DUST Blog Tour Stop #17 | Interview with Author Kara Swanson


Something big is happening.

Something really big.

I’m excited, and I think you should be too.

Because here’s the thing: Kara Swanson, the author of The Girl Who Could See, has a new book releasing next month (July) and it’s magical.


Here’s my promise to you: it’s just as epic and beautiful on the inside as out. I know, I know, what’s it about? Well,

Claire Kenton believes the world is too dark for magic to be real—since her twin brother was stolen away as a child. Now Claire’s desperate search points to London. . . and a boy who shouldn’t exist.

Peter Pan is having a beastly time getting back to Neverland. Grounded in London and hunted by his own Lost Boys, Peter searches for the last hope of restoring his crumbling island: a lass with magic in her veins.

The girl who fears her own destiny is on a collision course with the boy who never wanted to grow up. The truth behind this fairy tale is about to unravel everything Claire thought she knew about Peter Pan—and herself.

The great news is that you can pre-order it! If you’re in the UK, you can find it here, and if you’re in the US, you can find it here. What are you waiting for??

I would review it here and now but first, I don’t think that’s fair yet since it hasn’t hit the shelves (it will. . . soon. . . like a speeding freight train), and secondly because I have something even better for you–an interview with the wordsmith herself. So with no more ado, I give you the Marvellous Miss Swanson!


What inspired you to write a Peter Pan retelling?

I was inspired to try my hand at my own unique take on a Peter Pan retelling after discussing with a friend how much I loved Peter Pan, and yet felt like few retellings truly did the character justice. I’d told her that if I wrote a Peter Pan retelling, I would want to keep it as true to the ‘original’ Peter, the character Barrie created, as possible, while still building off of that foundation. I also told her that I would probably include a side character of my own, someone who maybe had to grow up too fast and could be the exact opposite of Peter, but push him to grow as he helped her rediscover her own belief in magic. I honestly was a little terrified of even trying a story like that, but when I had the chance to mention my concept for Dust to a few publishers at a writer’s conference, and they all loved the idea, I realized that I had something kind of special and needed the courage to just try and write it. <3

Who is your favourite character in Dust?

I have a special love for each of them. Claire’s heart, Peter’s mischief and Lily’s courage.


How did you decide what to keep from the original Peter Pan and what to change?

Great question! It really just depended on what fit with the narrative and themes I was trying to explore, and what I felt like really added to Peter’s character and the story, and what seemed unnecessary.

What was the easiest part to write and what was the hardest?

Navigating Peter’s voice and some of his arc with all his lying was the hardest. Easiest were probably the whimsical scenes with Claire ^_^  Those were a joy.

[Comment from Cara-with-a-C: I also really loved the whimsical scenes with Claire 😀 ]

What is one thing that has changed significantly since your first draft?

Honestly, not much! I outlined a lot and so most of the book was the same. Nibs ended up having a bigger role than I’d planned, though! 🙂


If you could visit one place from Dust or from Peter Pan,where would it be?

London! Big Ben, Kensington Gardens, the like! (I’d also love to visit you since you live in the UK <3)

[Another note from Cara-with-a-C: One of the fun facts about where I live is that it’s not all that far from where J. M. Barrie was born.]


But Wait! There’s More!

For you valiant treasure hunters, already on the trail, welcome! For those who weren’t aware, not only is this a heads up that Dust will be coming soon, but you seem to have fallen headlong into a battle of wits between the Heirs of Neverland and their dreaded pirate foes.

Here’s how it works. Starting June 1st 2020 you will find a blog post every day for the month (a few days will have two posts!) for a total of 36 posts from start to finish! You will collect 36 clues (or keywords), one from each stop on the tour. Each clue will stitch together to create a passage from the story, and each stop will lead you to the next until you end up where you started again!

Note: Please pay attention to punctuation and capitalisation in the clues!

If you manage to successfully collect every clue, then, at the end, you will be redirected here to submit your findings — this is also where the adventure begins.

Now, for the precious treasure! For any of you Lost Boys and Girls who find the gold, you will have earned a whole treasure chest of pirate’s booty! Inside the chest you’ll find the following treasures:

  • Bookmarks
  • Print of Dust art (it’s beautiful!)
  • Peter + Claire Character Cards
  • Signed Bookplate

And, if that isn’t good enough. . .

For the one Lost Boy or Girl who first claims victory over that codfish Hook and his crew, your treasure chest will additionally include an autographed Advanced Reader Copy of Dust with exclusive notes from Kara in the margins!

That’s right. You heard me.


But only the one brave enough to best the pirates, wild enough to evade the mischievous pixies, clever enough to outwit Claire, and swift enough to beat even Peter himself can have that treasure chest.

Hurry though, I can hear the sound of ticking not far behind, and where the crocodile is, Hook must near.

Don’t worry, if you get turned around, just go back to the beginning and retrace your steps from there.

The last stop was with Rachel (stop #16).

At this stop, you need to choose

Your next stop isn’t far, go and find out who you are (stop #18). Quickly though, the pirates are gaining on you. I’ll stall them so you can make your getaway. . .


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