Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I am delighted to host Darby Karchut, friend, teacher and fantastic author, on the release day of Griffin Rising, her debut novel for Young Adults. So pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea, relax and meet this talented lady. Here's Darby. 

All her life, the archetypal hero and his journey have enthralled Darby Karchut. A native of New Mexico, Darby grew up in a family that venerated books and she spent her childhood devouring one fantasy novel after another. Fascinated by mythologies from around the world, she attended the University of New Mexico, graduating with a degree in anthropology. After moving to Colorado, she then earned a Master’s in education and became a social studies teacher.

Drawing from her extensive knowledge of world cultures, she blends ancient myths with modern urban life to write stories that relate to young teens today.

Darby is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Pikes Peak Writers Guild. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado with her husband, where she still teaches at a local junior high school. She enjoys running, biking, and skiing the Rocky Mountains in all types of weather.

Griffin Rising is her first novel. She is currently working on the sequel, Griffin's Fire.

In Darby's own words:

Bev: Your debut novel is about a young angel in training. How did you come up with the idea for Griffin’s story?

Darby: Well, I never really thought about writing a book. But I have read loads of fantasy novels, especially young adult. One day, I came across a legend from the Middle Ages about a lower caste of guardian angels that were said to control the ancient elements of Earth, Fire, Wind and Water. A few days later, the idea of warrior angels, who lived among us while they trained their apprentices, simply slammed into my head. It combined my love of mythology with the whole master/apprentice, father/son relationship that I find very compelling. Let’s just say I wrote the book I would like to read.

Bev: Griffin Rising is the first book of a series. Can you give us a one sentence sneak peek at the second book, Griffin’s Fire.

Darby: Gosh, I don’t want to give away anything with the first book, so I’ll just say in book two, Griffin will be facing his greatest challenge yet – public high school.

Bev: If a movie was made of Griffin Rising who would you choose to play the major characters?

Darby: Liam Neeson for Basil. But I have no idea for Griffin. A little help from your readers would be much appreciated!

Bev: Do you outline a story or just let it flow?

Darby: I write a two page synopsis before I begin each book. But after that, I let the story take the bit in its teeth and run.

Bev: Describe your writing schedule.

Darby: As a junior high social studies teacher, I learned to write whenever I have a fifteen minute block of time. Lunchtime, after school, evenings, weekends. Whenever and wherever. I’m an equal opportunity writer.

Bev: Do you have a good luck charm or ritual you do when writing?

Darby: Not so much a ritual as a requirement: Since I need quiet when I write, I often wear earplugs.

Bev: Describe your writing room. Is everything in its place or it organized chaos?

Darby: Everything I need for writing is on my laptop so I can write without being dependent on a certain place. I run a lean, mean, writing machine!

Bev: If you could live in any time or place, where or when would you choose?

Darby: I’m an Anglophile, so probably England during the late Middle Ages.

Bev: Were you a reader as a child? What were your favorite books?

Darby: I come from a family of voracious readers, so I can’t remember a time I didn’t have a book in my hands. I’ve loved many a book, but the Lord of the Rings is my all-time favorite.

Bev: Do you listen to music while you write? What is your favorite music?

Darby: As I mentioned earlier, I need quiet to write. But when I do listen to music, I enjoy classical, folk, bluegrass, and modern pop. Actually, I like all music except jazz.

Bev: We’re curious. Tell us your favorite:






Darby: Color: blue to decorate with and black to wear

Movie: The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars (I have action figures from both!)

Food: coffee, followed by more coffee

City: Edinburgh, Scotland

Season: Autumn

Bev: Where can your fans learn more about you?



Darby: Website: http://www.darbykarchut.com

Blog: http://darbykarchut.blogspot.com

Bev: What are your future plans after the Griffin series?

Darby: I am working on a parallel series about a mythical Irish warrior living in modern-day America. One of the characters, Gideon, from that series actually shows up briefly in Griffin’s Fire. Eventually, those two series will come together in a future book.

Bev: Have you had any surprises while getting your book published?

Darby: The best surprise is how incredibly welcoming and gracious other writers and author are to newbies like me. Yeah, I’m pointing at you, Bev!

Bev: Is there anything you’d like to add?

Darby: Just a big virtual-hug to you for helping Griffin soar. You’ve been such a wonderful friend and pub-sister. Thanks so much for having me here today.

Thanks for visiting with us today and giving us a peek into your brain. Lots of good stuff there.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm looking forward to more of Darby's books. For a review of Griffin Rising, come back tomorros.

Happy reading and writing.


  1. Fantastic interview, Bev!! Congrats, Darby!! I know how hard you've worked.

  2. Thanks, Sheri. Darby has worked hard and her reward is a beautiful book with characters you'll fall in love with, at least I did.

  3. Public high school is a challenge! Nice interview. I spent four years in ABQ, NM and loved it - gorgeous state.

  4. Thanks for stopping by, L. Diane. NM has beautiful mountains that TX doesn't have. :)

  5. Great interview! So happy for Darby! Best of luck to her!

  6. Great interview. Can't wait to read the book. I love mythology.

  7. Super review, but I expected that from you two. Loved that Griffin's biggest challenge in book two was going to be high school. Had to laugh.

    Have a great time with this, Darby. Know you will.

  8. How exciting, Darby! Kids love mythology.

  9. Thanks, Bev, for letting me spend the day with you. And thank you to everyone for all the warm wishes. This is a dream come true!

  10. The novel sounds fantastic! Thanks for the great interview & best of luck to Darby!

  11. Hi, Kelly. This is a day Darby will always remember.

    Dawn, it is a great story, and I love Griffin and Basil.

    C Lee, I suspect he'll have other challenges too and Darby just wants to keep us in suspense.

    It should be a popular book for kids, Catherine.

    Thanks, Jessie. I'm looking forward to book # 2.

    Everyone, excuse my spelling. Early in the morning my eyes don't see straight. :)

  12. Loved the interview, ladies. I can't wait for the book review.