Blood Red Snow White
by Marcus Sedgwick
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Release Date: October 25th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Russia, Fairy Tales
It is 1917, and the world is tearing itself to pieces in a dreadful war, but far to the east of the trenches, another battle is breaking out – the Russian Revolution has just begun…
Blood Red, Snow White captures the mood of this huge moment in history through the adventure of one man who was in the middle of it all; Arthur Ransome, a young British journalist who had first run away to Russia to collect fairy tales.
Told as three linked novellas, part one captures the days of revolution but retells the story as Russian Fairy Tale, with typical humour and unashamed brutality. Part two is a spy story, set over the course of one evening, as Ransome faces up to his biggest challenge, and part three is a love story, full of tragedy and hope, as every good Russian love story should be.
Too many to choose one, perhaps at the moment The Great Beauty.
Your Favorite Song?
Too many to choose one again! I’ll pick “Cotopaxi” by The Mars Volta.
Favorite Food? Roast chicken, accompanied by a bottle of Beaujolais.
Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat. I presume you mean places found in fiction?
Nantucket, Royale-les-Bains and Davos. If you mean genuinely fictional places – Gormenghast, Gormenghast and Gormenghast.
Oh, these questions are so tough! Just one?! Today I will pick “so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” Sorry to be obvious.
If you could meet one author, dead or alive, who would it be?
I’d like to go drinking with Dylan Thomas.
Something to say to our Book Addicts?
Keep being addicted. It’s scientifically proven that reading fiction makes you a better, kinder, more tolerant person. And better looking, too. (One of these may not actually be true).
How did you come up with the story of Blood Red Snow White?
It’s a true story so I didn’t have to come up with it, I just had to work out how best to tell it. It’s harder than it may seem to tell a true story.
Did you find inspiration in any other story/movie/show and how has this affected your writing?
In this case, it was the book of Russian fairy tales that Arthur Ransome, the hero of the book, wrote in real life.
Tell us your favorite quote from Blood Red Snow White.
“No one’s going to shoot a man smoking a pipe.”
Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write?
Lots of them, but mostly the opening scenes in which I recast the Russian revolution in the form of a fairy tale.
If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for Blood Red Snow White –which one would you pick?
It would be the title track of the soundtrack to “From Russian with Love” – the second Bond movie.
Is there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read Blood Red Snow White (specific music, snacks…)?
Google some images of the Russian Revolution – St Petersburg in 1917. Read Arthur Ransome’s book of stories: “Old Peter’s Russian Tales”, and drink some vodka…
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Marcus Sedgwick was born in Kent, England. Marcus is a British author and illustrator as well as a musician. He is the author of several books, including Witch Hill and The Book of Dead Days, both of which were nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award. The most recent of these nominations rekindled a fascination with Poe that has borne fruit here in (in The Restless Dead, 2007) the form of “The Heart of Another” – inspired by Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Of his story, Sedgwick says, “This was one of those stories that I thought might be a novel originally but actually was much better suited to the tight form of the short story. I had the initial idea some years ago but was just waiting for the right ingredient to come along. Poe’s story, as well as his own fascination with technique, provided that final piece of the puzzle.”
He used to play for two bands namely playing the drums for Garrett and as the guitarist in an ABBA tribute group. He has published novels such as Floodland (winner of the Branford Boase Award in 2001) and The Dark Horse (shortlisted for The Guardian Children’s Book Award 2002).