K.V. Johansen
Author of: Torrie and the Snake-Prince
Place of residence: Sackville, NB

K.V. Johansen grew up in Westbrook, Ontario, and now lives in New Brunswick. At university she studied medieval history and languages; she has two Master's degrees, one in Medieval Studies and one in English. She still studies ancient and medieval history on her own, and this is one of the influences on her books, especially on Torrie's world.

Once she spent a year running the libraries in three different elementary schools in two different towns, neither of which was the town she lived in. This made her very tired and she didn't get any books written, so she stopped. Like Lord Abastor, she found she couldn't remember any of the goblins' (I mean students') names. Now she is an emergency back-up librarian for when other librarians need a day off, and sometimes works as an editor. She also does a little bit of illustrating, and draws all her own maps for her books. Like Torrie, she is very fond of trees. Her living room looks like a small forest -- photos of two of K.V.'s Australian trees were used by Christine (the Torrie illustrator) in the pictures for the previous Torrie book, Torrie and the Firebird.

About Torrie and the Snake-Prince
K.V. wrote the first Torrie book, Torrie and the Dragon, in 1987 but it wasn't published until 1997. Wren came into her head about then and Snake-Prince was actually going to be the next Torrie book, but K.V.'s sister wanted a story about Anna, so she wrote Torrie and the Pirate-Queen instead. When that was finally published in 2005, the story led straight into Torrie and the Firebird. Then K.V. at last got back to Wren, who had been waiting patiently for so many years. Wren changed a lot over those years. She started off as a cow-herd, and then became a tinker -- someone who mends tin pots and pans. It took a while for her to turn into a wandering pedlar.

Torrie and the Snake-Prince is set about 315 years before Pirate-Queen and Firebird, but you might recognize a couple of characters from Firebird in it (other than Torrie himself). One is easy to spot, even though he has changed his name. The other character from Snake-Prince who is mentioned in Firebird doesn't show up in it in person, though she's very important to the history of the Great Southern Continent and to Captain Anna's family. She's actually one of K.V.'s favourite characters in Torrie's world. At the very end of Firebird, Torrie tells Anna that he will tell her the story about how he met this person. That's the same story he is telling his friends in Torrie and the Snake-Prince.

The landscape of the Wild Forest in Torrie and the Snake-Prince is very much influenced by the landscape of south-eastern Ontario, the bits that haven't been destroyed by subdivisions. The real Wild Forest was two farms west of Kingston; sadly, the woods and fields were bulldozed and built over last year.

How to Contact: e-mail thewildforest@gmail.com or through the contact form on her Web site
Web site: www.pippin.ca


 

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