We’re very excited to be kicking off our On the Tips of Her Fingers tour, and we hope you all are just as enthused as we are! For this tour, we have a double feature: bookstagram and blog tour portions. Make sure y’all, if you haven’t already, follow our awesome hosts and tune into the tour throughout the week!
On the Tips of Her Fingers
by Bibiana Kerpcar
Published by New Degree Press
Released on December 11th, 2020
YOUNG ADULT FICTION–Fantasy
“We create monsters in our lives. Our response to them determines how our stories unfold. You can choose to cower in fear and ignorance of them, or you can choose to confront them head on, gathering the intuition and courage to defeat them.”
On the Tips of Her Fingers centers around Adela, a young girl leading a seemingly quiet life, whose mother spins beautiful stories for her at night. A series of strange events lead to Adela being gifted with magical abilities allowing her to escape from her world. We travel with Adela far from home where she begins to unravel a family secret, stumbling as she learns to use her powers, navigating difficult situations and her own complex feelings about growing up, and meeting friends, magical creatures, talking animals, and evil villains along the way.
In a world that can seem complicated, Adela shows the reader the importance of perseverance, courage, and a little bit of magic. On The Tips of Her Fingers is a dark fairytale that will inspire fans of fiction, fairytales, and magical realism to grapple with the concepts of escapism and self-identity in a whole new way.
Bibiana is an alumna of Georgetown University, where she graduated with a degree in Marketing, Management, and Entrepreneurship. She is an immigrant currently residing in Brooklyn, New York. As a child, she loved to read as a method to escape: in addition to helping her cope with challenges, she aimed to take inspiration from the books she loved growing up — ones that explored dark themes and forced characters to struggle, yet allowed them to come out of the experience with a newfound understanding of themselves and the world around them. During the day, Bibiana works in advertising, where she works with talented people to create amazing work. Outside of watching Slovak fairytales every holiday season, she enjoys cuddling up with her kitten and conjuring up fantastical worlds in her imagination.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your book?
This book is the culmination of my hopes and dreams as a young girl and Slovak-American. I was born in Slovakia and moved to the United States at the age of 5, without knowing a single word in English. I arrived with my favorite fairytale books in tow, stories that my maternal grandparents and mother read to me as a young girl growing up in the bucolic setting of my hometown. I currently reside in Brooklyn, living in the same part of Brooklyn for most of my life.
On the Tips of Her Fingers centers around a young female protagonist named Adela. Through a series of strange and mysterious circumstances, she is bestowed with magical abilities that allow her to journey to faraway places in an act of escape. On her journeys, she unravels the mysteries of her town, her family, and the circumstances of the world around her. It’s a book grounded in magical realism, and one that aims to follow in the footsteps of authors like Neil Gaiman: enjoyable for older children (and adults) alike!
What personal connection did you put in On the Tips of Her Fingers?
Nearly every aspect of On the Tips of Her Fingers has a personal connection. The setting is inspired by Slovakia, a union of various places that found their way into a singular one: the Tatra Mountains and its lakes, the underground caves in Slovakia, the lush countryside and forest. The familial connection between Adela and her mother is also a story of unconditional love, much like the love I have for my own mother, and the relationship we have. Other settings like Nuimtree are inspired by Bojnice Castle in Slovakia, and Adela’s journey to Al Ainab is inspired by my appreciation for Arab culture and storytelling tradition, which I studied at a high level in college.
Out of all the chapters, which is your favorite and why?
One of my favorite chapters is Chapter 13, Nine. It was one of my favorite chapters to write because I was given a unique opportunity to introduce a novel setting and many new characters all in the middle of the story. Since Adela was experiencing the environment for the first time as well, I approached the chapter by allowing the readers to see what she was seeing, and to be amazed by the whimsical additions at the same time. It also serves as a turning point for Adela, one in which she has mustered up an ounce of courage and is steadfast in her search for answers. It was a lovely chapter to write and, I hope, a lovely chapter to read as well.
If you had the chance, would you want to live in the world in On the Tips of Her Fingers?
Absolutely! The world is far-reaching and full of life. I find it fascinating to write about a world that is dripping with magic, but also feels real. I wrote about the world from the perspective of wanting it to feel timeless and as if, perhaps in an alternate universe where magic and reality collide, it could be a real place. If I were to live somewhere in the world, it would be Nuimtree. The forests and caves in the kingdom must be bursting with mythological creatures and mystery…
What was the hardest part of drafting your book?
I am a perfectionist by habit, and therefore I found it difficult to be happy with the book in any state. I spent a long time revising the book, working with my editors and tweaking it until it was perfect in my eyes. And even then, I’m sure there are some elements of the novel that I’ll read and think to myself “I wish I could have changed this!” but the great part of this process is that I was happy at the book at the point where I published it, and I still am, and I appreciate its imperfect perfection.
Is there a specific song that kept you going while writing?
Anything by Hozier… his songs captured the essence of my novel, uplifting and emotional and deep, yet sometimes unsettling. Like Real People Do was on repeat throughout my writing process. In fact, the opening line (below) influenced Chapter 10, The Death.
I had a thought, dear
About that night
The bugs and the dirt
Why were you digging?
What did you bury
Before those hands pulled me
From the earth?
Are you currently working on anything, and if so, could you spare any hints?
I am not currently working on another novel, but the early swirlings of an idea have taken up residence in my head. I’ve been drawn to different narrative methods and stylistic ways of telling a story, and like the idea of an unreliable narrator. It’s a place I haven’t explored yet and am looking forward to doing. Ultimately, I let ideas come to me and then try to do them justice by putting words on paper. That will likely be the approach for any future books as well.
Finally, what do you hope readers take away or learn from On the Tips of Her Fingers?
I genuinely hope that On the Tips of Her Fingers can be a momentary respite for many who are dealing with difficult emotions and feelings and needing to escape during a complicated and unprecedented time in our global history. If you’re an adult, I hope the magic in the novel can help you regain some of that childlike wonder of reading a book and getting lost in it. If you’re younger, I hope that the novel will be a portal to help you escape. It’s the way I turned to books while I was a young girl. The message of On the Tips of Her Fingers is that magic is beautiful, and it’s necessary in our lives. But in addition to outward magic and abilities, which not many of us find ourselves wielding, there is inward magic: courage, and perseverance. Determination. Kindness.
Up for grabs, we have TWO (2) digital copies of On the Tips of Her Fingers by Bibiana Kerpcar! This giveaway is open internationally and will run from January 24th to January 31st at 11:59 PM CST! To enter, click the button below!