
The Word-Keeper is a tale about a savvy bookmark named Ben that unwillingly becomes an evil imp with only one objective: follow the orders of his master and destroy the words that live inside books.
Only one girl can stop him. Her name is Florence Ibbot. She is eleven years old, oddly eloquent and a quiet observer of the world. But above all, Florence is a keen logophile and is willing to sacrifice everything to protect the words.
She sets out to discover who is behind all this. The journey will take her to the origins of writing and inspiration. But she’ll also have to face the most treacherous adversary, Zyler, a ruthless sorceress whose sole mission is to ruin one of humankind’s most precious possessions: the gift of language.
As the final battle approaches, Florence will have to learn how to wield words instead of the sword. Is Florence brave enough to become who she was born to be?
– When and where do you prefer to write?
I’m a morning person, so I usually write a lot in the morning. As for where, I like to work in my office at home. I need to write in a quiet and uncluttered space. It’s really hard for me to concentrate otherwise. Having said that, sometimes, when I’m stuck or have writer’s block, I often go for a walk and, most times, I find the answers there.
– Do you have a certain ritual?
I’m quite methodical in my work.
Writing –for me at least– means a lot of hard work, discipline, patience and dealing with the unforeseen. Sometimes I have an idea of where the story is going to go and then the story itself steers me in a whole new and different way.
And even in the days when I feel completely uninspired – when I know I probably won’t even write one good sentence– I still sit down at my desk and try to find a way through the story. If nothing comes up, I do research, I edit, I think, I wait, I meditate or, as I said above, go for a walk.
Writing is a solitary job and I actually really like that. It’s a very intimate experience. When I write I disconnect from the rest of the world. That’s a ritual I enjoy and that I’m grateful for.
– Is there a drink or food that keeps you company while you write?
As cliché as it might sound: A good cup of coffee with soy milk, hot in winter and iced in summer.
– What is your favourite book?
That’s a really difficult question to answer. And I suppose the answer would have been different had I answered it ten years ago or if I were to answer it in ten years time.
Today: it’s a tie between Beloved by Toni Morrison, The Wonderful O by James Thurber, Matilda by Roald Dahl and the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman.
– Have you ever considered writing in a different genre in the future?
So far no, I’ve never thought about writing in a different genre. This is the style and genre that comes naturally to me. But you never know, right?
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
There are a few of my characters that have traits of people I know, people I admire, people that inspire me. But mostly, since I write middle-grade fantasy, I love to create characters who are unlike anyone I’ve met before. There’s something truly magical in discovering characters that you would never come across in the street. I’m extremely fond of the fantastical and everything you can find once you step inside a fantasy world.
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
You know, actually I don’t. If I come across a good idea when I’m not at my desk –whether that is out and about or right when I’m about to fall asleep– I make a purposeful effort to remember that idea and store it in my mind for later use. I never write them down.
– Which genre do you not like at all?
There isn’t any particular genre that I dislike. I like to read a bit of everything. What I choose to read depends very much on my mood at the moment. And if the writer is good, the book will be good, regardless of the genre.
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
I would say Abi Elphinstone, Kiran Millwood Hargrave or Katherine Rundell. It would be the most rewarding learning experience.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
Probably Japan. I love the culture and I’ve been studying the language for years, yet I’ve never been there. It would be a dream to travel to that country to do research for a book.
Thank you, Veronica Del Valle and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Veronica Del Valle grew up in Argentina, but life eventually led her to live in London, the city that was her home for many years.
Veronica’s always had a fondness for words, language and the magic of storytelling. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University.
Veronica currently lives in Buenos Aires with her husband, Ale, and her daughter, Tomiko. She teaches creative writing at Universidad de San Andres and is a contributing editor and writer for one of Argentina’s leading news organizations.
When she’s not writing or teaching, she’s either a) meditating or b) enjoying life with her family (which, in a way, is another beautiful way to meditate).
The Word Keeper is the first novel she’s written.