We are very proud to officially release Amanda on the Danube: The Sounds of Music by Vancouver author, Darlene Foster.
This is the fifth book in the Amanda Travels series about an intrepid 12-year-old girl who travels the world, embarking on journeys that always have an element of mystery and intrigue about them.
They’re a fun series of books which have been well-received by readers. Amanda on the Danube is available nationwide in Chapters & Indigo stores and we just found out we’re about to be featured in the December issue of Quill & Quire.
Darlene is a world-traveller herself, and splits her time between BC and Spain. Please join me in congratulating Darlene on another wonderful book. There will be a release event at Albany Books in Delta BC on Saturday November 19, 1-3pm. In addition, Darlene will be appearing at local BC and Alberta schools in November and December.
For a little more about Darlene and this new book, read on:
Q: Darlene, I see from your website that your books are inspired by your travels, have you been to all the places Amanda has visited?
A: Yes, I have. It was an amazing trip to the United Arab Emirates to visit a friend that inspired me to write the first novel, Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask. The places I travel to and the people I meet inspire my writing. The world is an amazing place full of unique characters. Where ever I go I think, I must include this in a story. My first trip on an airplane was when I flew to England to marry my British husband, thirty-nine years ago. We have returned a number of times and I enjoy exploring that country and consider it my second home. My in-laws have since retired to Spain and we have visited them a few times there, each time discovering a different part of that remarkable country. As for Alberta, well I was born and raised there. I had the pleasure of experiencing a Danube river cruise which inspired the latest Amanda adventure, Amanda on the Danube: The Sounds of Music. Amanda doesn’t get to travel anywhere I haven’t been to yet.
Q: How do you decide on the situation or adventure for Amanda? Is it something you saw on your trips and decided to use or just something you made up?
A: It is usually something I actually saw on a trip. For instance, I own the perfume flask from Amanda in Arabia. I bought it at a crowded little shop full of interesting things. I felt it called out to me and that I had to buy it, having no idea it would be part of a book I would write one day. I saw the painting by Velazquez when I was in Madrid and felt the little girl was watching me. I have always loved vintage books and I came across a number of them during my visits to England. I decided Amanda would have the same love of books I have always had. As a child growing up in the Alberta prairies, I collected fossils and interesting stones in the badlands on our ranch. Historical sites such as I saw on the cruise down the Danube, made me think about the stories those ancient walls and statues harbour. All of these things have developed into adventures for Amanda.
Q: How important do you think it is to ensure correct names of places, words, and phrases? Is it necessary?
A: I do quite a bit of research and try to get the details as correct as possible. I don’t think it has to be dead on, these aren’t text books, but I want children to learn about another part of the world when they read these books. So I don’t want to misinform them.
Q: Did you intend for this to be a series?
A: I did not intend it to be a series initially, but once I completed the first book I decided Amanda should travel some more. Children have often asked me, “Where is Amanda going to next?” So I felt compelled to do a series and I’m so glad I did! The more I travel, the more ideas I get for Amanda’s adventures.