The second book in The Potluck Yarn Trilogy is out and I had the pleasure of reading a review copy and getting a Q&A opportunity with author Cheryl Potter, who created this series as a YA adventure. She lives in Vermont and runs a yarn shop while also writing novels. In the first book, The Broken Circle, a group of witches comes together after many years of separation to plan what they will do to battle a great evil that threatens the peace of their lands. In this book they have dispersed throughout the lands with their magic garments on a quest to visit the spirits of the old world.
After reading the Secrets of the Lost Caves, I had a few questions for Cheryl Potter, so here is our Q&A:
The story of the Potluck Yarn Trilogy is very long. How did you know that it would take three books to tell it?
Kim, I actually think it will take more and as I am finishing Book Three: Crystal Keep, I am planning a prequel about how these seemingly every day folk learned how to use magic in the first place.
In The Broken Circle, every chapter has a pattern for a knitted piece at the end. Why omit that device in Book 2?
Because Book 2 has twice as many chapters and so many more magical garments, plus some of the characters are still wearing their favorite magical garment from Book 1.
We decided to have a contest to pick the garments for Book 2. So far, we have selected Skye’s Fire and Ice Shawl, Smokey Jo’s Giant Oven Mitt and Aubergine’s Garnet Wristers. Maybe you’d like to pick one of the new magical knitted pieces and submit it for the pattern book? We’re only going to choose 13.
Broken Circle seemed like an introduction to the characters, and now Broken Circle is the story of the adventure that they go on. Was that deliberate? Why?
Yes, it was. I like the way that The Hobbit was set up as a story and then after there was the big adventure and I was trying that out as a way to get kids very familiar with my 13 main characters before they all go off on their separate adventures to accomplish basically the same goal.
How did you develop the unique vocabulary of this world? Words like fossickers and unsuppearing are my favorite.
I travel a lot and when I was in New Zealand visiting the Tasman Glacier, there were people at the rock shops that referred to what they found when the glacier melted – basically the minerals and rock shards washed up on the shores– as fossicks. I looked it up and fossik is an ancient derivative pertaining to someone who prospects. So I figured that these kids who dig up relics would refer to themselves as fossickers.
Unsuppeared was a happy accident. Whenever my youngest daughter could not find something, insisting that it had never even been in her possession, for example lunch money in her knapsack, she would say it has “unsuppeared” meaning it had never been there at all.
There are so many characters in this yarn that it’s hard for the reader to keep track, which is why the wonderfully illustrated guide at the front of the book is so helpful. How did YOU keep track while you were creating this trilogy?
I have to admit I took the easy way out by basing each character upon someone I really know in the yarn world.
Which character is the most like you?
I would love to say it is Aubergine, but really it is Sierra. I am the one with scattered children off on their own adventures and a previous husband who left me for the dark side. Like Sierra, I live with newly opened eyes and not only understand but accept my fate.
Do you still find time to work with yarn and patterns and pieces while you are writing?
Yes, I have just finished a new handpainted lace pattern book called Amazing Lace co-authored with my friend Sharon Mooney which will be published by Co-operative Press this fall.
What can readers look forward to in Book 3?
In Crystal Keep, the alliances you saw in Secrets of the Lost Caves shift as Tasman calls her minions back to herself and the First Folk get in on the action. Aubergine finds out there is more than one way into the Lost Caves and when the witches arrive, nothing is as it seems.
Thank goodness Garth has the Fire inside, Mamie remembered to bring the Eye of Old Tigeria and Niles of the North learned the lost language of the Ancients as a child, because he’s going to need it, especially if both Aubergine and Tasman think they are wearing the real amethyst necklace.
At the beginning of the book, we finally hear the last cycle of the Woolgathering Tales, just before Miles from Nowhere unsuppears. Are we really supposed to believe that a gnome will save them all?
The Pot Luck Yarn Trilogy is a YA crossover fantasy series that follows the adventures of a dynamic group of diverse characters who are often aided by magical garments. While The Broken Circle and Secrets of the Lost Caves (books 1 and 2) are universally appealing to all fantasy readers, they also have the unique benefit of feature patterns for each of the magical garments introduced throughout the stories.
Secrets of the Lost Caves
$14.39 on Amazon