~Birthed from the cradle of humanity. Destined to break the boundaries of both worlds.~
Eve, mother of all living,
labored and toiled long days and nights.
One day, God came down and visited her.
Embarrassed that she only had enough time
to clean seven of her thirteen children,
she hid the six soiled ones from him.
God found them, and reprimanded Eve
for having been ashamed
of her own flesh and blood.
“Those you have hidden from me…”
God said, “…they will stand out
from the rest of mankind.
I will clean them for you
so that all men and women will aspire
to be that which you have cast aside.
From this day forward,
they will be known as the Huldra,
meaning secret desire.”
–Origin myth excerpted from Wraithsong
Wraithsong is a YA paranormal romance in which Sonia is a high school senior approaching graduation and her eighteenth birthday. She is dealing with typical adolescent girl problems: a Mean Girls Regina George carbon copy, Savannah, harassing her over a guy she could care less about & Sonia’s unique conflict-resolution style of spitting in the Savannah’s face leading to a principal’s office visit and a work detail punishment with a guy whom she would rather be with, Anthony.
Oh, yeah—the spit has a supernatural effect on people: it brings them under Sonia’s control.
As Sonia approaches her 18th birthday, other powers and secrets about her ancestry are revealed through a sensational chain of events and plot twists that will keep the reader engaged in suspense. She discovers that she is part of a mystical group of beings known as The Huldra. They are very powerful and beautiful creatures who are facing extinction at the hands of someone deep within their ranks. But who is it? Is it Anthony, his mother–The Great Huldra– or someone else? Things get really complicated as Sonia and Anthony get closer and Sonia’s mother is kidnapped.
Wraithsong is the perfect blend of mythology, the paranormal, and adolescent angst. It would appeal to middle school and high school readers. Teens will be especially drawn to Sonia and Anthony.
Six Questions For Evelyn Squires
1) Before you started writing, you were a ballerina and a dance studio director. What do you like about dancing? How are dancing and writing similar or different to you?
I started dancing when I was twelve, and immediately fell in love with the art form—I still love it. I love music, so that is a big part of it, but I also love the freedom movement gives and the creativity behind choreography. In ballet you learn hundreds upon hundreds of different movements or steps, and to choreograph, you weave them together. It is the same in writing, but in writing you use words and weave them together to create a story. They are also the same in that the art form makes you think and feel human experience and emotion if done correctly. They are very different because one words as the medium, the other uses movements with music. Both can be very powerful, if done right, in conveying.
2) How did you come up with the idea for Wraithsong?
My husband actually suggested I write a contemporary novel based on these alluring creatures, and I just started writing!
3) Why would Norse mythology interest young teens?
I think in general any type of mythology and folklore interests teens and adults. There is something compelling about Norse mythology and folklore in general, from Thor’s mighty hammer to light and dark elves, to trolls and beyond. So much of literature is base in Norse mythology (Think Lord of the Rings for example), and most don’t realize how many of these supernatural beings originally come from Norse Mythology (Elves, trolls, dwarfs, giants…)
4) If Wraithsong was made into a movie, which actor and actress would you like to see as Sonia and Anthony?
Sonia: Jane Levy (blonde)
Anthony: Alex Pettyfer
5) What makes Wraithsong stand out among other paranormal YA romance novels? What made you interested in writing for young adults?
It stands out from others because it takes a completely new supernatural creature and weaves it into today’s world. There are no vampires or witches, but a new being with some really amazing powers. Teens can relate to Sonia (the lead) because she goes through a lot of challenges as she matures and grows up. She doesn’t understand what is happening to her and why she is changing so dramatically, and the intense urges and feelings she is experiencing, and I remember feeling that way as a teen (though, of course I don’t have the power she does). I love the YA genre, because you are just coming to truly know yourself and it is an exciting time in life where anything can happen. The world is at your fingertips and there is so much to look forward to.
6) The Huldra have the ability to take certain qualities from humans. If you could select certain qualities or powers from real or imagined people, which five would you choose?
I would choose the following:
Patience (Could always use more!)
Assertiveness (So I would put myself out there more)
Wisdom (So I would know what to do in difficult predicaments or situations)
Humor (I am not too serious of a person, but more humor in the everyday would be awesome!)
Self-control (So I would stop eating so much chocolate!)
Evelyn J. Squires was born in Asker, Norway and is the second of eight children. Her father, being an entrepreneur, moved the family back and forth from the US to Norway, and finally settled in Utah in 1992. Evelyn completed high school and continued her education at Brigham Young University where she studied Comparative Literature and Ballet among other things, and in 2007 she opened a ballet studio in Florida. Evelyn has always loved to read and has written poetry, lyrics and short stories. In 2012 she decided it was time to change careers so she could spend more time with her three young children and started writing. Her first series, A Viking Blood Saga, though truly an Epic Fantasy, is centered around Norse Mythology and the Vikings. Being from Norway she enjoys learning about her heritage as she writes books. Wraithsong, the first book in the Desirable Creatures series, is her first contemporary Paranormal Romance and is based in Norse Folklore. Currently, Evelyn resides in Florida with her husband and three young children.
Connect with Evelyn on her website: http://ejsquires.com/about-me.html
Where to Buy Wraithsong
Teaching Activity for Wraithsong
Mythology is one of the main genres of literature that is covered in 9th grade. Typically, adolescents become familiar with Greek mythology through works such as The Odyssey, The Aeneid, Antigone, & etc. Wraithsong gives teachers the opportunity to broaden the scope.
With Roman & Greek mythology, students learn about the hierarchies of gods and goddesses. Wraithsong has its own hierarchy as well. The Huldra have the power to appropriate characteristics from humans. Students could decide which powers or characteristics they can take from various gods and goddesses and create their own. Since Wraithsong has the Huldra existing in modern day times, students could place their newly formed creatures in a modern high school setting and write their own stories. The idea of taking different qualities and merging them together seems similar to cooking. All of those ingredients come together to create a uniform dish of flavors. Instead of stories, students can describe the composition of their new gods and goddesses in the form of a recipe. Each appropriated or newly created attribute or power could be listed as ingredients. The directions could tell how to combine them into a new creature and explain how this creature would impact the world.
The YA novel also poses a real world problem: people’s misuse or abuse of power. Whether you are the Great Huldra trying to galvanize different groups within the supernatural race or a CEO running a large corporation, the famous quotes still apply: 1) “With great power comes great responsibility.” 2) “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” There are other real world and/or social problems that plague our society today as well. In what ways could they be portrayed and solved? How can the problems that Sonia, Anthony, & the Huldra be portrayed and resolved?
Students could pursue the answer to this question creatively, of course, through recipes and haiku.
Here are two examples that deal with Hurricane Katrina and language discrimination:
A haiku follows this pattern:
1st line—–5 syllables
2nd line— 7 syllables
3rd line— 5 syllables
Nature’s fury strikes,
Leaving her victims despondent.
Don’t blame; help rebuild.
Cooking up a solution to language discrimination
1 cup of acceptance
½ cup of change
2 teaspoons of each dialect and language
3 cups of grammar rules
4 tablespoons of code-switching
2 quarts of misconceptions
2 cups of stereotypes
Blend stereotypes and misconceptions until the mixture is smooth and all lumps disappear. Stereotypes and misconceptions must be minimized before change is added. Fold in change, a little at a time. Pause during the process to allow the change to slowly dissolve the mixture. Sprinkle grammar rules into the mixture gently. They are needed for students to learn Standard English, but dumping them in all at once may threaten the texture of the mixture. Spoon in each dialect and language and stir slowly, allowing each one of them to be represented equally. Sift code-switching into the batter. This ingredient allows students to realize that certain situations call for certain types of language. Pour the mixture into a classroom and cover with acceptance. Bake at 180 degrees or days. Give time for students and teachers to compromise on the use and variety of language.
(These novels also contain some of the themes and paranormal attributes found in Wraithsong. Listed below is a mix of literature that involves Greek and Norse mythology and fantastical myths and characters representative of different cultures and settings. They can be paired together for whole group, small group, or a thematic feature for independent reading areas. Wraithsong can also be paired with classical literature such as Dante’s Inferno & Paradise Lost because the YA novel’s detailed history of the Huldra includes similar elements.)