Welcome to my stop on the TBR and Beyond Tours Book Tour for The Reckless Kind by Carly Heath. I was once again lucky enough to get a chance to interview the author! I’m excited to read this one – I need more queer YA book and even more historical fiction ones! Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to see the tour schedule for other content creators.
Carly Heath (she/they) earned her BA from San Francisco State University and her MFA from Chapman University. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Carly teaches design, art, theater, and writing for various colleges and universities. She spends all her time and most her money tending to a menagerie of rescued farm animals. The Reckless Kind is her first novel.
About The Book
Title: The Reckless Kind
Author: Carly Heath
Publisher: Soho Teen
Publishing Date: November 2nd, 2021
Page Length: 336
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age Range: YA
Rep: LGBT, Disability/Chronic Illness, Depression, Anxiety
A genre-defying debut, this queer historical YA centers a wild and reckless trio who fly in the face of small town tradition—full of compassion, love, and determination to live the lives of their choosing.
It’s Norway 1904, and Asta Hedstrom doesn’t want to marry her odious betrothed, Nils—even though a domestic future is all her mother believes she’s suited for, on account of her single-sided deafness, unconventional appearance, and even stranger notions. Asta would rather spend her life performing in the village theater with her friends and fellow outcasts: her best friend Gunnar Fuglestad and his secret boyfriend, wealthy Erlend Fournier.
But the situation takes a dire turn when Nils lashes out in jealousy—gravely injuring Gunnar. Shunning marriage for good, Asta moves with Gunnar and Erlend to their secluded cabin above town. With few ties left with their families, they have one shot at gaining enough kroner to secure their way of life: win the village’s annual horse race.
Thank you Carly Heath for taking the time to answer my questions and congratulations for publishing The Reckless Kind.
Can you describe The Reckless Kind in three words (or 3 emojis) and can you tell us what inspired you to write The Reckless Kind?
Three “words”: Defiant, Cottagecore, and the pleading face emoji.
I wrote the book during a time when I was experiencing a lot of horse-related injuries so the book is very much inspired by the idea that sometimes people who are the kindest and most authentic get hurt the most often because they don’t “play it safe”. The Fuglestads are the outcasts of the town—vegetarians, atheists, and unconventional in every way—and to the conservative, Christian villagers a perfect example of what happens when you defy the norms. But to the main characters in THE RECKLESS KIND, Asta and Erlend, they’re admired for showing that something different is possible.
I loved the idea of dual POV where the two main characters aren’t love interests but two people who become closer in a very meaningful, platonic way.
Without spoilers, what scene did you have the most fun writing and why?
Anything that involved Erlend anxiouslt pining for Gunnar. Erlend’s so sincere and wholesome. I just love him.
You’ve set The Reckless Kind in Norway 1904. Was there anything that drew you to that area and time? Is there another time that you’d love to explore in future novels?
In college I designed costumes for Much Ado About Nothing set in the ealy 1900s and I just love the aesthetics of that period. I also love Scandinavian folk art and folk costumes and the period right before motorcars came into common use. It provided a nice contrast between Fred (who loves horses) and Gunnar (who loves motorcars) and that was a good source of tension to play with.
Did you do any research for The Reckless Kind? Were there any interesting facts that you found that you didn’t end up using?
I mostly used books.google.com to search by time period to get a sense of the language, dialogue, and details. I particularly found travel guides to Norway written in the 19th century to be very useful. One detail that didn’t make it into the book: during the winter months when hay was scarce, Norwegians would boil fish heads and feed them to their ponies.
If you could spend the day with Asta, Gunnar, Erlend, and Nils, what would you do with each of them?
Asta would probably enjoy riding ponies along the beach. Gunnar would probably like to go for a long drive in his motorcar, and Erlend would probably like a day of shopping and eating in the best restaurants.
Can you tell us what has been the most surprising part of publishing a book?
I was delighted (and surprised) how many people are involved in the process and how much feedback I’d get along the way from a lot of different perspectives. It was great! It was so nice to know that there’s be multiple passes to catch anything that could be made better and I was incredibly grateful for the process.
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